Upset and disappointed, many felt betrayed when Senator Joe Manchin cut a deal with ultra-left-wing colleague Chuck Schumer and created the laughably named "Inflation Reduction Act." Yet anyone thus aggrieved should consider a simple fact: As of June 2 of last year, Manchin had voted with Joe Biden 100 percent of the time.
That’s 100 percent — as in voting with Nancy Pelosi every time.
And he has voted with the Democrats over his career’s course approximately 80 percent of the time.
Oh, don’t be surprised. Here’s the reality: No matter how conservative or liberal a politician seems on the campaign trail, no matter compelling his rhetoric, no matter how outside-the-box he appears, he’ll virtually always vote with his party the vast majority of the time. (This is especially true of Democrats.)
To further illustrate the point, question: Who now is probably the most loathed GOP politician by the Republican base, the one most likely to be primaried? If you answered Rep. Liz Cheney, I agree. But note:
She voted with President Trump 93 percent of the time.
This isn’t to say she isn’t stomach-turningly perfidious or that she shouldn’t be kicked to the curb. She should. But before I get to what I am saying, let’s look at some more RINOs and their voting records.
Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) voted with Trump 81 percent of the time.
Senator Susan Collins (R-Me.) voted with Trump 67 percent of the time.
Rep. Adam “Crocodile Tears” Kinzinger voted with Trump approximately 90 percent of the time. (Note: Of late, he has been supporting much of Biden’s agenda.)
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Ala.) voted with Trump 72.6 percent of the time.
These are just about the worst the GOP has to offer, too — and they still vote more sanely than Mountain Mama’ Manchin.
Oh, this isn’t to say they’re better people; about that, I’ve no idea (Kinzinger could be a sociopath). But the point is that politicians belong to a party for reasons. First, a party offers reelection support — which they likely won’t get if they vote against their party’s agenda more than their state’s consensus ideology dictates they must. (E.g., no one expects a W. Va. senator to survive in office if he votes like Florida’s Donna Shalala.)
Second, though politicians typically aren’t founts of principle, they generally choose one major party over the other because their passions largely align with its platform.
So the point is this: Some voters will say, “I vote for the person, not the party,” but that’s only what they think. In the most important sense, they’re voting for the party no matter the person because they’re delivering another reliable vote for his party.
This isn’t to say that, for example, every Republican politician is the same; there’s a marked difference between someone who supports the party 100 percent of the time and one who does so 67 percent of the time. It is to say that there’s an even bigger difference between that Republican who supports Democrats 33 percent of the time and a Democrat that supports them 80 percent of the time. (And a W.Va. Republican would likely be down around zero percent.)
So it doesn’t matter if you’re in W.Va., Utah, Indiana or somewhere else; understand that if you vote for a Manchin or any other Democrat, you’re voting by and large for the Democrat agenda. This is ever and always true, 100 percent of the time, no matter how “conservative” the candidate sounds.
Of course, if you like the Democrat agenda minus its radical elements and think a Manchin will deliver that, perhaps he’s your man, and do then remember to vote on November 9. (Though, in reality, delivering on the Democrat agenda minus its destructively radical elements would require voting against it 99 percent of the time.)
So the actual Manchin con doesn’t really concern his deal with Schumer; it doesn’t even concern anything effected mainly by Manchin. It’s this: the most left-wing Democrats (Sandy Cortez and the Squad et al.) and mainstream media squealing about how he’s really a Republican when he bucks them on some radical legislation — and elated but naïve Republicans chiming in and heroizing him — and all of them together effecting the illusion that he really is, in practice, a “moderate” or “conservative” Democrat.
Then the good people of W.Va. can vote for Manchin the next time around, secure in the illusion that he’s like their granddaddy’s Democrat — and oblivious to how they’re electing an 80-percent Pelosi.
The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.