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Douglas Andrews / Jun. 11, 2021

Can Trump Flip Joe Manchin and the Senate?

A golden opportunity to “reimagine” the upper chamber.

We wonder whether Joe Manchin plays golf. If he does, Donald Trump should have the West Virginia Democrat down to Mar-a-Lago for the weekend and suggest that he switch parties. Doing so would, of course, flip the 50-50 Senate from Democrat control to Republican, and it would put a merciful end to what’s left of Joe Biden’s reckless, repulsive, hard-left agenda.

Columnist Mark Thiessen seems to think it might take just a phone call. “It is in Manchin’s interest to switch parties,” he writes. “He wants bipartisanship, but right now, he is under unrelenting pressure from Democrats to vote for their radical agenda. How many times has Manchin been asked if he is really, absolutely, 100 percent sure he would never vote to eliminate the filibuster? As a Republican, he would never be asked that question again.”

What’s more, Manchin wouldn’t have to suffer the many “progressive” fools of his party. A recent Politico headline blared, “The left hates Joe Manchin. His fellow Senate Dems are staying quiet.”

Why would anyone want to be part of an organization whose members hate him? “Joe Manchin is sparking outright fury from liberals,” the Politico piece continues, “with some Black Democrats invoking Jim Crow laws and Mitch McConnell as they blast the West Virginian’s resistance to a sweeping elections bill.”

That “sweeping elections bill,” by the way, is HR 1, the deceitfully dubbed “For the People Act” — the bill that would systematize electoral fraud, the bill that Texas Senator Ted Cruz called “the single most dangerous piece of legislation we’ve seen in decades.”

We’ve written and warned extensively about HR 1, and we couldn’t agree more with Cruz. And Manchin, to his credit, stood firm when it counted, sticking a fork into the Democrats’ voter suppression scheme. Manchin vowed to vote against it, and he said as much in an op-ed to his constituents back home. As our Thomas Gallatin reported recently, “[Manchin] showed that he’s more concerned about being beholden to his constituents than to advancing his party’s power plays.”

Good for Joe. And for his failure to toe the party line, Former ESPN anchor and leftist race-baiter Jemele Hill ripped into him via social media: “Record number of black voters show up to save this democracy, only for white supremacy to be upheld by a cowardly, power-hungry white dude. Sen. Joe Manchin is a clown.”

New York’s Mondaire Jones was every bit as nasty, tweeting that Manchin’s op-ed “might as well be titled, ‘Why I’ll vote to preserve Jim Crow.’”

Again, why would Manchin want to put up with this? And what better way to extend a big ol’ middle finger to Hill and her ilk than by switching parties?

If Manchin seems reluctant to do so, Trump might remind him that he serves the people of West Virginia, which went a whopping +39 for Trump in 2020. Manchin is a popular former governor, but he doesn’t have numbers like that — not even close.

In fact, when our Mark Alexander called on Trump to flip Manchin last March, he noted: “Manchin was reelected to the Senate by a narrow three-point margin, winning a plurality of the vote by 49.57% because of a Libertarian spoiler who received 4.17%. Notably that year, no other West Virginia Demo congressional candidate came within 10 points of winning, and Democrats running for state seats were defeated by even larger margins.”

Suffice it to say: Manchin, as a Democrat, is the oddest duck in the United States Senate. And if he switches, he’d be lauded back home in the Mountain State, he’d likely get his choice of committee assignments from Minority Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and he’d be able to work for genuine bipartisan legislation in the areas he’s most passionate about, such as energy and real (as opposed to fake) infrastructure.

So, what’s keeping him? Thiessen has a theory:

As a Democrat, he is assured his party’s Senate nomination. But if he becomes a Republican, he could face a primary challenger angry over his votes to convict Trump in his impeachment trials. Trump has made clear his intention to exact vengeance on any senator who voted for his removal. So, if Manchin defects, he faces the real prospect that Trump could support his primary opponent and deny him the nomination. … Trump could alleviate that concern with a single phone call. He could tell Manchin that if he switches parties and hands Senate control to the GOP, all will be forgiven — Trump would oppose any primary challengers and campaign enthusiastically for Manchin.

One simple phone call, Mr. President. Or maybe a friendly round of golf. That’s all it’ll take to “reimagine” the Senate. Think about it.

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