This article highlights the Democrats’ initial strategy in defending a difficult Senate map in 2018. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, (D-ND), is finishing her first term in the Senate. It wouldn’t be surprising it’s her only term in the Senate. Sen. Heitkamp said “Those Trump voters are the same people who elected me to the Senate. You can say they’re different people, but they’re not different people. I resist the characterizations that people make of good hardworking people. I don’t give a lot of consideration to what the ‘party’ does.” Sen. Claire McCaskill added “I’m proud of the fact that we’re a party of diversity and inclusivity, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be talking to everyone. And I feel like we’ve neglected to do that.”
Democrats picked their Senate leadership team this week. Their team includes Sen. Manchin, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. They’re this year’s political odd couple. When President Trump proposes reigning in the EPA, there will be a fight amongst Democrats because they’re owned by environmental activist wing of the Democratic Party. That will put Manchin in the difficult position of explaining why he’s still a Democrat when Democrats want to kill West Virginia’s economy.
Republicans will argue that it’s counterproductive having a voice at the table when Democrats won’t listen to politicians who represent states rich in fossil fuels. Republicans won’t find it difficult to make the argument that West Virginia should be represented by the party that appreciates (and works for) miners.
Democrats will talk like they appreciate miners but it’s just that — talk:
That means centrists can vote against more liberal party leaders, even while the rest of the party holds the line to block conservative policy. A preview of that dynamic was on display this week as liberals attacked Trump for appointing Steve Bannon to his inner circle, but moderate senators refrained.
That’s a too-clever-by-half strategy that won’t work. People in West Virginia want the mining industry fixed. Let’s hope that West Virginia voters won’t let Sen. Manchin off the hook if he didn’t fix West Virginians’ biggest problems. Remember this campaign ad?
It’s a great ad politically speaking. In terms of helping West Virginians, Sen. Manchin’s been fairly worthless. It’s a few political lifetimes between now and the 2018 mid-term elections. Still, it isn’t a stretch to think that people will still demand action from their senators.
Authored By Let Freedom Ring Blog