Joe Manchin is every liberal’s least favorite Democratic Senator, because he comes from the red state of West Virginia and therefore plays to the political middle. But in a sign of just how much real trouble Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley might be in, even Manchin is now endorsing the idea of using the 14th Amendment to expel them from the Senate.
This alone doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Expulsion requires a two-thirds vote, so seventeen Republican Senators would need to vote in favor of expelling Cruz and Hawley. Thus far there’s no real indication of whether any such Republican votes exist. But if even Manchin feels safe climbing on board with the notion, it suggests that there might be some degree of bipartisan support for this.
Of course Senate Republicans would probably only even consider such a thing if they felt reasonably assured that their party wouldn’t lose the two seats in question. The Republican Governors of Texas and Missouri would temporarily replace Cruz and Hawley with Republicans. Texas would hold a special election within two months. Missouri would hold a special election in November 2022.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report