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On the Filibuster, Joe Manchin Holds Firm against the Left

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Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) listens during a hearing on “Domestic Violent Extremism in America” before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Capitol Hill, May 12, 2021. (Alex Wong/Pool via Reuters) Manchin isn’t always as stalwart in standing up to his own party as he sounds, but he’s been remarkably firm so far.

Joe Manchin is being pilloried for the offense of being consistent on the filibuster.

Back in 2017, when Senate Democrats were desperate to stop Donald Trump’s agenda, 33 of them, including Manchin, signed a bipartisan letter backing the filibuster in ringing terms.

“We are mindful of the unique role the Senate plays in the legislative process,” they wrote. “And we are steadfastly committed to ensuring that this great American institution continues to serve as the world’s greatest deliberative body.”

Well, the commitment of almost all the Democrats was not quite as steadfast as advertised.

Now that the filibuster is an obstacle to passing Joe Biden’s agenda, the long-standing Senate procedure has been deemed a threat to our system of government and to racial justice that only a naïf or cynic can support.

And that means you, Joe Manchin.

The West Virginia senator has been badgered for months by reporters eager to get him to change his mind on the filibuster, or at least show some flexibility. Now the pressure campaign from within his own party has ratcheted up to include over-the-top insults that have an air of desperation about them.

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