Amid polling showing that they are in for a bloodbath in November’s congressional elections, some Democrats are pulling out all the stops to fend off a disastrous series of losses in both chambers of the legislature. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, led by Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), is implementing a rather dubious strategy: pouring oodles of cash into the campaign coffers of Republican primary candidates who might be seen as too extreme to win in the general election.
Several Democrats have expressed concerns about the idea. But some are in favor of the gambit, arguing that it just might be crazy enough to work.
Democrats’ Congressional Elections Offensive
During an appearance on CNN with host Jim Acosta, Democratic strategist James Carville expressed enthusiastic support for the scheme, believing that it could result in his party’s candidates winning over Republicans who have radical views. Acosta questioned the plan, noting that “if the vote doesn’t go their way, you could end up with conspiracy theorists, election deniers and so on in some pretty important places.”
Carville did not seem to share Acosta’s fears. “The idea of a political campaign is to win the election. It acts in its own interest,” he responded, adding:
“I’ve done the same thing. I would do the same thing. I don’t see any ethical or moral problem with doing this. I think most of the opposition to this is from the pontifical class, mostly located on the coast. I don’t see anything wrong with this. And you try to do everything you can to help your candidate or your party win an election.”
But not everyone is as gung-ho as Carville. High-profile Democratic leaders have publicly railed against the plan.
“I don’t think anybody should be spending money promoting election deniers,” said Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL). “There’s enough misinformation out there that no one should be amplifying those messages. It’s dangerous for our democracy.”
Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) took issue with the party giving funding to Rep. Peter Meijer’s (R-MN) primary opponent. “The fact that it’s Peter Meijer, who I think is one of the most honorable Republicans, is what further disappoints me,” he said.
Meijer was one of ten Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump for allegedly inciting the Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol building.
“Our country is struggling with its faith in government, its trust in our electoral system. And I think when a major political party actually promotes the very people that we have articulated time and time again are a great risk to our country, I can’t see how anybody could read that any differently than I just did. Which is: it is dishonorable,” Phillips said.
The plan is also receiving criticism from the far-left faction of the party, pointing out that the funds could be used to support other progressives running for Congress. Justice Democrats, a far-leftist organization that recruits and supports progressive candidates such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), tweeted: “Democratic Party leadership will literally support Republicans before they start supporting progressives.”
Maloney’s plan continues to be a source of contention within Democratic circles. But the question is: Will this help Democrats maintain control of Congress after the upcoming congressional elections? Given the abysmal performance the party turned out after taking power last year, it seems like the longest of shots.
Indeed, many believe that leftist politicians in the legislature, along with President Joe Biden, have squandered their time in power and have failed to enact meaningful solutions to the problems about which Americans are the most concerned. It seems more likely that Maloney’s detractors are correct: This plan will likely backfire. But at this point, what other stratagems do Democrats have left?
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