Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has gone rogue. The freshman Democrat — who faces a tough re-election battle next year as an incumbent Democrat in a red state and could benefit by distancing himself from Obama — has said that he will break with his party and vote against raising the debt ceiling if it is not tied to a "real budget plan" to cut government spending. This follows his attack two weeks ago on the president's "failure to lead." Congress is expected to vote on raising the debt ceiling as early as next month. Democrats have warned that if the vote fails, the government could default on its debt, causing a fiscal meltdown. Will Manchin kneecap his party on the national debt?
If Democrats are smart, they'll follow Manchin: Democrats should "pay close attention to the West Virginian," says an editorial in the Washington Examiner. America is sick and tired of "Washington's irresponsible spending." Lawmakers owe it to their constituents to put a cap on the government's "credit card limit" — or they can "expect to be replaced next November."
"Smart Democrats will follow Joe Manchin"
There won't be a revolt, but this does help the GOP: The president is "not well-liked in West Virginia," says David Dayen at Firedoglake, and Manchin won last year by distancing himself from Obama and the Democrats. He's clearly hoping to do it again. But his stand won't make the "prospect of a government default any more likely." It will, however, make it easier for the GOP to "claim that austerity has bipartisan backing."
"Manchin threatens to withhold vote on increasing debt limit"
This is nothing but a political ploy: Who does Joe Manchin think he's kidding? asks Daniel Horowitz at RedState. No amount of "political acrobatics" can obscure his voting record. For all his rhetoric about the national debt, Manchin still voted against the GOP's "diminutive" $61 billion cuts plan last month. No doubt he'll do the same when the debt ceiling comes up. "Manchin needs to man up and admit that he is a progressive."
"Joe Manchin the cowardly faux moderate"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- The hilarious hypocrisy of Republicans complaining about the imperial presidency
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Ferguson riots were terrible — but this racist reaction was worse
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- Don't argue about politics this Thanksgiving. Just don't.
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How to survive a spaceship disaster
Subscribe to the Week