Too many positions taken by members of Congress are based on politics, not what is good for the nation or what their consciences dictate.
So, strange as it may seem, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has been criticized roundly - indirectly, by no less than President Barack Obama - for following his conscience in a vote last week.
Manchin was among just a handful of Democrats voting against Obama's nominee as assistant attorney general, Debo Adegbile. Liberals quickly slammed Manchin and other Democrats who opposed the president. Obama referred to the vote as "a travesty."
Nearly all Senate Democrats voted in favor of Adegbile, supporting their party's president. The handful who did not, along with Republicans, acted as they did because of Adegbile's record in helping defend the convicted murderer of a Philadelphia policeman in 1981.
Manchin said he cast his vote after talking with the officer's widow.
"I made a conscientious decision," he told reporters.
Good for Manchin. Again, too few members of Congress let their consciences be their guides.