It appears the Democrats themselves have become as aware as the national polls concerning voter disapproval of their party. As the numbers continue to drop, more Democratic senators up for re-election get the jitters. The latest example is West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin defying Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for calling the conservative Koch brothers "un-American."
Manchin defended the billionaire brothers on Fox and Friends Thursday for derogatory remarks Harry Reid had made. He was crystal clear about his opinion that "people" (Harry Reid) should back off attacking the Koch’s who he said “pay their taxes and provide jobs to Americans."
Harry Reid has been in the headlines more than once recently labeling cancer survivors “liars,” even calling a fellow senator and cancer patient, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, “out-of-touch” with Obamacare inner-workings.
Manchin said, "You don't beat up people. I mean, I don't agree with their politics or philosophically, but, you know, they're Americans, they're paying their taxes. They're not breaking the law. They're providing jobs."
Another Democratic senator, Angus S. King, Jr. of Maine, has hinted he may join the Republican Party in the near future. Once an advocate of Obamacare as recently as last week, he apparently sees the writing on the wall this November and is ready to leave the Democratic ship.
The polls now show the GOP taking the senate back. They need six sets to do so and it looks like they will get that and more.
Meanwhile, Harry Reid is making no friends with his off-the-cuff and thoroughly inappropriate remarks. He is not only alienating Republicans even further than they already are, but making many of his colleague’s re-election campaigns difficult back home.
Last January, Reid accused the Kochs during a debate on the Senate floor of trying to "buy the country" by funding and supporting powerful conservative groups attempting to oust Democrats in key Senate seats up for grabs in the November midterm elections. The comments threw the senators from his side of the aisle into a quandary – defy their leader or not?
Then came Manchin’s comments whether Reid’s criticism "helps or hurts the cause of the country.” He said, “If you're trying to rally the base, the bases have already been rallied. The right and left bases have been rallied. It’s us in the middle that has to start making something happen here in Washington to move this country forward."
A spokesman for Koch Industries told Politico that Manchin's comments in Washington “About time" a Democrat spoke out. It seems from recent polls that voters feel the same.
Steve Lombardo, a Koch spokesman said, "My guess is that Sen. Manchin has expressed a point of view that a lot other senators, Democrats, Republicans, have probably wanted to say and haven't."
More and more as the days peel off, it appears Harry will be sitting in the back of the U.S. Senate come next January - without the title of Senate Minority Leader, if his party's critics have their way.
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