Capitol Riots Made Joe Manchin Realize We Must Never Do Anything Republicans Don't Like
Last November (okay, and January), the American people voted to give Democrats control of both the executive and legislative branches of our government. One might logically assume that they did this because they preferred the things Democrats wanted to do over the things that Republicans wanted to do.
But Democrat Joe Manchin thinks all those people were wrong, and has thus embarked on a mission to use his swing vote to correct their error in judgment by standing in the way of practically everything other Democrats were elected to do. In an interview last night on CNN's "The Situation Room," Manchin explained that he isn't just doing this to exercise his own power, but because the January 6 Capitol riots "changed [him]" and made him realize just how important bipartisanship truly is.
January 6 changed me, and I was very clear with everybody. never thought in my life — I never read in history books — to where our form of government had been attacked at our seat of government which is Washington DC, our own Capitol, by our own people.
Now the British did it, but not Americans. So something told me, 'Wait a minute, pause. Hit the pause button, something's wrong. You can't have this many people split to where they want to go to war with each other.'
Yes, negotiating with terrorists is certainly one tactic to try, but perhaps he should consider that those people who invaded the Capitol were far less concerned about corporate tax rates than they were about imaginary stolen elections and Satanic Democrats and Hollywood celebrities eating all the babies. Standing in the way of higher stimulus checks is not going to make people who run around yelling racial slurs say, "Hey! Maybe the Democrats are okay after all!"
And sure, while notoriously wacky forced birth enthusiast Lila Rose gave Manchin a little praise for supporting the filibuster and thus preventing Democrats from doing anything while in office, the warm glow he may feel from that will turn cold the second he does anything she doesn't like.
Proud of Senator Joe Manchin for standing up for the filibuster — one of the only mechanisms holding back the most extremist fringes of his party.
Which, really, is true for anyone. No one gives politicians a free pass to do things they don't like just because they did one thing they liked previously. I could love everything someone has ever voted for, but that doesn't mean I'm going to support them when they vote for something I think is terrible. Manchin would do well to remember that people have short memories.
If Republicans respected "bipartisanship" and thought reaching across the aisle was a good and admirable thing to do, they would do some of it themselves every once in a while. But they don't, and they campaign on not doing that. They tell their voters, "We're here to fight for you" — and at least as far as those voters are concerned, they do that. They will in fact go so far as to pretend an election was illegitimate to make their voters happy. Now, I'm not saying this is what Joe Manchin should do or has to do as a Democrat, but he should at least be aware of what the voters he is trying to appeal to actually value in terms of character and demeanor. The people they respect are assholes.
It would be one thing if what Manchin says he is trying to do here had any history of working, but it doesn't. Just ask all of the Democrats who voted for the Iraq War and are still waiting for their thank you notes. It remains a universal fact, evident in life and practically every teen movie ever made, that people who spend all of their time and energy trying desperately to win the approval of terrible people end up treating the decent people in their lives like shit — and also never really getting that desired approval.
Of course, it is entirely possible that this bipartisanship, this "Oh gosh well, we don't want Republicans to invade the Capitol and try to murder us all again so we better do what they want!" stuff is all bullshit and Manchin really is just a conservative Democrat who is doing exactly what he wants to do.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse