What do you think?: The Aggressive Democratic Spending to "Choose" General Election Opponents
Think Piece/Open Discussion
This year has seen a wave of aggressive moves by the Democrats in attempts to have favored matchups against their candidates come November. Certain Republicans have been funded by Democratic spending to win their GOP primaries such as Doug Mastriano in the Pennsylvania governor’s race as the Democrats paid for ads touting him as “too conservative” and “Trump-backed.” The entire effort of doing this has been to position Democrats to face the “weakest” (at least what they perceive to be) in the general elections.
There have been multiple stances on this strategy being implemented by Democrats and I took to asking some individuals their views on it. I wanted to shoot for an aspect of each side for some mixed reviews.
For one, some are saying the “obsession” surrounding the topic is “maddening” because of the encapsulation being spread of the unspoken frame that virtually all political media is written in — ie, “only Democrats have agency.”
The addition to this opinion is that rather than speaking about why Republicans have become such a “dangerous extremist group” and “why their voters keep picking said extremists in primaries” there are weeks of obsession surrounding the role that Democrats are playing. Republicans are viewed as just an inscrutable force of nature; there’s no discussion of strategy for them, or holding them to higher moral standards.
One comparison I was told is that you wouldn’t question the motives or strategy of a hurricane or a heat wave. Just the same for not doing so for the Republicans either. It’s supposedly tied into the double standard whereby the media feels the “need to be equally mean to both parties,” even when one party is “a normal political party” and the other is “a fascist cult that’s explicitly bent on ending democracy in America.”
On another leg of the conversation, some people just don’t find the reasoning behind the strategy at all. Democrats have been doing this in a very plausibly deniable way. For example, for a Michigan House seat, ads were run that stated “so-and-so is too conservative for Western Michigan. He wants to overturn the 2020 election results. Paid for by Democrats against so-and-so.”
The idea is that far-right primary voters will find that appealing, but in reality, it helps mark out the guy as an extremist for the general election. Why does either side have to acknowledge it at all? Said, “so-and-so” will happily admit that he/she is very far right and wants to overturn the election. In conclusion to this leg of the argument, “The rational course for both parties is to pretend that it’s a good-faith attack ad.”
According to the last leg of the conversation, Republican donors prop up left-leaning third-party campaigns all the time to try to split the vote for the Democrats. It’s no shocker that either of these parties spends money trying to pick their opponents. These “shenanigans” are examples of the “corrupting influence of money in politics and illustrate the fundamental problem with a two-party state” with two factions constantly battling each other for “supremacy control of our government.”