What’s up with West Virginia’s senators?
“Common ground” Joe and Shelley the distinguished lecturer
Senator Manchin keeps looking for common ground and bipartisanship with Republicans. Don’t look now, Senator, but you’ve become the common ground
From the Economist:
It is said that a common enemy unites even the oldest of foes. For Republicans and Democrats that would be Joe Manchin. The senator from West Virginia received the lowest bipartisan favourability score in our poll with YouGov https://t.co/qVjhtRywcJ— The Economist (@TheEconomist) October 10, 2022
The article begins:
It is said that a common enemy unites even the oldest of foes. For Republicans and Democrats that would be Joe Manchin. In a series of surveys by The Economist and YouGov, an online pollster, Americans from both sides of the political aisle expressed equally unfavourable views on Mr. Manchin, a stubborn centrist Democrat senator from West Virginia. The survey was designed to see what, if any, common ground remains between supporters of the two parties in an increasingly polarised country (see chart).
On the other hand, the new Morning Consult poll suggests his approval rating among Democrats has improved (although 52% is not very good):
Half of West Virginia Democrats (52%) approve of Senator Joe Manchin’s job performance, up from 41% at the beginning of the year. His strengthened standing among Democrats contributes heavily to his 42% approval rating. https://t.co/85NtjXFcag pic.twitter.com/Yipt9bxqBt— Morning Consult (@MorningConsult) October 10, 2022
Senator Capito gives a speech and fear-mongers on fentanyl
Capito delivers the Poundstone Lecture
From West Virginia University’s Statler College:
We were honored to have WV Senator Shelley Moore Capito deliver the Poundstone Lecture last night during a private event for faculty and students. Senator Capito was the first female selected as a Poundstone Lecturer in the event's 22-year history. https://t.co/f5MDtiIo1H— WVU Statler College (@wvustatler) October 4, 2022
The Poundstone Lecture series was designed “to bring mining industry experts to campus to share their expertise with students and faculty.” But, in the 22 years of the event’s existence, the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources has never invited a female speaker for its Poundstone Lecture series. Why not? And when it finally does ask a female, it is not an “industry expert” -- it’s a politician? Are there no qualified females in the field?
Statistics suggest that only ten percent of mining engineers are women. Still, at a time when universities are trying to increase the number of females in STEM fields, the only speaker WVU could find was a female politician?
So, here’s what their “industry expert” talked about:
“Senator Capito emphasized that minerals are of essential need for the state of West Virginia and the nation, particularly for U.S. infrastructure, national security, green technologies as well as environmental sustainability,” said [mining chair] Kecojevic. “Having Senator Capito as a Poundstone lecturer acknowledges the importance of the WVU department of mining engineering in educating and training future mining engineers through high-quality and innovative teaching and research.”
Wow! I hope everyone was taking notes. WVU’s Statler College should just admit that their lecture series has nothing to do with industry experts sharing their expertise – it’s all about stroking politicians. (By the way, Jim Justice was the lecturer back in 2020.)
Capito delivers the Republican talking points on fentanyl
On fentanyl, like Fox News and some of her Republican colleagues, the senator goes right to the fear factor:
The #fentanyl crisis has ravaged our communities. Now, we are seeing in West Virginia and across the country, fake pills laced with fentanyl are beginning to look like candy in an effort to lure our youth.— Shelley Moore Capito (@SenCapito) October 6, 2022
This Halloween, let’s join forces and look out for one another. pic.twitter.com/Mfpgm4LmU4
Blaming Biden for fentanyl has been around since the start of his presidency. (See here and here). Of course, this talking point has little regard for the truth:
Republicans Are Lying About Fentanyl to Scare Voters https://t.co/nzwFIXeWHP via @truthout— Stephanie Dennis (@3beesbuzz) October 8, 2022
Fox News, of course, supports the claims on a daily basis:
Lara Trump: if it touches their fingers, they literally go into shock and almost die from it. Some I think have died from it..— Acyn (@Acyn) October 8, 2022
Duffy: So Democrats ruin Halloween too pic.twitter.com/B43MdB1NXE
The fentanyl scare does work nicely in West Virginia. With the Trump Party as the base and the high Fox viewership, Capito doesn't need to do much.