On Wednesday, Blue Dog Democrat, U.S. Representative, and man who reportedly did not vote (!) in the 2016 presidential election Collin Peterson was one of the only two Democratic holdouts in the House’s impeachment vote against President Donald Trump.
The resolution passed this morning at 228 to 197, with Peterson and New Jersey Democrat Jeff Van Drew opposed.
228-197: House adopts rule for articles of impeachment resolution on near party line vote. 2 Democrats Peterson-MN and Van Drew-NJ voted No with all Republicans. Amash-I voted Yes. pic.twitter.com/XdAFeyXBOr— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) December 18, 2019
Credit where credit is due, we suppose. Peterson has been swearing he’d do this for months, and back in September told MinnPost anyone who thought “a partisan impeachment process would constrain President Trump” was “fooling themselves.” The whole shebang would be too “divisive,” Peterson said.
Progressive Twitter is still catching up, with many just finding out about Peterson’s stance and track record. They can’t believe what they’re seeing.
Please call rep Collin Peterson and explain to him that supporting a criminal, lying about evidence and turning his back on Minnesota will cost him in the next election. https://t.co/fx5BZXj7GE— MaryMary (@marymary71958) December 16, 2019
Rep. Collin Peterson of mn should be recalled by his constituents. his vote not to impeach based strictly on the "it's too divisive" reasoning is beyond the pale. he's not being asked to vote on that. either he believes that trump is guilty or not. biggest cop-out ever.— tom ryan (@trextr) December 10, 2019
Anderson Cooper just said a Dem from MN voted against impeachment.— Kara not Car-ah (@karacod) December 18, 2019
This dude, Collin Peterson from Minnesota is a democrat??? How is no one running against him for Dem seat yet for 2020?
We need to change this!! pic.twitter.com/DRTHOHAKQa
Aside from Twitter critics, Peterson had little incentive to change his mind. In 2016, his district in Minnesota’s western half went for Trump by a 31-point margin. First elected in 1991, Peterson's kept constituents happy mostly by remaining staunchly conservative despite the “D” after his name, opposing abortion rights, gay marriage, and gun control.
He's got competition coming in 2020. Several Republicans have filed, but his likely opponent is former state senator Michelle Fischbach, a party establishment favorite and newly appointed member of the Trumpian “Conservative Squad." Even Peterson's reputation as a Democrat in name only might not be enough to save him.
Meanwhile, no Democratic candidates have yet filed to oppose him. Anyone turned off by his vote against impeachment would have an uphill battle: For every (out-of-district) liberal “disgusted” and “ashamed of” Peterson, there’s a Trump fan tweeting congratulations for being the only “Dem with a conscience.” Or one of two, anyway.