The dramatic exit by Rep. John Katko (R-NY) may have shocked liberals but was no surprise to Trump supporters. Katko’s announcement that he will not seek reelection is just further proof that one by one, the Republicans who voted for the second impeachment are leaving public office. Katko was the third to prematurely retire among the impeachers, and the most significant due to his seniority and otherwise bright future. He was in line to become chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee after the predicted takeover of the House by Republicans this November. In addition to his impeachment vote, Katko also helped draft legislation to create a 10-member commission to investigate the Jan. 6th rally. He promoted his vote last year for Biden’s first trillion-dollar infrastructure deal, which he laughably described as a “quintessentially conservative bill” despite its wasteful pork.
Across the aisle, Democrats are retiring from Congress in droves, and a recent Gallup poll shows a record 5-point advantage by the GOP among voters nationwide. That is a 14-point swing to Republicans from a 9-point lead held by Dems a year ago. A Quinnipiac poll shows that Biden’s approval rating has dropped to a record low of only 33%. Republicans are expected to gain 4 seats in the Senate in addition to winning the House if Biden’s approval rating remains below 44%, and he is far below that now.
Liberal Republicans and Democrats alike can see which way the wind is blowing. That is why they are trying to bow out gracefully before they are thrown out. Conservatives would do well to pay attention to what the left has already recognized. America is tired of progressivism. Now is not the time for us to compromise or settle for weak leadership. Candidates at every level need to have unequivocal answers to key questions, like “Will you secure our elections?,” “Will you outlaw abortion when Roe v. Wade is overturned?,” and “Will you prioritize American energy production over anti-science climate alarmism?” Without strong answers to these and other similar key questions, no candidate deserves consideration under the banner of conservatism.