EDITORIAL: Manchin Does Even Worse than Obama in Debt-Level Crisis

HNN Staff
EDITORIAL:  Manchin Does Even Worse than Obama in Debt-Level Crisis

We didn't think President Obama's lack of leadership during the debt-ceiling crisis could be "topped" by anyone.  After all, Obama pulled the rug out from under Speaker Boehner's legs at the last moment a week ago, after the Speaker had worked dozens of hours to get to a point of meaningful compromise for both men.

Since then, Obama's self-appointed "role" has been to wait on the sidelines, hold a completely worthless press conference, and deliver not one page of a proposal of his own.  Speaker Boehner rightly saw that working with Obama was a dead end and abandoned Obama, heading over to the U.S. Senate for a more constructive dialogue in order to meet the August 2nd deadline.

Thank heavens Speaker Boehner found a mature adult to partner with in the U.S. Senate in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.  Reid and Boehner have had a multitude of issues to work out amid broad areas of disagreement. But for the sake of the country they rolled up their sleeves and avoided much of the political grandstanding that has come to embody the shallowness of Washington, D.C.

Unfortunately, we can't say the same for West Virginia's junior U.S. Senator, Joe Manchin.  While other Democratic Senators kept quiet in order to let Harry Reid have the time and space he needed to hammer out a compromise bill with Boehner, Manchin decided that it was his time to "shine." So, over the weekend, with the deadline fast approaching, we saw Joe Manchin on national television announcing to anyone who cared that he would not vote for either the Boehner bill or the initial bill floated by Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid.

That Manchin felt a need to inject himself into the national drama at this point clarified two important points for the West Virginia voter.  First, Joe Manchin has little class or preparation to be in the United States Senate, if, as a backbencher, he insists on face time with the national press at sensitive moments like this one.  No one asked for his take: he volunteered it.  But he wasn't a principal player in the negotiations, so what's the deal?

But the second and most important lesson for us was what Manchin had to say.  Was it a crucial bit of analysis that Boehner and Reid had missed?

No, Manchin just wanted to pose as being above it all, announcing that he would be supporting the Bowles-Simpson Commission's plan for deficit reduction. That's the plan, commissioned by President Obama last year, which hasn't been on the table during this entire debt ceiling crisis.

In other words, Manchin, like his friend, President Obama, had nothing constructive to offer to the current debate.  He just wanted to get a little face time in, no matter how inappropriate it looked.

The time is soon coming when the rest of the country will begin to see what the Tea Party members have already grasped:  the self-serving, self-dealing tendencies of America's political class have to be stopped if we are to save our country.  Joe Manchin cost the taxpayers of West Virginia millions of dollars so that he could vacate the Governor's Mansion early and serve in the U.S. Senate.  But now he can't even bring himself to vote on the available options before him on the most important economic issue facing the nation? Clearly, we aren't getting our money's worth.

Less platitudes, more action, Senator Manchin.


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