Thank You, Joe Manchin — and James Madison - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Thank You, Joe Manchin — and James Madison

For many Americans, Santa Claus arrived early this year — though instead of descending the chimney, he appeared in living rooms courtesy of Fox News Sunday, in the form of Sen. Joe Manchin.

As widely reported, Manchin told host Brett Baier that he could not vote for “Build Back Better,” the Democrats’ plan to transform the U.S. into a European-style entitlement state.

In keeping with precedent, the White House lied, claiming in a statement that the senator had broken commitments to the president and his party. (READ MORE: Biden’s Bullies)

The West Virginian has warned for weeks that he could not vote for the legislation, citing (among other concerns) its stupendous costs and the likelihood that it would worsen the Biden-made inflation spreading throughout the economy like the Omicron variant.

As the senator explained in his Fox News appearance, none of the so-called compromises have “shrunken what they’re trying to do.” He called out the White House and his Democratic colleagues for “not being genuine” about the legislation’s true costs to West Virginians and the American people.

By this, of course, Manchin means the fraudulent accounting being used by Democrats, whereby they make believe that the new entitlements will end in a few years — even though everyone knows that they fully intend to make them permanent.

Democrats’ media mouthpieces quickly pounced. “Hard to think of anyone more destructive,” tweeted the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin. “Democracy is hanging by a thread,” she warned. Wow — that must be some thread!

It’s a good bet that Sen. Manchin treats staffers and subordinates better than Lawrence O’Donnell, one of MSNBC’s blowhard anchors. (For your holiday viewing pleasure, his leaked, 2017 obscenity-filled tirade is worth a look!)

“A healthy democracy would not have a Senate with 2 per state,” tweeted the abusive O’Donnell on Sunday. Which is funny, given that the U.S. is the longest-running democracy on the planet.

Yet the sentiment, of course, is widespread on the left nowadays. Progressives hate that the Senate “shall be composed of two Senators from each State” under Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution for the same reason the Founders wanted it: as a check against centralized power and tyranny.

“[T]he equal vote allowed to each state is at once a constitutional recognition of the portion of sovereignty remaining in the individual States and an instrument for preserving that residuary sovereignty,” wrote James Madison in Federalist No. 62 (a document sometimes attributed to either Madison or Alexander Hamilton).

In either case, when the same essay observes that “the facility and excess of law-making seem to be the diseases to which our governments are most liable,” it could have been warning about Build Back Better.

“If I can’t go home and explain it to the people of West Virginia,” said Manchin on Sunday, “I can’t vote for it.”

Kudos to Mr. Manchin for not getting rolled by his fellow Democrats — and to James Madison and colleagues for giving West Virginians a say in the fate of our great Republic.

Ken Sondik is an attorney in Zionsville, Indiana. Reach him at

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