Joe Manchin Shivs Neera Tanden
Neera Tanden's nomination to be director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is probably tanked because of West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin. (Mitt Romney and Susan Collins have both said they're going to vote no, if that tells you how much the GOP is going to help with this.)
Let's talk about Joe Manchin.
When Donald Trump was president, Joe Manchin voted to confirm as attorney general a man who once said he thought the KKK was "OK until I found out they smoked pot," and who Republicans once deemed too racist to be a federal judge.
He voted to confirm a Twitter troll with zero qualifications as our Ambassador to Germany.
In all, Joe Manchin voted for 115 Trump nominees. He was constantly sucking up to the president who responded to a rape allegation by suggesting that the victim was too ugly to rape.
But now he just can't bring himself to confirm the first woman of color to be nominated for this position because sometimes she sent mean Tweets.
On Friday night, Joe Manchin announced he will be joining Republicans to vote against Tanden for OMB director. Manchin said in a statement,
I have carefully reviewed Neera Tanden's public statements and tweets that were personally directed towards my colleagues on both sides of the aisle from Senator Sanders to Senator McConnell and others. I believe her overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress and the next director of the Office of Management and Budget. For this reason, I cannot support her nomination. As I have said before, we must take meaningful steps to end the political division and dysfunction that pervades our politics. At a time of grave crisis, it is more important than ever that we chart a new bipartisan course that helps address the many serious challenges facing our nation.
I love this statement, I really do. Because Joe Manchin, "Democrat," actually has no problem voting for people who are "overtly partisan" and divisive, as long as they are conservative white men.
In response to a credible allegation of sexual assault, Brett Kavanaugh went on a tirade about "apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the Clintons and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups."
Here's Justice Kegstand's opening statement, if you missed it.
Oops, that's the "SNL" version. Oh well, same same.
Manchin brags about how much he loves Republicans on his website, where he has an entire page that might as well be officially dedicated to what a loyal Republican he is, with a full list of all the times he voted with the Trump regime — 74 percent of the time, by Joe's tally! And he specifically points out just how many Trump nominees he supported.
No Democratic Senator has voted to confirm more Trump nominees (115) than Senator Manchin. Senator Manchin voted to confirm his nominee to serve on the Supreme Court, Justice Neil Gorsuch. On nine occasions, Senator Manchin was the only Democrat to vote to confirm Trump nominees, including two cabinet Secretaries, three circuit court judges, and various other nominees.
If you're a white man who has the traditional credentials we expect of politicians, you've got Joe Manchin's support.
But GODS FORBID he support a woman of color who accurately referred to Mitch McConnell as Voldemort on social media.
I have a prediction about how all of this is going to go: Manchin will vote for every old white man Biden nominates. The only people he'll oppose will be women and people who aren't white.
This won't necessarily be actively intentional on Manchin's part. He won't notice the trend. And he will get really mad if anyone calls him out. (This is also known as the Kavanaugh defense.) But it's exactly what is going to happen.
With Dems holding the Senate by one tie-breaking vice presidential vote, Joe Manchin has way more power than Joe Manchin should ever have. But hey, it's still better than having a Republican Senate run by the grim reaper.
What happens next with Tanden's nomination is anybody's guess.
Biden, for his part, says he does not plan on pulling Tanden's nomination and that he "think[s] we're going to find the votes to get her confirmed." According to an unnamed Biden official, Biden "thinks she'd be an incredibly successful budget director as far as helping turn our economy around during this time of crisis. And gauging from her strong backing ranging from the business community to the labor movement, he's not at all alone."
However, it's less likely each day that they'll pick up any Republican votes. As we said above, Susan Collins, who has been the subject of some of Tanden's tweets, has announced she is a no, because mean tweets. Mitt Romney is a no, because mean tweets, and he actually said the words "mean tweets." We will not be shocked if Lisa Murkowski issues a similar statement today, citing ... mean tweets. And Joe Manchin's defection gave them even more cover to oppose Tanden. We'll see if any other Republicans are willing to spark more ire among Republicans by supporting a nominee who even some "Democrats" thought was too partisan, but we are not holding our breath.
And swapping Manchin's no vote for a Republican yes may not be the only hurdle in confirming Tanden. Bernie Sanders, also a subject of Tanden's tweets, has still not said which way he plans to vote.
We'll just have to wait and see where this one goes.
I guess the main lesson we can take from this is that no one associated with Wonkette will ever get to be OMB Director.
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