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Politics Mondaire Jones Says Manchin Op-Ed Might as Well Be Titled 'Why I'll Vote to Preserve Jim Crow'

21:25  06 june  2021
21:25  06 june  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

Manchin's homegrown bipartisanship comes up against a changing world

  Manchin's homegrown bipartisanship comes up against a changing world When Joe Manchin was in the fight of his political life, vying for reelection in a state where being a Democrat had long been out of fashion, the senator's opening message to voters focused on the place he knew best: Farmington, West Virginia. © Maddie McGarvey for CNN Michael Angelucci, former state delegate, and Donna Costello, former mayor of Farmington.

a man standing in front of Bryn Terfel, Jennifer Granholm, Joe Manchin posing for the camera: MORGANTOWN, WV - JUNE 03: U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm take questions at a news conference at the Marriott Hotel at Waterfront Place June 3, 2021 in Morgantown, West Virginia. Manchin published an op-ed on Sunday detailing why he did not support the For the People Act or Democratic efforts to get rid of the filibuster. © Michael Swensen/Getty Images MORGANTOWN, WV - JUNE 03: U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm take questions at a news conference at the Marriott Hotel at Waterfront Place June 3, 2021 in Morgantown, West Virginia. Manchin published an op-ed on Sunday detailing why he did not support the For the People Act or Democratic efforts to get rid of the filibuster.

West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin is receiving backlash on Twitter over an op-ed piece he published in the Charleston Gazette-Mail where he explained why he would not be voting for the For the People Act—a point of view that has sparked backlash as well as a trending topic of "He's a Republican."

Democrats sputter 'Jim Crow' and houseboat snark at Manchin

  Democrats sputter 'Jim Crow' and houseboat snark at Manchin Joe Manchin’s firm stance against Democrats’ sweeping election overhaul bill is turning simmering frustration among his fellow Democrats to a full boil, prompted accusations of upholding Jim Crow, comparisons to Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and a swipe at his houseboat lifestyle choice. © Provided by Washington Examiner The criticism stems from Manchin's linchpin status in the Senate as one of the more conservative Democrats in the 50-member caucus. There are 50 Senate Republicans, meaning Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris casts tiebreaking votes.

In the Sunday op-ed, the moderate Democrat from West Virginia said he was against the legislation because it had not garnered any Republican support. He felt a resolution for changes in voting rights should be reached with agreement from both parties.

"The right to vote is fundamental to our American democracy and protecting that right should not be about party or politics. Least of all, protecting this right, which is a value I share, should never be done in a partisan manner," Manchin wrote.

However, Manchin's defense of trying to seek a bipartisan solution was slammed on Twitter by some progressive Democrats. Democratic Congressman Mondaire Jones of New York tweeted that Manchin's op-ed "might as well be titled, 'Why I'll vote to preserve Jim Crow.'"

What you should know about W. Va. Sens. Manchin and Capito

  What you should know about W. Va. Sens. Manchin and Capito WVa. Sens. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, and Republican Shelley Moore Capito are positioned to swing key parts of President Joe Biden's legislative agenda.West Virginia, which will be down to only two congressional seats after its next redistricting, isn't typically as powerful in Congress as larger, more populous counterparts such as California, New York and Texas.

Jones was joined by others criticizing Manchin's moderate approach, including New York Congressman Jamaal Bowman, who cited an article from the Data For Progress blog in which 56 percent of self-identified Republicans supported the For the People Act.

Walter Shaub, senior ethics fellow at the Project On Government Oversight, said: "Voting rights aren't partisan. Voter suppression is."

In addition to voting against the For the People Act as a result of a lack of bipartisanship, Manchin explained in his op-ed that he opposes Democrats' attempts to eliminate the filibuster that was blocking the bill.

"They've attempted to demonize the filibuster and conveniently ignore how it has been critical to protecting the rights of Democrats in the past," he wrote.

The filibusters enacted by the Republicans in the Senate cannot currently be overcome by the Democrats because both parties lack a supermajority of 60 votes, which can block a filibuster. Democrats have now been seeking to reinterpret Senate rules to pass with a simple majority, CNN reported.

Harry Litman, a former U.S. Attorney, tweeted his criticism of Manchin's refusal to support Democratic efforts to remove the filibuster, which has been utilized repeatedly by the Republicans to block President Joe Biden's agenda.

Manchin's efforts to work with Republicans rather than supporting fellow Democrats have led to the trending topic "He's a Republican" on Twitter. The trend was criticized by journalist David Dennis Jr., saying Manchin's decision did not prove the senator is a Republican, but rather "white supremacy" could be found in both parties.

"'He's a Republican' is trending because it makes people feel better to equate white supremacy to republicanism as opposed to the actual truth that white supremacy is bipartisan," Dennis said.

In his op-ed, Manchin explained that while he is not supporting the For the People Act, he does back the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would update the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is a narrower election bill that has the support of Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

"I continue to engage with my Republican and Democratic colleagues about the value of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and I am encouraged by the desire from both sides to transcend partisan politics and strengthen our democracy by protecting voting rights," Manchin wrote.

Joe Manchin said in 2011 that the US was 'paralyzed by the filibuster' but is now blocking efforts to change it

  Joe Manchin said in 2011 that the US was 'paralyzed by the filibuster' but is now blocking efforts to change it In a 2011 press release, Manchin said that senators wanting to halt bills should turn to "sustained debate" rather than the filibuster.Manchin is currently the only Democratic senator refusing to back the For the People Act, a sweeping voting-rights bill that would cancel many GOP-led voting restrictions at the state level. It passed the House with no Republican Party support, and its chances of passing the Senate have been destroyed due to Manchin's opposition.

"Of course, some in my party have argued that now is the time to discard such bipartisan voting reforms and embrace election reforms and policies solely supported by one party. Respectfully, I do not agree."

Manchin remains the only Democrat who is not listed as a co-sponsor on the For the People Act.

a man and a woman standing talking on a cell phone: WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 27: U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) (R) talks to Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-CA) (L) and Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY) prior to a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol April 27, 2021 in Washington, DC. Jones and other progressive Democrats slammed Sen. Joe Manchin on Twitter for his refusal to support the For the People Act. Alex Wong/Getty Images © Alex Wong/Getty Images WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 27: U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) (R) talks to Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-CA) (L) and Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY) prior to a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol April 27, 2021 in Washington, DC. Jones and other progressive Democrats slammed Sen. Joe Manchin on Twitter for his refusal to support the For the People Act. Alex Wong/Getty Images

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