OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Democrat Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema are among the last vestiges of Democrats who still believe that the United States is best governed by two parties.
Now we do not always agree with these two senators. After all, we are conservatives, and they are Democrats. But we do respect them for having principles the way many Democrats pretend to respect Republicans like Sen. Mitt Romney, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. The difference being that we actually do respect them and are not going to attack them the microsecond they vote with their party, the way Democrats have done to the latter.
But for their traditional values, these two Democrats have been routinely attacked by members of their own part on social media.
The West Virginia senator, however, is not intimidated by the rage mob and, in an interview on Sunday, said that he was “not a roadblock” for the Democrats but someone who wants to preserve the way government works as the Founders intended it, CNN reported.
“Senator, I talk to Democrats who tell me the reason President Biden’s ambitious agenda is so big and so bold is because they understand history,” CNN host Dana Bash said on the CNN show “State of the Union.”
“And history shows that the president’s party, if they have majorities in Congress, as he does, oftentimes lose that in the midterm elections. And that’s why they have a small window to get things done, they believe, as possible.
“So, they believe that you’re one of the main roadblocks on getting those goals accomplished,” she said.
The senator did not like being called a “roadblock” and promptly defended himself.
“I’m not a roadblock at all,” he said.
“The best politics is good government. I can’t believe that people believe that, if you just do it my way, and that’ll give us some momentum to get through the next election.
“But when you do something that everyone tags on to — and I have seen good things happen. The people voted against it took credit for it when they went back home,” the senator said.
“We won’t give this system a chance to work. I am not going to be part of blowing up this Senate of ours or, basically, this democracy of ours or the republic that we have. If we have a 51-vote threshold in the Senate, the same as the House, the House wasn’t designed to be partisan. The House was designed to be hot as a firecracker,” Sen. Manchin said.
“We were designed to cool it off. And that’s the founding fathers. It was a brilliant, brilliant strategy they looked at. So, why can’t we try to make this work?
“If you have the violent swings every time you have a party change, then we will have no consistency whatsoever,” he said.
He also talked to Bash about crossing party lines to endorse Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, for Senate and also explained why he will not vote to end the filibuster.
“Well, basically, when you have someone such as Lisa Murkowski that is just this solid — and when I say solid, looks at the issue, not afraid to make and step out and make a decision. She’s done that and done it so well over many, many years,” Sen. Manchin said.
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“Her and I have been friends, and we have had great conversations. And there’s no gotcha moment. There’s no time when she’s ever basically gone just along party lines for the sake of party lines. She gives it a good, strenuous thought process.
“And I think people like Lisa Murkowski should be in the Senate. And I’m going to support the people that I do. I don’t look at the party lines saying, that’s a barrier for me. Party line — the country is what my concern is, and having the best people to make a decision,” he said.
“There’s so much we can do together. You can’t throw out, you just can’t throw out the purpose of us being in the Senate. There’s two senators for every state, little Delaware, little Rhode Island, big California, big Texas, big New York. Why? They don’t want the big person beating up on the little person.
“In the Senate, the minority always has input. And it has to stay that way,” he said.