In the world of politics, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has always been his own man. In today’s toxic political climate, he continues that path but his latest exchange showed he definitely belongs in the Backbone Club that consists of those not swayed by polls, bullied by fringe groups, or ruled by reelection fears.
Talking with the Charleston Gazette, Manchin was emphatic about standing up for what was important for West Virginians:
“I don’t give a s–t, you understand? I just don’t give a s–t,” he said. “Don’t care if I get elected, don’t care if I get defeated, how about that. If they think because I’m up for election, that I can be wrangled into voting for s–t that I don’t like and can’t explain, they’re all crazy.”
“I’m not scared of an election, let’s put it that way. Elections do not bother me or scare me. I’m going to continue to do the same thing I’ve always done, extremely independent.”
The Backbone Club is populated with other elected representatives who have taken a principled stand and not backed down: Sen. John McCain, Sen. Jeff Flake, Sen. Ben Sasse, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Sen. Susan Collins, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Cory Gardner, Rep. Barbara Comstock, and Gov. John Kasich. There may be others who deserve to be added to this list.