Joe Manchin

The Urgency Of The Democratic Party Taking Back The House Of Representatives, And State Governorships And Legislatures In 2018

Jon Ossoff, the Democratic front runner in the 6th Congressional District of Georgia (Atlanta suburbs), fell just short of the 50 percent needed to win that seat in the House of Representatives, and avoid a runoff.

Now he will face Republican Karen Handel on June 20, and it will be more difficult to gain the seat, a traditionally GOP district in the past 38 years since Newt Gingrich won the seat in 1979, followed up by Tom Price, the Health and Human Services Secretary, who vacated the seat to become part of Donald Trump’s cabinet.

One can be assured massive amounts of money will be spent on both sides of this race, which, if Ossoff wins, would be a major blow to Donald Trump and his agenda.

The 24 point swing in Kansas’s special election for the House, and now the 10 point swing in Georgia, in the first round, are signs that the Democrats COULD regain the majority in the House of Representatives in 2018, after eight years in the “wilderness”.

It is simply a sign of the reality that the Democratic Party, at a low point, having lost so many seats in both houses of Congress in the Barack Obama era, along with governorships and state legislatures, have the urgency to work very hard to start their revival.

The average number of seats gained by the “out” party in the midterm elections is 23 in the House of Representatives, and right now, the Democrats need 24 seats to regain control, so it is within potential gains that one might expect.

The US Senate will be nearly impossible to win seats, however, as only 8 Republicans are up for reelection in 2018, as against 25 Democrats.

Looking at the GOP held seats, the only possible gains, and not easily, might be Jeff Flake’s seat in Arizona, and Dean Heller’s seat in Nevada. The only other possible hope would be if somehow Ted Cruz could be unseated in Texas, but that is highly unlikely. So at this point, the most that could be expected is a 50-50 tie in the Senate, with Vice President Mike Pence able to use his vote in a tied Senate.

One must realize that while many of the 25 Democratic seats are seen as safe, a large number are not so, including Claire McCaskill in Missouri, Jon Tester in Montana, Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, Joe Manchin in West Virginia, Joe Donnelly in Indiana, Bill Nelson in Florida, and Bob Casey in Pennsylvania. Note that Heitkamp, Manchin, and Donnelly tried to protect their flank by voting for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, but McCaskill, Tester, Nelson and Casey did not do so.

But beyond Congress, it is urgent that state governorships be gained, as well as control of more state legislatures, all in planning for the next census of 2020 and the redistricting of House seats and state legislative seats that will come after 2020, with the evil reality of gerrymandering affecting the next decade.

The US Senate Becomes More Ideological Than Ever!

The US Senate used to be a legislative body with moderate and even liberal Republicans, and moderate and conservative Democrats, allowing for a “crossing of the aisle”, and the creation of coalitions of Republicans and Democrats to promote legislation.

The recent Senate elections further destroyed any such “crossing of the aisle”, and insured more deadlock and gridlock, as moderate Democrats were defeated, and the most moderate Republican Senate nominee was defeated.

I am referring to the defeat of Mark Pryor of Arkansas, and the pending likely defeat of Mark Begich of Alaska and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, on the Democratic side, and the defeat of Scott Brown of New Hampshire, who was often called the most moderate Republican.

When one looks at the new 2015 Senate, who is really “Moderate”?

On the Democratic side, we could say Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Bill Nelson of Florida, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Jon Tester of Montana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and the almost defeated Mark Warner of Virginia, who shocked everyone, including himself, by his almost loss to Ed Gillespie.

On the Republican side, the list of “Moderates” would include Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, John McCain of Arizona, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Mark Kirk of Illinois, Susan Collins of Maine, Rob Portman of Ohio, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia.

Some readers might be shocked to see McCain and Flake included on this list, but in comparison to the rest of the GOP, they are, often, somewhat moderate and reasonable, although not reliably so.

This is a sad state of affairs, and not likely to change anytime soon!

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin: A True “Profile In Courage” And Model For Public Service!

It is extremely frustrating to see politicians who sell their soul to hold on to their jobs as Congressmen and Senators, unwilling to take a principled stand on anything!

And then we have West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, former Governor of the state, a lifelong member of the National Rifle Association, who fought for a “background checks” bill, which failed to overcome a filibuster, because of fear of Senators to alienate the NRA and its monstrous leadership, that does not give a damn about the thousand or more people killed by firearms each month. These cowardly Senators, and also Congressmen, are afraid of Wayne La Pierre and the NRA, and care more about keeping their seats and power than anything else!

But Manchin fought against the NRA, and continues to defy them, and this morning on MORNING JOE, after the NRA put out commercials against him, he responded with his own commercial, and made it clear that IF the people of West Virginia were unwilling to back “background checks” on firearms, and wished to send him home by defeating him in the next election, so be it!

And if that happened, he said, he would be blessed to spend his life in the state he loved, instead of Washington, DC!

What a refreshing way to look at it, as NO ONE who serves in Congress is poor, struggling, and NEEDS the job as most Americans need their job!

This is what we need—members of Congress who are there to promote what they believe in, and do NOT allow any pressure group to sway them, and willing to give up their position and power on principle, rather than kowtow to corrupt influences!

If only there were more Joe Manchins, and he is, indeed, a true “Profile In Courage”, and a model for public service!

The Courage Of Pro NRA Senators Who Voted For The Universal Background Checks Bill

Attention has been paid to those Pro NRA Senators who refused to support the Universal Background Checks bill, and who now have suffered drops in public opinion polls in their states, including Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, Ohio Senator Rob Portman, Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, Nevada Senator Dean Heller, and New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte.

Not as much attention has been paid to the Senators of both parties who did not let their basically Pro NRA viewpoints stand in the way of common sense and reality.

These include:

Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania
Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania
Senator Martin Heinrich of New Mexico
Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana
Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota
Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia
Senator Jon Tester of Montana
Senator Harry Reid of Nevada
Senator Mark Warner of Virginia

And shame on Democratic Senators Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Nick Begich of Alaska, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Max Baucus of Montana for voting against the Universal Background Checks, and a salute to Republican Senators John McCain of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine, and Mark Kirk of Illinois, who joined Pat Toomey in support of the legislation!

The US Senate Vote On Expanded Background Checks For Guns: A Slap In The Face Of Gabby Giffords, Aurora And Sandy Hook!

The Manchin-Toomey Expanded Background Checks Bill to regulate purchase of guns by Al Qaeda terrorists, gang members, rapists and murderers, and mentally unstable people at gun shows and on the internet, went down to a defeat in the US Senate yesterday, only able to gain a vote of 54-46, when 60 votes was needed to overcome the filibuster which holds up action unless that number is reached.

This is a slap in the face of former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and the others who were victims in Tucson; those killed and wounded in the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado; and the massacre of 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

It also comes right after the Boston Marathon Massacre, which left three dead and 170 wounded, and it says to the nation that we are not willing to do the simple act of requiring expanded background checks as a minimum.

Four Republicans were courageous enough to oppose the National Rifle Association, while four Democrats were unwilling to do what was right, because of their fear of retribution when they came up for reelection, three of them in 2014.

But as much as one wants to keep his job, if a Senator has no principles except his or her own advancement, it means we have forgotten what our government is all about–doing what is best for the American people, and preserving their security and safety, the first and most important role of any government!

Probably only if these four Democratic Senators and the 42 Republicans who voted against expanded background checks had members of their own families killed or wounded, would they get the message!

This is a sad moment in the history of the US Senate, particularly when up to 90 percent of Americans and 80 percent of gun owners support such expanded background checks to preserve some of the lives of our children and our loved ones!

Do Senate Democrats Really Have 53 Votes? Don’t Be So Sure! :(

It is often pointed out that the Senate has 53 Democrats, and that there is no chance that the Republican House can get the majority of the Senate to go along with massive budget cuts or repeal of the Health Care legislation.

But when one examines closely the situation that truly exists with the upcoming Senate races of 2012, one wonders!

There are at least four Democrats, who are not retiring, as four have already announced (Joe Lieberman, Kent Conrad, Jim Webb, and now Jeff Bingaman), but are likely to be willing to work with Republicans more than one would imagine.

These would be newly elected Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia who must run again in 2012, along with two Senators elected in 2006 and facing tough fights in 2012–Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Jon Tester of Montana–and veteran Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who also faces election in 2012.

If all four worked together with the GOP, there goes the Democratic edge, so the next two years will be interesting as a reality check of what it means to have a Senate majority, and yet maybe NOT have a Senate majority! 🙁

A Possible Unintended Effect Of Robert Byrd’s Passing: A Republican Senate In 2011!

With the death last week of Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, the dean of the Senate, and its longest serving member in history, the possibility arises that his passing could have an unintended effect on that chamber: a Republican Senate majority in 2011! 🙁

With 59 Democrats (57 plus Independents Joe Lieberman and Bernie Sanders) in the Senate presently, one would think that the Democrats are safe from a GOP takeover!

But if one goes by recent polls, the possibility arises of major Republican gains, with eight to nine seat gains seen as possible!

However, even with nine seats gain, the Republicans could not organize an evenly divided Senate, because of Vice President Joe Biden’s ability to break a tie in organizing the Senate!

But if West Virginia is required or decides to hold a Senate race to replace Byrd in November, the strong possibility exists that a Republican could win Byrd’s seat!

If the Governor, Joe Manchin, a Democrat, rumored to want the seat for himself in 2012 when the six year term ends, has the opportunity to make an appointment until 2012, then the seat will remain Democratic until 2012 at least! But he does not intend to appoint himself now, and instead have an appointed replacement for two years!

There are discussions, however, that with two and a half years left in the term, it is appropriate to have an election now, and with the GOP tide seemingly apparent, the seat could go Republican, and give that person the upper hand in the 2012 full term race!

So it would be ironic if Byrd’s passing brought about a ten seat gain by the Republicans, and them having an absolute majority in the Senate as a result!

One must remember that John McCain won the state, and that it is still a heavy majority WASP state, not the best territory for President Obama to seek support in 2012!

Meanwhile, West Virginia could turn the political tide, if all the worst prognostications for the midterm elections for the Democrats holds up! 🙁