While every one of the state’s five Republicans marched in lockstep with John Boehner and Eric Cantor by opposing health care reform, seven of eight New Jersey Democrats voted for the historic health care reform bill. Among Democrats, only 3rd District Congressman John Adler voted no.
Of the 39 Democrats who voted against H.R.3962, only four come from more Democratic districts than NJ-03. Some 30 Democrats who represent redder districts than Adler’s voted yes. Adler’s vote was nothing but cowardly.
Adler’s vote may not have been a surprise, given the series of negative statements he has about the bill since the summer, but it certainly is a disappointment. Adler has moved hard to the right ever since being elected to represent NJ-03 last November. Where is the John Adler New Jersey progressives fought to elect?
What happened to the John Adler who pushed the death penalty repeal through the State Senate Judiciary Committee in 2007? What happened to the John Adler who expressed support for marriage equality in the Senate civil union hearings in 2006? The courageous progressive who served in the state Senate for more than a decade has exited the political stage to make way for a cowardly freshman Representative who caves in to the teabaggers on the big votes.
What happened to the John Adler who knows from personal experience what a lack of health insurance can do to a family? What happened to the “outspoken advocate for providing health insurance to all families”? The Congressman seems to have forgotten about the uninsured, for all he talks about these days is cutting costs.
It seems Adler has forgotten what got him elected to Congress in the first place. He won the support of rank-and-file Democrats and thus an easy path to the nomination by maintaining a progressive voting record in the State Senate. He rode Barack Obama’s coattails into office in the general election (remember that Obama outperformed him in the district in 2008). But for his first Congressional re-election campaign, Congressman Adler is casting his lot with the big-money donors looking to influence his votes on the Financial Services Committee, and with teabaggers like William Green.