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This week I wrote to Rep. Patrick Murphy (FL), one of 47 House Democrats who voted for tighter restrictions on Syrian refugees. He’s not in my district, but he’s running for the Senate next year and he had been my top choice. I said I was “disappointed that so many House Democrats betrayed the final line in our national anthem,” adding “leaders of ‘the land of the free and the home of the brave’ would not turn away widows and orphans who are fleeing a horrific war zone.”

I suspect Rep. Murphy cast his vote because he knows it won’t matter. The so-called SAFE Act is unlikely to pass the Senate, and President Obama has already said he’ll veto it if it reaches his desk. Should it get that far, I doubt Rep. Murphy or many other House Democrats will defy the president’s veto.

But although this vote will have no policy effect, it reinforces the narrative that Democrats live in constant fear of being called “soft on terrorism.” It’s high time they grew some backbone, and I conveyed that to Rep. Murphy.