If it’s an important Democratic agenda priority chances are pretty good U.S. Senator Joe Manchin is opposed to it.
For the uninitiated, Manchin isn’t some far right wing Republican like Louisiana Senator John Kennedy who hides behind a southern drawl and pretends he’s just a regular guy who doesn’t have a law degree (he does) and didn’t attend Oxford (he did.)
No, Manchin has a bachelors in business from West Virginia University, and spent most of his adult life in politics. A decade as a state senator, four years as West Virginia Secretary of State, nearly six years as governor, and now more than 10 years as a U.S. Senator.
Casual observers might think he’s a dyed in the wool Democrat, but Manchin ranks number 54 on the GovTrack list of U.S. Senators, with number one being the most conservative (Marsha Blackburn) and number 100 being the most liberal (Bernie Sanders).
How far to the right is Joe Manchin?
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, ranks number 55, meaning she is more liberal than Democrat Joe Manchin.
So, back to that progressive agenda that President Joe Biden is by all accounts doing an excellent job with.
Senator Manchin is not a fan.
On Friday Manchin declared opposition to yet another item on Biden’s agenda: D.C. statehood.
To be clear, it’s not that Manchin specifically wants to deprive Washington D.C.’s 689,545 or so residents the right to a voting member of Congress like residents in the 50 states have, nor does he want to deprive them of a U.S. Senator like residents in the 50 states have, he just thinks that the entire country should get to decide whether or not D.C. residents should have the same rights and representation that they do.
Just like, for example, civil rights for LGBTQ people.
Manchin opposes the Equality Act, another key agenda item on President Biden’s list.
He also has long opposed same-sex marriage, and when the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015 ruled that same-sex couples have the same rights and responsibilities and different-sex couples, all Manchin could summon up to say was this:
“America is a nation of laws, and we must respect and abide by the Supreme Court’s decision.”
Back to D.C.
“Sen. Joe Manchin III told reporters in his home state of West Virginia on Friday morning that he does not support the bill to make D.C. the nation’s 51st state,” The Washington Post reported early Friday evening.
Citing Presidents Reagan and Carter, Manchin declared, “If Congress wants to make D.C. a state, it should propose a constitutional amendment. It should propose a constitutional amendment and let the people of America vote.”
(That’s not how amendments to the Constitution work. There isn’t a national vote, so his argument is ill-informed and fallacious.)
Because of course the entire country should vote on the rights of 700,000 people, even though it’s perfectly legal for Congress to pass a bill to make D.C. a state.
Americans on social media are furious.
Joe manchin is not a democrat he votes every time against democracy
— ✌🏼rosanna arquette (@RoArquette) April 30, 2021
So Joe Manchin just told the more than 700,000 tax-paying Americans who live in DC to go fuck themselves.
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) April 30, 2021
Joe Manchin is the worst.
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) April 30, 2021
Joe Manchin wakes up every morning and flips a coin to figure out which party he’s going to support pic.twitter.com/HGbDyw71gU
— Right Wing Cope (@RightWingCope) April 28, 2021
Joe Manchin doesn’t support #DCStatehood because if it passed, it would no longer make him the most powerful person in Washington DC.
— Jake Lobin (@JakeLobin) April 30, 2021
NEW: Joe Manchin also told reporters today that he does not support H.R. 1 but he does support the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.
Joe Manchin co-sponsored H.R.1 in 2019.
— United for the People (@people4kam) April 30, 2021
Terrible news for American democracy: Joe Manchin becomes the first Senate Democrat to come out against the #DCstatehood bill, ensuring that 700,000 citizens remain disenfranchised & increasing the likelihood of a return to GOP Senate minority rule https://t.co/DpzrRTAETl
— Stephen Wolf (@PoliticsWolf) April 30, 2021
NARRATOR: “Joe Manchin was a senator from West Virginia, which became a new state by simply splitting from Confederate Virginia. No constitutional amendment was necessary.” https://t.co/bIjnfaAcUo
— Mrs. Betty Bowers (@BettyBowers) April 30, 2021
Manchin is a bad human.
— John Pavlovitz (@johnpavlovitz) April 30, 2021
Y’know there are constitutional scholars who argue West Virginia was improperly admitted, if Manchin wants to go to war over thishttps://t.co/BKQmteVvdt
— dylan matthews (@dylanmatt) April 30, 2021
Joe Manchin is dead wrong. There is no excuse to deny thousands and thousands of people their right to equal representation. I’m done with excuses. DC Statehood now. https://t.co/hzDSSp27YX
— Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (@malcolmkenyatta) April 30, 2021
Some notes for Joe Manchin:
1. DC Statehood does NOT require a constitutional amendment. Congress CAN grant 700,000 Americans a vote & fair representation.
— Nick Knudsen 🇺🇸 (@NickKnudsenUS) April 30, 2021
I repeat my tweet from the other day: maybe, just maybe, Joe Manchin isn’t very bright. https://t.co/JYLav2Z5Aj
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) April 30, 2021
Joe Manchin just told 700,000 Americans that he doesn’t support them having equal representation.
— Millennial Politics (@MillenPolitics) April 30, 2021
Something about the Senator of an extremely white Southern state denying political representation to a historically majority Black area doesn’t sit right with me https://t.co/IXYjGol1G5
— Prerna Jagadeesh (@PrernaJagadeesh) April 30, 2021
Before anyone @’s me about Manchin being a responsible centrist trying to maintain the middle, just unfollow me now and don’t bother.
He is oppressing the very people who helped win the majority. I don’t care about his purported intent when the actual results are racist.
— Larry Middleton (@l78lancer) April 30, 2021
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