Twitter Goes Nuts on Joe Manchin for Daring to Oppose For the People Act, Suggesting Other Voting Legislation

Posted: Jun 06, 2021 6:30 PM
Twitter Goes Nuts on Joe Manchin for Daring to Oppose For the People Act, Suggesting Other Voting Legislation

Source: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

As Landon reported earlier, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) signaled his opposition to HR 1, also known as the For the People Act. The moderate Democrat made his views known while on "Fox News Sunday," as well as in a Saturday op-ed for the Charleston Gazette-Mail. While the senator is already loathed by many on the left for his steadfast commitment to keeping the filibuster, such a move just made the vitriol worse. 

Joe Manchin has been trending on Twitter throughout Sunday with one hashtag or another.

It doesn't matter that Manchin offered thoughtful reasons for opposing such legislation, which has to do with the partisan nature. As he writes in his op-ed:

Unfortunately, we now are witnessing that the fundamental right to vote has itself become overtly politicized. Today’s debate about how to best protect our right to vote and to hold elections, however, is not about finding common ground, but seeking partisan advantage. Whether it is state laws that seek to needlessly restrict voting or politicians who ignore the need to secure our elections, partisan policymaking won’t instill confidence in our democracy — it will destroy it.

As such, congressional action on federal voting rights legislation must be the result of both Democrats and Republicans coming together to find a pathway forward or we risk further dividing and destroying the republic we swore to protect and defend as elected officials.

Democrats in Congress have proposed a sweeping election reform bill called the For the People Act. This more than 800-page bill has garnered zero Republican support. Why? Are the very Republican senators who voted to impeach Trump because of actions that led to an attack on our democracy unwilling to support actions to strengthen our democracy? Are these same senators, whom many in my party applauded for their courage, now threats to the very democracy we seek to protect?

The truth, I would argue, is that voting and election reform that is done in a partisan manner will all but ensure partisan divisions continue to deepen.

With that in mind, some Democrats have again proposed eliminating the Senate filibuster rule in order to pass the For the People Act with only Democratic support. They’ve attempted to demonize the filibuster and conveniently ignore how it has been critical to protecting the rights of Democrats in the past.

Further, Manchin does support "election reforms," in the form of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. As the senator also writes:

The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would update the formula states and localities must use to ensure proposed voting laws do not restrict the rights of any particular group or population. My Republican colleague, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, has joined me in urging Senate leadership to update and pass this bill through regular order. I continue to engage with my Republican and Democratic colleagues about the value of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and I am encouraged by the desire from both sides to transcend partisan politics and strengthen our democracy by protecting voting rights.

Of course, some in my party have argued that now is the time to discard such bipartisan voting reforms and embrace election reforms and policies solely supported by one party. Respectfully, I do not agree.

One Democrat who will surely not be happy with this is Vice President Kamala Harris whose one of many tasks, as Katie reported, includes getting HR 1 passed. 

On Saturday, Patrick Buchanan reported on the "Democratic showdown: Kamala vs. Manchin" for WV News. He closed his piece by noting:

If Joe Manchin holds his ground this June, he will prevail, the filibuster will survive, the For the People Act will die a deserved death, and Joe will become legend in West Virginia.

And if Manchin stands his ground, the big loser is Kamala Harris.

As Townhall reported several months ago, Harris and Manchin are already at odds. The senator did not take well to the vice president doing an interview with a local West Virginia station to promote the American Rescue Plan without letting him know. He called the interview "not a way of working together, what was done."

Perhaps Democrats, whether they be on Twitter, Manchin's fellow lawmakers in office or from The New York Timesmight want to learn a thing or two from Sen. Manchin. It would be ideal, of course, if they could heed his call for unity or division, but even if only to help themselves and their cause, they should realize that the more they prod Manchin, the more he resists their calls to abandon bipartisanship.