When I started writing this post is was going to be with the following premise: While it is a wise political move to put pressure on swing state Trump district Democrats to suggest that voting for impeachment will be against their political health, the entire premise of that argument is wrong because they were in a no-win situation.
If they vote for impeachment of course they anger voters in their Trump supporting districts who think it’s a sham or might be enjoying their best economic situation in a decade and thus risk their seat in a general election but if they oppose impeachment and embarrass the Democrat party, they are sure to draw a successful primary challenge not only because a 1st term member of congress is as a rule vulnerable but the ANTIFA loving Trump hating fanatics are frankly the most motivated of Democrat voters and such folks would likely draw huge war chest to destroy them.
Moreover that vote would not endear you to the GOP who will simply argue that being part of Pelosi’s majority enabled the whole crooked impeachment business anyway.
So in my mind while you might make some hay out of such pressure I thought it wasn’t likely to work because there was no upside for a Democrat in such a situation so such Democrats might as well stand pat.
Well apparently there is a third option that frankly I hadn’t thought of but Democrat congress Jeff Van Drew did:
Impeachment is already backfiring on the Democrats even before the full House votes on two articles of impeachment. A Democratic member of Congress is preparing to switch parties, joining Republicans amid the Democrat-led impeachment effort that has put dozens of moderate Democrats in a tough position with their Trump-supporting constituents.
Representative Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey has been in talks with top advisors for President Trump, according to The New York Times. Mr. Van Drew is concerned about losing his seat in the Democratic primary or in the 2020 general election. Van Drew’s district is a traditionally Republican district that voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
While there is a value in having a sitting Democrat vote against impeachment, there is a greater value for the GOP for a congressman to switch parties over the vote. It’s true that the Democrats would go all in to defeat him but given that activists would primary him and punish him for it anyway it a wise political move.
Suddenly instead of the GOP trying to beat him no matter how he votes and ad after add linking him to the squad, he suddenly becomes a rock star of the party. Money will pour in. The party in general and the White House in particular will go all in to protect and support him. I’d be shocked if Trump didn’t turn up himself to campaign for him in his district. Furthermore as very few new GOP congressmen were elected in the house last time around, if he wins re-election he’ll have two years seniority over any GOP candidate who wins a seat on the President’s coattails in 2020.
I must confess I didn’t anticipate this move. It will be a shock to the Democrat political system , and if others Democrats on the fence realize that this is likely their best chance on re-election Van Drew might not be alone.
Then it would become an earthquake!
Exit question: How much do you think the British Election results had on his decision.