Michigan Democrats supporting pro-Trump candidates in GOP primary

Democrats face blowback after boosting far-right Michigan candidate - The Washington Post

I don’t like the idea of the Democratic party in the State of Michigan spending money that was given to support democratic candidates into the campaigns of far right nut jobs. I learned my lesson back in 2016 when I made the disastrous decision to vote in the opposing party’s primary for a candidate that no reasoning human being could possibly support - the weakest candidate the GOP could possibly offer - Donald Trump. I won’t make that mistake again.

This strategy of interfering in the opposing party’s primaries to get the weakest candidate possible, not only can backfire, but also is undemocratic at its core, and does nothing to restore the American publics’ faith in our electoral processes.

Agreed, especially when the push was to support a trump-backed candidate over Rep. Peter Meijer, one of the few Republicans who voted to impeach trump. Far too few active Repub politicians have had the principles and courage to oppose trump, at least publicly. And all who have, have paid a heavy political price.

I started a similar thread about similar tactics in Illinois: J. B. Pritzker, WTF are you thinking?

This kind of BS is playing with fire and not suitable for a serious party.

It’s almost certainly irrelevant for most races. These candidates are what most republican voters want. These aren’t usually razor thin margins.

Probably true, but it’s still a very stupid and undemocratic strategy for the Democratic party to be involved in.

When this strategy actually works, it apparently only works once. Sen. Claire McCaskill won her 2012 reelection by helping village idiot Todd Akin secure the GOP nomination. That just lowered the bar for what Missouri Republicans could swallow and she got her clock cleaned in 2018 by a slightly smarter village idiot, Josh Hawley.

I disagree on both counts. Sometimes it’s smart, sometimes not, depending on the particulars. It’s always “democratic” – there’s no effort to suppress votes, just influence them in the same way any political campaign advertising does. Politics is a dirty game, especially in the US today, and Democrats need to be willing to fight dirty (legal, but still dirty, when necessary) sometimes in order to win.

I’ll grant you that may be true, but the fact that Democrats put their support toward a trumper candidate over a Repub candidate that voted to impeach trump is just odious. It’s like aiding and abetting a serial killer because you’re pretty sure their next victim will be someone you don’t like (okay, perhaps a little bit hyperbolic of an analogy).

One consequence of doing this is that it kills any incentive for moderate Republicans to cooperate with Democrats. Not only does it mean there is no reward for crossing-the-aisle cooperation, but the Democrats will even fund your Trumpish challenger to try to knock you out in the primaries.

I don’t know that I would characterize this tactic as “dirty.” What the DCCC did is run ads attacking Gibbs as “too conservative for Michigan” and that he would push the “Trump agenda” in Congress — which is entirely true!

I do think it’s unwise, however, particularly in this case. The lesson to any Republican in a swing district thinking of breaking with Trump is that you’ll end up getting attacked from both the right and left.

Exactly. Say you’re a centrist-moderate Republican. What do you get for being nice? Your own party hates you for cooperating with the libs, and the libs will spend money to get you knocked out in the primaries by a Trumper.

Is this really all that happened? Because I’m sure the Michigan Democrats actually believe this. I guess I don’t understand what was underhanded. It’s easy to see this as helping the other, actually neurotypical Republican candidate, assuming Michigan voters don’t want someone who lies about the election and who supports an unqualified, seditious, authoritarian conman.

We’ll know in a few months if it was a bad move. If the Democrats win, it was a good move. If they don’t, it wasn’t.

But this is what the Republican party is these days. It’s not reasonable conservatives or right-leaning centrists, it’s Trumpists and nuts, almost through and through. It’s not necessarily wrong for Democrats to remind the voters of this, even if it helps the Trumpier candidate in a primary.

I don’t buy this. The supposedly “moderate” Republicans who are cooperating with Democrats already know this will hurt them. The ones with principles will do the right thing; most of them won’t, regardless of what the Democrats do.

Let’s say I’m just a regular Democratic voter in Michigan. My first choice is the Democrat running (assuming I agree with that politician’s positions). My second choice is the sane Republican, so if Meijer wins and wins in the general, at least Michigan has a normal politician, rather than a Trumpist loon. However, I have a friend who is Republican and only ever pulls the R switch in the voting booth.

The primary is coming up and I tell my friend, “hey, don’t vote for John Gibbs – he’s too conservative for you. He’s a Trump support and he’s still lying about the election.” Was that dirty politics on my part?

Almost through and through. That’s an important modifier. As mentioned, Rep. Peter Meijer, the target of the OP subject, was one of the few Repubs who voted to impeach trump. Admittedly, not being in my district, I don’t know a whole lot about his political positions. Other than his courageous public opposition to trump’s actions he could be a rightwing nutjob. But if anti-trump Repubs are attacked by both trumpers and Democrats in primaries, it can only further calcify and institutionalize trumpism and trumpist beliefs and practices in the Republican party.

Yes, but they don’t necessarily expect the pain to come from Democrats, too.

Exactly. Say the moderate wins. Will it be “let bygones be bygones,” or will the bad karma make cooperation (even) less likely?

While not “dirty” (in my opinion), this was done completely cynically by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Yes, the statements in the ads are things that Democrats actually believe about Gibbs. But the timing and content of the ads were designed to boost Gibbs over Meijer, knowing that these “attacks” would make him more attractive to Republican primary voters. This was not in any way an effort to boost Meijer or appeal to moderate Republican voters.

Yes. And that party needs to be defeated. If this tactic helps defeat this party, it’s worth using.