Manchin Chooses Family Party Over the Nation’s Business

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joe manchin parties.jpg
I have seen Senator Joe Manchin out on the holiday party circuit in Washington and did have a very full conversation with him about DADT at one particularly high powered evening — but parties are not the same as voting on nationally significant legislation.
This just in from Politico‘s Ben Smith though. During the vote today on DADT repeal and the Dream Act, Manchin was at a family holiday party scheduled way in advance.
His spokesman, Payne Scarbro said however, that:

“While he regrets missing the votes, it was a family obligation that he just could not break. . .However, he has been clear on where he stands on the issues.”

Two things.
First, Senator Joseph Lieberman has been careful not to work on the Sabbath for the many, many years I have known him. He prays, goes to synagogue, and the like — but he does not do the nation’s business on Saturdays because of deeply felt personal religious conviction. I get that and admire it about Joe Lieberman.
AND YET, Joe Lieberman did a masterful job of marshalling Don’t Ask Don’t Tell forward.
Lieberman had an excuse and didn’t use it. Manchin’s excuse is not good enough.
And to Senator Manchin’s spokesperson, let’s just get something straight. Senator Manchin has not been clear “at all” about his views on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
At Vice President Biden’s holiday party, several major key Democratic donors and I spoke to the Senator and were under the impression that he was still thinking this over.
So, don’t sell something that isn’t cooked yet. If he feels strongly against DADT, then have him vote that way.
This is a bad punctuation point to his new Senate career – and while there will no doubt be many votes he takes with which I agree with the Senator, this tilt towards perpetuating bigotry rather than service with honor will stain his reputation and his electoral donations for a long time.
– Steve Clemons

Comments

19 comments on “Manchin Chooses Family Party Over the Nation’s Business

  1. Kathleen says:

    Steve get real. If they have the votes and do not need Manchin to make a stand then give the guy a break. I think it was a smart strategic move.
    When will you get after Liebermann for his endless war mongering? Pro Israel stances to the extreme that undermine U.S. national security as well as being immoral?
    I am amazed by how often Jane Hamsher keeps lining it up so wrong. She has been putting Obama down for two years solid now. Saying he has not paid enough attention to DADT, and here it is looking like it will move through. Then yesterday she makes another totally wrong calculation. Saying DADT should be first. That the START TReaty will move through with no problems. So full of herself and so wrong wrong wrong on many issues
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/19/mitch-mcconnell-oppose-new-start-treaty_n_798754.html

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  2. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I guarantee you, Nadine, our motivations for desiring border security are completely different.
    And comparing illegal immigration to the Isr/Pal situation is asinine.

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  3. About time says:

    “You obviously have no idea what could motivate a man to volunteer to serve his country,”
    Oh please, give yourself a blow job if you want to, but leave me out of the horns and fanfare.

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  4. nadine says:

    It’s fascinating to be on the same side of an issue as you, POA.
    Somehow I can’t help thinking that if only the border between California and Mexico were in the Levant, instead of close to you, you would be believing every press release La Raza ever put out about the inhumanity of INS, the horrible death and dying at the border, and the inalienable right of the indigenous Mexicans to reclaim the lands stolen from them by the gringos.
    Incidentally, Israel, which is the only First World country you can walk to from the Sudan, also has an illegal alien problem and is building a fence along the Sinai border.

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  5. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “You are bloviating for an impossibility. No geo-political border anywhere on earth can ever be 100% secured against ungranted access. Are you fully aware of the irrationality in your calling for a

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  6. nadine says:

    “Oh, come off it nadine. You’re just hyperventilating.
    If all those good christian moralists left the armed services, no doubt we could buy a bunch more. Soldiers, that is . Not christians. And there mission is to be soldiers isn’t it? Or is it to be christian warriors?” (about time)
    But don’t tell me, let me guess — you support the troops.
    You obviously have no idea what could motivate a man to volunteer to serve his country, and even less respect for his decision to do so.
    Yet you think nothing of dictating to him the terms under which he should do it.

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  7. nadine says:

    Secure? Try fewer than 400,000+ / year crossing it illegally. Of course we can do it. We can build a wall, for starters, and patrol it. Just like Mexico does on THEIR Southern border. It is completely doable. It only requires the will to do it.
    And Pessimist, don’t look now, but I think you just called POA a neocon Zionist.

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  8. The Pessimist says:

    Nadine,
    Define for us all precisely what a “secure” border would be in your neo-con/Zionist fantasyland.
    Absolutely impenetrable to all people not granted access by other people? Would denying passage to a fellow human being dying right before your eyes in El Paso be considered rational to you? Would forcefully separating a child from their mother in San Diego be considered morally acceptable to you?
    You are bloviating for an impossibility. No geo-political border anywhere on earth can ever be 100% secured against ungranted access. Are you fully aware of the irrationality in your calling for a

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  9. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Over the years, there have been over ten amnesties for illegal immigrants, most passed under the radar. On its face, as described, the “Dream Act” is the right thing to do, and at least it is not being slimed through in the shadows, as so many amnesties before.
    Even that scumbag George Bush tried to sneak through an amnesty, attached to an unrelated bill. It is Tancredo that exposed it, and rallied his constituency into a massive phone campaign that got the amnesty rider removed.
    I worry when our “attention” to the problem of undocumented immigrants, who are here by no fault of their own, overshadows the continued inflow of ILLEGAL immigrants. Yes, the Dream Act is laudable. But meanwhile, we have thousands of ILLEGAL immigrants coming in, every month. These pieces of shit in DC would have us believe we can remake whole nations in our image, but we can’t secure our own borders. Perhaps our priorities are fucked up, and we should, as Nadine spews forth with, secure our borders, THEN deal with those that are already here. With every passing day, the amount of illegals here grows. Is it really sustainable? And meanwhile, the immigrants that attempt to become citizens legally are buried in red tape and huge waiting lists. Does that make sense?
    This measure, although laudable, is a feel good gesture designed to give the impression that “something is being done”. Not about illegal immigration, though.
    Something “is” being done, however. and that “something” is the creation of a voting bloc. Its a timeworn tactic. Rememember when Californians voted for Prop. 87, and the fuckin’ feds marched in and challenged it, overturned it in court? We stated, unequivicably, through our vote, that we had HAD IT with illegal immigration, and the feds fucked us out of our voice. And now, a similiar bill would NEVER pass, because the continued ILLEGAL immigration has changed the demographics of the state. Such is the current strategy, with this so-called Dream Act. These people DO deserve citizenship. But with their voting power, who will get citizenship as a result, what amnesty bills will be passed as a result??? The answer is obvious. And by the time it happens, how many more will have broken our laws to come here??
    Secure the fuckin’ borders. THEN play goodie two shoes humanitarian with those that are already here. If our government really gave a shit about these people, then they wouldn’t continue to allow them to be paid less then minimum wage with no worker protection. Thats the bottom line on why illegal immigration is allowed to continue. To deny it is dishonest, or just ignorant and naive.

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  10. Anonymous 2 says:

    “The DREAM Act … grants a path to citizenship for a very limited number of people who are Americans for the most part, who serve their country, obey the law, sacrifice, and do their best.”
    How can a person be “an American for the most part,” one either is or is not an American. An illegal alien is not an American.
    These “kids” (up to age 30) have a grievance with their parents, not with the United States. One wonders why a 30-year-old who has chosen to remain here illegal for 12 years should be handed amnesty. And one wonders why an 18-year-old would not choose to back where they are legal start to build a life and apply for citizenship through proper channels. It might take a long time? Too bad, talk to Mom and Dad about why they chose to break the laws — let them send you remittance money from the jobs they hold here illegally.
    The DREAM Act will never stop reappearing on our horizon until we deport every single illegal alien of any age. Oh, yes, and secure the borders so they can’t return.

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  11. about time says:

    Oh, come off it nadine. You’re just hyperventilating.
    If all those good christian moralists left the armed services, no doubt we could buy a bunch more. Soldiers, that is . Not christians. And there mission is to be soldiers isn’t it? Or is it to be christian warriors?

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  12. nadine says:

    I see Manchin didn’t cast either vote, so I lost my bet there.
    “For me, growing up straight, knowing from my own experience that whom I love and whom I lust after is so central to my identity and happiness I cannot imagine having to be the least bit reserved about it ” (ManOutofTime)
    So are you also for repealing that part of the military code which forbids adultery? Sexual morality has always been part of the military code. There are many conservative Christians in the military who feel that have just been ordered to abandon morality. You may consider them Neanderthals, but I can only hope their loss will not harm our military readiness.

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  13. ManOutOfTime says:

    I am thrilled to see DADT put down. I am sure the roll-out of policy will be far more complicated and therefore slower than I can comprehend as a non-military man, but still. progress.
    For me, growing up straight, knowing from my own experience that whom I love and whom I lust after is so central to my identity and happiness I cannot imagine having to be the least bit reserved about it — much having to lie and hide it completely! I am sickened that this Kafkaesque policy has gone on as long as it has.
    It is beyond ironic that McCain and those other craven GOP scoundrels have taken the position they have. First of all, DADT is a lousy half-baked Clintonian compromise of a policy. As Lt Dan Choi has bravely pointed out : DADT institutionalized lying, and honesty is supposedly one of the highest values of military code and comportment. The GOP rallied around a policy designed to reward the men and women of the armed services for lying. Maybe that’s no real surprise after all, as the right seems to trade chiefly in lies nowadays.
    And secondly, perhaps more importantly, the right has been breathtakingly vague: are they against homosexuals serving? Then where was the GOP bill that restored the pre-DADT order? Ultimately, that is the most appalling and damning thing about the right in America today: when progressives take a position, we bring it up in a bill. We utilitze the system as it was designed by our Founding Fathers, whom the right claim to love so dearly. They, on the other hand, shilly-shally and take passive aggressive positions and constantly obstruct progress without clearly stating a true conservative way forward.
    Why? Because of course they know they would lose at the polls if they did. They are holding on, and may continue to do so with the help of Fox News and reactionary billionaire cash, but it is only by the skin of their teeth.
    So God Bless America for yet another great leap forward. May this be another advance on the road toward full and normalized citizenship for our LGBT brothers and sisters.

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  14. VTcrone says:

    I have friends from WV who say that Manchin is a Democrat in name only. They did not vote for him in this past election, nor did they vote for the other crazy running for Senator Byrd’s seat. So Manchin’s claim that he had a previous engagement was just his way of avoiding a “Yes” vote on DADT.

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  15. nadine says:

    questions, yes, the DREAM act focuses on the poster boys for amnesty, the good kids who came in as babies, to make palatable the rewarding of illegal behavior to the many who have not behaved illegally themselves — and there is nobody more steamed at the various amnesty schemes than those immigrants who waited and jumped through all the hoops to come here legally.
    “Nadine — those the Dream Act focuses on are already here through no fault of their own. Would you have them just be neglected, no route to citizenship at all? That’s a recipe for a lot more social dysfunction. Some time we don’t get the convenience of sequencing. ” (Steve Clemons)
    Steve, sorry, rewarding illegal behavior is a recipe for getting a lot more of it, esp. if you deliberately leave your doors unlocked. The border has been uncontrolled for years, despite a rising popular tide demanding something be done about it, as Mexican lawlessness spills over into the United States.
    Currently border patrol catches something like 200,000 crossers a year, and estimates they miss twice as many – and of the 400,000 missed, 10% already have US criminal records, and perhaps 10% are OTMs – other than Mexicans. From a law enforcement and national security standpoint, it’s an utter disaster. The TSA is patting down grannies, while 40,000 God-knows-who pour over our southern border.
    Thought there is plenty of blame to go around, the lion’s share must go to the Democratic Party (esp. in its current incarnation, hijacked by the radical left). The “sequencing” ploy is an utter crock. It’s not as if Republicans demand sequencing, while the Democrats are offering border security and the DREAM act together. The Democrats want no border security! They see illegal aliens as unregistered Democrats and want open borders with amnesty for all. If that turns Arizona and Texas and New Mexico into war zones, frankly they could care less.
    NO AMNESTY until the border is secure. This is a grassroots tide that DC has long been ignoring. You’ll see it as a main plank of the incoming Tea Party Republicans.

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  16. questions says:

    The DREAM Act focuses on a very limited population — under 30, in the country for 5 years already, college or military-bound (out of state tuition, by the way), no arrests….
    It’s a restricted population, not an “anchor baby boom”.
    These are people who are already here, already in English, already pretty much American, and willing to go to school or serve the country as a step on the path to citizenship — it’s not a grant of citizenship.
    These are people without a country, and we are morally bound to be that country. They are of us, we should welcome them.
    I hope Congress finds a new way through. It’s amazing how progressive the military can be in some ways, and that’s why maybe the thing to do is to make it a military path first. After all, we like sacrifice on the part of others more than we like to give. “Letting” them pay full fare for college is too kind to “law breakers”, but letting them risk their lives despite only provisional immigration status would seem to satisfy some primal issue people have. Hmmm.
    And by the way, Obama has deported vast vast vast quantities of people. He’s actually trying to secure the border by out-right-winging the right wing to gain the legitimacy to alter immigration policies.
    You can’t be what you are, you have to be the opposite to become what you really are. No wonder people find politicians so bizarre.

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  17. Steve Clemons says:

    Nadine — those the Dream Act focuses on are already here through no fault of their own. Would you have them just be neglected, no route to citizenship at all? That’s a recipe for a lot more social dysfunction. Some time we don’t get the convenience of sequencing. Your team may have stopped the wheels on this one but I’m sure you are wrong on this one. People who are here, who serve the country, who are not derelict and delinquent, should be given a chance to build here. That is what this nation is about. These people did not illegally slip into the country on their own… It’s not morally right to leave them in purgatory.

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  18. nadine says:

    The thing to do with the DREAM act, questions, is to secure the damn border FIRST before passing any more amnesty bills that will only make illegal immigration even more attractive than it already is. No secure border, no DREAM act, or any other form of amnesty the Democrats dream up.
    It will stalemate because the Democrats are all for illegal immigration (& never mind what it does to the working classes they are usually so “compassionate” over). The Democratic Party sees illegal aliens as unregistered Democrats. Pure and simple.

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  19. questions says:

    Way to go Steve!
    And kos is nailing Hagan and Tester on the DREAM Act, Tester most especially.
    It’s time to develop good historical memories and push on some of these “tough” votes.
    The DREAM Act isn’t a “tough” vote — it’s the right vote. It grants a path to citizenship for a very limited number of people who are Americans for the most part, who serve their country, obey the law, sacrifice, and do their best. These are model people who deserve better.
    DADT repeal also recognizes model citizens who serve.
    We should be grateful for these people, not dismissive.
    Here’s hoping the blogosphere will keep a living memory of the people who really voted against history, against a portion of their constituents. Often, sadly, votes don’t cost an MC a thing, but these votes should be kept alive.
    And maybe the thing to do for the DREAM Act is split it into 2 parts. Pass a military-only path to citizenship, and once we realize that we haven’t destroyed the known universe, we can move to the student version. And then, one day, we can move to the in-state tuition student version. Ya never know what happens to legislation that sits around long enough.
    Meanwhile, it’s time for Hollywood to step up to the plate — “Latino Eye for the Hardworking Guy” or whatever is a little catchier….. A sympathetic treatment of an undocumented Latino family — valedictorian cheerleader/football kids, charitable good works, usual family drama…one wants the military, one develops a cure for cancer IN HIGH SCHOOL…the tears pour and pour…..

    Reply

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