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How will Obama affect other Democrats?

President Obama became a political pariah in less than two years in the White House. Democrats now have six fewer senators and 63 fewer congressmen than they did when he took office.

Last fall, Morgantown businessman John Raese tried to insert Obama into the U.S. Senate race, but Gov. Joe Manchin literally took a shotgun to that argument when he ran an ad showing him shooting up environmental regulations.

Manchin also said on Fox News that he opposed Obamacare and would vote to repeal it, even though six months earlier Manchin had supported Obamacare.

That sealed the deal for him and Manchin won by a mile.

Republicans warned that if elected to the Senate, Gov. Joe Manchin would become Washington Joe.

Is that so?

Almost a year later, the conservative Heritage Foundation reported that on issues where conservatives part company with the president, Manchin sided with the president 90 percent of the time.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller sided with the president 95 percent of the time.

A whopping 25 Democratic senators sided with the president 100 percent of the time.

And the Republicans are the ones who are intransigent?

Heritage judged Manchin and the rest of the Senate on a list of items that included the sponsorship of four bills.

One was the "Defending America's Affordable Energy and Jobs Act," which would have reined in the Environmental Protection Agency, something Manchin said he would help do.

Sponsoring this bill surely would not have hurt Manchin. It was a Republican measure that was going nowhere.

Look for the Republican nominee in 2012 to link Manchin to Obama at the hip. That may not be difficult next time around.

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Add deaths from drug overdoses to the lists of bad things for which West Virginia ranks near the top.

West Virginia is second only to New Mexico with 26.17 drug overdose deaths per 100,000 people in 2010, according to the Los Angeles Times.

That's four times West Virginia's rate in 2000. Oxycodone and crystal meth are taking their toll.

Nationally, the Times reported, drug deaths, many from prescription drugs, now exceed traffic deaths in the United States.

After watching the war on drugs for 40 years, I am convinced that law enforcement cannot do the trick.

The only thing that has worked was the Just Say No campaign by Nancy Reagan.

Like most things Reaganesque, liberals and other comedians of the time mocked the heck out of this program.

And like most things Reaganesque, it worked.


Democrats are stuck with Obama next year. Political parties that switch horses in midstream are doomed to fail. With rare exception, the replacement loses the presidential race.

Despite this poor track record, a CNN poll found 30 percent of Democrats want Obama to face a challenger in the primaries.

If Democrats were to replace him and win, that could be even worse for the party.

The last time Republicans failed to nominate a sitting president was in 1928, when Calvin Coolidge decided against another term.

Republicans replaced him and won, giving the nation President Hoover.

It was 24 years before Republican elected another president.

One has to go back to 1856 to find a time when Democrats replaced a sitting president and managed to keep the


That gave the nation President Buchanan.

It was 28 years before Democrats elected another president.

Surber may be reached at His blog is at


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