The West Virginia Experts Who Despise West Virginia | National Review

West Virginia Voters Like the Infrastructure Bill, but Loathe the Reconciliation Bill | National Review

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) speaks to supporters after campaigning for the 2018 midterm elections at his headquarters in Charlestown, West Virginia, U.S., November 5, 2018. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Since Senator Joe Manchin announced that he opposes Build Back Better — the massive spending bill doubling as the lynchpin of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda — a new class of expert has emerged: The West Virginia savant.

While Manchin was born in West Virginia — the nephew of the state treasurer and secretary of state — and served as governor before being elected and reelected twice to the Senate, others profess to have a deeper understanding of the state and its needs. Even if they despise its inhabitants.

Actress and singer Bette Midler, for example, insisted that Manchin had betrayed his “poor, illiterate, and strung out” constituents.

To Midler’s credit, she did go on to apologize to the “good people” of West Virginia, but progressive activist groups such as Occupy Democrats doubled down on her rhetoric:

West Virginia, it should be noted, boasts a higher literacy rate than the Democratic strongholds of New York, New Jersey, and California.

Minnesotan congresswoman Ilhan Omar pursued a similar strategy of putting down Manchin’s home state, asserting that:

Omar’s math is as shoddy as she claims life in the Mountain State is. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, West Virginia has the 23rd lowest unemployment rate, and polling shows that 59 percent of West Virginians oppose Build Back Better. And of course, nothing in her tweet does anything to prove that the legislation would do anything to remedy West Virginia’s deficits, be they real or imagined.

Wajahat Ali, a columnist for the Daily Beast, also had insults  — but no fake statistics — at the ready.

As did MSNBC’s Joy Reid, who described the state as “overwhelmingly” poor while displaying a frighteningly poor conception of the United States Senate for an anchor on a news network.

At The New Yorker, Evan Osnos writes that West Virginians are asking Manchin “Which Side Are You On?” to which the polling replies, “theirs.” Only 37 percent of West Virginians want Build Back Better to pass.

Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Reich delivered the coup de grâce:

With respect like this for West Virginians among the progressive ranks, it’s wonder that it’s Manchin — not a left-wing ideologue — representing the state in the Senate.

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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.