Government Watch / Politics

The Myth of “Moderate” Joe Manchin

AMAC Exclusive – by Cal Palmer

manchin

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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John S.
1 month 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.

mj1606
1 month 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!!

Mimi
1 month ago

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

johnh
1 month 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

Sallo
1 month ago
Reply to  johnh

Nope. Joe Manchin talks “moderate” and holds out for whatever goodies are offered to entice him. Check his voting record: OVERWHELMINGLY those protests of his result in a vote with Democrats. The article states truth when it notes that Manchin has to play like he’s a West Virginian in order to get re-elected.

Karen
1 month ago

Once a commie Democrat, always a commie Democrat!

Lynn
1 month 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.

B.J
1 month 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.

Blondie
1 month 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.

J. Shenk
1 month 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!

Dave
1 month 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.

Chief601
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave

The only thing those two liars are doing is holding out for a bigger pay off. Joe Manchin is no moderate, he is a self server.

Robin Walter Boyd
1 month 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.

Garye
2 months 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!

Chief601
1 month ago
Reply to  Garye

Nailed it.

Margaret
2 months 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.

Dave
1 month ago
Reply to  Margaret

I agree completely.
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.

Blondie
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave

Just wait. They’ll come around. I hope not but have stopped having any hope in America’s politicians.

Blondie
1 month ago
Reply to  Margaret

But moderate Joe usually caves in the end. Just like he did with Obama Care back in 2009. Said he wouldn’t vote for it as long as it funded abortions, but he did vote for it. This has happened several times and I wonder at times if it is a show or if he is being threatened. I know Pelosi threatens those that don’t support the agenda that they will zero funds for their future campaign. What a hack she is.

Chief601
1 month ago
Reply to  Margaret

Is that why he votes to fund Planned Parenthood? He needs 8 of 55 counties to get elected and that’s who he tries to please. Manchin is a fraud.

Debbie Taysom
2 months ago

All Dems stick together in the end

Gary
2 months ago

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

Robert
2 months ago

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

Thomas W.
2 months 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.

Blondie
1 month ago
Reply to  Thomas W.

Exactly…couldn’t agree more. There has been enough preposterous things happening since Biden took office and I keep wondering when there will be Democrats that switch parties to keep this radical agenda from passing. Now that would be a hero in my eyes.

D.P.
2 months 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.

Xtech
2 months ago
Reply to  D.P.

Agree, there’s too many low-information voters that can’t/won’t take the time to educate themselves on serious issues destroying the country … beginning with the CORRUPT MEDIA that feeds them nothing by Marxist Democrat propaganda!

Blondie
1 month ago
Reply to  D.P.

We need everyone that calls themselves a conservative to start writing letters. Not emails. Flood their offices with what you think and feel of the present situation and their performances. Write to any reasonable democrat as well.

Chief601
1 month ago
Reply to  D.P.

Yep.

J. A.
2 months 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.

Chief601
1 month ago
Reply to  J. A.

You described him well.

Beverly
2 months 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

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