Anti-Weenie Of The Year: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV.)

no weenies

In a year scarred by so many individuals, from celebrities to academics to mere social media users, resorting to pathetic groveling in response to bullying and threats of repercussions for rightful conduct or simply stating an opinion that does not conform to Woke World cant, Sen. Joe Manchin’s refusal to be a weenie stands out like the shining city on the hill. And after several frustrating days in which I have been searching my data banks to find ten public figures I could justifiably say I admired, Senator Manchin has made the list. (I’m still three short.)

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Ethics Observations On Neera Tanden’s Chickens Coming Home To Roost [Corrected]

Chickens attack

On December 1, 2020, you were able to read here that not-quite-elected-yet President Biden had signaled that he intended to nominate Neera Tanden as his Director of the Office of Management and Budget. That’s an important position that heads a supposedly non-partisan department, and Biden knew that she was about as far from non-partisan as they come:

Tanden was one of numerous Democrats to join the plot in 2016 to encourage electors in the Electoral College to ignore their states’ votes and refuse to elect Trump as President. Tanden endorsed fanatic NeverTrump lawyer Richard Painter’s argument that Trump’s violations of the Emolument Clause disqualified him from being President.Tanden also spread the false but effective conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton lost because of Russian interference, claiming the “Russians did enough damage to affect more than 70k votes in 3 states.” Four days after the 2016 election, Tanden began implying that Russian hackers changed the vote totals.

“This,” I wrote, “is the nominee by an apparent President-elect whose allies are attacking Trump for challenging the current vote totals in court, rather than through rumors and contrived fantasy.”

Biden did in fact nominate Tardren, which rendered this pledge, the cynical, “I’m lying and there’s not a thing you can do about it!” tweet, null and void, as several other Presidential actions have:

Biden tweet4

Tanden is the president of The Center for American Progress, which is one of those public policy research institutes that lies to you in the first sentence of its description, saying it is “non-partisan.” It is a far-left advocacy organization, and if you could find a single Republican on its staff, I’d be gobsmacked. Tanden, however, the organization’s president, doesn’t even pretend to be non-partisan, being addicted to tweeting insults to the non-Democrats only, including Senators. But really, what’s the risk? After all, are Democrats in the Senate going to care that Biden’s nomination of a hyper-partisan to head OMB proves what a joke his pledge to end divisiveness is?

Doh! Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) said Friday he will not support Neera Tanden’s nomination for director of the Office of Management and Budget, citing her “overtly partisan statements.” Now THAT’s an understatement. Tanden deleted more than 1,000 insulting tweets ahead of her nomination, but the internet is forever, so Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) read some of the juicy ones on the Senate floor. “You wrote that Susan Collins is ‘the worst,’ that Tom Cotton is a fraud, that vampires have more heart than Ted Cruz, you called Leader McConnell ‘Moscow Mitch’ and Voldemort,” Portman said.

Manchin said in a statement that should doom Tanden, since the Democrats can’t afford any defections in the evenly divided Senate,

“I have carefully reviewed Neera Tanden’s public statements and tweets that were personally directed towards my colleagues on both sides of the aisle from Senator Sanders to Senator McConnell and others. I believe her overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress and the next director of the Office of Management and Budget. For this reason, I cannot support her nomination.”


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Ethics Quote of the Week: Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV)

President Obama's leadership education progress: no change. Sorry.

President Obama’s leadership education progress: no change. Sorry.

“Now, that’s just not the way you do legislation. It’s not the way a democracy works. And it’s not the way the … three branches of government should work.”

—- Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat who supports the stalled Keystone Pipeline, referring to President Obama’s preemptive announcement that he would veto the bill before he knew exactly what the final bill would be.

President’s Obama’s supporters should pay attention to this episode: even if the President has a flat learning curve, perhaps they are more teachable. Manchin is right. Anyone with a passing familiarity of how Presidential leadership has worked in the past, is supposed to work, and is well understood by both scholars and practitioners to work, recognizes that this is a sparkling example of the obtuse refusal of Barack Obama not merely to master the skills of his job, but even to acknowledge them.

I really don’t care a fig about the pipeline. I think the President’s opposition is foolish—this is a bone thrown to the most extreme climate change activists, for there is no reliable research that shows that the pipeline will “accelerate global warming”—but my understanding of all the  factors involved is an inch deep. I really don’t care about it. I do care that the President doesn’t know how to do his job, and would prefer to make sure that Democrats can keep saying that he would have accomplished so much if Republicans hadn’t blocked his every brilliant plan.

A veto is a bargaining tool. Only Obama, of all of our Chief Executives, has failed to grasp that. The opposoition wants something. This means that you, as President, have an opportunity to get something you want. You negotiate. You horse trade. You bluff. Maybe you can’t come to an agreement. Maybe you can’t trade the pipeline, with some further limitations, for, say, your extravagant plan to make community college free for all, which otherwise has no chance whatsoever of ever happening. But you try. it’s called “being President.” It’s called “leadership.” It’s called “competence.”

And yes, it’s also called Democracy and the three branch system.