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Manchin Attempting To Restore Civility

Over the past week, as more and more of nation’s political “pundits” have chimed in over Sen. Joe Manchin’s decision to not support House Resolution 1 and also his continued support of keeping the filibuster, the West Virginia senator has been called many things: stubborn; someone who wants “to preserve Jim Crow;” a wolf in sheep’s clothing; an obstructionist; a racist.

None of it is true. In fact, many of the folks who’ve uttered such nonsense likely have never met Manchin; they’ve never sat across a table from him, never taken measure of him in person, never seen his passion for his home state and his country and for working together to do what is right.

What’s interesting in all of this is the one word missing in the conversations about Manchin: patriot. For in these matters, as with others over the years, he’s placing the Constitution and his country first and his party second. That’s goes against what many incorrectly see as the norm these days, and is one reason why those in that group can’t grasp why any Democrat won’t blindly follow President Biden’s lead.

Like him or not, agree or disagree with him, Manchin typically stands up for what he believes in, and for what many West Virginians believe in. At times those beliefs go against his party’s wishes. It’s put him in a unique spot in a divided Senate and in shaping how that body operates in the coming years.

And what is it he seeks in the Senate? Bipartisanship. Members working together to help heal our nation.

What most people outside of West Virginia don’t understand is that Joe Manchin likes to make deals; it’s how he got things done during his six years as governor, and it’s how he’s worked in Washington. Pressure from the president or party leaders won’t change that.

When it comes to his opposition to the HR1, here’s what the senator had to say: “I think it’s the wrong piece of legislation to bring our country together and unite our county and I’m not supporting that because I think it would divide us further,” he said.

So, at a time when we see the divisions forming in our country, when we realize we’re heading down a dangerous, partisan path, Manchin is criticized for wanting to work across the aisle?

The question all of us need to consider moving forward is this: Are we really so broken as a nation that when a sitting senator seeks to work across the aisle, he’s attacked by factions of his own party?

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