Malinowski v. Kean: Closing Argument

CD7, Kean and Malinowski.

Previously, I have shared my reasons as a Republican for supporting Tom Malinowski in the 7th district congressional race against Tom Kean, Jr., in this publication. Rather than restate those reasons here, I can synthesize them. Or rather, let a reader’s reply to one of my article’s do so for me.

According to that reader:

If you claim to be a Republican voting for Democrat Tom Malinowski, and by extension voting for the corrupt Biden-China Administration then you’re NOT a Republican. Your first name should be Benedict, as in Benedict Arnold. You know who he is and that he could have cost us our country in the process. Are you doing the same?????

This reply speaks volumes.  It is where any number of our fellow citizens are.  Where, though, is Tom Kean, Jr.? And who is he – actually?

Other than his (frankly, venerable) last name, I know of no meaningful professional accomplishments (besides getting elected), no legislative accomplishments and, indeed, have no insight into what Kean, Jr. wants to do if he wins this race or – by extension – why he is even running.

Kean, Jr. has spent almost all of his 54 years on this earth as a politician in one of the dreariest of all political arenas; the New Jersey State Legislature.  Before that, he was a legislative aide to a member of congress.  Before that he was Special Assistant to the Assistant Administrator at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances. Before that, was the Director of Ticket Control for the Desert Storm Homecoming Foundation and a “partner” of – you guessed it, The Kean Family Foundation, LLP.”  And before that, he was growing up.

We all can form our own understanding of what this is. To me, as a father, much of it looks like the efforts of an influential Dad deeply (and understandably) involved in the life of a directionless, unaccomplished son. Whose only adult paying job has been what he is now – an unaccomplished, professional politician.

Why is he running?  In the last month or so, Kean, Jr. has moved from platitudes (he will somehow control inflation) to the perverse – which is that, of the two candidates, Kean, Jr. is the ethical one.  In an avalanche of direct mailings supplemented by media buys, we see the familiar pattern.  Dark, still photos.  Chilling, conclusory phrases.  And a progression from “concern” about Malinowski to “he did it.”  Did what, exactly?  The allegation is that Malinowski improperly traded stocks to profit off the pandemic. The proof?  Malinowski is the subject of a bipartisan Congressional ethics investigation.

Which is falsity by omission.  The bipartisan Committee (split 50/50 between Democrats and Republicans) found that Malinowski committed a paperwork error by failing to report stock trades before the reporting deadline and was fined $200. Critically, the bipartisan Committee report specifically ruled out insider trading, concluding that Malinowski had no clue which stocks his broker, Neil Gagnon, was buying and selling.

This conclusion was reported by the bipartisan Committee over a year ago.  Leaving us with two possibilities.  If Kean, Jr. read the report, then he knows that the heart of his campaign is untrue.  Alternatively, Kean, Jr. is fundamentally incompetent.

Let’s be kind.  Let’s assume that it is the latter.  Either way, this is hardly the stuff of a self-described ethics champion.  If you want MAGA – and all the emptiness upon which it rests – you know whom to vote for.

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12 responses to “Malinowski v. Kean: Closing Argument”

  1. You cannot be a Republican. Even if you hate Trump, which no real conservative should, supporting Malinowski is supporting The Biden, Pelosi, and Woke Liberal agena.

  2. You raise an important point. Who gets to decide what you are, and what I am? For me, that answer is obvious.
    I’ll make my own decision for me. Your way is just another variant of cancel culture, in which dissonant voices are neither heard nor permitted. And this leads to a good outcome? Look at the Republican party now. McCarthy. Trump. Boebert. Taylor Greene. I will be patient and stick to my principles while waiting for (and working towards) a better Republican party. In doing so, I will entertain other voices with whom I may choose to agree or disagree. Because that is my responsibility. Not as a member of a faction – which is the thing our founding fathers most feared. But rather, as an American.

  3. “supporting Malinowski is supporting The Biden, Pelosi, and Woke Liberal agena.”

    You write that like it’s somehow a bad thing!

  4. Tom Kean Jr. has been in NJ close to the voters and the issues that affect them. Malinowski is a Washington DC political operative, what real job has he ever held? Malinowski came back from DC to jump in the Congressional race, not really understanding or caring about issues that affect the people of the 7th Congressional district. No need when he has millions of dollars of outside money to push his false narratives. Kean is not maga, he is a moderate.

  5. For one, Malinowski did the hard work of statecraft in the State Department. And did it well. In our domestic politics adversaries use falsehoods (as Kean, Jr., is doing here) to momentarily curry favor with an electorate that has a very short attention span. In the sphere of international affairs, we have determined enemies with long time horizons that pose difficult, and at times existential, challenges. A policy mistake here is a pivot point for the next election. A policy mistake internationally can mean that many people die from war, starvation, human rights abuses or disease. Does that answer your question about “what real job” Malinowski has ever held?

  6. I think that you cannot be a Republican and an American today, if one accepts the position of your critic.

    The simple fact is that the MAGA movement and its America First corollary are not genuinely Republican Party organizations. Conservatives would never countenance the dishonesty, recklessness and cowardice exhibited by Tea Party extremists who are the MAGA majority but a tiny fraction of the American population.

    They are in fact contemporary manifestations of the original America First bigots of the 1920s and ’40s, and its predecessor the Ku Klux Klan, the world’s first purveyor of fascist ideology.

    Like the Know Nothings and other xenophobic political entities, these groups are comprised of frightened people who think they can hide from the reality of the world by burying their heads in the sand. Like the foolish and fearful America First Committee members who thought they could avoid the horrors of combat only to wake up on December 7, 1941, when World War II came to the United States to dispel such childish notions.

    The truth is that both parties have been consumed with a desire to win at any cost and in the process, politicians have sold out their ideals, values and beliefs in order to please their donors, who largely represent the same interests, which is the billionaire class and corporate oligarchy. Establishment Democrats have abandoned the welfare state that enriched the working-class and Establishment Republicans have abandoned their goal of fiscal responsibility, global leadership and freedom.

    The strong leadership of the Nazi Party brought devastating defeat to Germany and the bully tactics of the modern GOP is certain to disgrace America. It is easy to see why people ignored the evil of Hitler and Trump in the moment, even if their behavior is unforgivable in retrospect.

    I feel sorry for any Republicans that are lost in the political storm swirling around them, but the dozen or so courageous officials who stood up against the tide of Trumpism have been crushed by its force so they are not coming out of the woodwork.

    John Dean asserted that post-Goldwater conservatism has been co-opted by people with authoritarian personalities and policies, citing data from Bob Altemeyer. According to Dean, modern conservatism, specifically on the Christian Right, embraces obedience, inequality, intolerance, and strong intrusive government, in stark contrast to Goldwater’s philosophies and policies.

    Americans must rise up to the responsibility of citizenship for the republic to survive but the immediate future is going to be a difficult time for us all.

  7. James, here is what I know. This is one race involving two people. Rather than throw in the towel quite yet, I’m voting for Malinowski.

  8. A vote for Malinowski, is a vote for Nancy. Andy you are an elitist liberal pretending to be republican like that mayor dan hayes, Everyone in Bridgewater knows that

  9. Hopefully voters will see what a true public servant is as opposed to a lackluster n’er do well son of a former governor. If elected residents of the district will have no voice echoing their concerns. If they are lucky Mr. Kean might march in a parade or two and will be kissed on his royal ring by the mayor only to disappear the rest of the year.
    Tom Malinowski has proven himself to be a defender of local residents and would continue to champion our cause in Washington. If you want to continue to be represented, vote for him. If you want a guy who doesn’t know you and doesn’t want to, then Mr. Kean Jr. is your man.

  10. While I strongly disagree with the author Andrew Leven s opinion I really appreciate the replies. Looking forward to his next article. Very good writing, very bad opinion.

  11. What James wrote can be found off the rear end of blue check twitter. To compare the current MAGA movement to the KKK-what an imbecile. Get a clue.

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