Let’s try to put a vaguely sunny spin on the way things are going in Congress these days: We are finally learning, as Democrats at least, how utterly useless and wrong “moderates” are in these times. The term, even on the face of it, is incorrect, as so-called moderates like Manchin and Sinema aren’t in the middle of any political spectrum; what they are, really, is more like the self-loathing right. Their thinking is so far down in the muck that up is starting to look like down to them. The moderate, by definition, isn’t really interested in pushing the envelope in either direction; they’re so cowed by the status quo, whatever it is, that it obscures any vision of how much better or worse any version of it could ever be.
These folks have banality-of-evil twins on the other side of the aisle as well, and there may be no better example of that kind of specimen than our own U.S. Representative Brian Fitzpatrick. Those billed as GOP moderates have a hellscape of their own — just ask Liz Cheney — and it’s worth looking at how that’s going for him. The DCCC put it pretty succinctly earlier this month:
He also once tried to hide in a Trump caravan, and in fact, that is a metaphor for Fitz’s political career, at least as he has been building it over these last few years; the reason that the DCCC is talking about him at all, is that, surprise, still another one of his supporters is facing questioning about the January 6th insurrection.
Honestly, this seems like an exhausting way to live, much less govern. Which brings us to that question: How is this man governing? Could it be called governing? With the House out of session for a few weeks right now, it’s a good time to look at Fitz in the aggregate. Five Thirty Eight just released a tool that measures how often your congressperson votes with Biden, and for Fitz, it turns out that it’s pretty instructive in showing the level of milquetoast you get when “Problem Solver” Brian Fitzpatrick is on the job.
It looks like this:
When you tally it up, Fitz’s “Biden Score” is 56.4%. That’s not enough to pass with his Democratic constituents, but he’s also not failing hard enough to ever become a darling of today’s burn-it-down GOP. Even on single issues — let’s take a woman’s right to choose, for example — Fitzpatrick is inconsistent with his voting in the very same way that the very idea of being a “moderate,” in 2021, is utterly inconsistent with reality.