To the dismay of leftist Democrats, Sen. Joe Manchin declared he will vote against the For the People Act, an overreaching election reform bill, in what he says is a stand for bipartisanship.
The For the People Act is ostensibly about voting rights, but behind rosy marketing, the bill is an opportunity for Democrats to weaken election integrity and allow for manipulation along partisan lines.
Manchin told Fox News that while he supported much of the bill’s content, a substantial number of provisions were unrelated to voting rights. “It’s the wrong piece of legislation to bring our country together and unite our country, and I’m not supporting that because I think it would divide us more,” the West Virginia Democrat told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.” “I don’t want to be in a country that’s divided any further.”
Manchin further noted in an op-ed to the Charleston Gazette-Mail that the partisan nature of the bill influenced his decision to vote against it. He wrote:
Democrats in Congress have proposed a sweeping election reform bill called the For the People Act. This more than 800-page bill has garnered zero Republican support. Why? Are the very Republican senators who voted to impeach Trump because of actions that led to an attack on our democracy unwilling to support actions to strengthen our democracy? Are these same senators, whom many in my party applauded for their courage, now threats to the very democracy we seek to protect? The truth, I would argue, is that voting and election reform that is done in a partisan manner will all but ensure partisan divisions continue to deepen.
Manchin also doubled down on his defense of the filibuster, saying, “Furthermore, I will not vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster.”
This decision to break with the party infuriated leftist media figures, politicians, activists, and blue checkmarks, who slammed the West Virginia senator. Both Dino and “He’s A Republican” trended on Twitter, and hyperbolic comparisons to slavery, Trump comparisons, and personal attacks swelled across the platform.
There's no other way to say it: @Sen_JoeManchin is allowing the GOP to destroy our Democracy.
— Democratic Coalition (@TheDemCoalition) June 7, 2021
Democracy is going to die for Joe Manchin and Sinema's ego and greed. Whiteness will remain undefeated.
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) June 6, 2021
“The vote to end slavery is too important so it must get support from both the North and the South and since the South won’t support it, I guess we’ll just keep having slavery.”
–Joe Manchin, on the Civil War.
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) June 7, 2021
🙄 Manchin says he'll vote against For the People Act and digs in against eliminating filibuster.
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) June 6, 2021
I mean, do you REALLY think the full weight of the Democratic Party leadership can't make Joe Manchin budge?
Have you see how ruthless Dems can be when going after the left?
Yet somehow their entire agenda is supposedly hijacked by one or two people. pic.twitter.com/yVzcZ4RUkk
— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) June 6, 2021
Why I will help white conservatives enshrine white supremacy and rule of the minority over the will of the majority of Americans. —by Joe Manchin
“I believe that the ruthless, racist, utterly undemocratic and destructive partisan voting of the GOP is perfectly fine, and that https://t.co/7KeEAVwju5
— Pam Keith, Esq. (@PamKeithFL) June 6, 2021
— Amanda Marcotte (@AmandaMarcotte) June 6, 2021
Maybe people can start recognizing that Joe Manchin isn’t acting in good faith, that he has no interest in changing anything, and isn’t going to wake up one morning and decide to do the right thing.
He is who we knew he was.
— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) June 6, 2021
These arguments are completely disingenuous and I suspect Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) knows that. His op-ed would have been shorter had he just said he favors the voting restrictions Republicans are imposing across the country. Hiding behind John Lewis’ legacy is just gross. https://t.co/bd6A9NZWlJ
— Joy-Ann (Pro-Democracy) Reid 😷 (@JoyAnnReid) June 6, 2021
I can't express the contempt I have for people like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.
— John Iadarola (@johniadarola) June 7, 2021
Hell of a thing to see Senator Joe Manchin singing along with “We Shall Overcome” at #KennedyCenterHonors. I guess it’s “We Shall Overcome” as long as it’s bipartisan and the filibuster isn’t standing in the way.
— Kevin M. Levin (@KevinLevin) June 7, 2021
This is so on brand for this country. Record number of black voters show up to save this democracy, only for white supremacy to be upheld by a cowardly, power-hungry white dude. @Sen_JoeManchin is a clown. https://t.co/fCMuyoLer3
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) June 6, 2021
Given the left’s hyperbolic reaction, complete with accusations of white supremacy and overt betrayal of progressive values, their continued acceptance of Manchin as a member of their party is rather contradictory, as Glenn Greenwald noted on Twitter on Monday. Of course, this contradiction can be reconciled with the understanding that the left’s outrage has less to do with the senator’s position against the filibuster and the bill and every to do with his siding against the Democrats’ shameless power grab.
If Joe Manchin is "upholding White Supremacy," don't Democrats have a moral obligation to expel him from their caucus, take away his Committee assignments, and do everything possible to shun him? pic.twitter.com/mI4zuhSe1Q
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) June 7, 2021