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The Myth of “Moderate” Joe Manchin

Posted on Thursday, September 30, 2021
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AMAC Exclusive – by Cal Palmer

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As Democrats in Congress negotiate with themselves over just how many trillions they should spend on social engineering, one so-called “centrist” Democrat in the Senate is said to be holding all the cards – West Virginia’s Joe Manchin.

At least that’s what he wants you to think.

Joe Manchin calls himself a “West Virginia Democrat” as a way of emphasizing his supposed moderation. But a closer look reveals that the ambiguity of that self-imposed title masks a much more radical reality.

The truth is that Joe Manchin is a certain kind of moderate—just not the West Virginia kind. He’s a Manhattan moderate. Manchin admits openly that “I’ve always said I’m fiscally responsible and socially compassionate,” with the implication being that “compassionate” is a stand-in for “liberal.” While that certainly is one kind of moderation – although Manchin’s voting record leaves reason to believe he does not fully embrace even that – it’s an attitude more suited for the boardrooms of Wall Street than the living rooms of Wheeling, West Virginia. A true “West Virginia Democrat” would likely be the exact opposite of that – willing to spend more on government programs but defend conservative social values. While West Virginians may be able to live with increases in funding to Medicare, what they decidedly don’t want is their Senator tacitly endorsing woke identity politics.

Case in point, “fiscally conservative and socially liberal” is exactly how Michael Bloomberg and his team have described his elite brand of “moderation.” Anyone who paid any attention to Bloomberg’s campaign rhetoric during his 2020 presidential run knows that “moderate” is hardly an accurate description of his political beliefs.

But the mainstream media plays along with Manchin’s game happily. They mindlessly and constantly call him a “moderate,” understanding that doing so helps the Democratic Party save face with the American electorate, which is far less liberal than the median Congressional Democrat.

And, after all, a Manhattan moderate is their kind of moderate.

Members of the media live behind a cultural plexiglass so thick that a serious writer can literally say “everyone I know describes themselves as fiscally conservative and socially liberal.” They have no idea how small that ideological group of individuals really is. And, because Manchin is out of step in the same way the media is, they can’t see how disconnected from West Virginia voters he has become. Like Manchin, the devoted partisans who run the mainstream media have convinced themselves they’re “moderates” too, desperately seeking to align themselves with the deified political center.

So don’t hold your breath waiting for Manchin to correct the record. He loves when the media calls him a moderate. That’s the only way a Democrat can survive in West Virginia, a state which voted for Donald Trump over Joe Biden by about 40 points.

On issue after issue, Joe Manchin purposefully plays it up and promises to be a “West Virginia Democrat.” But he votes overwhelmingly with Chuck Schumer and the Democrats from the East Coast.

Just go back and watch his “Dead Aim” television ad from his first US Senate run in 2010.

In that ad, Manchin plays a tough guy, touting his endorsement from the National Rifle Association and shooting a bullet through cap-and-trade energy legislation. 

But he went on to push for a gun control bill passionately endorsed by none other than Michael Bloomberg and opposed by the NRA. 

In the ad, Manchin promised to keep the federal government “off of our backs.”

But he signed a letter supporting an even bigger role for the federal government in business decisions by making “gender identity” a special, protected class for hiring and firing.

Manchin has also promised to be pro-life. He’s canny enough to know that West Virginia has the third highest percentage of pro-life residents in America.

But Manchin’s record on abortion is mixed at best, as reflected by his fairly positive scores from Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America. Maybe that’s why he continues to support funding for Planned Parenthood.

In line with West Virginia voters’ deep skepticism of illegal immigration, Manchin has talked tough on border security, offering his vote for a path to citizenship in exchange for funding President Trump’s wall.

But when he had a chance to actually be tough, Manchin supported so-called comprehensive immigration reform in 2013, along with Michael Bloomberg of course. That legislation would have granted amnesty and provided a path to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants without any permanent solutions to securing the border, let alone a wall.

So don’t be fooled by Joe Manchin’s “moderation” in the current spending debates. Joe Manchin may wear a barn jacket and shoot guns in his TV ads. But the pinstripe suits he wears in Washington better reflect the constituency he really represents.

Like the Manhattan moderate he is, he will probably negotiate the amount of spending down a bit to reassure financial markets and nervous investors—what’s a few trillion between friends?

But don’t count on the Senate’s “West Virginia Democrat” to ultimately vote against the left’s social engineering. In the end, a true West Virginia Democrat who actually represents what his constituents want would be so ideologically opposed to every mainstream view of today’s Democratic Party that he might be better off calling himself something else – a Republican.

Cal Palmer is the pen name of an analyst and fellow at a national think tank. He is an attorney and officer in the US Army Reserve.

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Joseph
Joseph
2 years ago

Yeah he has a problem. He is a Democrat in a state that carried Trump by the most margin of any state in the union in 2016 and West Virginia was still in the top 5 or 10 as I recall for Trump in 2020. So if he has any political aspirations he has to realize that he will be running in the future in one of the reddest of red states. But in the end I agree with the author, he will vote with the Rats. One thing Trump said still and always will ring true, ” the DemocRATs always stick together”. He is right about that. KAG

Kathy West
Kathy West
2 years ago

I would never trust this man. He should wear a sign (Beware)

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
2 years ago

Great backstabber in the Senate & fake ally

J. Farley
J. Farley
2 years ago

Saying Senator Joe Manchin, is a moderate is like saying Rep. Nancy Pelosi has a pretty face, it’s a lie, everyday this man does the old watch this hand trick, all the while picking your pocket with the other hand. I grow up on a farm and in my whole time there I never stepped in as much BS as this man tries to feed us. I used to think he might be creditable and give us hope that he will get the Demonrats to understand something clearly at last, but every time he caves to the will of the majority. The good citizens of West Verginia would do themselves well to replace this man at the next opportunity, someone who will help make America great again and not waver in standing up for America.
Make America Great Again!!!

J Rea
J Rea
2 years ago

Joe Manchin is not a moderate. This so called split between the extreme left and Manchin should be identified as what it is a split between the extremist wing and the liberal wing

Dave
Dave
2 years ago

Manchin is not, and never has been, anything but a liberal. He may not be a 100% socialist, but he leans that way. He will make a deal that is good for him and his family. He WILL CAVE, and cut a deal. There is not enough history on Kyrsten Sinema to know what she will do. But when Manchin cuts his deal, I suspect Sinema will cave as well. And republicans, will scream and promise to repeal it, but won’t in the end, do a damn thing. There still are too many “thumbs down” McCain type RINO’s in the GOP. They’d rather have the issue to campaign on for the next election, rather than actually do what they promise to do.

Rik
Rik
2 years ago

Communists Are Always Communists First and Foremost in Everything They Do and Say! . . . And in Today’s America, ALL DEMOCRATS ARE COMMUNISTS! ! !

Tim Toroian
Tim Toroian
2 years ago

Socially liberal is akin to presidential social reformers who muck up the economy and screw with freedom. The founders knew that which is why we have the second amendment. And most of the founders were not stodgy old men, many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were under 40. And James Madison who wrote the Virginia Bill of Rights and wrote much of our Bill of Rights was born in 175. I’ll let you subtract that from 1775 the year everything got fired up to see how young he was.

Jay Hamilton
Jay Hamilton
2 years ago

If this POS was a republican it would be the post child of a RINOll!!! A worthless sack of excriment that will tell you what you want to hear to get your vote & then do the exact opposite when the it votes!! It is the perfect demoncrat!!

PaulE
PaulE
2 years ago

Joe Manchin, like both Biden and Bloomberg, finds it useful to portray himself as a “moderate” for purposes of getting elected. It’s basically a means of appealing to voters that don’t do any research as where a candidate really stands on the issues or looks deeper into any past voting record that exists. In short, it is an intentional lie meant to deceive the uninformed (lazy, apathetic) voter that makes their voting decisions based solely off of seeing or hearing candidate campaign ads. Nothing more. Sorry, but that is the plain and simple truth of why this so-called “moderate” self labeling works. Otherwise, Joe Manchin would be unelectable in his home state. Afterwards of course, as in the case of all three men I’ve mentioned, these so-called “moderates” usually vote 95 percent or greater in support of ultra liberal (meaning socialist) policies put forth by the Democrat party.

I fully expect Joe Manchin will hold out for an additional sweetheart deal that benefits him and his family, before agreeing to vote for a somewhat smaller Human Infrastructure bill. A bill that may be quoted as being supposedly $2 trillion to maybe $3 trillion, but still contains 95 percent of the transformative programs and legislative language as the current bill. The Democrats will just lie about the actual costs even more so than they have done to date. Which is nothing out of the ordinary for them.

This supposedly slimmed down Human Infrastructure bill will be touted by the mainstream media and Democrats as a “great compromise” within the Democrat party, that still delivers on the Democrats’ pledge while supposedly being less expensive. It really won’t be and the damage to the country will be the same, because it will contain at least 95 percent of what is in the current bill. We may even get some RINO Republicans to echo some nonsense that this shows this smaller Human Infrastructure bill is a victory for America, when in reality the only real victory would be if this entire bill failed to get passed in any form at all.

The ONLY purpose of the Human Infrastructure bill is to enact the Green New Deal, create several new socialist welfare programs, enact new restrictive laws and regulations, coupled with the start of much higher taxes (the Democrats have already said this is only the beginning and more tax hikes will be needed going forward) to permanently change the economy and societal structure of the United States in order to fundamentally change the country on many levels.

Phyl
Phyl
2 years ago

Seems to me, if a person has (D) behind their name, they can’t be trusted with anything. They’re a bunch of lying, arrogant hypocrites.

GKP
GKP
2 years ago

Manchin is a true phony and the people of West Virginia should fire this liar from Wall Street and not the woods//West Virginia voted REPUBLICAN in the last election and this guy is the liberal from the Pelosi tank of scuz balls//Wake up to this loser and watch what he actually votes on and his wife who is up Biden/s butt and its not a moderate vote//Watch and the vote will be for the liberals//

PD-WestVirginian
PD-WestVirginian
2 years ago

At least Senator Manchin identifies as a Democrat. What seems to be hidden is Senator Capito is a RINO.

Mandy
Mandy
2 years ago

Great article and thanks for pointing out the hypocrisy of Joe Manchin.

Kendall
Kendall
2 years ago

And the reason these senators get out of touch with their states and it’s citizens is because of the 17th amendment. That was one of the worst amendments ever passed along with the income tax. They are only beholden to large money and name recognition, not their state legislatures, which was the original intent of the Founding Fathers. Most voters just go vote for their party or name recognition. His conservative state would never let him get away with most of his votes, he would have been gone long ago. Just like so many other red state senators would be gone as well. We need to REPEAL the 17th Amendment.

Hal
Hal
2 years ago

Manchin has fooled WV voters (along with a little DemocRat extra curricular shady and/or illegal tactics), so it will be interesting to see if our WV citizenry awakens to his political deception. You can bet your bottom dollar he will put the Democrat Party interests first before the governmental interest of his constituency.

Philip Hammersley
Philip Hammersley
2 years ago

“Compassionate” does not mean to keep people on the government teat! That was the same deal when Bush, Sr. said he was a “compassionate conservative.” Load of you know what! True compassion is getting people to work to improve themselves and lending a (temporary) helping hand when needed!

anna hubert
anna hubert
2 years ago

Washington has to be one of the most reactionary and toxic places in the country decent man rarely survives why would Munchin cut the branch he is sitting on or any of them?

george
george
2 years ago

As a former citizen of West Virginia for a couple of decades, I witnessed the election of Joe Manchin to Robert Byrd’s seat. Robert Byrd stayed in the Senate until Manchin could assume Byrd’s seat. His campaign showed him shooting the Obama Care Bill with a double-barreled shot gun. West Virginians bought his rhetoric. When Obama care came up, Manchin voted FOR it. This is his way. He is not conservative and will vote or not vote for bills as he sees a way to gain political power. He got his wife a high-paying government job in education. His daughter, Heather Bresch, received her master’s degree while sunning in California and was CEO of Mylan-Puskar. I would not be surprised to see him go for the presidential nomination.

Margaret
Margaret
2 years ago

What a bunch of “liers”. Could not tell the truth if their life depended on it. Which their political life could depend on the truth or this BIG lie the Democrots are trying to hide from the people. If the Senate passes the singing of the UN Small Arms agreement, it will be illegal for you to defend your loved ones from anyone coming into your home to do you or your loved ones harm. And long as there is $$$ to be stolen by the politicians there will be “programs” with many tits. The politicians are the ones benefiting from all those tits.

Sharon Danks
Sharon Danks
2 years ago

Joe Manchin always talks one way, but when Nancy P threatens to spank him, he always bends over.

Art
Art
2 years ago

11 years to become a legend not a myth. Joe Manchin likes his popularity as some sort of folk hero. Makes a great interview. Moderate my buttocks. He can cave in at the drop of a hat. He is a false front as most politicians are. He’ll go for a deal,save a few bucks, and then proclaim how hard he worked. His state has a myriad of problems and what has he done to help fix them? By the way remember that his wife is on SloJoe’s staff somewhere. Sweet deal!!! Do not expect anything explosive from the “Man from West Virginia ” other than an outburst of vocal political gas.

Lorraine Warner
Lorraine Warner
2 years ago

Joe Manchin is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Just another Democrat who is a traitor to the people of his state. Reprehensible!

Carol Collins
Carol Collins
2 years ago

My main impression of Joe Manchin was from about three years ago when he stood up to defend Cavanaugh during the Congressional hearings to nominate him to the supreme court. That was my first impression and I will always hold him in high regard for defending a righteous man.

Hdrydr
Hdrydr
2 years ago

Manchin uses the “Democrap” party designation in WV just to get elected. After living in WV for a couple of years, I found that the people in WV vote Democrap because…” my grandpappy was a Democrap, my pappy was a Democrap, and I’m a Democrap”. This backwoods philosophy has predominated the whole state. This will probably never change as the mind set of WV is rooted in ignorance. Manchin knows this…

AmericaFor.Us
AmericaFor.Us
2 years ago

A little moderate is better than flaming lib. Sometimes you just have to take what you can get until something better comes along. Right now he is the only thing between 1.5 trillion is reckless spending and 3.5 trill in destructive spending Pray for America. Please

Elizabeth Evans
Elizabeth Evans
2 years ago

I have watched this man for years and he is a liberal from the top down. He always votes with the dems at the last moment. He is no different than any of the other swamp dwellers.

Jennie Powell
Jennie Powell
2 years ago

Manchin is just negotiating for more bribe money for his family. As he has done time and time again. I was a West Virginia resident all my life but have traded up and can freely say that Joe Manchin is the most vile sort of politician American has ever produced. And I wouldn’t put it past him to run for President.

Bill
Bill
2 years ago

In order to be a Democrat one must first be a pathological LIAR….

Kevin
Kevin
2 years ago

Hello, we are talking about a politician here. Only thing they seem to care about is lining their pockets with other people’s money. Our government, many involved, make the mafia look tame. Saddens me to think that many have become traitors to the Country they swore to protect.

Beverly
Beverly
2 years ago

Thanks that someone else sees that Mancin so far has only talked a good game. DON’T LISTEN TO WHAT HE SAYS WATCH WHAT HE DOES

J. A.
J. A.
2 years ago

Manchin is one of the worst flip floppers in history. He says he’s going to do one thing and then votes the way he said he wouldn’t. He, among many of the other, ‘career politicians’ can’t be relied on to do what he claims he will. Most of what he says is to garner support for his next run for office. He is totally unreliable.

D.P.
D.P.
2 years ago

I don’t much care what Manchin calls himself……the bottom line is that he is a polititian, pure and simple. One of the many power broker, greedy, self-centered elected officials who only does and says what matters to his agenda. My trust level for any and nearly all who occupy offices in Washington is below zero. My own reps and senators, while claiming to be republican to the core, are not much more than the likes of Manchin…..they too name themselves, shine their own light on themselves, and beat the drum that applies to their agenda. Far too few in congress are real patriots, real people, real believers and lovers of America…..it this were not the case, we would not be in the mess we are in today. People, in general are slack in their understanding, will, and activity when it comes to electing, supporting and following the leadership we have. Manchin is doing exactly what he always does.

Thomas W.
Thomas W.
2 years ago

If he was any kind of a “moderate,” he’d switch parties right now to take the power of the Senate Majority Leader out of Schumer’s hands, and the committee chairs out of Democrat hands. And then he would try to convince Dems in the House to follow his lead. I see this as the only hope for the country at this point. Hard to imagine the USA surviving another 13 months of Biden-Harris with Pelosi in the House and Schumer in the Senate controlling the agenda, and with the blithering idiot issuing diktats from the White House.

Robert
Robert
2 years ago

Almost all politicians are crooked. Very few exceptions to their game playing self interest.

Gary
Gary
2 years ago

Remember , judge a man by his actions , not by his words . The actions of a politician reveal the truth about that politician .

Debbie Taysom
Debbie Taysom
2 years ago

All Dems stick together in the end

Margaret
Margaret
2 years ago

You know, you might not want to take aim at the one Democrat who is keeping more of these horrendous bills from passing. He has to endure enough heat every time he goes against party lines. I’m from WV, and I chastise him whenever he behaves too liberally, and I praise him when he represents the conservative majority in WV. Joe has a lot of family in northcentral WV, and I’m betting he doesn’t want to feel unwelcome in his home state. At least he’s amenable, which I’ve learned (since the last election) that our Republican Senator is not! He’s also pro-life, by the way. Which is more than you can say for Kristen Sinema – the other Senator who objects to some of the Democratic agenda. I hope you don’t plan a similar attack on her. This is not the way to positively influence them.

Garye
Garye
2 years ago

So Manchin is a dishonest Democrat, masquerading as a moderate.
Not unlike rinos in the republican party pretending to be conservative.
So in summation,ALL career politicians and long time establishment swamp, LIE.
Ok, we get it!

Robin Walter Boyd
Robin Walter Boyd
2 years ago

We should be thankful for any degree of moderate from Democrat representatives under the current situation government is in. As long as a Democrat opposes what Biden is being told to do, I’m ok with that Democrat.
We do, of course, need to rid all U.S. governments of the Progressive’s who are pushing for Socialism. Social engineering is not something the U.S. government should be involved in at all. The only way to accomplish ridding the government of such self indulgent politicians is to reduce the benefits of being a U.S. representative. Politicians become representatives for the money and the power, not to actually represent American citizens.

Dave
Dave
2 years ago

I never expected to agree with Joe Manchin on everything, but he’s been one of the two REASONABLE Democrats, and whether AMAC is willing to admit it or not, Manchin and Sinema have so far been the two Dems SAVING AMERICA from the absolute WORST of the socialist/communist modern Dem party’s plans to destroy our once-great nation.
Regardless of what side of the aisle they’re on, we need to SUPPORT and THANK those who genuinely have America’s best interests in mind.

J. Shenk
J. Shenk
2 years ago

Manchin is a living caricature of the stereotypical duplicitous, self-serving politician. The man is an obedient career Democrat pretending to be moderate in order to survive in a state that has now transformed from blue to Republican red. He should be wearing a cheap polyester suit and selling flood damaged used cars!

Blondie
Blondie
2 years ago

Anyone who loves freedom and loves our country should vote Republican. As democrats get more liberal, woke and endorsing marxist policies, republicans are getting more conservative. Until we stop the mail voting, however, we will not be able to ever trust our vote to count again.

B.J
B.J
2 years ago

I figured out a while back who Joe Manchin was. His political identity became obvious to me when this so called moderate remained silent about the events of last summer. He proved to me that he marches in lock-step with the entire democratic party.

Lynn
Lynn
2 years ago

LIBERTARIANS are socially liberal but demand more fiscal restraint and responsibility than even Republicans are willing to abide. There is nothing even in the Republican party that is “old time” conservative aka Goldwater. Most of the current “Republicans” like Trump were Democrats at one time. Certainly better than any Dem but still not enough.

Karen
Karen
2 years ago

Once a commie Democrat, always a commie Democrat!

johnh
johnh
2 years ago

Good article with lots of past history. I am going with the Joe Manchin that I see today as he is one of two Democrat Senators that will not vote for $3.5 Trillion spending bill, as he knows that this is too much and we must stop our increasing debt. I hope he continues to hold his ground on this issue

Mimi
Mimi
2 years ago

The bad news is, YOU CAN’T TRUST ANY OF THEM, ON EITHER SIDE, EXCEPT PRESIDENT TRUMP!!

mj1606
mj1606
2 years ago

I’ve always thoughtf of him as a ‘snake in the grass.” He talkes one way but at the end, he always changes and goes along with all the other Democrats. I’m anxious to see if he does the same thing with this. Would someone please explain in terms people can understand just how much a TRILLION is. If pennies were stacked, millions would be nearly 1 mile high , billions would be 870 miles high, but just one trilion would be 870,000 miles high. And we are almost $29,000,000,000,000 in debt already. People need to rise up and declare NO MORE!!

John S.
John S.
2 years ago

The progressives want Manchin out of there. They are furious with him because they see him as holding up important bills.

Stories like this will make them think Manchin is a good guy and on their side. Is that what you want? The only reason the Democrats have a Senate majority is because of him.

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