Democrats often are their own worst enemies. At least the ones who make up the political committees are. At a time when the Republican Party is beginning to be defined as authoritarian, dishonest, and extremist, the Democrats are defining themselves cynical and reckless.
In Michigan, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the DCCC, has funded a large ad buy helping a Trump-backed, election–denying candidate against a Republican incumbent who voted to impeach Trump. The $425,000 ad buy is supposed to help nominate a Republican who will be easier for a Democrat to defeat in a district that Joe Biden won by nine points. If they can’t win in a district that favors them that much, then they have bigger problems than Republican primary candidates.
It’s not the first time Democrats have played in GOP primaries promoting weaker GOP candidates. They’ve been doing it for years. However, they haven’t been helping anti-democratic authoritarians who are more loyal to a cult of personality than the Constitution. And they haven’t done it in the wake of the an insurrection that seems to be ongoing.
The DCCC is feeding the narrative that both parties are corrupt and that both parties only believe in power. They are ceding the moral high ground that Democrats should be owning. They can’t say that Republicans are an existential threat to the nation and then help nominate candidates who claim the election was stolen and vow to promote anti-democratic measures. But since they have, they’ve killed their own credibility, defining themselves as cynics who are only interested in winning.
The party committees have long been insular operations run by people who have spent their entire professional careers inside the bubble of electoral politics. To them, politics is a game. They look for short term wins with little concern for long term consequences.
The battle today should be for the soul of America. We need choices that will leave the country safe regardless of which candidate wins. The DCCC is setting up winner-take-all contests where a Republican victory strengthens the Trumpists who would end our democracy as we know it. It’s a terrible risk and a disservice to the country. It’s a cynical and craven strategy that weakens the party’s already damaged brand.