Joe Manchin May Not Have Destroyed the World Yet After All

Joe Manchin May Not Have Destroyed the World Yet After All

The 30-second television ad came out way back in 2010, but it just might haunt Democrats — and humanity — for eternity. Joe Manchin, then the governor of West Virginia, struts through the Appalachian woods, a bolt-action rifle in his right hand and what appears to be a paper target over his left shoulder. Touting his endorsement by the National Rifle Association, he rattles off a series of talking points, each punctuated with the jab of a finger: protecting Second Amendment rights; taking on Washington “to get the federal government off of our backs and out of our pockets”; cutting federal spending; repealing “the bad parts of Obamacare”; the fact that he “sued the EPA.” Then he removes a round from the pocket of his hunting jacket, loads his gun, and points it at the target. “I’ll take dead aim at the cap-and-trade bill,” he says. After he pulls the trigger, a close-up on the target reveals that it’s literally the text of the American Clean Energy and Security Act. “’Cause it’s bad for West Virginia!” he says matter-of-factly. One year earlier, at the 15th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, the United States committed to reducing its emissions by 42 percent by 2030 if an international agreement could be reached. President Barack Obama left Copenhagen without such an agreement, and his first midterm election came and went without a climate bill. Since then, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide reached 415 parts per million for the first […]

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