(May 12) Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia will decide soon whether to support ethically challenged leftist Kristen Clarke for a key Justice Department position, but Clarke’s nomination ought to put other Democrats on the hot seat as well.

Manchin’s office confirmed to the Washington Examiner that as of late in the day on May 11, he remained unsure about Clarke but that his decision was imminent. Clarke, who has been making the rounds on Capitol Hill this month, has an extremely troubling record of racial politics and anti-police activism. She also has been caught in a series of rather obvious lies in her testimony to the Senate.

Clarke’s two most egregious falsehoods both involved her denials of extensive participation in matters related to advocacy for infamous convicted police killer Mumia Abu-Jamal — one at a forum in which she was a moderator, the other in a journal for which she was an assistant editor directly recommending which articles to run.

Manchin, who styles himself as a centrist, shouldn’t want to touch Clarke’s nomination to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division with a 100-foot pole. This is one nominee with neither the moderation nor the integrity to merit any high government position. The last thing Manchin’s West Virginia constituents will want is another radical race warrior in power — especially one who, like Clarke, has expressed support for reparations for slavery, a position anathema to low-income white people.

What defies reason, though, is the idea that Clarke has even a chance at confirmation. Other Democrats in the Senate like to pretend they are centrists but (with the possible exception of Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema) never actually vote like one. When does Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, for example, ever actually walk the centrist’s walk? To preserve the Senate’s prerogatives as a key player in confirmations, to ensure that nominees don’t feel free to mislead the Senate under oath, and for the good of the country, shouldn’t Warner balk at an unethical extremist like Clarke?…

[The full column is here.]


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