February 11, 2012

Manchin Too Often Alone in Opposition | The Wheeling Intelligencer

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was wrong when he told reporters the Senate Democratic Caucus "totally supports the president."

But unfortunately, Reid, D-Nev., isn't far off the mark.

Reid was asked about criticism of a policy by President Barack Obama that requires most employers to provide workers with health insurance covering contraceptives and drugs members of some churches, including Roman Catholics, believe induce abortions. Forcing Catholic institutions to provide such insurance requires them to go against a basic tenet of their faith. On Friday, bowing to political pressure, Obama announced a slight amendment to the program.

The Senate leader was wrong about solid support from Democrats. One member of the Democratic Caucus, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has criticized Obama harshly over the health insurance rule and other policies. Manchin believes in doing what is right and what his constituents believe - not what his party demands.

What is unfortunate is that often, Manchin is among a handful of senators opposing Obama. Frequently, he stands alone among Democrats.

Even senators who should stand with Manchin - for example, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., in opposition to the president's war against coal - choose to side with Reid and Obama most of the time.

So, sadly, Reid isn't far from correct. Too many Democrat senators have embraced Obama - and turned their backs on their constituents.  

By:  Editorial