Moderate Democrats Don’t Exist. Just Look At Joe Manchin. - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Moderate Democrats Don’t Exist. Just Look At Joe Manchin.
Sen. Joe Manchin on Jul. 31, 2022 (NBC News/YouTube)

Whatever you do, do not get fooled by the idea that the Democrat running for Congress or the Senate or something down the ballot as picayune as the local school board is a “moderate” or a “centrist.”

We’ll prove it.

Sure, there are “moderates” and “centrists” within the Democrat Party’s electorate. A decent number of them, actually. It’s maybe a third of their voters, which is a lot less than it used to be. But those voters do not produce candidates in major elections — or really even in minor ones anymore.

Why? Because you can’t raise money as a Democrat if you don’t hew to the hardcore radical leftist line. And there aren’t many votes for you, either. Here’s a recent poll that proves it:

See that 35 percent? That’s the nonradical contingent in the Democrat Party. They’re the ones who think it’s terrible that people would riot over a street criminal dying of a fentanyl overdose while in police custody, object to kneeling during the national anthem, contemplate violence toward people who would attempt to turn their kids trans, and seethe over high gas prices amid the federal government declaring war on domestic energy producers.

Those people have no representation in the Democrat Party anymore because the majority within that party hates them every bit as much as they hate Republicans. Perhaps even more because the new leftist majority in the Democrat Party knows that it can’t engage in open political warfare against them for fear of them leaving the party outright and destroying what’s left of the current political consensus.

And that current political consensus doesn’t really exist anymore, you know. It was forged between William F. Buckley conservatives and Daniel Patrick Moynihan liberals, neither of which exist in active quantities in 2022. But should it fall so completely away that no emanations or penumbras of it are left apparent and the “moderate” and “centrist” Democrats no longer have anything like a political home in which their votes and activism might rest, well …

At that point, the 60-32 opposition to socialism in the Fox News poll above then becomes the basis for a new political consensus centered around what I call revivalism in my book, appropriately titled The Revivalist Manifesto.

This is a problem for the hard-left masters of the Democrat Party. But they’ve managed to craft a workaround, if not a solution.

It’s easy. They just lie.

They present leftists as moderates and hope the rubes will buy it. That’s why you see a running-dog communist lackey like Tim Ryan attempting to present himself as a “moderate” in the Ohio Senate race, at least until his Republican opponent, J.D. Vance, abjectly mauled him again and again on the question in their most recent debate.

It’s also why Sen. Joe Manchin keeps getting brought up as an example of Democrats embracing the political middle in this country.

Which is also a fraud, and an instructive fraud at that.

The fraud is necessary because Manchin represents West Virginia, one of the most staunchly conservative states in every respect — culturally, economically, and politically.

West Virginians believe in Christianity rather than wokeness, they believe in men and women rather than … whatever it is the Democrats are attempting to craft out of our children, they believe in the Second Amendment, a free-market economy rather than the corporate fascist oligopoly that has increasingly replaced it, and they believe in limited government rather than the totalitarian state the Democrats are willy-nilly imposing on us.

You can’t sell Democratic National Committee politics to Joe Manchin’s constituents. Which is why you have to offer him up as a heroic figure standing up to the likes of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi within his own party.

And that’s a fraud. I’ll give you a perfect example of how.

The Democrats insisted on getting Manchin’s vote for the non-inflation-reducing Inflation Reduction Act, but, for a time, he held out in order to secure a piece of legislation he was sponsoring.

What was it? It would have to be a “moderate” and “centrist” measure to have come from such a middle-of-the-road political figure, right?

Wrong. What Manchin said he wanted was a “permitting reform” bill, the Energy Independence and Security Act, and he advertised it as a means to turbocharge the construction of energy transmission infrastructure — chiefly power lines and pipelines.

But it was unmitigated garbage, and, more to the point, it was a payoff to the wind and solar crowd.

In a letter to Manchin and his fellow senators, Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Eric Skrmetta explained, “The legislation suffers from a fatal flaw; specifically regarding the transmission provisions in the continuing resolution that shall eviscerate state regulatory authority over their own transmission planning, resources and energy policies.”

Specifically, Skrmetta wrote, Manchin’s bill would allow the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to simply override state energy regulators whenever it wanted in order to build transmission lines and then allocate the costs of those lines not to the ratepayers benefiting from them, but rather on a pro rata basis.

Meaning that if the construction of power lines feeding into Chicago from power plants in Nebraska would currently be paid for by Chicagoans, those costs would, under Manchin’s plan, be socialized among the people of Iowa and downstate Illinois as well.

It’s worse than that. As the Hill’s Robert Bryce noted:

The bill gives the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), in conjunction with the Secretary of Energy, the authority to big foot the states if they determine transmission lines are in the “national interest” and if they “enhance the ability of facilities that generate or transmit firm or intermittent energy to connect to the electric grid.” (For those of you scoring at home, see page 78 of the 91-page bill.) Indeed, the language of the bill makes it clear that America’s national interest should be handcuffed to weather-dependent renewables that require staggering amounts of land and whose supply chains depend heavily on metals, minerals and magnets that are produced almost exclusively in China.

The bill will allow blue states (think California, Massachusetts and New York) with aggressive renewable-energy mandates to force residents of neighboring states (think Utah, Maine and New Hampshire) to accept hundreds of 200-foot-high towers and the lines that connect them, so the states that want more renewables can meet their goals.

In addition, it gives FERC the authority to decide how it allocates the cost of the transmission projects. That means FERC can socialize the cost of the new projects onto residents of states that don’t get any of the juice being moved over the new transmission lines.

Manchin gave a rationale for this in a plaintive whine before the bill was killed. According to America’s most famous “centrist” senator, “You can’t build anything in America today. So if you want to have transmission lines … you’re going to have to have it.”

But transmission lines get built all the time in America today. What gets opposition is transmission infrastructure to support the gigantic bird-threshers and bird-fryers being built across the country in the form of wind and solar farms because people who’ve seen what those look like and how well they work are increasingly opposed to the idea that massive amounts of land be taken up by wind turbines or solar panels and huge swaths be cut through the countryside to carry the intermittent power they produce to populated areas.

In other words, Manchin is carrying water for the wind and solar mob, weaponizing the federal Deep State to override state regulators who are as often as not elected officials responsive to citizens.

And this is a “moderate,” “centrist” Democrat.

In other words, a unicorn.

Joe Manchin is only a centrist in the sense that he’s from West Virginia, and if he doesn’t give a show toward the middle, he would be politically dead.

This has been explained to him. He exists as controlled opposition within the Democrat Party to give hope to that 35 percent of its electorate who reject socialism and haven’t yet realized they’re politically homeless.

But we can’t afford such lies anymore. Not in the condition another fraudulent “moderate,” the doddering pervert slurping ice cream while touting our “strong as hell” recessionary economy who occupies the White House, has left us in. Remember this when you’re told that it’s MAGA revivalist candidates who are the “extremists” and that people like Manchin and Tim Ryan are safe electoral choices.

Scott McKay
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Scott McKay is a contributing editor at The American Spectator  and publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics, and, a national political news aggregation and opinion site. Additionally, he's the author of the new book The Revivalist Manifesto: How Patriots Can Win The Next American Era, available at He’s also a writer of fiction — check out his three Tales of Ardenia novels Animus, Perdition and Retribution at Amazon. Scott's other project is The Speakeasy, a free-speech social and news app with benefits - check it out here.
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