Well, that didn’t take long at all: Seven staffers, who likely will peak today and fade into obscurity, have resigned in a huff from the employ of freshman Representative Jefferson Van Drew (D-NJ) after his declared defection from the Democratic Party. Van Drew was elected in 2018 in a district heavily dominated by Republicans, helping the House Dems regain a majority.
On the job in the Swamp for less than a year, Van Drew’s covey seemingly were appalled by their employer’s continued refusal to support impeaching President Donald Trump, and his latest quest to protect the orange man may have been the bipartisan gap that could not be bridged. They sought a safe space after penning displeasure over his decision to leave the Democratic Party and overtures toward a Republican sign-up. In a letter to their fearless leader and Van Drew’s chief of staff, Allison Murphy, the workers wrote:
“Sadly, Congressman Van Drew’s decision to join the ranks of the Republican Party led by Donald Trump does not align with the values we brought to this job when we joined his office … [and we are] deeply saddened and disappointed by his decision.”
They knew it was coming. Van Drew has been an impeachment holdout from the beginning, citing a partisan assault that didn’t have the teeth to be legitimate as he said:
“It was supposed to be bipartisan, it was supposed to be incontrovertible, it was supposed to be something that was always in the rarest of circumstances. Well, it’s not bipartisan.”
Maybe Van Drew is a bit more conservative than one might think. Maybe he is thinking logically, which would irritate his party bosses. Or perhaps he simply wants to keep his new, fun, stress-free job. It’s still too early to predict what will come next in the docu-series, Impeachment!
When all else fails, check the raw polling data. Recent numbers rolling off the tongues of pundits had the Swamp in full chorus: An internal survey showed a terrifying 71% of primary voters in Van Drew’s district sought to change horses in 2020, with only 28% standing behind him. Those stats less than a year from the 2020 election are downright eye-opening during the current Democrat impeachment frenzy. Perhaps those numbers contributed to Van Drew’s decision to seek shelter in the Oval Office and the blessing of the president to climb aboard the safe Trump train.
The Kids Are All Right
The staffers who originally resigned – legislative director Javier Gamboa, deputy chief Edward Kaczmarski, deputy chief Justin O’Leary, communications director Mackenzie Lucas, and legislative staff assistant Caroline Wood – have pulled the cord to a temporary gilded parachute. The seemingly apoplectic Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair, Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL), muffling words such as “traitor,” managed to release this statement via Twitter: “We’ll bring them and others who leave on with the DCCC until they land new jobs that align with their values.”
Where did the values of 2018 go? In the desire to turn struggling red states blue in 2018, then DCCC chairman Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) warmly and exuberantly lauded Van Drew just a year or so ago – for the same ideals and forward-thinking he exhibits in today’s wholly partisan impeachment fiasco. Let’s review those sage words used by Lujan in February 2018:
“A dentist, small business owner, state senator and lifelong advocate for South Jersey, Jeff Van Drew has always delivered for his community. A consensus builder with a laser-like focus on bipartisanship, Jeff has worked across the aisle to fight for working families, support our veterans, take care of our seniors, and ensure our children have a bright future.”
Wherever those America-first values are hiding within the Democratic Party, at least they ensure the kids have a job while being indoctrinated in the partisan-only – damn the Constitution and the American people – platform.
So far one person remains loyal to Van Drew, Murphy, who has been with him since his days as a New Jersey state senator. Democrats and Republicans should be kind: Murphy will be in the hot seat for months to come.
Read more from Sarah Cowgill.