“Only after learning Democrats were abandoning him in his district and that he wasn’t faring well against potential Republican challengers did Van Drew see the political light turning red, as opposed to blue”
Jefferson Van Drew may be positioning himself as a real Republican, but his local paper isn’t buying it.
The Ocean City Sentinel’s Editorial Board penned a brutal editorial last week highlighting the former Democrat’s liberal record.
REMINDER: Van Drew’s decision to switch parties came after weeks of lobbying from Chris Christie and Washington Republicans. And Van Drew’s own internal polling showed that voters wanted a new representative by a nearly 17 percent margin. Van Drew voted against Trump 90 percent of the time, including votes against some of Trump’s top policy positions and key legislative priorities like the border wall. Van Drew also voted to ratify and affirm investigations related to Trump.
Chris Christie and national Republicans may have orchestrated Van Drew’s party-switch (and failed to clear the field) to protect the vulnerable incumbent, but they can’t erase his liberal voting record.
READ THE EDITORIAL BELOW
Does Van Drew get absolution for his Democratic sins?
Van Drew’s voting more like AOC than GOP
Does U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew have the credentials to be a Republican?
Atlantic County Republican leaders believe that. They endorsed Van Drew for re-election after the congressman’s perfectly timed switch to the GOP in December after a long career as a Democrat.
Since his conversion, Van Drew has quickly lined up the support of politicians and political organizations across the district, such as the Atlantic County GOP, almost all of them eager to follow President Trump’s lead in endorsing Van Drew for another term.
This comes right on the heels of Van Drew promising his (former) Democratic supporters – while fundraising from them – that he would never switch to the GOP or support the president. Van Drew consistently pointed out that he gave years of his loyalty to the Democratic Party but was being ostracized for breaking ranks on only one issue, albeit the spectacular one of impeachment.
In his freshman year in Congress, Van Drew got more national notice than his Republican predecessor received in more than two decades. That is almost all courtesy of his party switch that vaulted him to the top of the GOP ticket and forced most career Republicans to abandon their chance to try to replace him at the ballot box.
In the press release announcing the endorsement, Atlantic County GOP Chairman Keith Davis said he was giving Van Drew the Chairman’s Seashell “Republican of the Year” award at the party’s March convention.
It makes political sense. The GOP is doing everything it can to boost their new colleague’s chance at getting re-elected.
On the other hand, the only real thing Van Drew has done for the GOP or the president is his impeachment vote.
Valid questions this election year include: Who, exactly, is Van Drew? What did he stand for in the past? What will he stand for in the future? Will his votes be loyal to his new party? Will his values change along with his party affiliation?
Look at how he voted to support the president in his first year in Congress.
In retrospect, he didn’t.
Most Republican members of the House of Representatives have records that show they voted 90 percent of the time or more with President Trump. Those are some bona fide Republicans of the Year.
Van Drew voted with Trump a mere 13.8 percent of the time.
Although he gave the president his biggest votes, on impeachment, he voted against the president’s interests 86.2 percent of the time.
Consider that Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (nicknamed AOC), one of the most liberal members of the House, voted with the president 13.6 percent of the time.
Democrat Adam Schiff, who led the impeachment proceedings against the president, voted with the president more than Van Drew, at 15.4 percent of the time.
Van Drew voted against multiple measures on border wall funding.
He voted against the president on sales of arms to Saudi Arabia.
He voted against the president on providing humanitarian aid at the border with Mexico.
In fact, he voted similarly to U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the Democrat who argued the House case for impeachment.
He voted akin to U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler, who was the face of the impeachment in the House.
He voted like Steny Hoyer, the Maryland representative who is the Democratic Majority Leader right behind Nancy Pelosi. Speaking of the speaker, she voted more with Trump than Van Drew, at 18.3 percent.
This is what rings so hollow about the Van Drew conversion. He pledged his “undying support” to President Trump in December, but he did not support him the other 11 months of his freshman year. Only after learning Democrats were abandoning him in his district and that he wasn’t faring well against potential Republican challengers did Van Drew see the political light turning red, as opposed to blue.
When he converted, Van Drew claimed the Democratic Party was moving to the left of him, but his overall voting record doesn’t show that. The voting record shows he was as much a Democrat as Ocasio-Cortez, Schiff and Hoyer.
If Van Drew keeps up his Democratic pattern of votes in Congress, what will that say to conservative voters in his district? And if he radically changes his voting patterns to show his new GOP allegiance, what does that say about his principles?
Most likely, Van Drew expects President Trump’s Wildwood rally blessing last week gives him forgiveness for all his past Democratic sins, just as Republican voters give this president absolution for all of his own transgressions.