Unity. It’s a buzzword used by just about every politician who has run for office in recent years. The country is dividing sharply along party lines. Yet, the fastest growing political affiliation is Independent. How do these facts reconcile? Perhaps Representative Jeff Van Drew has the answer. Or, to be more direct, perhaps his reported decision today IS the answer.
Many moderate Democrats across the country have faced two stark realities: (1) Impeachment is a waste of time, energy, and taxpayer dollars, and, (2) The Democratic Party is lurching hard to the left, embracing radical policies like single-payer healthcare, open borders, and gun confiscation. But there’s another reality at play that can comfort them even if it riles conservatives: The GOP is shifting to the left on many issues as well. Republican lawmakers aren’t moving to the center as quickly as Democrats are moving away from it, but parts of President Trump’s populist stances include moderate perspectives on national debt and government spending. The shifts have made decisions like Van Drew’s much easier.
Jeff Van Drew is a democrat congressman from New Jersey CD-02. According to multiple media reports he is likely to switch to the republican party next week due to the fraudulent impeachment effort. Van Drew was one of two democrats who did not support the vote for the impeachment inquiry.
As of Saturday afternoon, it was still unclear if Van Drew would make the announcement before the House votes on impeachment, which is expected Wednesday.
“It was supposed to be bipartisan, it was supposed to be incontrovertible. It was supposed to be something that was always on the rarest of circumstances,” Van Drew told reporters about impeachment earlier this week. “Well it’s not bipartisan.”
This is more than just a single Congressman making a politically expedient decision. It’s an acknowledgement for Democrats who are fed up with their party that there’s really no excuse to continue supporting them if one does not support their actions. Tribalism in American politics has been rampant for a long time; one can argue the trend away from the bipartisanship that was evident from the Reagan administration through to the final years of the Clinton administration began as a result of the last Congressional impeachment of a president. The Clinton impeachment divided the country. Now, the Trump impeachment is doing it again, only this time the country was already squarely divided when this impeachment debacle began.
Meanwhile, Democrats are scrambling to do damage control, painting Van Drew as a coward who should have spoken up instead of deciding to switch parties.
“It’s one thing to vote against impeachment, but instead of owning up to his constituents and explaining to them why he’s doing what he’s doing, he’s now decided to just completely abandon the Democratic Party and switch,” Atlantic County Democratic Chairman Michael Suleiman said. “It’s just unconscionable.”
The problem with Suleiman’s take is that Van Drew DID own up to his constituents and explained to them why he’s doing what he’s doing. He’s been beating the same drum for two months. Suleiman is being disingenuous in trying to paint Van Drew’s actions as unconscionable. Switching parties at this juncture is the epitome of following one’s conscience.
Though no other Democrats are signaling a similar move, it’s very likely many Democratic voters are feeling the same way. The House Democrats in districts won by President Trump need to get an earful from their constituents and Van Drew needs to be told he is appreciated. He’s definitely getting an earful from the other side right about now.
Former Republicans who turned Democrat: Michael Bloomberg, Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren.
Republicans attracts talent. Democrats attract fools.
— JD Rucker (@JDRucker) December 14, 2019
Independents continue to grow because Democrats and Republicans continue to work against their own promises. This has been the case for a long time. But President Trump is demonstrating an ability and a willingness to keep his promises, which is why I can say with certainty without having to reference empirical data that more Democrats have become Independents than Republicans have over the last three years. Van Drews is just taking the step further since he’s a politician who needs the infrastructure of a party behind him if he hopes to be reelected.
With everything involved in impeachment, it’s easy to argue Van Drew’s move is the biggest. It represents a silent minority of Democrats, the ones who do not suffer from TDS, watching someone take a stand against their party’s leftward lurch.
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