Rep. Jeff Van Drew walking around with his snazzy new Member of Congress pin is proof he’s been to House Freshman Orientation school to teach him how to, you know, vote.
That inauspicious moment should come back to haunt Van Drew. There’s a reason that unelected party bosses should not control legislators, members of Congress or anyone else. That’s how you get coddled people promoted up the system for their loyalty and obedience to the boss, instead of merit. That’s how you get poorly-qualified people occupying massively important seats where nothing more important than who runs the United States House of Representatives gets decided on a Thursday in January.
Van Drew gets another chance, Because new. Because brand new and possibly nervous. Because everybody gets it wrong sometimes, though most of us not on national TV. But holy moly, that was embarrassing. The first big, important vote for the116th Congress was for their own leadership – for Speaker. The vote that defines the new Dem House. Van Drew got his congressional pin, special license plates and ID card today. All he had to do was follow the crowd walking into the House chamber and cast a vote when they called his name – Pelosi, or somebody else, or “Present.” House Freshman Orientation was weeks of training to teach them all how to do stuff and not screw it up. And he screwed it up.
When the clerk read Van Drew’s name – this is after he’d just heard hundreds of colleagues cast proper votes because he’s at the end of the alphabet – Van Drew called out:
Laughter and babble in the chamber. The clerk moved on. At the end, he had to come back and call on Van Drew again to see if he could summon an actual vote. Clerk said “Van Drew is Present,” which marks JVD as on record as showing up in the room, but not on record with any decision on direction.
My Camden County Dem friends will think I’m an ass for even flagging this (not that I’m alone). But come on. You’ve just been GIVEN a goddamn seat in goddamn CONGRESS, and you barely had to even work for it.
I bet Tanzie Youngblood wouldn’t have f^cked it up.