When Republicans created campaign ads featuring firearms, the Left howled about mindlessness, violence, and intimidation.  Will they make the same complaint about Joe Manchin’s new campaign ad, “Dead Aim”?  Manchin muscles up in his ad in an attempt to paint himself as the more conservative candidate in the West Virginia race for the US Senate. He fires a shot into a copy of the cap-and-trade bill to emphasize his opposition to it:

There are, curiously, a few weasel words in this alpha-male-fest. Manchin pledges to help repeal the “bad parts” of ObamaCare, but neglects to mention what those might be. The federal mandate? If that gets repealed, then the entire fiscal structure of ObamaCare collapses, which is one of the reasons conservatives aren’t nearly as picky about their opposition to it. Manchin also promises to get the Obama administration “off of our backs and out of our pocketbooks,” but neatly avoids the issue of Senate control and the ability for the current Democratic leadership to control the agenda.

And that’s the key point, not the bullet hole through the cap-and-trade bill. Manchin can do everything he pledges in this ad as governor, as Manchin proved with his lawsuit over EPA interference in the mining industry. John Raese can and will do everything Manchin pledges as a member of the US Senate, plus Raese can put Republicans one step closer to gaining control of the Senate and ending the agenda that comprises ObamaCare, cap-and-trade, and runaway tax hikes and government expansion. Nothing Manchin says in this ad makes a case for West Virginians to send Manchin to the Senate rather than just keep him in place and send a Republican to stop the Democrats on Capitol Hill. Voters can still have their cake and eat it too, and they’ll almost certainly decide to do just that in three weeks.

Update: West Virginia Red says that Manchin has a credibility gap in his new-found opposition to ObamaCare, too:

  • MANCHIN IN SEPT. 2009: “I Am Totally Behind Health Care Reform.” (Remarks by Gov. Manchin, UMWA Labor Day Rally, www.youtube.com, 2009)
  • MANCHIN IN MARCH 2010 (7 DAYS BEFORE HOUSE PASSAGE): “I’d Be For It.” (National Governors Association Health Care Roundtable, C-SPAN, 03/15/10)
  • MANCHIN IN APRIL 2010 (AFTER OBAMACARE WAS SIGNED INTO LAW): “[M]att Turner, spokesman for Gov. Joe Manchin, said the governor supported the legislation.” (Walt Williams, “Health Care Reform Has Unknown Costs For State,” The State [WV] Journal, 4/2/10)
  • SEPT. 9, 2010 RASMUSSEN MOVES WV SENATE RACE TO “TOSS UP”: Poll Also Shows 65% of West Virginians Favor Repeal Of Health Care. (West Virginia Senate: Manchin (D) 50%, Raese (R) 45%, Rasmussen Reports, 09/09/10)
  • MANCHIN IN SEPT. 18, 2010: “I Wouldn’t Have Voted For The Final Version Of That Thing With The Way That It Came Out,” (“Manchin health record mixed,” Charleston Gazette, 09/18/10)
  • SEPT. 21, 2010 PPP POLL SHOWS MANCHIN LOSING TO JOHN RAESE 46-43: “PPP’s First Look At The West Virginia Senate Contest Finds A Very Tight Race With John Raese Up 46-43 On Joe Manchin, A Result Within The Poll’s Margin Of Error.” (“Close Race In West Virginia,” Public Policy Polling, 09/21/10)
  • MANCHIN ON SEPT. 26, 2010 SUPPORTS REPEAL OF OBAMACARE: “Pressed On His Support For Repeal, Manchin Clarified That He Favored ‘Repealing The Things That Are Bad In That Bill.’” (“Manchin Calls For Partial Repeal Of Health Reform,” RealClearPolitics, 09/27/10)

Here’s his September 2009 attitude towards “this administration,” fortunately captured on video:

Talk about shooting one’s self in the foot …