I did not vote for Joe Manchin.
I did not vote for him for the West Virginia House of Delegates.
I did not vote for him for West Virginia Secretary of State.
I did not vote for him for the West Virginia State Senate.
I did not vote for him as West Virginia’s Governor.
I did not vote for him for the United States Senate.
Most of the top contributors to Joe Manchin’s current campaign are energy companies involved in oil, gas, and coal industries. Manchin made his money as a coal broker in West Virginia. He has consistently voted against Democratic legislation on climate change. He drives a Maserati and lives on a houseboat on the Potomac. He is worth about $8 million and between his Senate salary and investment income earns about $700,000 annually (gobankingrates.com).
So, tell me, why does Joe Manchin get to play king when it comes to climate change, abortion, contraception, infrastructure, and tax policy? I did not elect Joe Manchin to be king. The senior Senator from West Virginia does not represent me or my political proclivities. He represents about ½ of 1% of the population of this country. His state ranks among the worst in such things as education, economic opportunity, and infrastructure. Why the hell should I/we listen to him or let him have power?**
Right now, I would not vote for him for dog catcher. It is time for him to go. Or join the Republicans, so a real Democrat can run against him.
How did we come to a system where one Senator can styme or hogtie an entire Presidential administration? Why can one lonely Senator can put a hold on any Presidential nomination – for cabinet, for Federal judge, preventing the nomination to be presented for a vote to the floor of the Senate (which, by the way, they can do in secret)? It is completely nuts that any two Senators can hold up any legislation indefinitely. I mean, really, why do we put up with this?
For any meaningful legislation to move forward requires a supermajority of 60 Senate votes. This is known as the filibuster – where a minority of the Senate can prevent legislation from being voted upon.
This, in the immortal words of the philosopher, is bullshit. This nonsense is not in our Constitution. This nonsense is the result of Senators making up their own rules so that the minority can block the majority. It is time to end this nonsense.
In fact, it is time to end all the bullshit rules that prevent the will of the majority of voters from becoming the will of the people. The electoral college – born out of a desire to give slave states a greater voice – has outlived its usefulness, if it ever had any. Republican Senators represent 43.5% of the population yet control virtually 100% of the voting. The filibuster must go. One Senator’s ability to prevent a Presidential nominee from receiving a fair hearing must go.
I completely understand that what is good for the goose is also good for the gander. Someday the Republicans might be in the majority, and we will have to live with the consequences of that. However, that will be better than the “heads we win, tails you lose” effect of current Senate rules. The Republicans govern in the minority, and then if they win, they govern in the majority. This situation is simply bad for the country and bad for the American people.
Let’s get back to the simple concept that if a majority of the people vote for your party for the Senate and/or House, your party gets to govern. If the House and Senate are controlled by different parties, then there is reconciliation also known as compromise. Ah, compromise. Remember that concept?
But as long as the electoral college and the filibuster live, as long as gerrymandering and voter suppression enable Republicans in to govern in the minority, compromise is a pipe dream. If you recognize this, there is only one solution. Go to the polls and vote, damn it.
**West Virginia represents ½ of 1 percent of the US population, ranks 47th of our 50 states in Health Care, 45th of our 50 states in Education, 48th of our 50 states in strength of Economy, 50th of our 50 states in Infrastructure, and 47th of our 50 states in Economic Opportunity.