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Steve Novotney Says, "A Senator and His Party"

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) made a decision that was based on his political longevity. The career taxpayer-paid lawmaker voted to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh and to extend his dependence on the public's teat.

The math is simple:

  • President Donald Trump won West Virginia by 42 points over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
  • The President has visited the Mountain State twice – so far – to support Attorney General Patrick Morrissey, and is expected to return one or two more times during the next month.
  • "A vote for Patrick Morrissey is a vote for me." – President Trump.
  • Democrats throughout the state are now pledging not to vote the race for U.S. Senator.

Some may wonder if the senator's vote is a sign of a party switch since the Marion County native was the only Democrat to approve of Kavanaugh, but I personally doubt that to be the case. The 71-year-old began his public career back in 1982 as a Democrat in the state's House of Delegates and he's remained with the party during his years in the state Senate, as the Secretary of State (2001-05), as Governor (2005-10), and for the past eight years in the United States Senate.

Now, if Manchin were to decide to flop over to the GOP, it would not represent the first time for voters in the northern panhandle. Not only was Gov. Jim Justice elected as a Democrat only for the coal baron to swap over last in August 2017, but in 2013, after elected to the House of Delegates as a Democrat the year before, Ryan Ferns betrayed the party for the other.

His re-election campaign is challenged by William Ihlenfeld, a former U.S. Attorney here in the northern district, and a practicing prosecutor in the area for more than two decades. He's battled and prosecuted Big Pharma for its actions in West Virginia, found evidence of fraud involving professionals in the medical field, and Ihlenfeld has even set up tables outside of high school football games to distribute to mothers, fathers, and grandparents free drug tests for their children.

Ferns will remind you – over and over and over again – that Ihlenfeld was appointed by Pres. Obama, but why would that matter? Why?

Morrissey is using the same line against Manchin, and the senator now claims Morrissey is hiding behind Pres. Trump, whatever that's supposed to mean. Such a strategy, though, may backfire against Manchin because of Trump's monumental popularity in the Mountain State, the presidential rallies, and yes, because of his confirmation vote in Justice Kavanaugh's favor.

Because, at times, betrayal backfires.