Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), in an op-ed published Sunday, explained why he will not be supporting the left’s controversial “For the People Act” — the House-passed bill which would strip states of their ability to implement basic election safeguards, effectively nationalizing U.S. elections — prompting anger and frustration among far-left Democrats who are accusing him of helping the GOP “preserve white power in America.”
The moderate Democrat, whom progressive Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) has described as “the new Mitch McConnell,” detailed his opposition to the bill, contending that “voting and election reform that is done in a partisan manner will all but ensure partisan divisions continue to deepen.”
“I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy, and for that reason, I will vote against the For the People Act,” he explained, assuring he will also not vote to “weaken or eliminate the filibuster.”
“I think it will divide us further,” Manchin said during an appearance on Fox News, defending his decision. “I don’t want to be in a country divided any further than I’m in right now.”
Prominent progressives swiftly lashed out. After calling him “the new Mitch McConnell,” Bowman, accused the West Virginia Democrat of “doing the work of the Republican Party by being an obstructionist”:
Joe Manchin is the new Mitch McConnell.
His obstruction of President Biden’s agenda doesn’t serve the American people, Republican or Democrat. It serves corporate interests. pic.twitter.com/ityKikPC8k
— Jamaal Bowman (@JamaalBowmanNY) June 7, 2021
Far-left “Squad” member Ilhan Omar (D-MN) also weighed in, concluding that Republicans do not support the election overhaul because it “gets in the way of Republican plans to undermine elections”:
The reason this bill has no Republican support is because it gets in the way of Republican plans to undermine elections.
This bill protects our democracy from Republican attempts to dismantle it. https://t.co/I2ES955i1q
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) June 7, 2021
Left-wing MSNBC host Joy Reid asked:
Is there any point to the @NAACP and other civil rights groups meeting with @Sen_JoeManchin at this point? Wouldn’t that be roughly like having MLK sit down with ole Strom Thurmond to discuss the filibuster and the Voting Rights Act in 1965?
“Manchin has told y’all who he is,” she asserted:
It seems well past time for @SenSchumer to put the individual components of S1 on the floor and see how many of them Manchin votes against. Because the presumption that West Virginia Joe favors voting rights seems like a huge stretch at this point.
— Joy-Ann (Pro-Democracy) Reid 😷 (@JoyAnnReid) June 7, 2021
Democrat David Weissman said:
Everything that I learned about what a Democrat stood for, makes me wonder why Joe Manchin is a member of our party? Why can’t he understand that Republicans do not want bipartisanship, they want to control and he continues to give them what they want?:
Everything that I learned about what a Democrat stood for, makes me wonder why Joe Manchin is a member of our party? Why can’t he understand that Republicans do not want bipartisanship, they want to control and he continues to give them what they want?
— David Weissman (@davidmweissman) June 7, 2021
“Republicans are one step closer to destroying our Democracy thanks to @Sen_JoeManchin,” Scott Huffman, a Democrat congressional candidate in North Carolina, asserted:
Republicans are one step closer to destroying our Democracy thanks to @Sen_JoeManchin.
— Scott Huffman #Vaccinated (@HuffmanForNC) June 7, 2021
Progressive talk show host Thom Hartmann concluded that the GOP is “fighting to preserve white power in America,” adding that Manchin “just joined their side”:
The GOP is fighting to preserve white power in America. Joe Manchin just joined their side. https://t.co/oU4izidhFm
— Thom Hartmann (@Thom_Hartmann) June 7, 2021
Even pop superstar Cher jumped in the mix, deeming Manchin a traitor:
Joe Manchin & Kirsten
Gillibrand Aren’t Democrats They’re TRAITORS.If There Is Any Way 4 NEW YORKERS 2 KICK HER OUT OF SENATE They Must Try Be4 She Hands Our Country 2 trump & His Criminals. These Fake Democrats Are Single Handedly Sabotaging PRES.BIDEN’S Plans 2 Help🇺🇸’n Ppl
— Cher (@cher) June 7, 2021
The For the People Act, which passed in the Democrat-led House in early March, would essentially overhaul the U.S. election system, stripping states of their ability to implement basic election integrity safeguards, such as voter ID requirements or bans on ballot harvesting.
The bill also provides protection for illegal aliens who are registered to vote, prevents states from purging ineligible voters from rolls, and makes nationwide vote-by-mail without photo ID a reality.
Twenty attorneys general signed a letter at the time of the bill’s passage, warning they will “seek legal remedies to protect the Constitution, the sovereignty of all states, our elections, and the rights of our citizens” if the bill becomes a law.