Democrats are certainly not acting as if they believe democracy is in jeopardy

From 1946 to 2018, less than two percent of the main challengers to incumbent House members successfully ousted the incumbent.

But the narrow and otherwise unlikely victory of Michigan Republican nominee John Gibbs over first-term congressman Peter Meijer was aided by an unlikely ally: the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), which raised almost half a million dollars — more than Gibbs campaign fully spent – on an “assault” ad aimed at selling Gibbs to the GOP base.

The ad described Gibbs as “too conservative” for his district and touts his many ties to former President Donald Trump, whom Meijer voted to impeach following the January 2021 storming of the Capitol. And while there was little public polling for that primary, what data we have from a February poll suggests Gibbs’ association with Trump was an effective way to increase his chances. That poll found Meijer had a comfortable 26-13 lead over Gibbs — until pollsters briefed pollsters on the candidates’ attitude toward Trump, at which point Gibbs rose to 37 percent of support and Meijer fell to 19 percent.

On Monday, Meijer said internal polls separated the two percentage points by just one point. On Tuesday, we learned that his larger war chest and higher profile weren’t enough to save him, meaning Democrats got what they wanted: a more divisive and therefore less competitive Republican candidate for November’s general election.

Or at least that’s the theory. But for now, in practice, the DCCC has helped Trump impeach one of the few congressional Republicans willing to speak the truth about the 2020 election. This may be a short-term victory for the Democrats, but it doesn’t bode well for the democracy they profess to defend.

In fairness, I should pause here to note that there is a lot the democrats— including many elected officials — who do not support what the DCCC has done in Michigan.

As Mother Jones reported on Sunday that some Democrat officials called it “ruthless” and “just damn wrong.”

“We cannot credibly defend democracy and then support candidates who pose an existential threat to the very democracy we are defending,” said New York Rep. Ritchie Torres. “No race is worth compromising its values ​​like this,” said Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Florida.

“Is the goal to preserve American democracy, as the Democrats used to claim, or is the goal for the Democrats to win at all costs?”

But their position is clearly not that of their party leadership. The DCCC is a powerful institution, and it’s not the only major Democratic body that interferes in the Republican primary Loss the more reasonable and principled candidates. As detailed by The Daily Beast’s Matt Lewis, the Democratic Governors’ Association (DGA) spent over $1 million to support Dan Cox, a QAnon-inflectedTrump-backed gubernatorial candidate in Maryland, and DGA and Democratic candidates have similarly endorsed Trump acolytes in gubernatorial elections in Arizona, Pennsylvania and Illinois.

Their logic is presumably that of Democratic Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, who presided over Trump’s second impeachment trial (which Meijer endorsed at significant risk to his own political career less than two weeks after he entered Congress). Raskin told Axios that he “can certainly understand an argument that doing anything that would objectively help insurgent election deniers is categorically wrong. But in the real world of politics, offering that help is strategically rational if it means the Democrats win.

And that’s the crux of the matter: Is the goal to preserve American democracy, as the Democrats used to claim, or is the goal for the Democrats to win at all costs? Raskin and others of his ilk would argue that these goals are one and the same. Democrats must “hold the House against a pro-insurgency, vote-holding GOP majority,” he told Axios in the statement.

But that idea rests on several unproven claims: that the Trump nominees won’t win in November; that the Democrats have a serious chance of holding on to Congress (most forecasts currently assume that the GOP will at least take over the House of Representatives); that Democrats will indeed do something essential to protect democracy if given another two years of trifecta governance; and that the Democratic Party is able to consider its own destiny in the next national elections.

One of the things that Trump’s four-year tenure has inevitably made clear is that Democratic leadership is not primarily concerned with supporting representative government, good governance, and the rule of law. If so, they would have used their majorities in Congress — especially now, with another Democrat in the White House — to make institutional changes to prevent abuse of power by a 2024-backed Trump or any other corrupt, helpless president Party anytime. They would have established strong structural boundaries around the executive branch. They would have stopped bitching about fascism and made the position of the American Presidency inhospitable to fascist power.

And perhaps they would have realized that a model of democracy in which one party actively promotes extremism in the other party, then hypocritically condemns the same extremism while dishonestly flying the flag of anti-extremism is actually not a sustainable model of a functioning and peaceful democracy .

“Since the election of Donald Trump – and especially since January 6th – the Democrats have claimed that democracy is under serious threat,” Meijer himself noted in a cri de coeur for common sense on Monday. And the “only thing more sickening” than watching the “dissolution” of his own party, he continued, “was the ability of my Democratic colleagues to sell any semblance of principle for political expediency — while denouncing the demise of democracy.” while rationalizing the use of their hard-earned dollars to shore up the perceived object of their fears.”

If Democrats think democracy is in jeopardy, they should do so. Learning a lesson from her own recklessness in Michigan would be a good place to start. Democrats are certainly not acting as if they believe democracy is in jeopardy


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