On Monday, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) put the final nail in the coffin of far-left hopes that Democrats could pack the Supreme Court and abolish the Senate filibuster in 2021. Manchin doubled down on his pledge. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) was none too pleased, while Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) voiced skepticism.
“I commit to tonight, and I commit to all of your viewers and everyone else that’s watching, I want to allay those fears, I want to rest those fears for you right now because when they talk about, whether it be packing the courts or ending the filibuster, I will not vote to do that,” Manchin told Fox News’ Special Report.
Even if Democrats somehow win both of Georgia’s Senate runoffs on January 5, giving Democrats 50 Senate seats plus a tiebreaker with Kamala Harris as vice president (the more likely outcome although the presidential results are contested), Manchin pledged to oppose the more radical policies.
The senator doubled down on this claim in an interview with The Washington Examiner‘s Salena Zito on Wednesday.
“Under no circumstances would I support packing the Court or ending the filibuster if there is a 50-50 tie,” Manchin told Zito.
The senator also voiced his opposition to far-left proposals like defunding the police and “Medicare for All.”
“Defund, my butt!” Manchin declared. “What we should be doing is funding more money to the police, educating, and protecting them better. Here’s where they take a team education, so they know where the social changes are happening in the neighborhoods. That’s what we should be doing with police.”
Manchin crossed the line into profanity when discussing Medicare for All, the socialized medicine plan of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
“Hell, we’re not able to take care of the Medicare for some that have earned it. I said, Chr**t, you want Medicare for all, you’d better take care of the some you already owe it to,” the senator said. “Next of all, let’s work and clean up the Affordable Care Act. Let’s get some Republicans to help us truly get a good healthcare bill. Some people want to know what we stand for, these are the things we’ve always stood for.”
Manchin shared the Examiner article explaining his position. “Defund the police? Defund, my butt. I’m a proud West Virginia Democrat. We are the party of working men and women. We want to protect Americans’ jobs & healthcare,” he tweeted.
“We do not have some crazy socialist agenda, and we do not believe in defunding the police,” he added.
AOC did not take kindly to Manchin’s remarks. She responded with a picture of herself glaring at Manchin as he clapped for President Donald Trump during the State of the Union address.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 12, 2020
Manchin’s remarks should encourage Americans who are rightly terrified by the Left’s radical proposals to remake the constitutional system. Yet Ted Cruz cried foul on the West Virginia senator’s promises.
“This is all theatre,” Cruz tweeted. “If Dems win GA, Chuck Schumer will be terrified of being primaried from the Left, which means [AOC] will effectively be Senate Majority Leader.”
“And Joe Manchin will dutifully obey (like he did on ACB & impeachment). They’re trying to hide this from GA voters,” the Texas senator warned.
Indeed, while Manchin originally called for censure, rather than impeachment and removal, for President Donald Trump, the senator went on to vote to remove Trump from office. Manchin claimed he only voted against Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation due to Republicans’ timing on the confirmation, not due to any disqualification on Barrett’s part.
This is all theatre.
If Dems win GA, Chuck Schumer will be terrified of being primaried from the Left, which means @aoc willeffectively be Senate Majority Leader. And Joe Manchin will dutifully obey (like he did on ACB & impeachment).
They’re trying to hide this from GA voters. https://t.co/uEyHUyM25g
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 12, 2020
Even if Joe Manchin keeps his word on opposing the far-Left’s fever dreams, Republicans cannot afford for Democrats to pick up Georgia’s two Senate seats. Should President Donald Trump’s legal challenges ultimately fall short and Joe Biden become president, the Republican Senate will form an extremely important check on his radicalism.
Manchin’s promises are heartening, but there is a chance that — as Cruz suggested — Manchin is merely playing the long game, aiming to convince moderates in Georgia to reconcile themselves to Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.
Whatever Manchin’s ultimate goal, Georgians should vote for Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue to check a potential President Joe Biden.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.