Discover more from Wonkette
Joe Manchin Won't Seek Reelection, Will Instead Travel Country Solving Crimes
Whatever he does next, it'll probably be annoying.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D?-West Virginia) announced yesterday he will not run for reelection in 2024 because he believes he’s accomplished everything he’s set out to do, which is the sort of thing you say when you look at the poll numbers and realize that either of the two Republicans currently seeking the nomination would probably beat you.
Here’s Manchin’s announcement, in which he pines for a better America that never existed, and vaguely hints that his future plans involve “traveling the country and speaking out to see if there is an interest in creating a movement to mobilize the middle and bring Americans together,” or at least finding out what’s really going on at the old haunted amusement park.
Manchin’s decision prompted entirely too many headlines suggesting Democrats will now have a much harder time holding on to the Senate, because hate him or despise him, Manchin was at least a 70 percent reliable vote for Democrats in the Senate. But the prospects for Manchin holding onto his seat were already iffy considering how far to the right West Virginia has gone. Gov. Jim Justice (R) is likely to be the nominee, although if West Virginia Republicans prefer someone even more MAGA-oriented, the other major GOP contender is US Rep. Alex Mooney, who has a long list of endorsements from the crazypants wing of the GOP, including Sens. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Mike Lee, along with Rep. Jim Jordan.
Manchin’s chances against Justice, who’s pretty popular and has that all-important “R” after his name, weren’t great to start with, so the 2024 Senate math hasn’t changed too much for Democrats — from “Manchin’s probably toast” to "Manchin’s not there.”
To hold on to the Senate, then, Democrats will need to hold on to Ohio, where Sherrod Brown continues to be popular, and in Montana, a far more difficult challenge because while incumbent Jon Tester is a friendly, well-liked Red-state Democrat, the state has, like West Virginia, gone completely pigfuck MAGA crazy since the last time Tester won.
Manchin is widely believed to be flirting with a presidential run with the “No Labels” party, in the pretense that there are so many “moderates” out there that America would come together and reject all the sad polarization in Our Politics Today, which translates to financial support from tons of Republicans who simply don’t like Donald Trump, but in a general election could threaten to siphon off enough Democrats that Trump would win the electoral college again with a minority of the popular vote. Or maybe we’ll be smart enough not to let that happen again, please.
We would go into a deeper discussion of all the ways Joe Manchin might be able to wreck things even while out of the Senate, but we have written about as much about him as we want to for one morning, and if there’s anything we’ve learned after all this time, it’s that it’s useless to predict what he’ll do until he actually does it — he seemed to be willing in 2021 to support the Build Back Better bill if it were trimmed down a bit, but then had a snit and ditched it altogether, explaining that lifting children out of poverty would only lead their parents to buy drugs and booze. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, in 2022 he decided to let most of the best climate stuff remain in the bill as long as it also included some action against inflation. Now, of course, having learned just how good on climate the Inflation Reduction Act is, Manchin wants to join Republicans to gut it.
So let’s not bother speculating what he’ll do next. It’ll probably be awful, but exactly in what ways, we’ll have to wait and find out. For starters, can a luxury Maserati SUV comfortably transport a frat boy, the cute chick, the kickass gal with glasses, a stoner, and a delusional Great Dane?
Yr Wonkette is funded entirely by reader donations, because you good people are a lot more consistent than Joe Manchin. If you can, please subscribe, or if you want to make a one-time donation and wait to see if you approve of the particular drugs and booze we blow it on before giving more, here’s your button.