- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Sen. Joe Manchin III, a Democrat from West Virginia, said a somewhat firm “no” to President Biden’s signature Build Back Better agenda, putting a nail, at least for the time being, in the Pandora’s box of massive spending and entitlement disbursements that would have shot the nation far down the field toward socialism.

That’s good news — for now. For a while. But putting America’s future and the fate of the Constitution into the hands of a sole Democrat is unsettling, at best.

Manchin, after all, is still a Democrat. And as a Democrat, he’s voted Democrat the vast majority of time.

Moreover, he’s a Biden-supporting Democrat the vast majority of the time — the 97% vast majority of the time, in fact. That’s according to a voting analysis conducted by FiveThirtyEight.com and updated through Dec. 14, when Manchin voted to increase the debt limit.

Prior, he opposed the White House position on COVID-19 vaccine and testing rules for businesses. But that’s his only deviation from Biden’s wish and will.

Manchin has a long line of voting with Team Biden on everything — on every single thing. On Aug. 11, Manchin sided with Biden to pass a $3.5 trillion budget plan. On June 22, Manchin supported Biden with a vote to change election laws. On May 28, Manchin pressed the Biden button to create a Jan. 6 investigatory commission. On March 18, Manchin OK’d the Biden pick of Xavier Becerra— a far-leftist — for Health and Human Services secretary. On March 10, Manchin gave the thumbs up to Biden’s pick of Merrick Garland — another leftist — for attorney general. On Jan. 25, Manchin said yes to Biden’s preference of Janet Yellen for treasury secretary.

In fact, Manchin supported about every far-leftist Biden picked for his Cabinet positions, even voting to grant a waiver so that Lloyd Austin could be nominated as defense secretary. Austin needed the waiver because he was five years shy of meeting the requirement that secretaries of defense must be retired from active service for at least seven years before assuming a lead role over the heavily politicized, heftily funded, mightily lobbied Pentagon. A day later, Manchin then chose the Biden ticket once again by voting for Austin’s nomination to defense secretary. A couple weeks later, Manchin once again sided with Biden and voted to confirm Austin at the Department of Defense.

We’ve all seen how well that’s turned out. Can you say Afghanistan? How about disaster? The Biden-Austin playbook for Afghanistan doesn’t seem so much one of “no man left behind” as “all men left behind.” It’s interesting that Austin had been deemed such a great military leader to this administration — to Manchin, too — that all other candidates, all other military potentials, all other military service members were pushed aside for his waiver. That’s not an oops. That’s just horribly bad judgment.

But that’s Biden. That’s the Biden White House.

And peel back the layers, peak at the voting records, peer beyond the rhetoric and media messaging, and it’s evident: That’s Manchin, as well.

If this is the guy who’s holding the gate key on Build Back Better and massive entitlement spending that will advance radical environmentalism and social justice socialism in America — then America is in trouble.

Actually, America is in trouble right now no matter what. If this country has come to the point where a massively and obviously socialist redistribution-of-wealth scheme like Build Back Better is put on hold by a sole senator’s voice, well then, what does that say about this country?

The scales of socialism are tipping far left.

Manchin’s lonely corner highlights that.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE. Her latest book, “Socialists Don’t Sleep: Christians Must Rise Or America Will Fall,” is available by clicking HERE.

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