Joe Manchin, The Make-Believe Mugwump

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 01: Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., listens as US President Joe Biden delivers his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress, at the Capitol on March 01, 2022 in Washington, DC. During his first State of the Union address, Biden spoke on his administration’s efforts to lead a global response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, work to curb inflation, and bring the country out of the COVID-19 pandemic
(Photo by J. Scott Applewhite-Pool/Getty Images)

A mugwump is somebody who sits on a fence with his face, AKA the mug, on one side, and his derriere, AKA the wump, on the other. Historically, they are seen as politically independent, with allegiances to neither political party.

It’s supposed to be a bit of an insult, but Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) would like you to believe he’s a mugwump, despite the fact that he votes with President Joe Biden nearly 90% of the time — especially on big votes such as the Inflation Reduction Act.

Yet in order to stay politically relevant, he has to convince his state’s voters, who voted for former President Donald Trump by 40 points in 2020, that he is a maverick willing to take on the Democratic Establishment.

Yet rather than put his money where his mouth is, Manchin has taken to the opinion pages of The Wall Street Journal to lament that the Biden administration somehow tricked him into voting for the Inflation Reduction Act. Now, he says that the Democrats are violating what the law was intended to do, dubbing it “Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act Betrayal.”

Anybody with a brain knew that the “Inflation Reduction Act” would not reduce inflation. It was an over-bloated bill packed with special pet projects for the Dems. It was being touted as a “climate change” solutions bill even before it was passed. Anybody who knows anything knows that when the left talks about “climate change” solutions, they more often than not mean taking action against the fossil fuels industry — which Manchin’s state relies on for its economy and way of life.

“Yet instead of implementing the law as intended, unelected ideologues, bureaucrats, and appointees seem determined to violate and subvert the law to advance a partisan agenda that ignores both energy and fiscal security,” Manchin griped in The Journal.

Well, that’s sort of the Left’s entire shtick. The only logic behind their legislative goals is whatever can give Democrats more power. The issue at hand, in this case rising prices and extreme weather, are just window dressing so they can expand the government and enrich their friends.

“Specifically, they are ignoring the law’s intent to support and expand fossil energy and are redefining ‘domestic energy’ to increase clean-energy spending to potentially deficit-breaking levels,” he continued.


Manchin prefaces his concerns based on the national debt. He argues his colleagues are radical, and that “the only person who can rein in this extremism is Mr. Biden.”

His argument doesn’t make any sense. Biden is the one who signed the law — as well as other big spending packages that Manchin gleefully supported. Why would he “rein in” his party? They are doing exactly what he wanted.

A far more likely scenario is that Manchin now has a viable GOP challenger — current Governor Jim Justice. Justice is a 6’7, 368 lbs. or so, and the state’s wealthiest man to the tune of at least $500 million dollars.

In other words, he could be the guy to knock off Manchin.

Yet perhaps Manchin played his cards right and can now count on Democratic support to keep him in the game. “I vote with you when it matters most,” one can hear him tell his party coffers in hopes of getting all the funding he needs.

Plus, there is precedent for political kickbacks for Manchin. Keep in mind that Biden already gave Manchin’s wife a cushy job as federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission in 2021. That position came around the same time as he cast the 50th vote for Biden’s American Rescue Plan.

Now, he’s feigning outrage that he has been bamboozled by his own colleagues.

He doesn’t deserve any sympathy. He’s a fool at best for trusting the president, or a charlatan trying to con his state’s voters into believing that he’s on their side. Like all things in life, it is probably a combination of the two. He’s the make-believe mugwump, squarely aligned with the Democrats.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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