Manchin takes Trump bait, engages in Twitter spat

Is there even one Democrat who can't be manipulated by Donald Trump?

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Like Lucy, the football, and Charlie Brown, it happens over and over again. It’s like watching that team who played the Harlem Globetrotters.

Some Democrat says or does something that upsets the president. So he hits back, but he does it over the top. Then the Democrat has two choices; they can raise the rhetorical stakes or they can call Trump’s bluff and ignore him. The former plays into Trump’s hands. The latter would deprive the president of his foil and Trump’s response attack would wither.

Since everybody already thinks the president loves hyperbole, he loses nothing with his initial response line to whatever offense the Democrat committed. We’re not surprised birds fly.

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But the Democrat, because Democrats don’t think-they feel, indulges in an emotional counter response to Trump. This gets them down in the dirt where the president wants them. If the Democrat is usually calm, everybody notes how Trump maneuvered them into hysteria.

The only winning move against Trump in these situations, to quote Joshua the computer in “War Games”, is not to play.

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If you do play and do it in a deep red state, so much the dumber.

And that brings us to Senator Joe Manchin, Democrat of West Virginia.

After his impeachment vote against Trump you’d think he’d lay low for a bit to let the voters in a state Trump won by 40% (40%!) get over his move against the president. But nah, he couldn’t shut up.

Trump laid out the temptation with this, replete with a new nickname for Manchin.

And this.

Joe can’t help himself and bites at the cheese in the trap.

Dear Lord. Mixed messages and self pity.

Now what happens? The exchange gets press, like this, and an issue Manchin needs to go away is still in the headlines. It also reminds the Trump-happy voters of West Virginia of Manchin’s apostasy in the president’s hour of need, thus bestowing the martyr’s crown on the guy who actually won.

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What in the name of all that is holy and profane are Manchin and his comms shop thinking? When you lose you change the subject, not refight the losing battle. The only possible logical pro-Munchkin scenario is that he’s trying to hit Trump to burnish creds with fellow West Virginia Dems because he often votes with the GOP.

But he already did that with his impeachment vote. And that vote is old news anyway. At least it was, until Manchin took the bait.

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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