The first national test of the Democrats’ surge of energy, (both for voters and candidates) their ability to influence the November election, and their willingness to think ahead and be smart, came to an inconclusive, but typical conclusion in Texas last Tuesday.
The biggest race of the night for the Democratic party will be decided in a runoff, setting up months of yet another conflict between the establishment and its progressive wing like the one that helped propelled Donald Trump to the White House with the help of Russia.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee – which usually only attacks Republicans – criticized Laura Moser for an essay she wrote in 2014 that appeared to criticize life in Texas. Moser received a surge of national attention after the DCCC’s interference. So of course, here go the Democrats, once again, snatching defeat from the mouth of victory…just like 2016.
Ms Moser and Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, who has been endorsed by EMILY’s List, proceed to the May 22nd runoff for the right to take on GOP incumbent Rep. John Culberson in November.
Culberson’s district, which was won by Hillary Clinton in 2016, is seen by political observers as one Democrats need to win in their quest to flip 24 seats in order to retake control of the House of Representatives of course. But Democrats being Democrats just refuse to get out of their own way.
The party was rightfully hopeful that results in Texas would indicate a blue wave was coming this fall. But more importantly, the millions of Americans who need the GOP to stop ruining the economy, stop blocking our gun safety laws, stop splitting up families for doing the exact same thing Malaria Trump did to be in America, etc., are rightfully worried that the Democrats will somehow screw the pooch once again and leave the door open for the always united-front Republicans to continue with their illicit gerrymandering, voter suppression, and attack on the American middle class.
The National Republican Campaign Committee, not unsurprisingly, put out a statement mocking Democrats for their move and referenced the party’s push for Clinton over Bernie Sanders in 2016.
“I guess the DCCC can’t rig a primary as well as their counterparts at the DNC,” NRCC communications director Matt Gorman said.
Meanwhile, some 16 congressional races — 10 Democratic primaries and six GOP primaries — appear headed to runoffs, according to an ABC News count.
The Texas Democratic gubernatorial primary will also head to a runoff between Lupe Valdez and Andrew White.
Both parties will analyze the final turnout numbers for indications of how motivated their respective bases are to come out and vote in November.
Besides the battle to retake the House, Democrats are heavily invested in the Senate race in Texas, where they are touting Rep. Beto O’Rourke as their answer to taking out conservative stalwart Sen. Ted Cruz.
Both men were unchallenged in their primary contests and Cruz came out strong against his opponent after the Associated Press called the race for each of candidate.
The freshman senator put out a statement blasting O’Rourke as a “left-wing, liberal Democrat” who “is running as a vocal proponent of amnesty and open borders.”
In addition to hitting the three-term congressman on immigration, which is huge issue in Texas, Cruz also criticized O’Rourke for not supporting second amendment rights, another important issue in the gun-friendly state.
“Congressman O’Rourke is a vocal proponent of gun control and restricting the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens. That is a policy position embraced by Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren, but it’s not a position that reflects the values of Texans. Texans want to see violent criminals prosecuted and incarcerated, but at the same time, Texans want to see our fundamental rights, including our individual right to keep and bear arms, protected,” he said in the statement.
Even though the early attacks were seen by political observers as a sign that Cruz is worried about his opponent, no Democrat has won statewide in Texas since 1994.
O’Rourke, to his credit, outraised Cruz in fundraising by more than $1.5 million since January, according to FEC data, but whether he can beat Cruz is extremely problematic to say the least.
But the real story is the insanity still running through the Democrat encampment, not the GOP.
Campaign tactics by Democratic officials to ensure the party retakes control of the House this fall have sparked complaints from some candidates about the interference and led to growing concerns the heavy-handed moves could backfire.
The dynamic was dramatically apparent in Tuesday’s Texas’ 7th Congressional District primary — where an acrimonious showdown garnered national attention after the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) published opposition research on Democratic candidate Laura Moser.
But a similar pattern is emerging in several key House races throughout the country – contests the party needs to win to help them flip the 24 seats necessary to retake control of the House of Representatives.
Of course there is intense pressure on the DCCC and local party officials to ensure a Democratic victory. That’s politics. But it’s not smart politics for the Democrats, especially now.
“Every DCCC chair has to make a decision based on winning. Not ideological purity but winning,” a Democratic official with knowledge of campaign tactics told ABC News.
But I am pretty damn sure that I will go to my grave convinced that the 2016 Democratic primary process was the single most depressing political event I have ever had the displeasure of witnessing.It was a circus that seemed like an endless schlep that vacillated between a coronation and a self-righteous quasi-insurgency that quickly developed a paranoid streak a mile wide, which set a perfect stage for the nearly omnipresent Russian pooch screwing. The assholes didn’t even have to create divisions to exploit… we saved them the trouble.
And, of course, the hell of it all is that, as Trumps screws up, lies his butt off, places abject dolts on the federal bench, (not to mention his revolving door White House) and hands the departments of the government over to the unqualified and the downright loony tune misfits, this miserable political pissing match among Democrats goes on.
At precisely the wrong time, Donna Brazile’s kick-started the whole damn feud all over again with her stupid book, with the Republicans gleefully joining in to support the unfounded—and, generally, pretty insipid and self-serving—claim that the primary process was “rigged” against Bernie Sanders. That the DNC at least had half-a-thumb on the scale was common knowledge almost from the start. Who cares? It’s the GOP that’s the enemy dumbasses!
Bernie’s head dood, Jeff Weaver is back making the rounds, muttering incoherently about dark forces.
This uniquely Democratic ability to do the macarena on one’s own dick is not isolated in Washington, either. The party is in the process of making a complete mess of the Texas primaries.
I honestly believe that the Democratic Party does not yet appreciate the fact that it is the only viable political vehicle capable of resisting the existential threat that is Trumpism, nor does it realize that time is growing very short. So once again, it can’t get out of its own way and the clock is ticking ever louder.
Younger Democrats think the party doesn’t necessarily know what it’s doing and now point to 2016 as their evidence, despite the fact that they were just as much to blame, and were taken in by Russian bots and are again being vocal at the exact wrong time because they perceive the DCCC or Democratic leaders try to squeeze out new, fresh voices. “Many voters don’t want to be told who they should be voting for and many outsider candidates don’t want to hear that they shouldn’t be able to fully compete.”
But the truth is, part of the organization’s interference during this year’s midterm elections is due to the sizable number of candidates running for office – a record number of them new to politics. And even with the ample proof that all evils are not equal, my bet is the Democrats, with the aid of their own misguided newbies, will blow it again.
Some officials and operatives worry that this could mean that the candidate that makes it through the primary may not be the strongest one they think can win in the general election. Now maybe the most progressive won’t win, but can anyone now truly say that ANY Democrat is worse than ANY republican?
The candidates being pushed are pushing back, however, using the party’s moves to frame a narrative that they are outsiders running against establishment picks which is playing right into Trump and the Republican’s hands.
They also claim voters will react badly to the perception the party is telling them who to vote for — in the Texas contest, Moser made it to the runoff despite the party’s actions against her.
Of course division isn’t new to the Democratic Party. In her book “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that put Donald Trump in the White House”, Donna Brazile explored the ways in which the Democratic National Committee favored former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, seen as symbol of the establishment, over Sen. Bernie Sanders, a symbol of the party’s more progressive wing, in the presidential primary. Okay, so what? Trump has injected a poison into the entire American blood veins that is ruining the country for generations to come. Is this really what baby boomers want for their children? Is this really what millennials want for themselves and their children?
There is a fundamental disagreement with the establishment of the Democratic Party and the candidates who are more progressive in their vision about what the vision of the party is and how to go about winning, but my God, the entire population, except hardcore white supremacists and NRA fanatics, has to realize that the country can’t take another four to six years of this madness.
Please people, fight for the details AFTER the Republicans are no longer able to enable the madman who is making a shambles of America’s actual remaining viability as a democracy and semi-free society.