To Be or Not To Be by Tom Reynolds
People can lead very successful lives and still not even be a footnote in history. For instance, there have been almost 2,000 United States Senators in American history but only a handful achieved any lasting fame. Probably, all tried for fame and celebrity but the laws of chance decided whether they were famous or anonymous. But, once in a while, someone gets to knowingly make the choice between being a famous historical figure or being anonymous.
Enter West Virginia Senator Democrat Joe Manchin.
He is one of those rare people who can personally decide between anonymity or being an historical figure. Manchin is one of those currently almost extinct, Democrat politicians who could be described as moderate – or at least not radically left which makes him comparatively moderate in today’s Democrat Party. He may be moderate because he really believes in old style Democrat policies or it may be that it’s a political decision; a radical left Democrat would have slim to no chance of being elected in West Virginia. Only he knows for sure.
Manchin has his opportunity for fame because the Democrat Party is taking advantage of what is probably temporary control of both the legislative and executive branches of the federal government. They are pushing through radically progressive liberal policies that at least half of – and probably more – U.S. voters disagree. If successful, they believe they will transform America into a socialist state (which they can control and milk for personal riches) while the bulk of Americans see their program as a path to disaster. The Democrats ability to do this, hinges on control of the U.S. Senate, which is equally divided at 50/50, so extreme socialist Vice President Kamala Harris casts the deciding vote. As long as all 50 Democrat senators stick together, they can proceed. But if even one defects to sanity, their program is stopped.
During Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office, the Democrats have generally stuck together, including Manchin, on those proposals that have reached a vote. But Manchin has said he will defect on some issues, the most important of which is the Senate Filibuster. In a Filibuster, a Senator holds the senate floor and does not give it up, which prevents proposed legislation from being voted upon and, therefore, never becomes a law. Under Senate rules, to break a filibuster, it takes 60 votes and the Democrats have almost no chance of getting 10 Republicans to defect. But, also under Senate rules, it only takes 51 votes to change the rules! If all 50 Democrat Senators stuck together, including Manchin, then Kamala Harris’ vote would allow them to change the rules on the Filibuster to only needing 51 votes to end it. This would allow the Democrats to pass their radical left agenda which would, in many people’s opinions, destroy America and, in particular, allow them to neuter the 2nd Amendment.
Joe Manchin has said he will not vote to change the current Filibuster rules and, thus, prevent the Democrats from making that rule change. To entice him to change his position, you can be sure there are lucrative backroom deals being offered to Manchin. But if he takes those deals and caves in on the Filibuster, he becomes rich but probably also becomes unelectable in West Virginia. And importantly, he will also become historically anonymous as just another one of many Democrats that share mutual responsibility for these policies; he will not be even a footnote in history.
But if Manchin holds firm, he will have stopped most of the far left’s madness and he will become an historical figure: the man who saved America; the man who saved the American Constitution; the politician who put principles above party. Manchin will have intentionally made himself into an historical figure! You can be sure that there will be books written about him. (Could there someday be a Broadway rap musical called “Manchin”? Will he be added to an updated version of “Profiles in Courage”?)
So, Joe Manchin has to make a decision, will he take a short-term gain and be only a two term Senator or will he become an historical figure. Not exactly George Washington but he will certainly leap frog Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi as those two join John Boehner and Mitch McConnell in the long list of forgotten legislators.
Being known to history as a rare politician that put principle above self and party isn’t a bad way to be remembered. Joe Manchin controls his own fate.