June 13, 2024

Cornel West says Sen. Manchin is ‘gonna have to get off his symbolic crackpipe’

Dr. Cornel West believes Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin must support the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, the noted Black intellectual maintaining that Manchin needs to recognize Senate Republicans will never support legislation for voter rights with a colorful description.

“Okay, what do you think?” Don Lemon asked West Thursday on his eponymous CNN show after showing Manchin in an earlier clip, the pair in discussion about President Joe Biden‘s effort to support Democrats’ legislative efforts.

“He’s saying he still wants to work with Republicans to get it done. Is the choice now between the filibuster and democracy?”

Dr. Cornel West (left) told CNN West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin (right) is “gonna have to get off his symbolic crackpipe” and help do away with the filibuster. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

“Yeah,” Cornel West said in response. “I think Brother Joe coming out of West Virginia — some of my favorite folk I know [are] from West Virginia — but I must say that he’s gonna have to get off his symbolic crackpipe too, that you [are] gonna have to do away with the filibuster in order to get any work done because you’ve got a right-wing party that’s authoritarian, with deep neo-fascist sensibilities, that has no commitment to democratic processes, no commitment to democratic values.”

The philosophy professor added, ”And then, at the same time, you’ve got Democrats who run around talking about being bipartisan, but for the most part, they lack a backbone. They don’t have enough fight.” 

Earlier this month, Manchin presented a voters’ bill he thought of as a compromise to his Republican colleagues, and it was quickly rejected. 

As previously reported, the compromise, which was supported by Georgia voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams, was dead upon arrival. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell offered at the time: “Senate Democrats seem to have reached a so-called ‘compromise’ election takeover among themselves. In reality, the plan endorsed by Stacey Abrams is no compromise.”

“McConnell has the right to do whatever he thinks he can do,” Manchin said at the time. “I would hope there are enough good Republicans that understand the bedrock of our society is having accessible, open, fair and secure elections.”

An opinion piece from David A. Love published last month by theGrio said Manchin and Arizona Democrat Kyrsten Sinema “stand in the way of justice, freedom and democracy, and pose a threat to the lives of Black people.” 

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