Moderate Democrats are a rapidly dying breed. Mainers trusted Rep. Jared Golden, D-2nd District, to stand up to his party bosses on Capitol Hill as they pursue President Trump’s impeachment on purely partisan grounds, but he let us down.

Golden ran to represent Maine’s 2nd Congressional District in 2018 by claiming that he would serve as a moderate capable of reaching across the aisle and serving as a check against the worst excesses of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s radical left-wing agenda.

During the campaign, Golden’s allies insisted that he would “represent the 2nd district’s interests, not a ‘radical’ agenda,” and even cited his vote against impeaching Gov. Paul LePage as evidence of his political independence. Since taking office, Golden has consistently failed to live up to those expectations.

The politically motivated “impeachment inquiry” against President Trump that Pelosi unilaterally conjured up has shattered Rep. Golden’s moderate bona fides. Golden avoided taking a firm stance one way or the other for as long as he could. Even when asked directly whether he believes the president should be impeached, he offered little more than vague platitudes, trying to balance the demands of his party, which insists that he support the attempted coup, and honoring the will of his voters, who sent him to Congress with the good-faith expectation that he would steer well clear of that toxic partisanship that has kept Washington in a state of constant gridlock ever since the Democrats seized control of the House of Representatives in January.

Golden was finally compelled to lay his cards on the table when Pelosi finally called a floor vote to authorize the rigged process she cooked up, and while two Democrats courageously defied their party leadership by voting against the sham resolution, Golden wasn’t one of them. Instead, he meekly followed Pelosi’s orders.

A few weeks before the resolution was introduced, Golden told reporters that he is “100% committed to this process, committed to finding the facts, getting the truth out to the American people.” The “process” he referred to, however, wasn’t actually a formal impeachment process, but rather a glorified version of the same investigative onslaught Democrats have been pursuing from the moment they secured a majority in the House. The “process” he voted for more recently is arguably even worse, formalizing the Democrats’ stranglehold on every major aspect of the impeachment process.

Golden doesn’t have the luxury of being able to waffle on the impeachment issue any longer. With his vote, he aligned himself firmly on the side of the radical Democrats who are leading this politically motivated impeachment crusade.

Alas, we should have expected as much.

When Golden ran for Congress last year, he positioned himself as an old-school “labor Democrat.” He claimed that he was socially conservative, supported the president’s position on immigration, and opposed efforts to abolish the Second Amendment. Those were all critical selling points, considering that the 2nd District voted heavily in favor of Trump in the 2016 election.

Since taking office, however, Rep. Golden has behaved like a run-of-the-mill partisan, adhering closely to Pelosi’s far-left agenda. Golden has gone missing on key votes to secure our border and end the cultural condescension by today’s left, and he even voted in favor of a resolution calling President Trump a racist for criticizing the “squad” of extremists led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic Socialist.

According to the statisticians at FiveThirtyEight, Golden should be one of the most studiously non-partisan legislators in the entire Congress, a rare Democrat who votes with the president slightly more often than not. Instead, he’s compiled the voting record of a dyed-in-the-wool ideologue, voting in line with Trump’s position just 10 percent of the time.

It’s increasingly apparent that Golden sold the people who voted for him a bill of goods. If he won’t push back against his Party’s extremist impulses on the very issues he promised to fight for, how can we possibly trust him to resist the political pressure to go along with a blatantly partisan impeachment process?

The Democrats are consumed by an irrational hatred of President Trump that motivates everything they do, but that’s exactly the opposite of what Mainers voted for when they elected Jared Golden.

If Rep. Golden has hope of keeping his seat beyond 2020, he should have been acting like the moderate Democrat he portrayed himself to be on the campaign trail, rather than serving as just another of Nancy Pelosi’s devoted minions. His response to the politicized push for impeachment revealed once and for all that Golden’s true loyalties lie not with his constituents in Maine, but with Democrat Party leaders in Washington.

 

Dick Campbell of Orrington is a Republican representing House District 130.


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