[guest post by Dana]
House Democrats are angry with the DCCC for putting money behind MAGA candidates in the GOP primaries to try and put in place what they see as a easier candidates to defeat in November:
A growing number of House Democrats are seething at their own campaign arm for meddling in a GOP primary to promote a pro-Trump election conspiracy theorist — after months of warning that such candidates were a threat to democracy.
In public statements, private chats and complaints taken directly to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Democratic members are aghast that the committee is spending nearly half a million dollars to air ads boosting Donald Trump-endorsed John Gibbs over Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.), who voted to impeach Trump last year.
While Meijer is one of the few GOP lawmakers who voted to hold Trump accountable for his own false claims about the 2020 race, his blue-leaning seat is also a top Democratic target district this fall — and Gibbs is seen as an easier opponent to beat in November. The primary next Tuesday will kick off a three-month sprint to the general election.
Rep. Stephanie Murphy points to why this strategy is a problem:
“No race is worth compromising your values in that way”…
Democrats, like Murphy, fear the strategy could easily backfire, if a candidate like Gibbs were to win the general election amid a GOP wave — and the party also risks undercutting its own core message about the dangers of MAGA Republicans taking power. It could be harder for Democrats to claim that certain GOP candidates are an existential threat to the country if they are also using party money to push them closer to winning office.
A number of other Democrats have voiced their frustration about this “strategy,” citing the obvious danger if it backfires:
“Many of us are facing death threats over our efforts to tell the truth about Jan. 6. To have people boosting candidates telling the very kinds of lies that caused Jan. 6 and continues to put our democracy in danger, is just mind-blowing,” said Murphy, who is not seeking reelection this fall.
“It’s very dangerous, I think, in this environment to be propping up candidates like that,” said Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.), who called it “a terrible idea” and said he has raised his concerns to the DCCC.
“Of course, it could backfire. And that’s part of the reason why I don’t think it’s a good idea,” he said. “Not only do I think it sends the wrong message, but it’s substantively risky.”
“It’s dishonorable, and it’s dangerous, and it’s just damn wrong,” said Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), who said his party was at risk of accelerating the loss of the remaining “truly honorable and courageous Republicans” like Meijer, who was one of just 10 in his party to impeach Trump last year.
“Dirty games like this are part and parcel of political campaigns. But when you talk about putting money behind candidates who want to come to Washington and destroy our democracy… it’s not a political, dirty trick anymore,” Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) said. “It’s unconscionable.”
This just seems like an unbelievably stupid risk taken by Democrats. If the plan backfires, it would not only be very problematic for the party, but also for the nation if Trump-backed election conspiracy theorists got elected to office. But, even if it went the way Democrats hope it will, the optics would still be seen as craven. Democrats have now exposed themselves as the lip-service only party when it comes to what is a threat to our democracy. Because either Democrats believe that Trump-backed election conspiracy theorists are a threat to democracy and do not belong in government (like they’ve repeatedly claimed), or they do – so much so that they’re willing to spend money to help them get there. And the latter message, ultimately, is that they are the party of massive hypocrites. There really isn’t a middle ground in this. That hypocrisy is a point of attack that Republicans will be able to make over and over again.
Anyway, here’s how Rep. Peter Meijer summed it up, and rightfully so:
I’m sick and tired of hearing the sanctimonious bullshit about the Democrats being the pro-democracy party.
Also, as I was unable to locate video of just Meijer’s full reaction to the Democrats’ hypocrisy, in which he find himself a target, here is an interesting panel discussion about the issue, which includes Meijer blasting Democrats for their “strategy”:
“Many of these candidates could get elected and end up in Congress…This is all seeming very hypocritical now.” @tparti on GOP Rep. Peter Meijer’s outrage over Democrats funding ads for his far-right opponent. @KannoYoungs, @KSoltisAnderson, @DougHattaway pic.twitter.com/feDejJYWyV
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) July 27, 2022