Republicans are starting to go hard after West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, who stood and saluted Chuck Schumer during the December tax reform debate, ultimately joining every member of his party in Congress to vote against a law that is succeeding and rapidly gaining popular support. Manchin has been forced to admit that the plan he opposed is benefiting people in his state, but when the president was touting those undeniable benefits during the State of the Union address, Manchin -- sitting a few feet away from Schumer -- embraced his party's 'resist' posture and sat there like a dyspeptic potted plant:
As Republicans cheered the successes of the new tax law, including bonuses, wage increases & middle class tax cuts, here’s glum @JoeManchinWV following Schumer’s lead. I believe the hashtag is #JoeVotedNo pic.twitter.com/F78QtJjhkU— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) January 31, 2018
I guess general gloominess over taxpayers' well being is still preferable to starting to applaud...until you see that your 'team' isn't supposed to be happy about something, and pulling an abrupt 'never mind.' Good stuff:
In any case, West Virginia's State Auditor has released new statistics about the degree to which Manchin's constituents stand to gain from the exclusively Republican-passed law -- and this is among state employees alone:
State employees in West Virginia are collectively expected to keep an additional $50 million annually, according to State Auditor John B. “JB” Mccluskey. McCuskey attributed this savings to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which will provide state employees with a reduction in their tax withholding...This savings is the latest of announced benefits of the tax reform. Last week, Capito and Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., joined Vice President Mike Pence and U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross at Worldwide Equipment in White Sulphur Springs where they announced that the company will be investing $8 million in the business and giving bonuses to workers because of tax reform.
Manchin wasn't present to join that celebration because he voted against the law that is responsible for those positive outcomes; he even opposed beginning the Senate floor debate on the bill, again voting strategically with Schumer. The Vice President has personally called Manchin out for his decision, using the Twitter hashtag "#JoeVotedNo" to highlight the Senator's partisanship on a number of key issues. Pence also torched Manchin in a public speech, which the GOP has already turned into ads running in West Virginia. The NRSC radio spot isn't bad, but this TV ad from the Senate Leadership Fund is brutally effective. It weaves Pence's remarks calling out Manchin's voting record throughout the minute-long commercial, which features photographs of Manchin standing with Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama and of course Hillary Clinton, who lost West Virginia by 42 points. And the short soundbyte of Manchin vowing to oppose a border wall is a strong conclusion to a strong ad:
The Democratic Senator has pronounced himself "shocked" and "disappointed" by Pence's factual indictment, adding that "Washington sucks." Perhaps voters could do him a favor and relieve him of the burden of being there. I'll leave you with President Trump twisting the knife, in the New York Times: "Joe Manchin talks, but he doesn’t do anything...'Hey, let’s get together, let’s do bipartisan,' [he says]. I say, ‘Good, let’s go.’ Then you don’t hear from him again." I wonder if that quote might end up in a future ad, too. Will Joe Manchin be stunned anew that his actual voting record is being used against him? Meanwhile, tax reform continues to reward workers at American companies, big and small:
Thanks to tax reform 58,000 Anthem employees are getting an extra $1,000 in their 401k https://t.co/3mN53VBHPc— Grover Norquist (@GroverNorquist) February 5, 2018