There is now further vindication for the need and ultimate success of our NJ Blue Wave. For all their shifting positions, our five NJ incumbent Republican Representatives showed their true colors in the House vote which added $5.7 billion for the Wall to the resolution designed to keep government open.
“Individual-1” had initially said he would sign a bill which did not have Wall funding. That led the Senate to pass a “clean bill” which had no Wall monies. Then “Individual-1” changed his mind and insisted he would not sign a bill without the $5.7 billion. Had Republicans in the House stood in solidarity with the Senate they would have sent a clear message to “Individual-1” and a “clean bill” would have landed on his desk for his signature.
Instead our four departing Republicans – Rodney Frelinghyusen, Leonard Lance, Frank LoBiondo, and Tom MacArthur – and the lone remaining Republican, Chris Smith all voted to add the wall monies to the continuing resolution. The fact that our Republican contingent and other Republican House members bowed to Trump’s demand (207 to 170), only emboldened “individual-1” to harangue us with his “Do it my way or the highway.”
Whether Trump, presented with a clean bill supported by both houses, would have acquiesced and signed it, we don’t know. What is clear is that toadying to Trump’s whims has to stop. Our current Republican congressmen showed no desire to do so.
Our new contingent with their Democratic colleagues in other states will shortly have the opportunity and strength in numbers to act as bulwark against the madness “Individual-1” is likely to impose. It will not be easy. He is at war with his perceived enemies, determined to follow through on the hard-line promises of his insurgent campaign and fearful of any cleavage in his political coalition. We can only expect a rough ride ahead.
As Green Day sings in Good Riddance, “Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road. Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go. So make the best of this test, and don’t ask why.” May our new members prove worthy of our expectations.
Photo credit: Erin Schaff for The New York Times