Getting What He Deserves

Me, a few months ago, discussing the utter stupidity and self-defeating nature of Sen. Manchin’s grandstanding:

What he fails to realize is that all this mavericky nonsense is self-defeating. First, he’s at odds with the majority of the nation. Second, he’s backing bad policy. Third, this isn’t going to make Republicans like him anymore, because they hate him simply because he has a (D) after his name. He could vote with Republicans on very single issue, and they are still going to spend millions funding John Raese or whatever wingnut they find to run against Joe.

Now let’s roll the tape on what is happening since he opened his mouth the other day to chew on his penny loafers a bit as he dissed the President and the entire Democratic party:

West Virginia’s Republican Party is hammering Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) this week for fence sitting on the presidential contest.

Manchin said Friday he remains unsure if he’ll vote for President Obama or Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee, in November, contending he has “real differences” with both candidates.

The comments caught fire on the Web and led local Republicans to accuse the freshman senator of “cowardice.”

“Any senator voting for the people of West Virginia would strongly and proudly state without equivocation that this president’s policies have been disastrous and it is critical that he be defeated,” West Virginia GOP Chairman Mike Stuart said Friday, according to local reports. “This is one additional reason that Sen. Manchin should soon be retired.”

Manchin, a former coal broker who replaced the late-Sen. Robert Byrd (D) in a 2010 special election, is a centrist Democrat with a record of bucking the party leadership, particularly on fiscal matters and energy issues that would effect coal-rich West Virginia.

No one could have predicted.

Either Manchin has some very interesting polling internals that none of us are privy to, or his staff is just in over their heads and giving him bad advice. This is bush league stuff, and it has been since day one, when he told us that he needed to tour the state to find out what his constituents think about DADT. Apparently there was not ample time in the two terms he served as Governor to learn that. Once he had his listening tour and learned what his constituents thought, he promptly skipped the vote on DADT and the Dream Act and went partying in the country with his grandchildren. WHO IS ADVISING THIS GUY? Then later on, he advances the Blunt amendment, allegedly to promote religious freedom, while blissfully unaware that the Amendment wouldn’t advance religious freedom, it was a backdoor attempt at gutting ACA by allowing employers to deny coverage of anything they didn’t like for any reason whatsoever. Fortunately, the rest of the Democratic caucus is not brain-dead, so that amendment failed.

Then we get to this latest idiocy, which is yet another self-inflicted wound. It was obvious to anyone with an IQ over room temperature that the remarks about Obama would be used as a cudgel against both Manchin and Obama. This is a GOP strategists wet dream. And then to state that politics isn’t a team sport. He probably thought it made him sound independent and mavericky, but it just made him look stupid and like he doesn’t understand how politics works. Even better, he set himself up for another beating by the GOP. If I were the Republican candidate, the very first thing I would do is release and ad stating “Joe Manchin says politics isn’t a team sport. So why is he accepting money from the DNC and the DSCC to run negative ads about John Raese.” Or some variation.

And I know none of you are going to believe this, but Manchin really is, in person, a nice guy. He’s affable, friendly, my father worked with him on a number of issues and found him to be reliable and trustworthy and honest. I just don’t understand why he is doing so many stupid things. At this point, I don’t even know what parts of the Democratic party platform he agrees with.

66 replies
  1. 1
    gaz says:

    umm, John.

    but it just made him look stupid and like he doesn’t understand how politics worse works

    FTFY, just sayin’

    thanks for the post

  2. 2
    cathyx says:

    There are enough democrats who will still vote for him in the name of maintaining a dem majority. He has nothing to worry about.

  3. 3
    PZ says:

    He stays a Democrat because he would loose all the attention he’s getting if he became a Republican. It’s the same thing as Lieberman-the press loves “Democrats” who buck the party leadership and are “mavericks.” If he became a Republican, he’d just be another gun-nut conservative Senator.

    I’m not from West Virginia and don’t know that much about Manchin but I’d be willing to be he’s going down this course because he loves the attention he’s getting. The question is-do the voters of West Virginia like him chasing the spotlight?

  4. 4
    IowaOldLady says:

    Yeah, they’re often nice guys, but who cares? I have a friend who’s a reporter who says that, in person, Steve King is charming.

  5. 5
    Mudge says:

    When Manchin ran against whichever Warner for governor, a trusted friend of mine said Manchin, who he knows,is an idiot. Manchin has yet to disprove that. One thing is for sure, advice or not, Manchin sniffs the wind and only cares about what will get him re-elected. He has no principles that I can see. Plus, he doesn’t seem to know when to keep his mouth shut.

    Manchin vs. Raese is shaping up as a “no vote” election. It is getting more and more difficult to even justify voting for Manchin as being the non-Raese.

  6. 6
    PeakVT says:

    Manchin, a former coal broker who replaced the late-Sen. Robert Byrd (D) …

    Didn’t know that before. Makes me think that his Democratic label has always been a flag of convenience.

  7. 7
    JWL says:

    “..but it just made him look stupid and like he doesn’t understand how politics works”.

    He was elected Governor twice by the voters of West Virginia, currently represents the state in the U.S. Senate, and he doesn’t understand politics?

  8. 8
    Jade Jordan says:

    I hope your dad’s shots are up to date. I don’t think there is a cure for whatever Manchin has.

  9. 9
    the Conster (f/k/a Cat Lady) says:

    People’s personal behavior has nothing to do with their politics. The most loyal and reliable people I know are total wingnuts, and I wish I had a dollar for every story about serial killers and rampaging homicidal nutjobs who were such wonderful neighbors.

  10. 10

    @PeakVT:

    Anyone who runs for office in WV must be pro coal, regardless of anything else. Unless you are Robert Byrd and have brought home enough treasury bacon, to have about every other building in the state named after you. Manchin ain’t no Bob Byrd, who had earned the independence to vote about any way he wanted and still get reelected. Manchin is a hysteric, that is so worried about getting reelected, he is virtually assuring himself defeat by clown hopping all over the issues and his party. Sometimes, you just got to be what you are and let the chips fall where they may. Manchin is like a drunk Jimmy Buffet, searching for his lost shaker of salt.

  11. 11
    Cato says:

    Perhaps like an increasing number of Americans, Manchin is realizing that Obama’s policies have failed us.

    Time for a change.

    #OIW–Obama Isn’t Working

  12. 12
    Cato says:

    Why should we be anti-coal in a time of persistent high unemployment? Obama and the democrats have failed to embrace an “all of the above” energy policy that includes nuclear, natural gas, and clean coal.

    #OIW–Obama Isn’t Working

  13. 13

    @Cato:

    That’s some weak Troll=fu, Obi Wan. You just get out of republican wanker school?

  14. 14
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    It’s Zell Miller Disease: send a moderate governor from a socially conservative state to DC, and he catches the stupid.

    Also: why do wingnut trolls with lemons rammed up their arses adopt pretentious Roman names, and not appropriate ones, like Biggus Dickus?

  15. 15
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @General Stuck: Perhaps he’s a spotty high schooler doing weekend cover for V*r*t*s?

  16. 16
    James E. Powell says:

    Why shouldn’t Manchin take the standard Blue Dog track? After all, look how well it worked for Blanche Lincoln.

    I can’t help but wonder whether he’d have a better chance of re-election if he would spend more time and energy arguing in favor of the people who are trying to help make ordinary lives more livable and the programs that they promote. But I guess we will never know.

  17. 17
    MattF says:

    So, Manchin mustn’t attack Raese for being a lunatic because that would be, um, negative. Even though the fact of Raese being a lunatic is something the voters of WVa just might be better off knowing. Which means, in any case, that it’s OK to attack Obama. That makes lots of sense.

    Added: If you’re a Republican.

  18. 18

    @Cato:

    Obama Isn’t Working

    Asshole
    meet
    Dogwhistle

  19. 19
    RD says:

    Unless you are Robert Byrd and have brought home enough treasury bacon

    The GBT was some tasty bacon.

    I miss Robert Byrd.

  20. 20
    Matoko Borgia-Steeler says:

    Manchin really is, in person, a nice guy

    So was Judas. Until his inner Republican got loose.

  21. 21
    Baud says:

    @efgoldman: I thought Balloon Juice was smelling a little bit better these days. What was he banned for?

  22. 22
    MattF says:

    @Baud: Being pathetic.

  23. 23
    Baud says:

    @MattF: I would have been banned a long time ago if that were all it took.

  24. 24
    gaz says:

    @efgoldman: i got that too. It’s probably for the best, in any case.

    I think it’s funny that he traded Satire V in for Taco, as though that will play better.

    And he traded his mancrush for a hashtag. So even * he * can’t stomach Romney. Can’t even say his name anymore. Lulz. Romney is one hell of a candidate. Even his most adoring troll can’t keep his stiffy.

  25. 25
    CW in LA says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: Because they have a vewy gweat fwiend in Wome named Biggus Diccus, and they don’t wike seeing their fwiends waughed at.

  26. 26
    Baud says:

    I just don’t understand why he is doing so many stupid things.

    I feel like I’m more sympathetic to Democrats who have to win conservative states than most folks on liberal blogs, but some things I don’t understand either. My sense is that the two things blue dog Dems fear most are (1) lose of corporate money and (2) GOP sound-bite advertising. In this case, my guess is that Manchin fears ads quoting his support for Obama more than he fears ads criticizing him for not opposing Obama.

  27. 27
    MattF says:

    @Baud: But, seriously, Manchin’s opponent is a lunatic. Why can’t he, at least, find a way to allude to that?

  28. 28
    Baud says:

    @efgoldman: I actually never considered him one of the crazy, irrational wingnut Republicans. He just knows the GOP talking points of the day and likes to annoy us with them.

  29. 29
    Cato says:

    @General Stuck:

    The slogan must be really irritating to you if you’re already crying RAAAAAAAAAAAACIIIIST!

    #OIW–Obama Isn’t Working

  30. 30

    I can haz open thread pleez, I haz exciting critter news.

    KTHNXBAI

  31. 31
    AxelFoley says:

    Fuck that douchebag prick Manchin. Fucker’s been kneecapping the President since Day One.

  32. 32
    Abstruse says:

    Manchin fucking sucks. Ani-choice, pro-coal (

  33. 33
    Baud says:

    @MattF: I don’t know anything about W. Va. politics or personalities beyond what’s reported here. As a general rule, however, I think a lot of people in red states have bought into the meme of the arrogant liberal Democrat. So what Manchin fears (again) is that if he calls his opponent crazy, the GOP will put on vicious sound-bite ads accusing him of being an “arrogant Washington Democrat” or something similar.

  34. 34
    gaz says:

    Dear Taco,
    I’m deeply sorry that your homoerotic mancrush on Romney finally came to an end. I know you must be feeling deeply disappointed.

    You’ll survive Obama’s 2nd Term. It will also give you something to bitch about for four more years, so there’s a silver lining in all of this, if you look for it.

  35. 35
    Abstruse says:

    Manchin fucking sucks. Anti-woman, pro-coal (Which is anti-all fuckIng species) pro-gun, etc etc etc.

    He gets my vote, but it makes me gag. Ughh if only the mountain party….

  36. 36
    AxelFoley says:

    @Cato:

    Fuck the fuck off.

  37. 37
    satanicpanic says:

    Maybe he’d be a better fit in Citizens United

    ETA Americans Elect. Sheesh, stepping on my own jokes.

  38. 38
    gene108 says:

    @Mudge:

    He stays a Democrat because he would loose all the attention he’s getting if he became a Republican.

    He can’t become a Republican.

    Being a Democrat he pushed laws that support Democratic positions or in other words as a Democratic governor he pushed policies he supported, which are by default Democratic positions.

    Therefore he would violate the purity test of the modern Republican Party, which values a pure virginal devotion to wingnuttery than actually getting anything done.

    The days of Republicans tolerating Democratic party-switchers like Night-Horse Campbell are gone. They aren’t doctrinally pure enough to be Republicans because they weren’t always wing-nuts.

  39. 39
    MattF says:

    @Baud: I hear you, but there’s this:

    http://thinkprogress.org/speci.....ng-hitler/

    Maybe Manchin is hoping that Raese will just implode. Not impossible.

  40. 40
    gene108 says:

    Trolls grow stronger the more you reply to them.

    To defeat the internet troll do not reply to them. Ignore them.

  41. 41
    AxelFoley says:

    @efgoldman:

    Dunno’. The offending comment leapt into the ether. We only figured it out when someone tried to reply to it and that comment was etherized also to.

    Was it that asshole’s comments on Trayvon Martin? My reply to the fucker disappeared. I was wondering why.

  42. 42
    Cato says:

    @AxelFoley:

    I understand it must be emotionally disturbing for someone who invested so much in Hope and Change(tm) the last time around to see the Chosen One fail so fast and so hard. But do try to keep your emotions from getting the better of you.

    #OIW–Obama Isn’t Working

  43. 43
    AxelFoley says:

    @gene108:

    Trolls grow stronger the more you reply to them.
    To defeat the internet troll do not reply to them. Ignore them.

    You know who else was a troll that people ignored?

  44. 44
    AxelFoley says:

    @Cato:

    Whatever. Continue to fuck the fuck off.

  45. 45
    Baud says:

    @MattF: You’re thinking like a liberal instead of a conservative Democrat or an independent in a red state. Although not impossible, it’s really hard for a Republican in those areas to make a statement crazy enough to lose support.

  46. 46
    Cato says:

    @AxelFoley:

    Do you have anything but four letter words and invective to express how disappointing Obambi has been to you and the high hopes you had for him?

    #OIW–Obama Isn’t Working

  47. 47

    @Cato:

    The slogan must be really irritating to you if you’re already crying RAAAAAAAAAAAACIIIIST!

    Nah, somebody got to be the blog sewer trout. Might as well be you. Your troll-fu is still weak,

  48. 48
    gene108 says:

    @Baud:

    I feel like I’m more sympathetic to Democrats who have to win conservative states than most folks on liberal blogs

    The real problem Democrats face in conservative states is a vicious media-feed back loop.

    Too many people get information only from right-wing sources and therefore it’s impossible to break through the right-wing noise machine.

    For example, there isn’t a nationally popular Democratic candidate a red-state Democrat can be seen with, since the right-wing media has turned Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and even President Obama, to a much lesser extent, into toxic figures.

    President Clinton might-could’ve broken through with red-staters and gotten them back to the Democratic Party, since he is very charismatic and bit of a old Southern boy himself. This is one reason Republicans went after him with such a vengeance. After Watergate and Iran-Contra, they couldn’t allow the next Democratic President to be (a) popular and undo the gains Reagan made and (b) have the Republican Party be synonymous with corruption; the Democrats had also seem just as corrupt.

    The Republicans really succeeded in the 1990’s in dominating the news cycle and a lazy MSM just kept churning out right-wing crap under the assumption wing-nut papers were just regular reporters like them.

    After the 1990’s, there aren’t any programs that are so popular or figures that are so charismatic that Democrats in red-states can really position themselves as the champions of that would overcome the right-wing bullshit. All the popular government programs get hammered for being wasteful and inefficient by right-wing media, so their listeners want to gut those programs, even as they walk to the mailbox during a commercial break to get their Social Security checks.

    The only way to really change things is to start crushing Republicans one state or district at a time in elections. Sadly, the best way to do this is to register more poor and young people to vote and Republicans are working feverishly to make it harder for those groups to vote.

  49. 49
    thelonius says:

    It’s really quite simple John – he’s an asshole.

  50. 50
    mellowjohn says:

    @Cato: ok, how about “PLAAAAAAGERIST!”

  51. 51
    gene108 says:

    @efgoldman:

    Republicans have a very stringent purity test for what is Republican governance.

    Long, long ago Mitt could’ve run as a sensible Republican, based on what he did as governor of Massachusetts. Those days are gone.

    To be a Republican requires strict adherence to a rigid doctrine of busting unions, sticking it to poor people and cracking down on abortions.

    Democrats, so far, haven’t developed that sort of purity test for what defines Democratic governance, therefore what a Democratic local or state government does still can represent the scope of what a government run by Democrats is capable of doing.

    In a way, I feel sorry for Mitt (and Mike Huckabee) because neither is able to run on what they accomplished as governor. Mitt because of “Romney-care” and Huckabee because he had to comply with an Arkansas court order and raise taxes to fund schools. It’s not good for our politics, when potential candidates have to run away from their records to conform to a rigid ideology.

  52. 52
    Baud says:

    @gene108: Yep. I’m all for winning elections as a mechanism for real change. It’s one reason I tend to get angry when I feel that people on our side aren’t giving elections the importance they deserve.

  53. 53
    Ksmiami says:

    @efgoldman: Was the reply comment mine? It had lots of f words cause he was thread jacking the trayvon martin post and I called him on it. Then poof nothing…

  54. 54
    PZ says:

    @Cato: What’s it like being at the mercy of the Koch Brothers? Worried that your little operation is going to be shut down soon?

  55. 55
    JPL says:

    @PZ: The Bush Administration tried the Cato and Koch way and it didn’t work. If Cato and Koch want to be like Greece just keep cutting taxes.

  56. 56
    PeakVT says:

    @General Stuck: I expect everyone from WV to be pro-coal. But people who work on the management and distribution side of an extractive business tend to have a very different outlook from front-line workers.

  57. 57

    @PeakVT:

    I expect everyone from WV to be pro-coal. But people who work on the management and distribution side of an extractive business tend to have a very different outlook from front-line workers.

    To a degree, maybe. But beyond safety issues and union contracts, miners and their families are fully aware that production is needed for them to have jobs. And I suspect Manchin has some fairly solid union creds, or I doubt he could get elected dog catcher in that state.

  58. 58
    KrisWV says:

    @Cato: re: OIW

    No the slogan was annoying when the Tories used it and put 200,000 miners out of work almost thirty years ago. Plagarism.

  59. 59
    gaz says:

    @KrisWV: speaking of which:

    Oil Isn’t Working

  60. 60
    I can't believe this guy is a Senator says:

    I was with you Mr. Cole until the last few sentences. If anything, current behavior by this person is consistent with his past behavior. Makes Arch Moore look like a rookie.

  61. 61
    I can't believe this guy is a Senator says:

    @AxelFoley: @thelonius:

    but not in the good Denis Leary way….

  62. 62
    Lolcat Liberation Front says:

    @Cato: Damn. Trolls on this site ain’t what they used to be. Where’s a pack of mutant wolves when you need them?

    But, in the interests of encouraging semi-productive debate, allow me to respond to your one actual substantive point:

    Why should we be anti-coal in a time of persistent high unemployment? Obama and the democrats have failed to embrace an “all of the above” energy policy that includes nuclear, natural gas, and clean coal.

    America’s persistent high unemployment is not primarily an energy problem. It’s an investor confidence problem, and an oh-shit-we-don’t-actually-make-anything-anymore problem. While energy is an input cost for industry, it’s not as if the pissy reserves of West Virginia – or anywhere in the US – are somehow going to be able to substantially shift global output. The US cannot compete with the Middle East or South America when it comes to fossil fuels because they are simply not there.

    And even supposing they were there: what happens when we run out? You don’t seriously believe there are infinite resources contained within the earth’s crust, do you? At some point, the US will need to shift its energy dependence away from coal and oil. And that’s not even taking into account issues like climate change or the problems of propping up dictatorships in oil-rich lands, both of which have the potential to come back to bite us.

    Also, can you really say that Obama is a major obstacle to West Virginia coal? I mean, you can say it, sure. But does it actually bear any relationship to the truth?

  63. 63
    Gex says:

    Have you noticed that the right wing trolls pretty much only get off on ruining things for everyone else? They don’t care whether or not they are reading a blog they like, and they don’t care to discuss anything with us, they just want to spam the thread up until no one else can enjoy a conversation. It’s just like how they approach politics. Make it so fucking disgusting that decent people want nothing to do with it.

    And yet, they never stop to consider that maybe that reflects badly upon them, their positions, and their world view.

  64. 64
    Dr. Squid says:

    If the GOP really wanted to get rid of Manchin, why do they run the same nutty Floridian? Is the GOP bench that shallow in WV?

  65. 65
    Splitting Image says:

    @Cato:

    Do you have anything but four letter words and invective to express how disappointing Obambi has been to you and the high hopes you had for him?

    Thanks. I was wondering who you were.

  66. 66
    gaz says:

    @Dr. Squid: The Governor of Florida is Rick Scott, known sycophant, and arguably a criminal – even before he got elected.

    Florida has SYG.

    etc.

    These people are unglued.

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