by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
In 2016 the Democratic Party and their media allies sought to elevate Donald Trump and boost his chances of winning the GOP presidential nomination. The “crazy” real estate tycoon, they reckoned, couldn’t possibly defeat a candidate as impeccably credentialed as Hillary Clinton. The rest is history.
Democrats are up to their old tricks in 2022, meddling in Republican primaries across the country in support of “crazy” candidates endorsed by Trump. Indeed, the same party that wails incessantly about the “existential threat to our democracy” is spending millions of dollars to nominate individuals who backed Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election.
These candidates can’t possibly win a general election, the Democrats reckon. Never mind that the party in power rarely does well in midterm elections, or the fact that Joe Biden is one of the most unpopular presidents in history and national Democrats are increasingly out of touch with normal American voters. What could go wrong?
Gov. Phil Murphy (D., N.J.) last month praised the testimony of former Trump aide Cassidy Hutchinson before the Jan. 6th select committee. “We must continue working together, both Democrats and Republicans, to protect our democracy,” said Murphy, who serves as vice chair of the Democratic Governors Association (DGA).
The DGA has been particularly aggressive when it comes to attacking moderate Republicans and boosting their Trump-backed primary opponents, and has no regrets about deploying these controversial tactics. “The best way to protect democracy is by electing Democratic governors,” said DGA communications director David Turner, suggesting the only difference among GOP primary candidates was whether their “extremism” was “explicit” or “implicit.”
Some are “committed to overturning democratic elections,” while others “refuse to commit to protecting democracy,” Turner said. “Educating voters early on the clear contrast between MAGA Republicans and Democrats creates a clear and undeniable distinction that voters will recognize, and defeat the radicalism in November.”