Sometimes, the worst thing that you can do to political opponents is make them vote on their own ideas.
Calls to abolish the agency known as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the mainstream media began after the shocking primary defeat of Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a young socialist candidate who made the elimination of ICE a central component of her successful campaign. Democrats - eager to attract young voters by supporting socialism AND the elimination of ICE- began to jump on board.
While the movement MIGHT have been restricted to a few scattered liberals with no national standing, GOP lawmakers were shocked when the proposal received the endorsement of several prominent Democratic lawmakers, including Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), as well as New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. Both Booke and Gillibrand have been mentioned as potential PRESIDENTIAL candidates.
You can BET that GOP groups quickly polled the issue and found it to be highly unpopular. Hoping to drive GOP turnout by highlighting unpopular items in the Democratic agenda, Republican leaders at first proposed bringing up the Democratic proposal to abolish ICE but switched course and brought up a resolution supporting ICE on Wednesday.
The result: the measure was approved 244-35, with 18 Democrats voting to back ICE and 133 Democrats voting, "present."
So will a "present" vote save a Democratic legislator from political fall-out in the fall.
I doubt it. How it will play out: there will be a news story in the fall about ICE arresting smugglers, smashing a human trafficking ring, or arresting gang members connected to a horrific crime. Cue the ads: "when law enforcement needed Congressman (name here)...he voted present. Our law enforcement personnel deserve better!"