Democrats dwelling on a policy version of Fantasy Island are hurting the party’s future, according to a new report centered around comments of one top party insider.
According to Politico, Dmitri Mehlhorn, a political adviser to mega-donor and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, is spreading the word the Inside-the-Beltway obsession with what Democrats term “voting reform” is tying the party to failure when it needs success.
Politico based its reports on what it said were Mehlhorn’s emails and “people involved in the discussions” who were not named.
Mehlhorn said diehard supporters of the For the People Act were “dragging me and my country off a cliff.”
He indicated he might “counter mobilize” against the effort and his own party, which has yet to garner support among Senate Republicans.
Politico said the significance of the pushback was that “Mehlhorn’s emails are perhaps the first and most vivid indication of a strategic fissure within the Democratic ranks over how much to emphasize voting rights legislation.”
The report indicated there exists a substantial level of disagreement over Mehlhorn’s position, even though it is shared by many others, and a call for Democratic unity on the subject.
Mehlhorn’s position is not that the goals of the bill are wrong, but that pushing a bill that cannot pass is wasting both time and what Politico termed “political capital.”
Donors, he indicated, would be “disillusioned after pouring money into a failed effort,” Politico reported.
“I would love to have nonpartisan redistricting and automatic voter registration, but I have not heard a plausible path to getting that into law,” one Mehlhorn email reportedly said. “[W]e can’t remain silent forever as more and more donor meetings end up becoming exercises in unreality.”
Mehlhorn wrote in another email that he contacted the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to share his concerns, but was told to keep quiet publicly.
“My view at this point is that if I get a directive from the Speaker to STFU on a strategic play, then I will damn well STFU while she runs her play,” he reportedly wrote.
“I hope she knows what she’s doing. Thus far of course she has nailed it, so we shall see.”
Neither Mehlhorn nor Pelosi’s office would comment on their conversation to Politico.
Mehlhorn has been seeking ways to show Biden as strong against crime.
He also has called for efforts to ensure bipartisan support of Biden’s infrastructure and social welfare packages that are currently before Congress.
The bill, dubbed S.1, lost a test vote Tuesday. In the vote, all 50 Senate Republicans lined up against the bill, according to Fox News, leaving Democrats 10 votes short of those needed to break a filibuster.
“The real driving force behind S.1 is the desire to rig the rules of American elections permanently, permanently in Democrats’ favor,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, according to The New York Times. “That’s why the Senate will give this disastrous proposal no quarter.”
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