Over the weekend, Democratic Congressman Jeff Van Drew announced he was going to switch parties, in large part, because he opposes impeachment. This shouldn’t be surprising, as Van Drew was one of the most conservative Democrats in the House. That said, what Van Drew is implying with this switch is that he is more at home in a party that doesn’t want to expand health insurance (and wants to make it worse), opposes a higher minimum wage, unions, and routinely uses white nationalist and dominionist rhetoric to appeal to voters. Not a good look. It’s also worth noting he was in office for less than a year: it’s not like he didn’t know what party he was joining. “I didn’t leave my party, my party left me” doesn’t work here.
One wonders if he also has changed his mind about D.C. statehood.
This also should be a lesson about how bad the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is at their jobs. Not only did they spend a lot of money to get Van Drew elected, but, in the primary, they opposed a more progressive candidate. And for what?
There’s also something else to consider about the conservative ‘frontliners‘, the Democrats in swing districts who typically drag the party to the right. We need to keep some of them, enough to maintain a majority and pass legislation. We do not need to keep all of them. Some need to be viewed as expendable. They are not that likely to win re-election, and very unlikely to win ‘wave elections.’ When they water down Democratic policies, they hurt more moderate members, endangering the majority, as well as down ticket candidates. One way to make the moderates along with the more left-ish candidates take on the conservatives is to primary them: they don’t want to lose their offices any more than the conservatives.
Because that’s how Democrats got any movement on impeachment in the first place.