It seems that Republlicans have already forgotten what they ran on. (Remember–reducing spending?)
Apparently, in an effort to encourage W.V. Senator-elect Joe Manchin to switch parties, the Republicans have offered to support one of of his pet projects, a coal to diesel plant, to the tune of $1 billion, plus requiring the armed forces to use converted coal for fuel.
Huh??? I thought the Republicans had learned their lesson. If they don’t, they will in two years.
Most people only expected hardball efforts to get party switchers in the Senate if it wound up closely divided, either 50-50 or 51/49 in either direction. However, Fox reports todaythat Senate Republicans have greeted special-election victor Joe Manchin (D-WV) with a big push to get him into the GOP caucus. And they may well have found a way to convince him to join the minority:
Republicans are making some big promises to try to lure West Virginia Senator-elect Joe Manchin to cross the aisle.
Aside from his pick of committee assignments (likely the Energy and Natural Resources Committee), Manchin might get support for one of his pet projects – a plant to convert coal to diesel fuel that has stalled under Democratic leadership in Washington.
It’s one of Manchin’s pet projects and could mean big money for the state’s coal producers.
“Republicans believe in an ‘all of the above’ approach to energy,” one top Senate aide told Power Play. “And coal-to-diesel could certainly be part of that.”
Manchin’s switch could mean Republican support for not just $1 billion in seed money for the project but also a deal, much sought in coal country, to require the armed forces to use converted coal for fuel.
Republicans believe Manchin is particularly susceptible to the overture because he is up for reelection in 2012 and will have to be on the ticket with President Obama, who is direly unpopular in West Virginia. Democrat Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Independent Joe Lieberman are the other two prime targets of Republican advances.
The response from Manchin’s team won’t make Democrats feel very secure. Essentially, they don’t commit to much of anything except “to try in good faith to make changes” to the Democratic Party from within, since they just got him elected to fill Robert Byrd’s remaining term. The message is that either Democrats have to change direction in the Senate or Manchin might take some of this wooing seriously.
Read the rest here.