Joe Manchin and his faux calls for “bi-partisanship” can be maddeningly frustrating for those of us on the left end of the big-tent spectrum of the Democratic Party.
I live in California — born and lived here all my life. I am a PROgressive on the far left — supported Bernie in the 2016 primary and Elizabeth Warren in the 2020 primary (but enthusiastically voted for the Democratic nominee in the general election both years). If Manchin were in our bright blue state, we would throw his sorry @$$ out in a second. But he is not in California. A Kamala Harris or a Jerry Brown from our state, or an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or an Elizabeth Warren or a Bernie Sanders from the east coast, could never win a seat in West Virginia – a state that Trump carried in 2020 by a margin of 41.7%.
One of the most liberal opinion columnists for the Los Angeles Times is Virginia Heffernan, who happens to have come from West Virginia and knows the state well. While she is as frustrated with him as I and all left-wing Democrats are, she explains Joe Manchin in a way that those not from her state can only understand with the help of a road map, which she provided in a recent op/ed:
Yeah, Manchin is very frustrating, but if he were to leave, of even worse, if he were to defect to the Republicans, he would be replaced by a solid Trumper and McConnell would be senate majority leader.
May 31, 2017