8 June 2021

NOTE FROM NORM: So Goes Joe Manchin So Goes Democracy

In a June 6, 2021 opinion piece in the Charleston Gazette-Mail Democratic United States Senator Joe Manchin made it clear he will not join his fellow Democrats in further eroding the integrity of elections in America. Furthermore, he made it abundantly clear that he will not follow them in eliminating the only thing standing in their way of implementing even more of the most radical legislative agenda in decades: the filibuster.
In his opinion piece, Manchin underscores that the Democratic “For the People Act” charade is not election “reform”; it is partisan overreach of the most egregious form. He writes, “The truth, I would argue, is that voting and election reform that is done in a partisan manner will all but ensure partisan divisions continue to deepen.”

Far-left Democrats in Congress, and there are far more of them than any other kind of Democrat in Congress these days, immediately pounced on Manchin for destroying the Democrats and President Joe Biden’s increasingly extremist policy agenda. Strongly suggesting that Manchin is enabling the enactment of “Jim Crow” laws and preventing the rights of Americans to vote freely, they have made it clear that the West Virginia Democrat will feel no love from them now or in the future.

Before anybody thinks that I am suggesting that Joe Manchin, a Democrat, is more Republican than he is a Democrat, I want to remind you that the website ProPublica states that Manchin voted with uber-liberal Sherrod Brown of Ohio nearly 70% of the time – liberal Patrick Leahy 74% of the time – and Minnesota’s own Amy Klobuchar 74% of the time.

Not one of these Democrats would consider themselves to be Conservative. I don’t consider Joe Manchin to be some Republican in sheep’s clothing, either. He is a Democrat who, more often than not, supports his party on votes and policies that I, and many other Republicans, would oppose.

Still, even the most liberal and most conservative member of Congress, and in particular, the United States Senate, has the opportunity and the capacity to change the course of history in a way that the nation should respect and applaud.

Joe Manchin is doing just that as a member of the Senate Democratic Caucus by taking principled stands on policy issues that he believes further erodes the credibility of Congress and, in turn, the strength and vigor of America’s Democracy.

The American people have been, and continue to be fed, a line of incredulous reporting by the nation’s news media about Republican efforts across the country to strengthen the integrity of state election laws. It started with the outright falsehoods about reforms in Georgia and has continued as other states in America act to increase access to voting while ensuring voter integrity to maintain the credibility of elections, the results of elections, and the power of elections Democracy.

The media continues to collaborate with its ideological soulmates, Progressive Democrats, by parroting their talking points: painting Republican efforts at preserving both voter integrity and defending the Senate tradition of respecting minority rights by requiring more than simple majorities to transform our electoral system, as dangers to Democracy. In fact, as Senator Manchin has pointed out, just the opposite is true.

Joe Manchin’s opposition to the Democrats federally imposed mandates in the “For the People Act” makes it clear that the real danger to Democracy isn’t from Republican efforts to increase ballot security and election integrity; it’s from Democrats who want to use the federal government to gerrymander elections in such a way that there would be no distinction between a legal vote and an illegal vote anywhere in America.

That Joe Manchin is the only thing that stands in the way of Democratic Senators, Democratic Representatives, and a Democratic President from steamrolling their far-reaching agenda over the American people is both comforting and terrifying.

But, like Republican John McCain before him, Democratic Joe Manchin understands that there are times when loyalty to party must come after loyalty to country and principle.

His opposition to eliminating the filibuster, which serves as the only line of defense against a historically unprecedented assault against American freedoms and liberties by Democrats who wish to impose their social, cultural, political, and economic agenda on the country, is not popular with the one-party media and their allies in the Democratic party.

But the Democratic hypocrisy of labeling the filibuster, and by association Manchin, a “remnant of Jim Crow” is as rampant a falsehood as calling the “For the People Act” anything resembling “election reform.” According to the Washington Examiner, in 2020, Democrats used the filibuster over 300 times to block Trump appointees and Republican legislation.

Fox News Anchor John Roberts was even more specific – Democrats, in 2020, used the filibuster 327 times. Republicans used it once in 2020.

I no longer mince words when it comes to the complicity of America’s leftist media in support of this radical agenda. They have lost their way and, in doing so, have further inflamed Americans with reporting that makes no effort to educate but to advocate.

During the four years of the Trump Administration, the nation’s media could not be depended upon to offer the American people any fair or balanced assessment of his public policies or those of Republicans in Congress. Today, the Biden Administration, and its supporters in Congress, enjoy the cover fire from the nation’s media that can no longer be trusted to present a clear or honest picture of the implications of their policies on the vast majority of the American people.

So there stands Joe Manchin, willing to take on those who have found in him the barest thread of opposition to the swelling size and power of the federal government and its ability to take from the American people more and more of their freedom, liberty, and their values.

So goes Joe Manchin.
So goes Democracy.