By Perry Gershon — Published in The Long Island Advance, April 12, 2018
Congressman Lee Zeldin, in Eastern Long Island, continues to be President Trump’s biggest cheerleader and defender. Zeldin is willing to look the other way as our nation’s democratic norms are torn apart, and his loyalty to Trump appears to be blinding Zeldin to the need for Robert Mueller to complete his investigation.
Despite an overwhelming amount of evidence that ties people in the Trump campaign to Russia, Zeldin is still tweeting doubts on April 7: “DOJ/FBI must provide Congress w/original doc stating exactly why Trump-Russia was opened.” Perhaps Zeldin should follow the lead of Republicans such as Trey Gowdy, hardly a moderate, who continues to say the Mueller probe is on the right track and should be allowed to complete his investigation. Zeldin is so obsessed with trying to discredit the Mueller inquiry that he also tries to open a new controversy where nothing is there. From his same tweet: “there’s a ton of evidence of misconduct re FISA abuse, how/why Clinton probe ended & Trump-Russia probe began.” And his overall explanation is “While SC investigates POTUS for winning elex w/o evidence of crime to win elex”. Attention Rep Zeldin, there is an open investigation, so we do not know if there is evidence of an election-related crime or not, but there certainly is circumstantial suggestion – look only at Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn and the Russians indicted and sanctioned recently.
Zeldin does not confine his blind loyalty to the Russia investigation. This week, as reported in Newsday, he appeared on Fox News praising Trump’s dealing with China, calling him “the ultimate deal maker” and suggesting Trump’s trade war with China is going “to be bringing down walls” between the two nations. Certainly the stock market, conservative Republican Senators like Ben Sasse, and most economists do not agree. And Zeldin has recently announced his praise for the new National Security Advisor John Bolton. This is the same John Bolton who was known as President Bush’s biggest hawk and a guy who could not receive Senate confirmation. It is interesting to note that Trump, who ran on a platform that excoriated the Iraq war and said he would never have gone there, has now appointed one the war’s chief architect’s to lead our national security. And Lee Zeldin is praising Trump’s actions.
And just this past Saturday, Congressional representatives throughout the country joined students, parents and teacher for townhalls to discuss what to do in the wake of the Parkland shooting. Zeldin declined to participate. I was proud to be one of the six Democratic candidates to listen to the concerns of students in the district, and to discuss my view of what common sense gun violence legislation would look like. It’s an inspiration to see young people make their voices hear, but I was equally pained to see Zeldin’s empty seat on display. This is no way to represent a district.
Lee Zeldin has become an extremist. He caters his policy and remarks to the “Trump base” at the expense of the majority of his constituents. He does not even pretend to represent the entirety of the district, just like President Trump, the divider in chief. We must elect a Democrat to replace Zeldin in November.
Candidate for Congress, NY-1