Senator Joe Manchin [D-WV, @Sen_JoeManchin, +1 304-342-5855] is a right-wing Democrat Senator whose inglorious career includes breaking with his party to endorse President Trump's deal to sell record quantities of weapons to the Saudis.
Manchin has previously scolded activist constituents who objected to his pro-corporate voting history, telling them that he was "not changing" and if they didn't like him they should "find somebody else who can beat me and vote me out."
Enter Paula Jean Swearengin, an environmental activist from a long line of Virginia coal miners, who is challenging Manchin in the upcoming primary for the 2018 election. She's making hay out of Manchin's vote — which rescued the Saudi arms deal from a Rand-Paul-led vote against the weapons sale.
"I'm not surprised because of his history of voting in favor of President Trump, like a Republican," Swearengin said.
She then went on a tear suggesting that the weapons would end up in terrorist hands rather than focusing on how the arms could be used in the war against Yemen. "Sen. Manchin voting against the provision to stop the sale. That tells me that Sen. Manchin supports giving weapons to a country that is known for harboring terrorists," Swearengin said. "The weapons could possibly end up in the hands of terrorists.
She also linked the vote to Manchin's voting record on domestic matters, saying that both are evidence that Manchin doesn't respect human rights. "He's showing us he doesn't value human life, in Appalachia, in America, or other countries," she said. "People are dying in the streets and starving in Yemen. How does he sleep at night? West Virginians are tired of dying and starving as a result of his poor leadership, too."
Manchin, who did not reply to a request for comment, may face more votes on Saudi arms sales before the election next year.
JOE MANCHIN WAS ONE OF FIVE DEMOCRATS WHO SAVED SAUDI ARMS SALES. HIS PRIMARY OPPONENT IS FURIOUS. [Zaid Jilani/The Intercept]