Senator Joe Manchin might be an elected Democrat. But that means nothing. He is effectively a Republican when it comes to voting for anything that most Democrats want to see passed. Manchin is effect a classic Jim Crow Democrat. Why? His state voted Republican in every presidential election since 2000. In both 2016 and 2020 West Virginia gave Trump a massive 68% of the vote. It’s all about political survival for Manchin.
This explains why the West Virginia senator is against supporting legislation that protects the voting rights of African-Americans. After all, only 3% percent of the population in West Virginia are black. It’s just math to him.
Then there is the issue of the preventing a commission that what look into the January6th insurrection. Manchin feigns outrage that his fellow senators oppose it. But his opposition to ending the filibuster prevents that commission from being created.
Manchin opposes major legislation that would protect the rights of, in particular, African-American voters. It would counter the voter suppression legislation that have been sprouting up in red states lately:
If enacted, the For the People Act (pdf) would overhaul the U.S. election system by implementing national automatic voter registration and other ballot-access measures, limiting the ability of states to purge voter rolls, restoring voting rights to people who have completed felony sentences, reforming the undemocratic redistricting process, and establishing a publicly financed small-dollar donation matching system for candidates who reject high-dollar contributions.
But even if the Senator from West Virginia supported the legislation it would require getting red of the filibuster, since Most Republicans in the Senate oppose it. Under the current rules 10 GOPers would have to vote for FPA. But Manchin is also against getting rid of the filibuster rule, which has been used extensively over the decades to preserve slavery, segregation, and thwart civil rights legislation:
Sen. Joe Manchin reiterated his opposition to eliminating the filibuster on Wednesday, dimming hopes for changing the contentious rule.
In an opinion piece published Wednesday in The Washington Post, Manchin, D-W.V. cautioned against ousting the voting procedure to keep the majority party from bypassing minority opinion in enacting legislation.
“The filibuster is a critical tool to protecting that input and our democratic form of government. That is why I have said it before and will say it again to remove any shred of doubt: There is no circumstance in which I will vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster,” Manchin wrote.
The West Virginia senator also signaled that he may oppose the use of the budget reconciliation process to pass legislation such as President Joe Biden’s landmark $2 trillion infrastructure plan.
By opposing getting rid of the filibuster Manchin guarantees very little of the Democratic Parties plans for passing major legislation will see the light. Maybe that’s what he wants. He’s made the decision that it’s better to stifle laws that protect the voting rights of African-Americans. Manchin obviously believes that’s what his voters want. And that’s all that matters in the two-party system.