It’s getting hot out there for the few congressional Democrats who do not support an impeachment inquiry.
Take the case of Arizona Rep. Tom O’Halleran, a leader of the moderate Blue Dog Coalition, who was branded #timidtom on social media and blasted by a primary challenger for staying relatively quiet on the House action against President Donald Trump. Eventually, he put out a statement affirming his support.
New York’s own Rep. Max Rose also walked a tightrope for days, talking transit and parks more than high crimes and misdemeanors.
“He’s alienated everybody,” said Fight Back Bay Ridge co-founder Mallory McMahon, adding that his office’s messaging “has tried so desperately to straddle the fence that he has fallen and impaled himself on that fence.”
In the days after the revelation of Trump’s call asking for a “favor” of the Ukrainian president regarding an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Rose noted concern but also some caution.
“Under no circumstances will I allow politics to influence my decision regarding this matter,” he said in one statement.
Fellow New Yorker Rep. Anthony Brindisi, who overturned an upstate GOP incumbent by a hair in 2018, has tried to walk a similar line, but Rose managed to alienate at higher levels. The first-term representative drew a weekend missive from Trump, who retweeted an attack ad against Rose and suggested that even being associated with impeachment-supporting Democrats would backfire.
Clearly it was too uncomfortable in the middle. Rose’s district includes Staten Island, New York City’s only county to go for Trump in 2016, also home to many moderate Democrats who may not be thrilled with impeachment, either.
But sentiment on impeachment appears to be changing quickly, and at a Staten Island town hall on Wednesday night, Rose came out in support of an impeachment inquiry.
McMahon, the activist was thrilled.
“I am very happy to see Rose listened to sense and his constituents,” she said.
Mark Chiusano, an editorial writer for amNewYork, writes the column amExpress.