Quick note on Joe Manchin (D?-WV)

I know, I know, he’s like, practically a Republican, and it’s super disappointing he didn’t vote against cloture for Kavanaugh. I fking hate it, too.

But when the confirmation vote comes up, if his no vote makes it 50-50, I want him to vote yes, and you should, too, much though it may gall you. Because the shitty reality is that Kavanaugh’s popular in WV, and Manchin’s vulnerable. A tie means confirmation, because Pence casts the tie-breaker, making Manchin’s no vote symbolic at best. It’s likely to hurt him politically without accomplishing anything concrete.

Why do we care? Because the D after his name is meaningful. However individual members vote, who holds the majority confers a great big fucking fuckton of power (it’s why McConnell’s been able to wreak so much havoc since we gave the Rs the majority). Committee chairmanships, investigations with teeth, SETTING THE LEGISLATIVE AGENDA. Whatever can be done to make that more likely is what needs to happen right now, and fuck us all if it makes us sad. If we’ve learned anything these last two years, I hope we’ve learned that much, at least. You can’t do shit if you can’t work the levers.

It ain’t pretty, and it might not make you happy. It sure AF doesn’t make me happy. But we’re in a fight for our lives, our country, and the future of life on earth right now. There’s no more sacrificing tomorrow for someday. No more making the perfect the enemy of the good, or the good enough, or the best we can do right here right now. We might once have had that luxury, but if we did, we have squandered it. It’s gonna be trench warfare and suck for the foreseeable future, and every goddam inch counts.

So says this pragmatic progressive, who desperately hopes you agree.

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