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If the Democrats have made one thing clear, it's that they'll go to any lengths to save Roe v. Wade, including sacrificing Senate seats just to sink President Trump's Supreme Court nominee. Democrat Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois — bearing the message of Party leader Chuck Schumer — implied that any Democrats who don't vote in lock step with the Party against Judge Brett Kavanaugh may feel the wrath of the Party. It's a message directed to Red State Democrats facing tough re-election races, feeling the pressure from constituents who went for Trump in 2016 and strongly want his pick confirmed, and quickly.
But Red State Democrats don't seem too worried. West Virginia's Sen. Joe Manchin, in a close race in a state that favored Trump, made clear he was having none of Schumer's threats.
"I'm 71 years old; he's going to whip me? He can kiss my you know what," Manchin said Friday.
And Democrat Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana has made clear his main concern is not Party unity, but the will of the people. "I work for the people of Indiana and I want them to have a voice in this," he said of Kavanaugh's nomination.
Most troubling about Schumer's tactic — asking red state Democrats to fall on their swords to keep Kavanaugh out, while Schumer sits comfortably in a blue state — is that he is pressuring senators to ignore the very people who elected them to public office, and to whom they are accountable. Flouting the will of the people will no doubt harm the interests of the individual senators in question, but it will also leave an extremely bad taste in the mouth of working-class Democrats, who still believe in the democratic process and honoring campaign promises, and who may eventually vote with their feet and join the growing ranks of disillusioned Dems walking away from a Party they believe has betrayed them and their ideals.
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