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U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WVa) departs after a classified intelligence briefing with members of Congress on the crisis in Syria on Capitol Hill in Washington, September 5, 2013. REUTERS/Larry Downing
Both sides do it! But the Kochs are just peachy—Sen. Joe Manchin
In 2012, it was Cory Booker defending Bain Capital. Now it's West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin defending the Kochs.  
“People want jobs. You don’t beat up people. I mean, I don’t agree with their politics or philosophically, but, you know, they’re Americans, they’re doing— paying their taxes,” Manchin said on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends.”

“They’re not breaking the law. They’re providing jobs,” he added.

I didn't realize anyone said the Kochs were breaking the law. The issue is whether a small group of individuals can use money to dominate a debate. The Koch brothers are certainly trying to do so, and that's not a good sign for healthy functional democracy. The fact that they pay taxes or provide jobs is irrelevant. They are already richly rewarded for their commercial activities.
“If you’re trying to rally the base, the bases have already been rallied. The right and left bases have been rallied,” Manchin said. “It’s us in the middle that have to start making something happen here in Washington to move this country forward.”
The bases haven't been rallied. Well, maybe Republicans have, since they think they're saving the nation from the Obamacare Hitler. But Democratic turnout will be down and must be rallied in order to have a chance at victory.
Machin, who also served as governor of West Virginia, said harsh rhetoric from either side does little to help the country.

“Right, wrong or indifferent, whether you like the politicians, or not. There’s people who don’t like the extreme Democrat politics or extreme Republican politics, we got to start being Americans again,” the senator said.

Sounds good! We can all look forward to Manchin speaking out against "extreme Republican politics", right? Like all that Koch rhetoric that fact checker after fact checker has proven to be full of shit?

Obviously Manchin is doing what he thinks he needs to do to survive in his state, one which is turning redder by the day. Maybe the Koch brothers will be so overwhelmed with gratitude at the kind words that they give him a pass in 2016 ... ha ha ha ha ha! Yeah, who is kidding who? He's defending the guys who will happily blow him to oblivion next time he faces the voters.

Originally posted to kos on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 12:09 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  sometimes prophylactic actions aren't needed (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ichibon, MPociask, wader
    Obviously Manchin is doing what he thinks he needs to do to survive in his state, one which is turning Redder by the day. Maybe the Koch brothers will be so overwhelmed with gratitude at the kind words that they give him a pass in 2016... Ha ha ha ha ha! Yeah, who is kidding who? He's defending the guys who will happily blow him to oblivion next time he faces the voters.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 12:12:49 PM PDT

  •  Take me home....Country roads. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    i saw an old tree today, wader
  •  There's A Reason....He Wants To Keep His Job (3+ / 0-)

    Manchin is walking the line here.  He can now say "See, I stood up for the Kochs" to all the right wingers in his state.

    It's survival.  He votes the right way much of the time.  He can stay.  

    •  Yup. (7+ / 0-)

      I'm not going to get too upset about this. Manchin has STILL been better than I thought he would be. That may not be saying much but it's the truth.

      Why do I have the feeling George W. Bush joined the Stonecutters, ate a mess of ribs, and used the Constitution as a napkin?

      by Matt Z on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 12:40:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Also I would like to gently point out (6+ / 0-)

        that Manchin is the most popular politician in West Virginia. He won his last election by ten points and was considered a "Safe Dem" by Nate Silver the entire cycle. I really don't think we progressives need to lecture him about how to play politics in his state. He's doing just fine without us. We offer no threat to him. At all. He doesn't NEED to court progressives in West Virginia. It would be bad politics if he did. And he's WAAAYYY better at this stuff than I thought any Dem in WV would be. That anti-NRA commercial was a thing of beauty. I'm still astonished at how clever it was the make the NRA seem like an outside special interest group. It was SO clever I'm a little bit miffed that Manchin was the first one of us to do it. It seems so obvious in hindsight. "You KNOW me, West Virginia". Absolutely brilliant.

        I would be surprised if Republicans fielded a serious challenge against him the next election. He's not going anywhere and will be a pain in the ass for us as long as he wants to be.

        Why do I have the feeling George W. Bush joined the Stonecutters, ate a mess of ribs, and used the Constitution as a napkin?

        by Matt Z on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 01:31:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Wrong!!!!! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sgruver, bleedingheartliberal218

      Manchin is the only democratic member of the Koch funded Alec.

      He also is rumored to have been the one behind "Democrats for Underwood" a group designed to strip away democratic votes from a very populist WV democratic candidate for governor who defeated him in the primaries, and eventually lost to a coal company favored candidate.

      Manchin is doing this because he believes if we only appease the corporate overlords enough they will trickle down jobs and prosperity on us.

      It's a mindset in WV that extends back to the paternalistic way the coal companies originially brought and treated workers here.

    •  The problem with this (0+ / 0-)

      is that the right wingers in the state don't actually care about the Kochs.

      The Kochs are, essentially, the right-wing version of "liberal elites."  Most Republican voters could really care less about them.

      29, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

      by TDDVandy on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 01:52:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  West Va Voters: (3+ / 0-)

    We donated our soul to the company store.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 12:26:53 PM PDT

  •  About once a month Manchin utters a (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    a few sentences that make sense.  And we do know he is no "middle Joe."  No one takes a middle position anymore.

  •  "Democrat politics"? (10+ / 0-)

    Wouldn't that be Democratic politics? Which party does he belong to?

    I'm no philosopher, I am no poet, I'm just trying to help you out - Gomez (from the song Hamoa Beach)

    by jhecht on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 12:43:02 PM PDT

  •  This is the epitomy of why this country (3+ / 0-)

    Is going the way it is.  There was a time (FDR) when a Pol did not take it, but spoke truth to power and was not afraid of the big bad wolves with money.  

  •  Joe (2+ / 0-)

    Go to hell, Joe!!  Just because you are a WV coal sucking douche, you shouldn't be glorifying the KOCH BROS assault on our Democracy!!  if you can't be a Democrat, then just change sides!!

  •  He's the coal senator (5+ / 0-)

    Manchin made millions as a coal broker (Enersystems, now run by his son). As governor, he repeatedly urged regulators to take a positive attitude toward business and not hassle coal mines. He is partly to blame for the fatal explosion at the Big Branch mine. He's not worried about Citizens United, the McCutcheon decision, etc because those decisions favored his people.  Of course, he's not all bad. There may be situations where I would vote for him- for example, I'd take him over  McCain or McConnell, but if you defend him, you are supporting the 1%.

    •  Good on ya, mate (0+ / 0-)

      He's as crooked as they come, as far as I'm concerned. He voted for his OWN POCKETBOOK over any other interest--because of the company he OWNS.

      Markos is right, except he should have known about Enersystems. That is the REAL reason he did what he did.

      "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

      by DaddyO on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 06:58:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Already diaried. Please delete. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    i saw an old tree today

    heh

    NSA: The Only Part of the Government that Listens to You :o(

    by JVolvo on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 01:27:25 PM PDT

  •  Does he need a reason other than being a DINO? (2+ / 0-)

    In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry, and is generally considered to have been a bad move. -- Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    by boriscleto on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 01:35:27 PM PDT

  •  Extreme Democrat politics? (4+ / 0-)

    I wish. Could someone provide an example?
    What I see is Dem's trying, and failing to find compromise with an intransigent Republican party.
    I get what Manchin's doing, but trying to paint the D's and R's with the same brush isn't fair.

    •  neither side is doing much compromising.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AlexDrew

      Washington is in a perpetual state of total gridlock.

      Reid won't allow any amendments from the minority, and Boehner freezes out Pelosi and her minority..

      •  I'm not sure if (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aquarius40, wvmom, JVolvo

        You're ill informed or what. But the reason Reid won't allow amendments is that all the amendments are truly terrible pieces of legislation that would further harm this country and generally have nothing to do with the original bill in question. Examples include trying to ammend evey bill with an ACA repeal measure, or trying to gut food stamps so poor people can go even hungrier. That's the kind of "compromise" you want?  

        "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."

        by dankester on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 02:01:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He wasn't arguing the merits of legislation (0+ / 0-)

          He was pointing out that by not allowing amendments on certain bills, it adds more poison to an already toxic environment. Our hands are not clean.

          New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

          by AlexDrew on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 03:39:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What a preposterous argument (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JVolvo

            That by not allowing their radical agenda through even more than it already has been enacted, we have contributed to the toxicity.  

            So there is a reasonable amount of destruction and outright killing of vulnerable people through degradation and kleptocracy we should agree upon?  

            "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."

            by dankester on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 04:43:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Allowing a vote is not the same as (0+ / 0-)

              allowing it "through". Reality. Based. Community. When Bob Dole did this, i did not go over well with us either. We do not have clean hands my friend.

              As for your second paragraph, how did you end up there?

              New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

              by AlexDrew on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 05:09:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, cuz Repubs wanted to cooperate and be (0+ / 0-)

            all bipartisany with Pres Obama.  Look at ALL the nominees they've cheerfully passed.  And they were this close to helping us on PPACA...then Reid hurt their feelings.

            Sheesh Alex.  With this, your support of Cuomo and charter schools, and your charming Schumer (D-Wall St) quote (is this how YOU feel about "left-wing blogs"?) I continue to wonder if this is the best place for your views.

            NSA: The Only Part of the Government that Listens to You :o(

            by JVolvo on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 05:39:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  As for Cuomo, he was elected with 62.6% (0+ / 0-)

              of the vote, not bad eh. If you line up his stance on issues with people on this blog, they would match up over 90% of the time.

              As for charters, in inner cities/blue cities, there are some shitty schools going back generations. Parents are tired of the cycle repeating itself. They deserve a choice. Charters will fade if certain people allow public schools to be fixed.

              As for Schumer, the quote is there to remind everyone how progressive blogs are looked upon by most elected officials. Most of the blogs have gone from activism to become debate societies. I suspect the activism would come back overnight if we ever lose the White House again.

              New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

              by AlexDrew on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 04:24:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Saw Manchin on Morning Joe Monday or Tuesday (3+ / 0-)

    getting ready for work. He was talking about equal pay and how it shouldn't be political. Someone (not sure who) started to hint that it was political to oppose it, but Manchin appeared to me to bristle and suggest it was politically motivated from the Left.

    At the time we were running late and I'm still not sure I was reading him right, but it bothered me and my comment to my wife was "That's rich coming from him. He's barely a Democrat."

    Her response irritated me even further, because for her "he's on the right side of this issue" which is true, but as I told her stopped clocks are right every 12 hours but you can't rely on them to tell the time.

    Then she was irritated at me for being irritated at her, and really I was just irritated at joe Manchin and Dems like him.

    SO, fuck Joe Manchin. How about them apples?

  •  I don't believe he's doing it for no reason. (0+ / 0-)

    Joe Manchin is too good a politician for that.

    So the question becomes, what's the reason?

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 01:42:47 PM PDT

    •  My guess is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aquarius40, JVolvo

      that Manchin is doing the old "moderate Republican" dance, only in reverse.

      The "moderate" Northeastern Republicans (i.e. Chris Christie) have figured out that being "moderate" essentially means pushing a conservative agenda on substantive issues while breaking with their party on giant nothingburgers like, say, Sandy relief (okay, Sandy relief isn't a giant nothingburger, but the fact that thinking the federal government should help was controversial shows how far off the rails the Republicans have gotten) in order to look moderate.

      Manchin here gets to publicly look like a moderate while not actually doing anything.  Not as though he's actually casting a vote for anything.  Similar to Booker, who went on national TV to defend Bain to stop his Wall Street donors from freaking out.  It's really a giant nothingburger.

      (Now, Manchin's voting record, on the other hand...)

      29, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

      by TDDVandy on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 01:57:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Do you think perhaps he is thinking of switching (0+ / 0-)

      parties?

      I really don't know much about him, but I do recall hearing rumors of such.

      Hedging his bets come November's Senate results?

      •  I doubt it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JJ In Illinois

        He would  still vote about the same and in 2016 the democrats will probably take back the senate if they lose it. Also people that switch parties usually end up losing in a primary to a real republican.
        I think Once Obama is gone democrats may do better in WV. My daughter lives there and people just don't like having a black man as president, who they think hates coal.
        Pretty strange state, very poor and depends on the govt but elects people that work against their interest.

    •  He OWNS a coal brokerage (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JVolvo

      I haven't yet seen anyone remark on this plain fact. He is helping not just the Kochs, not just the coal interests in his state (which run EVERYTHING in that miserable land), but his OWN interests as well.

      Made $3M between 2009 and 2012. You can't expect a man to vote to make HIMSELF broke any more than you could expect George W. Bush not to give HIMSELF a tax cut.

      "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

      by DaddyO on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 06:55:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  C.S. Lewis: "Hell breaks it's tools (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    i saw an old tree today, JVolvo

    when it has no further use for them "

    And Lewis never said "heck" when he meant "Hell."

  •  Serving the whims of hegemony (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JVolvo

    is the purpose served by declaring the Kochs to be "centrists m oving America forward."  It's pragmatic!  Just like supporting George Bush's Iraq War was.  Find me a case of Dem "pragmatism" of the last 20 years that doesn't line up neatly with corporate self-interest.  Good luck.

    Pay no attention to the upward redistribution of wealth!

    by ActivistGuy on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 01:47:44 PM PDT

  •  Good quote (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MPociask
    ha ha ha ha ha! Yeah, who is kidding who? He's defending the guys who will happily blow him to oblivion next time he faces the voters.
    Right. Obama thought the same thing. That he could reach out and compromise and make himself be the voice of reason.

    Obama is considerably smarter than Manchin and also has WAY less of an ego. He wasn't able to do it.

    Manchin will be defeated in WV next time he runs due to his gun control efforts. No amount of sucking up to business is gonna help.

  •  the perfect example of a spineless Dem. here! (0+ / 0-)
  •  Joe LieberManchin (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JVolvo

    Conservatives seem to believe that the rich will work harder if we give them more, and the poor will work harder if we give them less. E.J. Dionne

    by blueyescryinintherain on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 01:52:45 PM PDT

  •  I wonder what they got on him. (0+ / 0-)

    "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

    by nosleep4u on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 01:57:44 PM PDT

  •  Another crook and liar. (0+ / 0-)

    He's been bought. Again.

    He just undid everything that Harry Reid has been trying to accomplish. It's all just more white noise, now.

    It's pitch fork time.

    What is so unnerving about the candidacy of Sarah Palin is the degree to which she represents—and her supporters celebrate—the joyful marriage of confidence and ignorance. SAM HARRIS

    by Cpqemp on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 01:59:32 PM PDT

  •  His reelection will be (0+ / 0-)

    2018 not 2016

  •  We still need Manchin ! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    some other george

    Considering how conservative W. Virginia is, he is probably the best we are going to get, at least for now. If we have a chance at keeping control of the Senate in November, we have to "work with what we got". At least Joe Manchin votes with the Democrats MOST of the time. I'm worried about that OTHER seat, the one being vacated by Jay Rockefeller. That could flip over to the GOP. We can only hope and pray that it won't.

    I wonder what percentage of West Virginia residents have any access to a TV station that shows MSNBC. Just because it is available on cable TV may not be a guarantee that any local affiliate carries it. Perhaps some Kossack in that state can let us know about that. I can't help but think that having that would help that state become a bit less red. What percentage of the state has any access to a radio station with liberal talkers such as Thom Hartmann or Ed Schultz. If the Dems are smart, they will use their financial resources in W. Virginia to do whatever they can to make sure that W. Virginia residents have access  to these vital media sources of Democratic viewpoint.

    "Love Is Why We're Here"

    by Paniolo Joe on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 02:19:02 PM PDT

  •  Joe Manchin Primer (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bleedingheartliberal218, JVolvo

    Here is what you need to know when mentioning Senator Joe Manchin.

    He and WV Governor Earl Ray Tomblin did not attend the last Democratic National Convention. Yes that is correct, politicians skipping their party's national convention? Humm, I wonder why?

    He has became a millionaire while Governor of West Virginia, a very poor state that is listed last in everything that matters.

    He got caught attempting to buy his daughter Heather Bresh an MBA from West Virginia University. Which basically destroyed the business schools and its previous graduates reputations overnight.

    He had highway signs put up saying "West Virginia, Open for Business".

  •  Koch = Fossil Fuels = Manchin hearts (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JVolvo

    The connection is that the Koch brothers make their money off of fossil fuels, and Joe Manchin loves fossil fuels.  So Manchin will object to anyone bashing the fossil fuel industry.

  •  The problem is that neither Congress nor the (0+ / 0-)

    Courts have ever found a valid way to distinguish between the free speech / campaign spending rights of one big Fat Cat (i.e. a Koch) and, say, the SEUI, who are on a level playing field when it comes to spending.

    Both sides of the aisle want their guys to be able to spend freely, and limit the right of the other side to speak.  Sadly, I don't see how you do that fairly.   Until someone figures out how to do that, the right to unrestricted political speech will be unfettered.  

    If you get confused, listen to the music play - R. Hunter

    by SpamNunn on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 02:52:58 PM PDT

  •  They're not breaking the laws.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bleedingheartliberal218, JVolvo

    ..that they WROTE..

    "You can't run a country by a book of religion. Dumb all over, a little ugly on the side." Frank Zappa

    by Uosdwis on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 03:16:55 PM PDT

  •  Fossil fuel $$$$$$$ (0+ / 0-)

    Joe Manchin probably out-awfuls Mark Pryor in the competition of the ConservaDems. If he loses in 2018, he will not be missed.

  •  joe manchin (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bleedingheartliberal218

    another dem in name only.

  •  in a way, he's right . . . . (0+ / 0-)

    The Kochs are not (as far as we know) doing anything illegal.

    That illustrates precisely the problem with campaign-finance laws.

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 04:20:04 PM PDT

  •  Lots of things they do SHOULD be illegal. (0+ / 0-)

    Lots of things they do SHOULD be illegal--if they aren't already.

    How about getting tax write-offs for donations to all sorts of right-wing political groups that pretend that they exist for "educational purposes."  (Yes, such groups are wrong on the left, too.)

    How about hiding your donations behind layers of corporate veils?

    How about groups that fund political advertising not being transparent and having to tell who their donors are?

    And what about their everyday personal taxes?  Do they pull rankly illegal stunts like the way Mitt Romney pays himself million-dollar salaries from the companies he buys in order to bankrupt them, and then reports the salaries as investment returns rather than ordinary income?  And the I.R.S. can't be bothered to sue the evil, company-destroying, tax-avoiding scumbag?  Yeah, not to mention all the tax-haven money-hiding, money-laundering schemes.

    Wouldn't the Koch brothers have to be pulling some of this crap, too?  Why, it's the only "sensible" way to handle one's tax-avoidance and estate-planning!

  •  Piss on him: He's another sellout. (0+ / 0-)

    “My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up there." - Rumi

    by LamontCranston on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 06:43:35 PM PDT

  •  Oh, there's a REAL reason, Markos (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JVolvo

    In an April 7 2014 New Yorker article by Evan Osnos I read last week about the West Virginia chemical spill, it was made known that Joe Manchin OWNS a middleman company called Enersystems that supplies coal to energy companies. Well, he owned it until he became a governor and Senator; according to his financial disclosure forms for the Senate,  he 'gave' it to his son to run. But he earned THREE MILLION DOLLARS between 2009 and 2012. No one in West Virginia, especially a mere politician, does ANYTHING without the coal industry's permission.

    He's in it up to his fucking neck. You need to start putting a (D-Inc) behind his crooked corporate ass's name.

    "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

    by DaddyO on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 06:52:31 PM PDT

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