U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has inserted himself into Democratic Party primary politics, bashing the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for dropping opposition research against a Sanders-style progressive in the Texas Democratic primaries.
Sanders told the Texas Tribune it was “outrageous” that the DCCC publicly opposed 7th congressional district candidate Laura Moser, criticizing her as a “Washington insider” (the DCCC is based in Washington, D.C.). The DCCC also claimed Moser’s husband, a partner at the digital marketing company Revolution Messaging, had profited when her campaign hired his company for online consulting and advertising.
“I’m especially distressed that the DCCC tried to do negative attacks against a very respectable and intelligent candidate who is running a serious campaign,” Sanders said. “That’s just not acceptable. I suspect that it backfired on them, and I hope they don’t do it again.”
Democratic voters in TX-07 bucked the establishment’s interference, helping Laura Moser qualify for the runoff election for the Democratic nomination on May 22. Moser’s campaign saw a sharp increase in fundraising after progressive activists rallied to her cause following the DCCC’s attack. Our Revolution, a national political organization that evolved from the Bernie Sanders campaign for president, supported Moser.
In an interview with Politico, Sanders criticized the DCCC for contributing to a hostile and negative political environment.
“I think the American people are profoundly disgusted by the level of negativity and ugliness that we see in campaigns right now, and the DCCC should not be contributing to that debasement,” he said.
Sanders is campaigning across the country in states Donald Trump won, rallying the progressive grassroots and fueling speculation that the 76-year-old socialist will challenge Trump for the presidency in 2020. Sanders campaigned in Texas and Arizona this week.
“It’s absolutely imperative that we get out to those states that Trump won, speak to the working people of those states, and make very clear that the campaign that Trump won on — where he promised to stand for working people — turned out to be a lie,” he told Politico.
While he has thus far declined to support specific individual candidates, Sanders said “It’s important to rally people around the progressive agenda, which says that we don’t give tax breaks to billionaires.”
The radical progressive Sandernistas of the Democratic Party will love what Sanders is doing here. It’s important to note that at the same time Sanders is bulking up his anti-establishment bona fides, progressive activists are pushing rules changes in the Democratic National Committee that would reduce the number of superdelegates and weaken the party establishment’s power over Democratic presidential primaries. So the stage is being set for a 2020 run.
But an intra-party war in the Democratic Party could demoralize Democratic voters and scare off independents if the party nominates candidates that are too liberal to win. What Sanders is doing may help him in 2020, but it could hurt Democrats in 2018.
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
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