Manchin Takes Trump Bait, Engages In Twitter Spat

By David Kamioner | February 10, 2020

Like Lucy, the football, and Charlie Brown, it happens over and over again. It’s like watching that team who played the Harlem Globetrotters.

Some Democrat says or does something that upsets the president. So he hits back, but he does it over the top. Then the Democrat has two choices; they can raise the rhetorical stakes or they can call Trump’s bluff and ignore him. The former plays into Trump’s hands. The latter would deprive the president of his foil and Trump’s response attack would wither.

Since everybody already thinks the president loves hyperbole, he loses nothing with his initial response line to whatever offense the Democrat committed. We’re not surprised birds fly.

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But the Democrat, because Democrats don’t think-they feel, indulges in an emotional counter response to Trump. This gets them down in the dirt where the president wants them. If the Democrat is usually calm, everybody notes how Trump maneuvered them into hysteria.

The only winning move against Trump in these situations, to quote Joshua the computer in “War Games”, is not to play.

If you do play and do it in a deep red state, so much the dumber.

And that brings us to Senator Joe Manchin, Democrat of West Virginia.

After his impeachment vote against Trump you’d think he’d lay low for a bit to let the voters in a state Trump won by 40% (40%!) get over his move against the president. But nah, he couldn’t shut up.

Trump laid out the temptation with this, replete with a new nickname for Manchin.

And this.

Joe can’t help himself and bites at the cheese in the trap.

Dear Lord. Mixed messages and self pity.

Now what happens? The exchange gets press, like this, and an issue Manchin needs to go away is still in the headlines. It also reminds the Trump-happy voters of West Virginia of Manchin’s apostasy in the president’s hour of need, thus bestowing the martyr’s crown on the guy who actually won.

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What in the name of all that is holy and profane are Manchin and his comms shop thinking? When you lose you change the subject, not refight the losing battle. The only possible logical pro-Munchkin scenario is that he’s trying to hit Trump to burnish creds with fellow West Virginia Dems because he often votes with the GOP.

But he already did that with his impeachment vote. And that vote is old news anyway. At least it was, until Manchin took the bait.

This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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Manchin Is A Political Dead Man Walking

By David Kamioner | February 6, 2020

Years ago I went to a great winter resort in West Virginia. Along with smoking cigars and drinking bourbon, I sampled some of the down home culinary delights.

But throughout the entire sumptuous country breakfast inventory I did not witness even one example of a piece of toast that walks and talks. That is, until I saw Joe Manchin making a Senate floor speech on impeachment.

Not trusted by the Democrats because he votes with the Republicans too much. Manchin is a Democrat who only reluctantly endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2016. Those factors made him a pariah in his own party. He only won 2018 reelection over his GOP opponent by less than 20,000 votes out of over 560,000 cast. That works out to a too close for comfort 0.3% margin of victory in a deep red Trump state.

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Without those Trump crossovers in 2024 he will become, as mentioned above, a warm breakfast morsel. Thus, his vote to convict the president and remove him from office currently all but guarantees Manchin’s defeat in four years.

However, his pariah status has been somewhat mitigated by the fact that as he voted with the GOP much of the time he was treated as a fifth Beatle on occasion by the president and Mitch McConnell. Even with this vote that might have continued, after a decent interval, if Manchin had not sent out mixed signals on his vote.

Just a couple of days before the Wednesday impeachment votes he told the press he preferred a Senate censure of the president to conviction. He claimed that could get a bipartisan majority. A censure is an essentially toothless slap on the wrist from one politician to another.

When asked, given he was asking for an alternative to removal from office, if he would vote to convict the president he hemmed and hawed. The press, including this analyst, and GOP senators took that as a trial balloon and publicly put him in the leaning towards acquittal category. Manchin did not dissuade them.

And then he voted to convict.

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Democrats breathed a small sigh of relief but Republicans felt sold out. The consequence of his guilty vote is that Manchin will go from being the GOP’s favorite Democrat to just another palooka to be crushed.

All for a vote he knew the Democrats couldn’t win anyway. Just like your 2016 endorsement of Hillary Clinton that you admitted was a dumb move, this one will cost you, Joe.

This time, it will cost you your Senate seat.

This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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Next Three Days Vital for President Trump

By David Kamioner | February 3, 2020

Monday marks the beginning of three of the most important days in the history of modern America.

On Monday the resumption of the Senate impeachment trial will likely bring the process only two days away from a finish. Senators will get to make speeches on the Senate floor for or against impeachment. From those speeches a good count on the final votes on the charges before the Senate should be able to be discerned. Our call remains 55-45 for the president, thus handing him an impressive victory and complete vindication.

This is the de facto and de jure result no matter what the Democratic strategy may be to ignore the trial outcome and possibly embark on another impeachment investigation and vote. That would be timed for the GOP convention or the fall, when the Democrats still have control of the House. If they do that they will lose the House. So pray that they at least try.

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The Iowa Democratic caucus on Monday looks like a close battle between Sanders and Biden. We think Biden will pull it off because many Sanders supporters are young and those under 30 do not usually vote or caucus in large numbers. Trump is probably pulling for Sanders, as are we, for the obvious reason of his non-electability in November. But the Democratic establishment will probably not allow his nomination, just as they cheated him out of it in 2016.

Tuesday brings more trial speeches and the State of the Union address by the president. Expect the Democrats to try a stunt to disrupt the president’s speech. Shouting from the audience, a walkout or boycott, even turning their back on the president are all in their playbook. One or more may take place.

Wednesday should close the chapter, for now, on one of the most divisive and unnecessary dramas in American history, as the Senate will likely vote to acquit President Trump on one count of abuse of power and another of obstruction of Congress. Current smart money has Democrats Manchin and Sinema possibly voting with the president on one or both counts. Jones could also jump to Trump on the votes.

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Republicans Romney and Collins could vote to remove the president on one or both counts, with Romney the more likely guilty vote on both charges.

Stay with LifeZette for the latest fast breaking coverage on all these events.

This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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Democrats Begin to Meltdown as Their Loss Looms

By David Kamioner | January 31, 2020

There was lots of drama on the Senate floor on Thursday as it began to dawn on Democrats that their years long campaign to drive President Trump from office was falling apart.

Developments during the day included:

  • In his opening remarks Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell sent a subtle message to his fellow GOP Senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul. He told him to back off on CJ John Roberts. Roberts had the day before squelched a Paul question that named CIA informer Eric Ciaramella.Rand Paul didn’t listen and did the same thing in the first GOP question of the day. Roberts cut him down. Paul was upset and walked off the floor of the Senate. But not much later in the day Roberts allowed almost the same question, just not from Paul and not naming Ciaramella by name. At such, the Democrats, most notably Schiff, went into their victim act and fake indignation shtick.
  • The GOP team focused on the dichotomy of Democrat statements that contended that keeping the president in office was an “urgent” threat to national security and the nation itself, yet they delayed moving ahead for a month.

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  • Possible swing votes Democrat Senators Manchin of West Virginia and Jones of Alabama signaled they would be voting against Trump at least on witnesses. If Schumer doesn’t give them a waiver, for state political viability, to vote for acquittal he is insane. Another possible swing, GOP Senator Lamar of Tennessee, will stay with the president. That should hold the GOP defections to 2-3, not the 4 the Democrats need to win. It could be over by Friday night, possibly Saturday morning.
  • The Democrats attempted to use the words of Professor Jonathan Turley, a GOP House witness, in their Senate case. It didn’t work.
  • A main GOP message, well articulated by all GOP lawyers, was to implore the Senate to let the people, not impeachment, decide who inhabits the Oval Office.
  • Sensing victory on the general question, GOP Senator Toomey of PA dropped his one witness for each side deal.

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  • After Democrats accused Trump of somehow cheating in the 2020 election before the first vote is cast, Trump lawyer Pat Cipollone hit them with, “Talk about cheating, you won’t even face him,” meaning they are afraid to face Trump in an election again.

Indeed they are. The late day and night got even more amusing. Details to follow in the next article…

This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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Three Dems Balking at Impeachment

By David Kamioner | January 29, 2020

The last news cycle was all about GOP rebels on the witness question. But three Democrat senators, Sinema, Manchin, and Jones, are also publicly saying, or letting be known through staff leaks, that they are thinking of voting to acquit the president on one or both of the articles of impeachment before the Senate.

Regardless of witnesses or not, the GOP will likely lose 2-3 out of 53 on the votes to acquit or convict. If three Democrats break ranks it could give the GOP 52-53 for the president.

The Democrats need 67 to win. Right now and likely ahead, that is a very far away number for them.

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The telegenic Kyrsten Sinema has played it smart so far during her time in the Senate. She has a reputation as a reasonable moderate that is playing well in light red Arizona, a state that used to be deep red in its Goldwater days. If she cut the baby in half and voted to acquit on one article and guilty on the other it keeps her moderate creds and gets nobody too ticked at her.

Joe Manchin of West Virginia has been courted by the GOP to switch parties for years. On energy and cultural issues he votes GOP. On other issues he votes with Trump about a third of the time. He’s got better GOP loyalty numbers than some northeast U.S. GOP members of the House.

He is saying, and his office is spreading it loud and wide, that he could vote for the president on both articles. He could be doing this to leverage a price from the Democrats for staying in their column or doing the same with the GOP for voting to acquit. West Virginia is a deep red state, one of the deepest red in the nation. Manchin thus knows how his constituents would feel if he abandoned the president.

Though, he still has to think of his Democrat base in WV. At least, what remains of it that isn’t already supporting Trump.

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Doug Jones in deep red Alabama cannot afford to vote to convict the president on impeachment and hope to stand a chance at reelection this year. He was elected on a fluke and would lose in a landslide. He is the most likely vote for the president on both counts.

The only thing that could give him pause would be the thought that he will probably lose in the fall anyway, why not vote against Trump now and hope Democrats will reward him for services when he is out of office.

That is typically how it is done in DC.

This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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