The squeeze is on Joe Manchin

Joe Manchin is building a veritable line of people who are against his refusal to vote in favor of H.R. 1. According to Newsweek, DNC chair Jamie Harrison is extremely disappointed in Manchin. Machin wrote in his op ed that “voting and election reform that is done in a partisan manner will all but ensure partisan divisions continue to deepen.” Does he feel that way about the suppression laws Republicans are putting in place in individual states? Harris, who appeared on MSNBC Sunday, told host Alex Witt: “I disagree. Listen, I know he wants to protect democracy but there will be no democracy if we don’t protect the rights to vote of all Americans.” Harrison is correct.

The laws put in place in Georgia, Florida, Iowa, Arizona, and Texas clearly restrict voting. In fact, Harrison pointed out that over 350 bills have been enacted—by the Republican party—to restrict our right to vote. Yet, Joe Manchin says nothing about those laws. Instead, he attacks a proposed law that will ensure our rights. Other Democrats are not happy with Manchin. According to Axios, Congressman Mondaire Jones (D-NY) has had enough of Manchin. Following publication of Manchin’s op ed, Jones tweeted that the Charleston Gazette-Mail should have called Manchin’s article “Why I’ll vote to preserve Jim Crow.” The Supreme Court has been chipping away at the Voting Rights Act for years. Now, we have Republican legislatures trying to help the Court along in restricting our right to vote. Some may think Jones’s comment harsh, but it is not that far from the truth. He and Harrison are not the only ones critical of Manchin’s position.

Angus King (D-ME) has been a backer of the filibuster, but when he appeared with Jake Tapper Sunday, he said that while he is “reluctant” to kill the filibuster, he would be willing to do so to get voting rights passed. King said that the need to protect voting rights “is becoming more urgent by the day” and that he is concerned about Republican legislatures being empowered to overturn election results. In the end, King said that if it comes down to the filibuster or the voting rights of Americans, “I will choose democracy.” We all know what is at stake here, and if someone who supports the filibuster is willing to let it go over voting rights, we are reminded just how important it is that we protect the right to vote—for everyone. Even Chris Wallace tried opening Manchin’s eyes, telling him he is being “naïve” in his pipe dream of bipartisanship.

At this point, Joe Manchin should get it that his position is dead wrong. It is totally Manchin’s right to believe as he wishes, but if he wants to serve the American people, he needs to open his eyes and ears and listen to what others have to say, especially others of his own party.