Here’s the question I didn’t get to ask at the Leonard Lance town hall

Leonard Lance finally held a town hall this week, the first of two he has scheduled. The opportunity to ask questions was raffled out, which the Congressman felt was the fairest way to ensure balance. It was a good system, but, as someone who wrote up a question in advance, it left me sitting with this draft of a question and nothing to do with it. So, I’m sharing it here. Maybe someone in Saturday’s town hall wants to adapt it or take pieces of it.

First off, Congressman, thank you for making the time tonight and this weekend for this townhall. As one of the constituents who was calling your office immediately after the November election, I am overjoyed that, 107 days after your re-election, you are finally making yourself available to the public, and I feel blessed to be one of the lucky ones who made it in.

I have a question that’s not about the ACA or healthcare. As you have said, you ran on a platform of repeal and replace, and you won.

Now, a lot of people are saying that you outspent your opponent by a margin of more than 4:1, in a district so gerrymandered that it has been held by Republicans since Reagan first won the presidency, and you won by a margin of fewer than 40 thousand votes, or just a little more than a 10% margin.

But let’s ignore all that, and stipulate that the election outcome gives you a mandate to support repealing and replacing Obamacare, if and when the Congress that voted for repeal 60 times is able to come up with a plan.

Let’s talk about some things you did not run on as part of your campaign.

You did not run on putting the anti-semitic, misogynist, white nationalist Steve Bannon in the White House.

You did not run on spending $22 billion in taxpayer money to build a wall on the southern border of the United States.

You did not run in favor of having a National Security Advisor secretly and illicitly colluding with Russian officials to contradict official American foreign policy.

You did not run on a platform of instituting a religious litmus test for entrance to the United States, but when President Trump issued that executive order, your strongest criticism was to call it “rushed and poorly implemented”.

In short, you didn’t run on being a puppet of President Trump, but that’s what you’ve become in Washington. According to 538, in 14 votes in the current Congress, you’ve only cast one vote against the President’s desired outcome.

So, my question, Congressman, is this: is there anything this President can do that you would stand up to? Is there any line he could cross, anything at all, that would cause you to stand up and say “stop”, “enough is enough”?

Because, if there is no line, I’d humbly ask you to step aside, and let your vote in Congress be used by someone who has enough of a brain to make their own judgements about what is best for the constituents of the NJ 7th, and enough of a spine to stand up to the bully in the White House.

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