Posts Tagged ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’
December 21st, 2010 at 11:10 pm
Joe Manchin Off to a Cowardly Start in the U.S. Senate
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West Virginia’s Joe Manchin was one of the most unlikely success stories of the 2010 midterm elections. Despite hailing from a state where President Obama’s approval ratings were hovering in the high 20s during election season, the conservative democrat relied on a combination of personal popularity and ideological distance from his party’s liberals wing (you may remember the campaign ad where he literally blew away the cap and trade bill) to claim a narrow victory in November.

Because Manchin is filling out the remainder of the late Robert Byrd’s term, he will have to face a re-election campaign in 2012 — and face a heightened level of scrutiny from West Virginia voters in the interim. But the man who claimed that he would boldly confront his party when necessary is instead skipping town every time a tough vote comes up. Thus, Manchin was conveniently celebrating an early Christmas with family in Pennsylvania over the weekend instead of casting a vote on the DREAM Act or the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Depending on how he voted, Manchin would have inevitably alienated either his liberal colleagues in Congress or his conservative constituents back home.  When pressed on his absenteeism, Manchin offered this feeble excuse to the West Virginia Metro News:

Manchin stresses before he left Washington he spoke with the sponsors of both bills and let them know he would not be present for the vote and how he would have voted if he were present.

“I was up front when I knew I would not be here on Saturday. I put that in the Congressional record because I didn’t want anybody to think that I wouldn’t make a vote or had intentionally missed a vote because it was a controversial issue,” the senator said. “I think that anybody who knows me, making decisions has not been hard for me.”

Let’s be clear: the only decision Manchin made was to not discharge his duty as a United States Senator. He can claim his intentions were clear (for the record, Manchin claims that he would have voted against both bills), but intentions and actions are two different things. And as Manchin well knows, the difference is that an actual vote can be used against you in campaign ads. If he doesn’t have the stomach for scrutiny, then he doesn’t have the stomach for the job.

October 14th, 2010 at 6:08 pm
Obama Shamelessly Pivots to Plead that His Hands Are Tied Whenever it Suits His Momentary Needs
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One year ago, the Obama Administration rammed through an auto bailout benefiting Big Labor that utterly obliterated the contractual rights of secured creditors.  Obama has also famously charged like a bull through a china gallery on ObamaCare, Arizona’s immigration enforcement law and myriad other issues.

Despite those abuses of authority, Obama shamelessly pivots to plead that his hands are tied whenever it suits his momentary needs.  Appearing on MTV today, Obama was confronted with an inconvenient question about his failure to make good on his sanctimonious promise to end the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.  His answer?  “It has to be done in a way that is orderly…  I do have an obligation to make sure that I’m following some of the rules.  I can’t simply ignore the laws that are out there, I’ve got to work to make sure that they are changed.”

Obama may soon be hoping to achieve a Clintonian recovery following a disastrous mid-term Congressional election, but his clumsiness to date doesn’t suggest that he’s in the same league as Slick Willie.