Donald Trump wasn’t necessarily the only one who had a bad week, as he faced an impeachment that he’s still trying to convince himself never actually happened. New Jersey Congressman Jeff Van Drew, who had already earned the ire of fellow Democrats when he voted against the impeachment inquiry, decided to become a Republican and ultimately voted against the articles of impeachment for Donald Trump.
In his refusal to vote for either the inquiry or the impeachment itself after hearing witness testimony, he threatened that a number of Democrats might also move to vote against impeachment. That blew up in his face when he became the only Democrat to switch sides over the impeachment issue – and laughably, lost the majority of his staff, who were obviously not consulted on his decision to switch parties. Now Van Drew is already causing a whole new and embarrassing disaster for his new party.
Republicans desperate to survive the 2020 elections are now doing everything they can to make Trump’s impeachment hearing seem like it was a malicious effort to keep him from being a successful president. When Van Drew came aboard, the National Republican Congressional Committee chair commended his supposed bravery for standing up to Nancy Pelosi. The problem is that it’s going to be hard painting the Democrats as the intolerant ones when they have a track record of being intolerant themselves – even towards Jeff Van Drew.
Per usual, they accused Van Drew of being a socialist when he ran for election last year, of shady fundraising and going all-in on abortion. They also pointed out a few true things, like his track record of voting against Donald Trump 94% of the time. The problem isn’t so much that they ran a negative campaign against him as a candidate typical of how they attack all Democrats, but that they tried to cover their tracks – scrubbing the tweets and ads from their websites but not before a few internet researchers were able to capture screenshots of most of it. Now Van Drew has a real problem even among his new supposed friends, and is just as likely to face a challenge from the right as he already has from the left.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making