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Joe Manchin Being A Total Joe Manchin Again
Joe Manchin is not a very bright man.
The senator from West Virginia and tedious drama queen showed up on Fox News Sunday and not-so-subtly pushed for a third party spoiler candidacy.
“Why not have options? People are unsatisfied right now,” he said, and while it’s true that most people are like Prince’s mother, that doesn’t mean a third, sillier option is an improvement. All that would achieve is electing Donald Trump again. Manchin voted to remove him from office twice, so he should probably personally worry about a second Trump reign of terror.
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But Manchin isn’t concerned about anything so prosaic as literally preserving US democracy. No, he’s riding first class on his own ego trip. He’s still considering whether he will run for re-election, which he’ll lose, or run for president on a possible “No Labels” ticket.
Manchin seems to operate under the mistaken impression that he’s the reasonable politician everyone loves, rather than a conservative Democrat Republicans would still “crush like a grape” for his seat or one that other Democrats grudgingly tolerate because he was a critical vote in an evenly divided Senate.
“The people don’t look at as, ‘that’s Joe Manchin the Democrat’ or that’s ‘so and so, the Republican,’” he said. “It’s just Joe Manchin.”
He sure thinks highly of himself. He’s the true individual. Nonetheless, he will still sink or swim with President Joe Biden, whose legislative achievements all passed with Manchin’s support (for good or for ill, as significant concessions were made).
It would make more sense for Mitt Romney to run as a third party candidate, as he was part of the bipartisan team that passed the infrastructure and gun safety bills. And unlike Manchin, he’s vocally called out the current Republican Party for its clear disregard for the Constitution. He appreciates the true threat of MAGA, which is also why he dismisses a third party candidacy as pure folly.
Asked how he sees a general election rematch between Biden and Trump, Romney said, “Today I’d say 50-50. If I had to bet, I’d say it could go either way. So much can happen between now and then.” He also said that talk by the centrist group No Labels of mounting an independent candidacy in 2024 was a mistake and would only help to reelect Trump. He said he has spoken “many times” to Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), who is flirting with such a bid. “I lobby continuously that it would only elect Trump.”
Apparently, though, Manchin doesn’t listen to anyone but soothsaying big-money donors who tell him he’s hot shit but secretly just want to elect Trump (or Nikki Haley in some parallel universe where that could actually happen).
Last month, Manchin spoke at the 2023 Texas Tribune Festival and claimed that Democrats had abandoned the good folks of West Virginia: “We’re not good enough, clean enough, smart enough for Democrats in Washington.”
He predictably promoted a both-sides narrative of growing political polarization, despite Biden going out of his way to work with Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema of the Sinema Party.
“We are in trouble and I’ve never been more concerned about the challenges we have,” he said, while not actually grasping that those challenges all come from the Right. Progressives preferring that children don’t starve is hardly the same thing as Trump’s mob attacking the Capitol.
“I’m not going to take any risk to jeopardize my country and the democracy that we have,” Manchin insists. “But to sit back and do nothing and allow the country to keep going this way?”
West Virginia has a population of just 1.7 million. It’s more than 90 percent white. Manchin last won re-election with 290,510 votes — less than a third of the support Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek received in 2022. Yet Manchin actually believes he is uniquely capable to resolve the partisan division plaguing the nation. His ego is beyond redemption. You almost want him to run and humiliate himself on a national stage, but too much is at stake.
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