As a freshman member of Congress in one of the toughest toss-up districts in America, DFL U.S. Rep. Angie Craig is under more scrutiny than your average politician.
After careful consideration -- Craig's own, and, let's assume, that of people who run and/or fund campaigns for candidates like her -- Craig is finally in favor of articles of impeachment filed against President Donald Trump last week.
In a public letter, Craig said she wasn't looking forward to trying to vote a president out of office, and instead came to Washington to take on topics like prescription drug prices, "family farmers," and education funding. Though the (Democratic-controlled) U.S. House of Representatives and (Republican) U.S. Senate don't do much these days, Craig herself has introduced 300-some bills, and is "proud" well over half of hers are bipartisan.
At this point, though, Craig has no choice but to take sides: Impeach a sex offending inept corrupt bully racist nitwit who admits he did what he's accused of? Or nah?
As of Sunday, Craig is officially a "yes" on impeachment, writing:
"It is clear from the testimony and the report delivered to Congress that the President attempted to coerce a foreign government into investigating his political rival by withholding Congressionally-appropriated military assistance to a foreign ally.This is a clear abuse of power by a sitting U.S. President for his own personal gain. It is also clear that the President obstructed Congress by refusing to produce documents and blocking testimony during the impeachment inquiry, which is against the law."
A full House floor vote on impeachment could come as soon as Wednesday. Expect Craig to play it subtle, cast her vote, and exit stage center-left as quickly as possible so she can get back to highlighting issues she sees as clearer winners in her district.
Like trade: Last week, House Democrats announced they'd support the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), a negotiated update to the '90s-era North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). House Speaker Nancy Pelosi backs the new deal Trump's trade rep Robert Lightizer struck with our neighbors to the north and south, as does the AFL-CIO union.
If passed and signed, the massive and complex legislation would be just about the only thing this divided Congress actually does. This sort of thing is what Angie Craig's all about, and she released a statement saying she'd been watching and working on the deal for "months," and has "pushed to make sure hard-working Minnesotans weren’t given a false choice between open markets and affordable healthcare."
Craig was present at last week's announcement, standing just a few feet away from chief author U.S. Rep. Richard Neal (D-Massachusetts), who described the agreement as an "'it will never happen' moment." That line got a laugh from fellow members, including Craig -- who punctuated hers with a noticeable flare of her eyes.
A zoomed-in video of Craig's... let's say "animated" facial expressions as Neal spoke has been making the rounds on Twitter, spread generally by right-wing types who allege Craig she looks like she's on drugs. (Have they, uh, seen or heard their president lately?)
That cocaine kicking her ass pic.twitter.com/B0P1NFtAq4— CURE (@CureHipHop) December 13, 2019
To be fair, Craig didn't have a speaking role at that press conference, and few would be comfortable as a bystander/human prop under the hot glare of national attention during the strangest political moment in hers or anyone's lifetime. Learning to mindlessly smize through a high-profile job that's equal parts boring and tense seems more like something they teach reps who make it to their second term.
Weighing our options, we'll take a quietly wide-eyed Angie Craig over a loudly narrow-minded Jason Lewis.