Nate Jackson / March 29, 2021

Quid Pro Joe Manchin?

The senator’s wife just landed a cushy federal job. Is ending the filibuster next?

There are effectively two people standing between Democrats and eliminating the Senate filibuster: Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). Both are feeling intense pressure to bow to the wishes of radical Democrats.

“The pressure that we are going to put on Sinema and Manchin is calling [the filibuster] racist and saying that they are, in effect, supporting racism,” the race-baiting “Reverend” Al Sharpton admitted recently. “Why would they be wedded to something that has those results? Their voters need to know that.”

Our Lewis Morris recently covered this push to characterize the filibuster as “racist.” Suffice it to say, as Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) put it, Democrats “use the word ‘racist’ whenever they are trying to scare people into their corner.”

There’s been another card dealt, and that’s the cushy job just handed to Manchin’s wife Gayle. For $160,000 a year (if she takes the salary), she’ll serve as federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission. Much of the speculation regarding this possible quid pro quo centers on Manchin’s decisive vote two days earlier to advance the nomination of Colin Kahl as undersecretary of defense for policy.

The Washington Free Beacon reports, “Pro-Israel groups and West Virginia legislators had urged Manchin to oppose Kahl, citing his extensive involvement in the Iran nuclear deal, his opposition to Iran sanctions, and his criticism of pro-Israel policies. The White House and Democratic operatives also lobbied Manchin heavily to support Kahl.”

But make no mistake: Manchin is under intense pressure over the filibuster. It could be a public relations disaster to vote on the filibuster too soon after his wife landed her job, though with a lickspittle press always ready to carry water for Democrats, it’s not unthinkable. And favors like this job — or pressure like the racist label — will continue to come Machin’s way.

That’s why the best solution for Republicans might be, as Mark Alexander recently argued, for Donald Trump to take his 39-point win in West Virginia and make the case to Machin’s constituents that it’s time for a change.

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