Come on, have a heart. You have to feel for Senator Joe Manchin. At least a little. It’s been so hard for him since Sandy Hook. Put yourself in his shoes for a minute. He sold himself to the red-trending voters of West Virginia as someone with whom their gun rights would be safe, Democrat party affiliation or not. So to show his independence from his party’s orthodoxy, he plugged a copy of the Obama-supported cap and trade bill with his real-gun-owner huntin’ rifle to soothe all those Mountain State coal miners. And he wore his NRA A rating like Hester Prynne. Mission accomplished! Joe managed to get himself elected to the Senate, filling Bobby “I’m Moving As Much of the Federal Government to West Virginia as I Can” Byrd’s seat. And he was reelected to a full term in November. Then came Newtown . . .
That’s when the cracks appeared. A-Rated Joe began to waver in his much-touted Second Amendment support. He said he was “changed” by the horror that was Sandy Hook and signaled that no matter what he he may have posted to YouTube during that long-ago campaign, he was open to “common sense” gun control measures. For the children.
There was only one problem with his little epiphany — it didn’t sit well with the home folks. And they let him know about it in no uncertain terms. So Ol’ Joe, who can’t be accused of not knowing which way the wind’s blowing, tacked back the RKBA way. The most dangerous place in Washington suddenly became the space between the Senator and anyone who even looked like a member of the press who’d quote him as saying he won’t take away West Virginians’ guns.
Only he apparently wasn’t unequivocal enough for the poor rubes back home when he told MSNBC, “I do not support (an assault weapons ban) right now.” Right now. In politispeak, that leaves a yawning gap for wiggle room that’s almost as big as Piers Morgan’s ego. So shortly thereafter, Joe took to YouTube again just to be sure his constituents wouldn’t have any doubts about where he stands 2A-wise.
Given all that, you’d think that when a home state paper like the Journal News asked for a sit-down, he’d jump at the chance to — yet again — tell everyone who’d listen exactly where he stands on his party’s civilian disarmament push. Only he didn’t. Jump, that is. Not at all.
The paper’s interview, posted at journal-news.net, had an interesting disclaimer prominently posted at the top:
Editor’s note: This question and answer session was permitted under the condition that The Journal would not ask questions regarding gun control legislation or the Second Amendment, as requested by the senator’s staff.
Huh? Were they talking to the same A-Rated Senator Joe who was knocking down old ladies and little kids fore a chance to tell anyone within earshot that Mountain Staters’ gun rights were safe with him? Apparently it was. And now Manchin’s getting no shortage of ridicule for his prior restraint groundrules.
But the fault apparently lies with the dumb hicks running the paper back home. His spokesnoid made it clear that it just isn’t true that Manchin wouldn’t let them ask any questions about gun control. As atlanticwire.com explains,
The Senator’s staff got a head start rebounding from the criticism. See, it was a miscommunication on the paper’s part. “I didn’t tell her she couldn’t ask I told her he wouldn’t answer them,” a Manchin spokesperson tells Politico’s Reid Epstein. The paper has yet to respond.
Glad they cleared that up, no?