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Partisan Torres Small abandons middle road

The Democrats’ impeachment gambit is every bit as dishonest as their 2018 campaign promises that they wouldn’t pursue such a nakedly political approach.

Last year, Xochitl Torres Small won her House seat in a district that voted for Donald Trump in 2016 by painting herself as a moderate more concerned with hunting and public lands than the national Democratic agenda.


Her implied message – the one many voters based their decision on – was “Torres Small isn’t like the rest of them.” Our freshman Democrat has put the falsity of that beyond doubt, first when she joined her “moderate” colleagues in supporting an “impeachment inquiry” of the president, and now as she has publicly and proudly announced she will vote to impeach President Donald Trump.


In her October op-ed announcing her abandonment of the middle road, Torres Small gave little ink to the central narrative about the president’s phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart. She hasn’t addressed it much since, even as it developed from “quid pro quo” to “bribery” to “treason” and, in the final twist of absurdity, to Nancy Pelosi’s claim that impeachment is needed to stop Trump from becoming a monarch.


Far more of her op-ed was devoted to assuring her constituents that she’s still more concerned with health care, infrastructure and a “fix” for the problems on the border. That claim is as false on its face as her initial claim to be a moderate despite a long history of liberal activism and political involvement.


If health care, infrastructure or border security were truly priorities for Torres Small, she would be working to reach a compromise on those issues, an opportunity that has been on the table throughout her time in Congress. Instead, she’s signed her name, with the clout of her Republican-leaning district behind it, to an exercise in political theater that all but guarantees absolutely no progress will be made on any of those issues.


As I explained in a Saturday radio interview, voters’ patience is wearing thin for Jerry Nadler and Nancy Pelosi’s charade. A new poll shows a rapid deterioration of support for Democratic presidential candidates in the key battleground states (and) is right in line with several other national and state-based polls conducted over the course of the one-sided impeachment hearings.


One would think such ominous warnings from voters would impel swing-district representatives like Torres-Small to swing toward the center. … She could, like New Jersey red-district Democrat Jeff Van Drew, announce she won’t vote for impeachment. If she doesn’t have the courage to stand up to Nancy Pelosi, she could at least, like Minnesota Democrat Collin Peterson, indicate she was keeping an open mind on the matter.


By refusing to do any of these things, Torres Small is lending an unearned legitimacy to Pelosi, Schiff, and Nadler as they seek to overturn the 2016 election. That’s not what voters in New Mexico’s Second Congressional District voted for in 2018.

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