Manchin’s Conservative Masquerade
By Jerry A. Kane
In my previous commentary “Blame the Electorate, Not Congress, For America’s Woes,” published at MichNews.com and at Liberty Juice, I argue that the demise of the Republic is the fault of “an ignorant, indifferent electorate and not the fault of particular politicians or political parties.
The special election in West Virginia to fill the remaining two years of Robert C. Byrd’s U.S. Senate seat clearly validates my argument. The Senate race between West Virginia Democrat Governor Joe Manchin and Republican John Raese shows an electorate that is not only ignorant and indifferent, but also quite gullible and perhaps downright dense.
A couple weeks back, Raese was ahead in the polls and gaining momentum; and then Manchin fired his “Dead Aim – Joe Manchin for West Virginia TV Ad,” and he moved back into the lead and hasn’t trailed since. In the ad, Manchin squeezes a shot through the cap-and-trade bill declaring his independence from Barack Obama and the Democrat Party’s progressive agenda. The only problem is that Manchin’s own words and deeds prove his support for the cap-and-trade agenda.
As governor, Manchin promoted and signed into law the cap-and-trade bill (H.B. 103), which passed the state legislature in June 2009, mandating that the state’s electric utilities buy 25 percent of their electricity from alternative or renewable energy sources by 2025.
Based on his record and his own words, Manchin has zero credibility as a fighter against cap-and-trade. Yet, many West Virginia miners and businessmen, whose livelihoods would be adversely affected by such legislation, continue to endorse and support him.
In his bid to mask himself as a conservative, Manchin has called for the repeal of ObamaCare. Once again, it’s a matter of his being against something before being for it.
In September 2009, Manchin said he was “totally behind health care reform.” And in March 2010, during a panel discussion on health care at the National Governors Association in Washington, Manchin said that if he were a congressman, he would have voted for the health care bill, suggesting that he understood its benefits and weaknesses.
“I’d be for it. You have to move this ball forward.”—Joe Manchin, West Virginia Governor
But last week, Manchin went on Fox News Sunday and said that he would have voted against ObamaCare if he had known about its taxes and mandates. Manchin must not listen to the news or read newspapers because the taxes and mandates in ObamaCare weren’t hidden. In fact, Bart Stupak and a group of House “Blue Dog” Democrats held up the bill’s passage because of its federal funding of abortion.
Although Manchin claims to be pro-life, he endorsed ObamaCare before Obama issued his “smoke-and-mirrors” executive order supporting Congressman Stupak’s amendment that no federal funds be spent on abortion-related services. Obama issued the order knowing it lacked the power to override the bill’s language, but he did so to provide cover for Stupak and “pro-life”Democrats who had voted to pass the bill. What’s more, during his tenure as Governor of a state that pays for abortions on demand for low-income women, Manchin has remained silent when it comes to defending the unborn.
Manchin has also claimed that he would repeal the $500 billion tax hike and the $500 billion cuts in Medicare that would be used to pay for ObamaCare. Yet when pressed on how he would fund ObamaCare, Manchin admitted that he hadn’t “gotten into that.”
Although 67 percent of West Virginia voters oppose ObamaCare because of higher costs and diminishing patient care for working-class families, Manchin would rather reform it than repeal it. Manchin wants keep ObamaCare’s ban on denying coverage for preexisting conditions and drop the individual mandate, which would make it economically unworkable.
If Manchin has serious reservations about ObamaCare, why has he kept West Virginia from joining with the 19 other states in the lawsuit challenging its constitutionality?
Manchin appointed Democrat Carte Goodwin, his former legal adviser, as a temporary replacement for the deceased Byrd, and Goodwin dutifully has voted in lockstep with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on every bill since coming to the Senate. Goodwin has been nothing more than a rubber-stamp for Obama and the progressive agenda. And based on Manchin’s record, he would be one too.
Rather than taking a neutral or independent stance on cap-and-trade and ObamaCare, Manchin has repeatedly supported, endorsed, and defended them. Either Manchin has a problem with telling the truth, or he’s prone to shooting his mouth off without knowing what he’s talking about or what’s in a particular piece of legislation.
The cap-and-trade bill will bankrupt the coal industry and cause the cost of electricity and consumer goods to skyrocket. Another Democrat lackey in the U.S. Senate will not bode well for a state with a significant number of people on fixed incomes that depends on the coal industry.
Manchin personifies the stereotypical politician who is willing to promise everything and say anything to get elected. In truth, his soul belongs to the Democrat Party. If elected to the Senate, Manchin will vote with the Party leadership so long as he can get away with it.
So far, the polling suggests that the majority of West Virginians have yet to recognize Manchin’s conservative masquerade. If they don’t take the time to look behind the mask before they vote on Tuesday, it won’t be so much that they were fooled by Manchin’s disguise, as it will be that they decided it was easier to live in denial than to admit that their governor is nothing more than a lackey for the Democrat Party and its progressive agenda.
Manchin Expresses Support for ObamaCare 1:22 Video