Should constitutional-liberty conservatives like Seth Grossman support our newly Republican congressman, Rep. Jeff Van Drew?
According to Grossman: ‘It’s complicated. Right now, I don’t know.’
Grossman: There are many good reasons for us to oppose Van Drew. Most of those reasons were given by leading Democrats from Nancy Pelosi in Washington to state Senate President Steve Sweeney, and the left-leaning editor of a major North Jersey newspaper.
These Democrats at one point fully supported Van Drew in spite of his public opposition to President Trump’s impeachment.
They pointed out that “Van Drew cast a bunch of good liberal votes in his first year” and voted against Trump 92% of the time.
Van Drew opposed Trump by voting to support Obama:
- unconstitutional Paris Climate Accords
- gun control
- swampy Export-Import Bank
- $15 minimum wage
- net neutrality
- citizenship for millions of illegal aliens
Since switching parties, Van Drew also embraced the Republican establishment leaders who publicly complained about Trump, and who repeated Democrat lies about me when I ran against Van Drew in 2018.
Van Drew as a Republican is now weaker than he was when I came fairly close to defeating him as a Democrat last year (with his victory margin 6% or 20,000 votes). Democrats are about to nominate an even weaker candidate from the radical left.
Why shouldn’t real conservative Republicans seize the opportunity to defeat both of them with a real conservative?
It’s complicated. There are also good reasons to support Van Drew. Since he switched to become a Republican, progressive Democrats have not been able to contain their hatred against Van Drew.
Like a mafia boss dealing with a “made man” who betrayed his “family,” Democrats are out to destroy Van Drew and anyone who supports him personally, politically and financially. It’s also a matter of “business” — they need to teach other moderates not to do the same thing.
Of course, Van Drew did not betray the Democrats. They betrayed him.
Van Drew campaigned to be a bipartisan problem solver in Congress, not a tool of the radical or “woke” left.
At first, Democrats were OK with that. They defended Van Drew when he shook Trump’s hand and publicly opposed impeachment. They were happy that Van Drew flipped a Republican district to help give House Democrats their new majority, the speaker’s gavel and control of all committees.
They were happy Van Drew voted to support the other 92% of their agenda.
However, something changed a few months ago. Suddenly, Democrats could not tolerate even one dissenting vote on impeachment. Any House Democrat who didn’t go along, including Van Drew, would be punished.
Unlike Republicans, Democrats know how to punish those who don’t follow orders. If Van Drew did not vote for impeachment, he would have to run an expensive primary election campaign against another Democrat next June as well as running against a Republican in November.
Anyone who donated to or supported his campaign would be attacked. Federal funds for the FAA Tech Center, the Cape May Coast Guard Station or beach erosion projects might be threatened.
What changed? I am on the outside and can only guess. I believe that at first, Democrats with a 235 to 200 majority in the House didn’t think they needed Van Drew’s vote. I think they were confident they would get far more than the bare 218 votes they needed to impeach Trump.
My guess is that the Democrat case for impeachment was weaker than expected and failed to win public support.
I believe more than a dozen other Democrat House members were ready to vote against impeachment if they thought Van Drew could do so without being punished. That would have been extremely embarrassing to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and all progressive Democrats.
That is why this is complicated.
If constitutional/liberty conservatives work to defeat Van Drew, they would be helping the progressive Democrats I despise destroy their enemies and take total control of their party.
Would we be better off if Van Drew survived as a Republican? Would that encourage other Democrats to also switch parties?
Would a Republican Van Drew be willing to vote to enforce immigration laws, make America energy independent, protect Second Amendment rights, and let Americans again buy the affordable health insurance policies that they want (and not Obamacare policies that subsidize abortions, sex change operations and illegal aliens)?
It’s complicated. We need some conversation to sort things out.
Seth Grossman is the Executive Director of Libertyandprosperity.com. He was the Republican candidate for the House of Representatives for NJ’s 2d District against then Democrat Jeff Van Drew in 2018.