President Donald Trump waves as he steps off Air Force One after arriving at Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, N.J., Friday, June 9, 2017. 
Patrick Semansky

Another state lawmaker abandons the GOP, joins Democrats

Updated

Last week, as Donald Trump’s government shutdown dragged on, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told the president what he didn’t want to hear: his State of the Union address would have to wait until the government re-opened. Trump did not take the news well.

“What’s going on in that party is shocking,” he said, referring to his Democratic opposition. “I know many people that were Democrats and they’re switching over right now, and they’re switching over quickly.”

As we discussed at the time, whenever Trump uses the generic “many people” as anecdotal evidence, it’s generally a safe bet that he’s is sharing a thought he made up. But even putting that aside, the president’s timing could’ve been better. NJ.com reported late yesterday on a notable party-switcher in the Garden State.

In a rare and unexpected move, longtime Republican state Sen. Dawn Marie Addiego of Burlington County announced Monday she is switching parties and becoming a Democrat. […]

Addiego also argued that the national Republican Party has drifted from her belief system.

The New Jersey state senator said the Republican Party at the national level “has lost its way.” Addiego’s switch doesn’t change the balance of power in the legislature – there was already a Democratic majority – but the GOP delegation in the state Senate has now reached its lowest point in nearly four decades.

This comes a week after a state lawmaker in California made the same switch from Republican to Democrat. A month earlier, Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the chief justice of the California Supreme Court, also gave up on the Republican Party.

Meanwhile, about a month ago in Kansas, a trio of elected Republican lawmakers switched parties, officially ending their GOP associations. A fourth soon followed.

And there’s Hawaii, where former Rep. Charles Djou announced last year that he’s no longer a member of the Republican Party. His announcement came almost exactly a year after state Rep. Beth Fukumoto, once considered a rising star in the Hawaii GOP, became a Democrat.

When Trump boasted last week that “many people” are “quickly” switching parties “right now,” perhaps he was confused about the partisan direction?