I’ve defended Joe Manchin here before, mainly since the kind of Republican who would probably get elected instead of him leaves a lot to be desired. I’m willing to leave the man who inherited Robert Byrd’s seat a wide degree of latitude to vote against the party on issues that are out of step with his state. Particularly on guns, coal, and abortion. I’m even willing to give him all the pork he wants, lord knows a state that poor could use some federal help.
Joe always calls himself a “West Virginia Democrat” and I always took that to mean conservative on God, guns, and the troops while supporting the old time liberal religion on unions, social security, and disability payments. For the most part, Joe has stacked up on these lines. But now, he is actually to the right of some West Virginia Republicans.
Gov. Jim Justice (R-WV) (first elected as a Democrat) has been going on cable show after cable show asking for more government help for his citizens and to buy vaccines. He wants bigger payments and a bigger stimulus while Manchin is crying crocodile tears about the deficit. Rep. David McHenry (R-WV) has even co-sponsored a $1,400 check proposal with Democratic Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester. Why is Joe to their right on an economic issue?
Maybe West Virginia Joe should quit playing to Morning Joe and start showing he gives a damn about his state and their people. Instead of voting like a debt scorning Acela corridor centrist, he should be a bold big daddy like his predecessor Robert Byrd. Instead of voting with Joni Ernst to kill a $15 minimum wage he should be voting for it. As a fellow Senator from a rural white gun loving state put it, now is the time to go Big. If West Virginia Republicans get it, so should the states last statewide Democrat.