Joe Manchin is a Conservative Democrat, and that is okay. However, his support for Neil Gorsuch shows he lacks the spine necessary to show Republicans that Democrats will not cave from a threat of ending the Senate filibuster rule.
Joe Manchin naively caves
Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) will do what many Democrats have done over the years, allow a Republicans to get away with their malfeasance. Joe Manchin was interviewed recently and said the following.
“The bottom line is I understand the Democratic Caucus is extremely upset with how Merrick Garland was treated,” Manchin said. “Never, it was unprecedented. Never in history have we ever not even sat down and talk to the person who was recommended. Our job is to advise and consent. How can you advise and consent if you won’t talk to a person who is recommended by a president, now matter whether it is a president you voted for or not? So that was done. I understand the Democrats are mad. My colleagues are mad at that. The bottom line is two wrongs don’t make a right.”
Joe Manchin’s rationalization is wrong. It is not about two wrongs making a right. The issue is that unlike the Republicans, the Democrats have two legitimate reasons to do all that is necessary to block Neil Gorsuch. First, it is not wrong to fight against filling a stolen Supreme Court seat. Doing so permanently corrupts our Democracy by implicitly acquiescing to said corruption.
Second, it is becoming more and more evident that Donald Trump was likely elected knowingly with an assist from Russia or folks working under the direction of Russia’s Vladimir Putin. As such one cannot allow what would be purported an illegitimate president to appoint a Supreme Court Justice, a life long position.
It is true that the Republicans may destroy the filibuster to force Gorsuch’s appointment. But that is likely what would have happened for any nominee, Gorsuch’s or anyone’s going forward. By standing up now, Democrats show that they have a spine. The consequences are no different that what it would have been if they showed no spine. Showing spine will keep their supporters envigorated.