'Joe Manchin is the worst': Critics pile on senator after he declares opposition to DC statehood bill

'Joe Manchin is the worst': Critics pile on senator after he declares opposition to DC statehood bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – TODAY, Tuesday, April 5th, 2016 at 10:30am in S-120 in the Capitol Building, Senators Charles E. Schumer, Bill Nelson, Amy Klobuchar, Joe Manchin and Martin Heinrich will be joined by the Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson to announce a new proposal to strengthen U.S. airport security, Credit: Senate Democrats https://www.flickr.com/photos/sdmc/26229171156
Decoding the mysteries of Joe Manchin's cryptic statement on one of the Democrats' top priorities

If it's an important Democratic agenda priority chances are pretty good U.S. Senator Joe Manchin is opposed to it.

For the uninitiated, Manchin isn't some far right wing Republican like Louisiana Senator John Kennedy who hides behind a southern drawl and pretends he's just a regular guy who doesn't have a law degree (he does) and didn't attend Oxford (he did.)

No, Manchin has a bachelors in business from West Virginia University, and spent most of his adult life in politics. A decade as a state senator, four years as West Virginia Secretary of State, nearly six years as governor, and now more than 10 years as a U.S. Senator.

Casual observers might think he's a dyed in the wool Democrat, but Manchin ranks number 54 on the GovTrack list of U.S. Senators, with number one being the most conservative (Marsha Blackburn) and number 100 being the most liberal (Bernie Sanders).

How far to the right is Joe Manchin?

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, ranks number 53, meaning she is more liberal than Democrat Joe Manchin.

So, back to that progressive agenda that President Joe Biden is by all accounts doing an excellent job with.

Senator Manchin is not a fan.

On Friday Manchin declared opposition to yet another item on Biden's agenda: D.C. statehood.

To be clear, it's not that Manchin specifically wants to deprive Washington D.C.'s 689,545 or so residents the right to a voting member of Congress like residents in the 50 states have, nor does he want to deprive them of a U.S. Senator like residents in the 50 states have, he just thinks that the entire country should get to decide whether or not D.C. residents should have the same rights and representation that they do.

Just like, for example, civil rights for LGBTQ people.

Manchin opposes the Equality Act, another key agenda item on President Biden's list.

He also has long opposed same-sex marriage, and when the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015 ruled that same-sex couples have the same rights and responsibilities and different-sex couples, all Manchin could summon up to say was this:

β€œAmerica is a nation of laws, and we must respect and abide by the Supreme Court's decision."

Back to D.C.

"Sen. Joe Manchin III told reporters in his home state of West Virginia on Friday morning that he does not support the bill to make D.C. the nation's 51st state," The Washington Post reported early Friday evening.

Citing Presidents Reagan and Carter, Manchin declared, "If Congress wants to make D.C. a state, it should propose a constitutional amendment. It should propose a constitutional amendment and let the people of America vote."

(That's not how amendments to the Constitution work. There isn't a national vote, so his argument is ill-informed and fallacious.)

Because of course the entire country should vote on the rights of 700,000 people, even though it's perfectly legal for Congress to pass a bill to make D.C. a state.

Americans on social media are furious.

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