by Ann Reichlin
Congressman Marc Molinaro cannot be trusted. On this point, most Democrats in New York’s Congressional District 19 would agree. And based on the comments on his Facebook page, it’s likely that his Republican base agrees on this point as well.
That’s because Marc Molinaro stands for nothing.
When you behave like a weather vane and base your votes on which way the political winds are blowing, you run into trouble when your party’s crosscutting ideological winds become a hurricane. The House GOP is so dysfunctional that in spite of controlling the chamber, it couldn’t even agree on who should be the Speaker.
Throughout Molinaro’s brief time on Capitol Hill, he has pitched himself as a moderate. Many of his votes suggest that this is not the case. His series of votes in the Speaker saga only underscore his lack of core values. Act 1: Molinaro does not vote to oust McCarthy (team player, owes his job to McCarthy). Act 2: Molinaro keeps his head down (maybe nobody will notice me). Act 3: Molinaro supports insurrectionist Jim Jordan (claims his constituents don’t care and wouldn’t know the Speaker if a truck backed into them). Act 4: Molinaro supports an Acting Speaker (must have received some pressure). Act 5: Molinaro votes against Jim Jordan (finally).
Now everyone is mad. People who care about preserving democracy are mad because Marc Molinaro was willing to support a right-wing extremist bully who actively worked to overturn the 2020 election. The right wing GOP base is mad because they now see that when pressured, Molinaro is sometimes willing to support someone who is not an extremist. So who is the real Marc Molinaro?
As a Democrat, I can’t get over the fact that a so-called moderate would ever be willing to support a man as unsuitable as Jim Jordan to be Speaker of the House. Had Jordan succeeded with the help of Molinaro’s vote, the Steve Bannon-led anti-governance wing of the Republican Party would have tossed our democracy into an abyss. If Molinaro was willing to go there, where else would he be willing to go? If a close 2024 presidential election is thrown to the House of Representatives, would Molinaro vote to overturn the election in order to appease his friends on the far right?
Based on his actions in Congress to date, it is clear that Marc Molinaro cannot be trusted to protect our democracy.