The Manchin manifestation

Democratic West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin seeks to help his partisan colleagues take the majority via the pending Georgia runoff elections. He appeared on FOX News Special Report last night to announce that he would not support the realization of Chuck Schumer pre-election vows to pack the Supreme Court and kill the Senate’s legislative filibuster. His purpose was to pacify voters with moderate and conservative leanings in Georgia. He sought to allay their concerns, aLthough he struggled to find the word “allay.”

Bret Baier somehow neglected to ask Manchin if he would vote for Schumer as Majority Leader (he obviously would), how he might roll on other notable items on the Senate Dems’ wish list, or whether he would provide crucial support for leftist administration appointees who will fill out Biden’s program by executive action.

Manchin supports raising the capital gains tax rate. He doesn’t appear to understand the Trump capital gains tax cut played in creating the economic growth of the Trump era. He views the effect in purely static terms of revenue loss. He says he supported lowering the rate to 25 percent, but not to 21 percent. He must have some idea of the positive dynamic effects of lowering the rate.

At the outset of the interview Baier referred to the uncalled Senate races in Alaska and North Carolina. Republican Dan Sullivan holds a lead reflecting a 2-1 edge in Alaska. Here is a good summary of the state of the race in Alaska. Republican Thom Tillis holds a 1.7 percent lead (about 95,000 votes) in North Carolina. Here is a good summary of the state of the race in North Carolina.

Manchin is an adroit politician who straddles the great divide between the politics, policies, and personae of the Democratic Party and the views of his constituents. He is a great pretender.

Manchin sought to reassure viewers of his respect for the institution of the Senate and its traditions. On this point he cited his predecessor in office, former Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan Robert C. Byrd, although that’s not quite how he put it. Don’t fact-check me, bro.

Baier asked, “And you wouldn’t become a Republican?” Manchin responded, “I’m a proud moderate conservative Democrat. Maybe there’s not many of us left.” Indeed, I think that makes him a party of one in the Senate. Unlike his Democratic colleagues, including Schumer, “I’m not for all the crazy stuff.”

I think the correct answer would have been, “I’ve suffered with my party in the minority for the past six years. You think I’m going to switch now?” Well, we can hope.

Quotable quote: “I voted for Amy Coney Barrett for the Seventeenth Circuit.”

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