The political ineptitude of the Manchin team is now starting to cause me physical pain. Yesterday:
This weekend the West Virginia Democrat’s office released a statement that he could not attend the rare Saturday session because of a “holiday gathering” planned “over a year ago with all their children and grandchildren.”
Manchin was promptly slammed in the media for skirting the votes over a “Christmas party,” as some outlets described it. Manchin defended his decision to reporters Monday afternoon.
“There was no Christmas party. I made a commitment to my grandchildren and I was with my grandchildren,” said Manchin. “And the two big votes, I never changed. I was against both of them and I put it in the congressional record, so that was done way before the votes, so I was pretty clear where I was.”
Hours before the two Saturday votes, Manchin’s office released a statement with his opposition to both Democrat-backed bills. However, when the final votes were cast, Manchin was nowhere to be found, prompting speculation that he skipped town because the new senator did not want to face media or his colleagues after making two votes contrary to his party’s position.
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin apologized to his constituents Tuesday for missing two key votes over the weekend.
Manchin has caught heat from friends and foes alike for failing to be on the Senate floor Saturday to vote on the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the DREAM Act. Instead he was celebrating Christmas with his grandchildren in Pennsylvania.
“Let me apologize to anybody and everybody within our listening and reading areas. I’m very sorry for missing the two votes,” Manchin said during a conference call with reporters Tuesday.
So which was it? Were you on the record and it doesn’t matter, or are you sorry you missed the votes? Just STOP TALKING ABOUT IT. STOP DIGGING. Is there no one in his damned office who can play this game?
I’ve heard from several people, and it would go with what I know about the man, that Manchin was basically in a horrible situation with DADT. The man isn’t a hater, thinks DADT should be defeated, but can look at the red wave across WV and the poll numbers for Obama and 2012, and knows that a vote for DADT repeal would CRUCIFY him. That doesn’t excuse his no-vote (or assertion he would have voted no, I guess), because I expect Senators to take tough votes but do the right thing on issues like civil rights. But it would explain why he is all wrapped around the axle on this.
Regardless, Manchin should seriously consider suing the people giving him advice for malpractice.
The Grand Panjandrum
Ha ha ha! I fucking knew it! As soon as I saw a similar story on TPM I started refreshing BJ to see how long it would take The Heater to show up. Have a great vacation Cole!
WoW now! ! !
Odie Hugh Manatee
Problem is that the jury would ding him for 99.44% of the fault because he was stupid enough to hire them for advice and then follow it.
@The Grand Panjandrum:
This made it worth getting up this morning.
The Grand Panjandrum
Oh, and any Senator who is willing to take advice to NOT show up for a vote on something as important as repeal of DADT is lying and just to much of a coward to actually take a stand and go on the record, OR he is a goddamned moron.
Bad John! No more reading blogs on vacation!
You should log onto Garrosh and kill some shit.
I love it when our Lord and Master boasts that he will post no more – and the flood gates open!
I would have more respect for him if he’d voted No and said he was voting his constituents’ preference.
Say that as someone with sympathy for Manchin’s being a Democrat in a red state.
Maybe he’ll do something good to make up for this cowardice.
Maybe an elf will deliver a steaming Irish coffee to my rainsogged door in a moment or two. Also.
@The Grand Panjandrum:
I’ll bet the load went up significantly with people waiting to see Cole’s rant. Why do gutless wonders like Manchin go into politics in the first place?
Hiding in the cloakroom?
At a Christmas party?
Spending quality time with the grandkids?
He’s got two years to live down being a joke in DC.
I think Manchin is trying to win the prize of most-hated Democrat in the Senate. With Lieberman helping out with the DADT repeal, I think it is between Manchin and Ben Nelson. Although I hear Mark Warner is trying to implement the Simpson-Bowles recommendations so he may be the next big thing.
START the final arguement.
Manchin — on track to being the worst Senator ever?
He’s really off to a fast start. Can anything stop him from claiming the crown?
it’s not so much the advice givers that are the problem… it’s what he chooses to do with that advice… so ultimately the buck stops with him…
The Democrats have several Senators who are assholes. Joe Manchin is an incompetent amateur asshole.
To those who wondered why I so adamantly said gay marriage is a non-starter in WV a while back?
I submit to you Joe Manchin. Popular WV politician.
Here’s his priority: The anti, anti, anti coal EPA.
Vote “Yea” or vote “Nay”; but when the people of your state hire you, and your job description reads something along the lines of “go to D.C. and just vote on some shit” you really ought to vote.
Am I wrong?
Well, in defense of Manchin, it is a little much to expect a non Heather reaction for a cherry Senator from West (by gawd) Virginny, to show up for his first Senate vote as a democrat, when it is about a top tier party imperative, that just happens to be about gay rights. And he hasn’t even had the opportunity yet, to be blessed and properly counseled by the C Street gang.
Hiding behind the kids, what does that do, win you extra style points?
Sorry, but I have no sympathy or understanding for spineless pols who refuse to vote what they know to be right, yes, even in the face of inbred, ignorant, hate-filled constituents.
Have any of these people ever considered the possibility of, you know, LEADING? Of educating their constituents about why they intend to vote a certain way and why it is the right thing to do?
Have any of these people ever considered the possibility that being voted out of office by Neanderthals is not the end of the world and should be a badge of honor? I mean, there ARE other lines of work…
god, I loathe most American politicians.
Keep in mind that Sen. Manchin is also a member of the ridiculous “No Labels” movement, which actually says on its website that it does not address social issues because those should be left to a “separate debate.” In other words, his failure to even show up to a vote is fully consistent with the political cowardice of his effort to avoid taking a stand on a critical issue of morality and social justice.
I mean, wouldn’t that be an awesome job (if only for two years?) Get elected to the House. Take the losing position on every bill, enter you position into the congressional record, and noting that your vote wouldn’t matter anyway, stay home and watch Gilligan’s Island reruns.
Left Coast Tom
@Elizabelle: The ridiculous part to me is that his non-vote really was a _no_ vote because cloture requires 60 votes in the Senate, regardless of whether Manchin shows up or not. He didn’t support cloture, and he didn’t get any credit for that from the bigots on whose behalf he…ran away.
Now you feel what I feel about Ignatieff, John. Sucks, doesn’t it? ::sigh::
Meanwhile, no matter how much I squint at the post, I can’t see Tunch anywhere in it. Maybe I need to upgrade my prescription. (How about a wee Santa hat? You have bandaids in stock, don’t you?)
@Left Coast Tom:
yeah, he covered himself with …. glory all around.
As I have said before, Manchin has no values, he votes as the wind blows. In this case, not voting means he does not have to be seen as a bigot nor does he have to be seen as doing whatever Obama dictates, as his opponent in the Senate contest accused. Manchin will do whatever he thinks is best to be re-elected in 2012. He is not a man of any principles at all. He firmly believes that being the vanilla candidate is best.
I knew people who worked for him when he first ran for governor. None ever credited him with any intelligence.
joe from Lowell
OT Hilarity at the GOS: People who want to give Obama credit for DADT repeal are only doing it because they’re homophobes.
In a different profile of The Courage of your Convictions 2010 or at least membership in The Legion of the Otherwise Engaged, Kirk apparently seems to think if he doesn’t appear in a picture with the President then the nutters won’t hold his vote against him. So there’s Ostrich Boy to bookend the Hiding Weasel.
Otherwise, his wingnut opponent will drink his chocolate milkshake in a couple of years. He can serve a purpose simply being a cadaver with a D stamped on his forehead. We are down to 53 in keeping the senate. And a lot of dem senators up for reelection in 2012. Lose the senate, lose control of SCOTUS confirmation, amongst other things.
Being that he was a popular governor, you’d think Joe Manchin would be a little better at this politics stuff. It’s not like he was appointed to this position out of the blue. Actually, the guy who was appointed to that seat out of the blue managed not to make such an ass out of himself. Maybe the lesson is that random people should be selected to serve in the Senate for six-month terms.
Speaking of the Senate, it’s still doing fine work.
What with all the government’s scrimping and saving, you know, we just can’t afford $35 million to keep a bunch of worthless non-producers in homes they don’t deserve.
By the way, I’m sure that Republicans in the Senate would truly be saddened to see Fannie-Freddie’s resources become strained, given as much respect as they have for the institutions.
Don’t bother trying to fight it. He’s using the famous “nonsense” defense.
OT: Goddam, this Nicole Wallace is annoying on Rachel Maddow. I cannot fathom the gall it takes to declare that all senators, Democratic and Republican, who are not strongly advocating for the 9/11 health care bill are just as much to blame as the Republican ones who are actually filibustering it.
@joe from Lowell: Just because somebody wants to emphasize the grassroots or organizing ends of change shouldn’t make people insanely ignore the role of political leadership in making something happen.
I’ve read plenty of oral histories of, say, civil rights era struggles, but I don’t remember any of them failing to pay all due attention to CR & VR legislation by LBJ.
Well, okay, any of the scholars. I have read radical leftist / cultural separatist / black nationalist writings which said as much.
@Joshua Norton: Or the “Chewbacca” defense?
Expect more of this bullshit. Dems are kind of in a box. Everyone knows the singular GOP target is defunding implementation of HCR, and that is much easier to do by individual approval of the 12 annual appropriation bills, so that is why Reid is foregoing them, in lieu of going the omnibus route. Dems punted this time, likely due to it being Christmas. But in March will have to go to the wall with the wingers on another omnibus, with HCR, and other needed additional dollars for a variety of progressive causes. If the dems want to not delay this funding and delay HCR start up funding, they will have to call the wingers bluff and let the government shut down, and see who squeals first and gives up.
joe from Lowell
@El Cid: Worse than that, El Cid: this guy is one of a clique over there that spent months insisting that Obama was secretly in favor of DADT, and that pursuing repeal through Congress was just a pointless charade.
So then, when it’s pointed out to them that Obama’s strategy was not just made in good faith, but was actually what succeeded in accomplishing the goal of ending DADT, that’s the response.
Hey, where’s Celticdragonchick, anyway?
My sense of probable futures would say that (a) Dem’s would not call any bluffs and would not even consider momentarily a gov’t shut-down gamble; and (b) I think we know the much, much more probable answer to the whole squealing question.
Hey, but people elected these nihilist kleptocrat neo-Confederate McKinley-era-loving clowns, so, at least they’ll be entertaining.
I won’t argue with your probable futures, because my first instinct is the same. The wild card this time though, includes HCR, the crown jewel of dem policy struggle. So we shall see.
@joe from Lowell:
Kudos for being correct that the wingers would put the rich first for keeping their taxcuts. You were right, I was wrong on that.
Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century)
kirsten gillibrand 2016!
I had been leaning elsewhere (whatshisname governor from montana), but she seems to have a higher ceiling.
though, I’m sure when she’s inaugurated she sell us out and reveal herself to be a secret republican.
@General Stuck: The only reason I think it would even be theoretically possible is that Nancy Pelosi remains as minority leader.
I don’t think that too many people remember that the reason why the first TARP vote failed and caused both Wall Street richies and anti-soshullist Republican stalwarts like Newt Gingrich to shit their pants, because he thought he could label the Democrats Stalinists and it’d still pass, was that Nancy Pelosi refused to offer more Democratic votes than could pass the bill without a majority of Republican votes.
It was one of the few things effectively done (to any degree possible) to keep TARP from being labeled as some Democrat thing exclusively.
And, of course, she was under siege by all sorts of corporate types and Administration high-ups to pass it, and yet she was smart and strong enough not to give in.
That’s why it passed on the 2nd vote and why it passed with a majority of Republican House votes.
@joe from Lowell: Obama very well could be secretly in favor of DADT. Just very, very, very secretly, so cleverly hidden that no one could ever find evidence of it The perfect crime.
Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century)
@joe from Lowell: Only at looney-left-land are Rachel Maddow and Lt. Dan Choi are homophobes.
@El Cid: Can you prove that he doesn’t secretly harbor pro-DADT thoughts when he’s alone in the West Sitting Hall at night? No, I thought not.
@Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century): Uncle Toms, you might say.
Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century)
my other favorite is lefties saying DADT is a “crumb”, stating “obama is only giving crumbs to the left.”
talk about self flagellating.
What a bass bowl.
I got nothing else.
HORSESHIT. If he doesn’t know, by himself and independent of any advisors, that he needs to get his sorry ass on the floor and VOTE in landmark decisions at the end of a congressional session, then he has NO FUCKING BUSINESS being where he is. He signed on for one of the toughest jobs in the world when he ran for the US Senate, and he’d goddamned well better get used to it. Many, many people have to work over the holidays, and fit visits with the grandchildren in when they can manage it. If he can’t even manage that much himself, then he should resign and let someone who can actually handle the workload do the job.
Seriously, these sorry wusses make me goddamned tired.
Stop digging? Manchin’s a fucking shovel.
@shortstop: Yes. The fact that we know that (a) Obama is a complete liar and (b) in public he talked about ending DADT means that he must secretly be in favor of DADT. Probably not even Michelle knows, the deception is so deep.