The Democratic Party has spent big money this year to help the campaigns of supporters of former President Donald Trump locked in primary battles against moderate and RINO Republicans — thinking that the MAGA candidates might be more beatable in a general election.
But even some Democrats are warning that the strategy could backfire.
So far this year, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has spent $435,000 to help pro-Trump Michigan congressional contender John Gibbs who is hoping to oust RINO Republican Rep. Peter Miejer in the state’s Aug. 2 primary, according to Politico.
Miejer who represents Michigan’s 3rd District, was one of 10 Republicans in the House who voted to impeach Trump over accusations that he incited an “insurrection” with the Capitol incursion of Jan. 6, 2021.
Democrats have called anyone who has even the slightest doubts about the 2020 election a “conspiracy theorist” and a “threat to democracy,” and Gibbs would fit that accusation to a T.
At the end of June, for instance, Gibbs joined a roundtable discussion about election issues in Michigan where he said that Joe Biden’s 2020 victory was “mathematically impossible,” according to a CNN “fact check.”
Gibbs went on to point out that Trump won nearly every “bellwether county,” and that makes Biden’s ultimate victory suspicious.
Gibbs then added that “a bellwether county is a county such that whichever candidate wins it, they won the election with 100% predictability. Well, President Trump won almost every single bellwether county but still ended up losing the election somehow, which is very anomalous to say the least,” according to CNN.
“Usually — actually, always — if a presidential candidate gets more votes the second time than (the) first time, you always win,” Gibbs continued, according to CNN. “But President Trump got something like 15-20% more votes than he got the first time yet still lost, which is probably mathematically impossible — certainly unprecedented in history.”
Still, the DCCC has decided to meddle in the GOP primary to help Gibbs, in hopes that Gibbs can knock Miejer out of his seat ahead of the general election.
For example, the DCCC has paid for an advertisement that touts Gibbs’ relationship with Trump, his commitment to cracking down on illegal immigration, and his support for “patriotic education” in our schools. The ad is ostensibly meant to show that Gibbs is “too conservative for western Michigan.”
But it’s actually meant to appeal to Republican voters who are looking for exactly the kind of candidate the ad describes. So the DCCC is deliberately helping the kind of Republican they claim is the most dangerous.
Some Democrats are unhappy with the DCCC’s decision to push Gibbs in an effort to get Miejer out of office before they have to face him later this year, especially since the party claims Gibbs is a “threat to democracy.”
Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Florida, for one, blasted the DCCC for pushing someone they accuse of posting a threat to the nation.
“No race is worth compromising your values in that way,” said Murphy, a member of the Jan. 6 kangaroo committee, told Politico.
Murphy and others are worried that, in an election that so many Democrats fear may end up being a “red wave” for the Republicans, the DCCC’s dirty-trick support for Gibbs may end up helping him win a seat in Congress, instead of simply ushering him into a losing position where he can’t beat the Democrat nominee in the general.
Extreme leftist Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a Washington Democrat, agrees with Murphy.
“I do want to win these races, but it makes me worried,” Jayapal told Politico, recalling that many Democrats also thought Trump would be easily beaten back in 2016.
“I just really worry about promoting election deniers and this idea that we’re going to be able to control what voters want at the end of the day,” she said.
Colorado Rep. Jason Crow is another Democrat with serious reservations about the DCCC’s “terrible” strategy.
“It’s very dangerous, I think, in this environment to be propping up candidates like that,” he told Politico. “Of course, it could backfire. And that’s part of the reason why I don’t think it’s a good idea. Not only do I think it sends the wrong message, but it’s substantively risky.”
Of course, there’s also the obvious point that spending money on ads that end up supporting the campaigns of Trump supporters ends up making the Democratic argument that Trump and his supporters are dangerous to the American Republican look like a hypocritical lie aimed at holding onto political power.
Democrats don’t want to let the argument be phrased that way, though.
For his part, Miejer said that the strategy being levered against him is proof that the Democrats don’t care about democracy at all.
Granted, subtly supporting a presumably weaker enemy in a primary is not a new political tactic. But in a time when Democrats have been so reckless with their rhetoric, casting Republicans as “insurrectionists,” the move looks like the definition of hypocrisy.
Still, as Politico report pointed out, it is happening in other races, too.
For instance, in California’s 22nd District, the House Majority PAC paid for ads to pump up pro-Trumper Chris Mathys against RINO Rep. David Valadao — who also voted to impeach Trump. Valadeo, however, won the June 10 primary. (To be fair, being an anti-Trump Republican in California might not be the death sentence it is in some other states.)
And the Pennsylvania Democratic Party spent party cash to that boosted state Sen. Doug Mastriano’s successful campaign for the Republican nomination for governor, even though Mastriano helped organize bus trips to Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6.
Mastriano is now squaring off against Democrat Josh Shapiro, currently Pennsylvania’s attorney general, in the general election for governor.
Last week in Maryland, Politico reported, the Democratic Governors Association helped the campaign of Trump-endorsed Dan Cox win the Republican primary for governor, setting up a general election showdown with Democrat and first-time candidate Wes Moore.
Democratic Rep. Kathleen Rice of New York told Politico she was disgusted by the party’s tactics — in light of its own hyperbole about the candidates it’s helping.
“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,” Rice said. “It’s unconscionable.”
Actually, considering that the Democrats are showing the country just how seriously they take their own accusations against Trump supporters, they’re doing Americans a favor.
They should get a big “thank you” at the polls in November.
CORRECTION, July 29, 2022: This article originally misstated the first name of Dan Cox, the Republican candidate for governor in Maryland. We apologize to Mr. Cox for the error.
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