Last week’s Senate runoff elections in Georgia gave the Democrats full control of the federal governing apparatus. America is now a one-party state, and the Californication of the country will soon begin. But there’s one man who can slow it down if not stop it, at least for a while: Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin.
The West Virginian could erase the Democrats’ de facto Senate majority (the Democratic vice president is the tie-breaker in the 50-50 chamber) simply by changing parties. This is no radical suggestion. Manchin is the most conservative Democrat in the Senate, if not all of Washington, and the possibility of him flipping parties has come up before. But he remains a Democrat, and as recently as last week said he had no intention to switch.
However, we would like to make a formal pitch, inviting him to follow an honorable path taken by others. Here is our open letter to the senator.
The Honorable Sen. Joe Manchin:
Though you have publicly announced that you will not be changing your party affiliation from Democrat to Republican, we would like for you to reconsider your decision. Please allow us to make our case.
First, your voting record. According to FiveThirtyEight, you have voted in line with President Donald Trump’s position 51.2% of the time throughout your Senate career. Congressional Quarterly reported a few years ago that you voted for Trump’s position 71% of the time, more than any other Democrat. Meanwhile, you voted your party’s line only 64% of the time, the lowest portion among Senate Democrats.
And please don’t forget, 68% of West Virginia voters chose Trump in 2016, 69% in 2020. This has happened even though party registrations in your state are almost dead even. Clearly many Democrats are crossing the line to vote for the GOP in West Virginia.
Recall, as well, that it’s your current party that has gone to war against coal, a valuable commodity whose mining supports tens of thousands of West Virginians. As your Wikipedia page notes, you support “a comprehensive, all-of-the-above energy approach that uses coal.”
We also mention that you were the first Democrat to announce you would vote for Trump Supreme Court nominees Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, and have publicly stated you oppose packing the court, a dream of the Democratic Party that could one day become a plank in its platform.
You also oppose another objective of the Democratic Party, which is to “pack” the Senate by granting statehood to Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Furthermore, you are more Republican than Democrat in your strong position on the filibuster.
If you decide to switch parties, you would not be the first Democrat to trade his affiliation after the November elections. Nor the first from West Virginia. As you are no doubt well aware, state Delegate Jason Barrett, a Democrat since 2012, announced last month that he was shifting his party registration.
“I have always been a moderate in the Democratic Party and I fully expect to be a moderate in the Republican Party,” Barrett told the media.
Earlier this month Vernon Jones, a state representative from Georgia, walked away from the Democratic Party, saying “I’m ready to go home” to the GOP.
Please, Senator, do not let this country fall to the hard-left movement and authoritarian urges that have taken over your current party. Unite with the other party to thwart Democrats’ plans to become the permanent ruling class in a country that was never intended to have one.
Some have said you won’t leave the Democratic Party because you’d lose political clout if you did. But we don’t see you as that sort of senator. You have put your constituents and principle ahead of partisan politics. Yet we understand how Washington works, and should you join the Republican Party, you would instantly restore its Senate majority, and be an influential member in the GOP leading an agenda rather than acting as roadblock to the Democratic Party.
We close by reminding you that Ronald Reagan so famously said “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me,” and that you once made a very Reaganesque statement yourself when you told voters you would “get the federal government off of our backs and out of our pockets.”
The editors of Issues & Insights
Of course the senator could remain a Democrat and simply vote with the Republicans on the many pieces of legislation in which he’d be in agreement with them, as he has done much of his career. But then where will he be in 2023? Back in the minority again, after voters, as they traditionally have done in midterm elections, punish the White House by voting out of Congress a substantial number of members from the president’s party.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board