By now we all know that newly elected Senator Manchin skipped out on two key votes, DADT and the DREAM Act. As a former Secretary of State, Manchin was the Chief Elections Officer of West Virginia. In that role, one of his duties was to increase voter turnout. Imagine if we all decided to do something else this past Election Day and skip out on the very special senate election!
We’re told Manchin had an extremely important family Christmas party to attend to that had been planned for over a year. Why couldn’t he have just voted and flown himself home? Maybe he was scared his plane would have another tire blow out on the runway. Other options? As Ben Smith from Politico and Brandon Kiser from the Daily Caller point out, “the vote was held at 3:00 pm, and Manchin could have taken a United Airlines flight at 5:40 and been in Charleston before 7:30.” (Although, the party was supposed to be at the home of his daughter in Pittsburgh.)
Some have mentioned that the way he would have voted on these two issues would not have been favorable with his constituents and fellow senators, so skipping out was the best option. But I disagree. Not voting and giving a party as an excuse is unacceptable, unsenatorial-like behavior. It shows lack of respect for his constituents and his position in my opinion.
While the press, blogs, and constituents in West Virginia have been pretty easy on Manchin, he needs to realize that Washington is a horse of quite a different color.