Red state Democrats Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) voted with Republicans to end cloture during the reconsideration and move Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court nomination forward.
The three red state Democrats who are all up for reelection in 2018 engaged in a shameless ploy to try to keep their seats next year. It doesn’t matter to them that Republicans stole the Supreme Court seat away from Democrats by ignoring their constitutional duties after Justice Scalia died. These red state Democrats don’t care that they are advancing a the nominee of a president who is under investigation for potentially treasonous crimes.
These Democrats were looking at nothing more than political survival. They wanted to be able to go home and tell the voters that they broke with their party and didn’t block Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. Mission accomplished. The Senators also showed their own party that they don’t care about doing what is right. Heitkamp, Manchin, and Donnelly aren’t concerned about what their vote means to the broader political discussion.
There was no reason for the Democrats to vote to end the filibuster. Republicans only required a majority, which they already had. The votes were cast as a political stunt for their constituents.
It was a betrayal of the Democratic Party, and it is understandable why many donors and activists are refusing to give money to Democratic candidates who support Gorsuch.
Other red state Democrats like Sens. Claire McCaskill and Jon Tester did what was right.
Voting to move Gorsuch forward by itself won’t save the jobs of Heitkamp, Manchin, and Donnelly, but it will guarantee that donors think twice before giving their money to candidates who don’t support their values.