In 2010, tea party challengers entered a series of primaries against Republicans who they thought were too compromising with Barack Obama. The challenged worked, and many of the tea party challengers went to Congress. A good number of them turned out no better than the men and women they replaced. But some have become real fighters and now make up the House Freedom Caucus. Though much derided by the media and establishment, they have been pushing the GOP back to the right.
On the Democrat side, some Democrat activists on the ground in Georgia were quite dissatisfied with Jon Ossoff. They wanted someone to lead “The Resistance, ” and Ossoff sounded like a moderate Republican. They wanted someone to savage the President, and Ossoff talked about working across the aisle. They wanted someone to deliver on progressive agenda items, and Ossoff rejected government-funded universal healthcare.
Add to that Republicans were successfully able to portray Ossoff as a puppet of Nancy Pelosi’s who would be a yes man for her. That hurt him as much as pointing out he was a carpet bagger.
Expand that into 2018. There are scores of Democrats who will run against Republicans in swing districts, and there are many Democrat incumbents who are not down with the full progressive agenda. Democrats risk nominating their own Sharon Angles, Todd Akinses, and Christine O’Donnells who scratch the itch of the progressive left while turning off swing voters. It is worth remembering that outside conservative groups did not put Angle, Akin, or O’Donnell over the finish line. These candidates pulled into the lead on the support of local partisan activists alone. It was only at the end of their races that outside conservative groups jumped into to help. That cannot be overstated here. It was the local, homegrown activists who put the wind in the candidates’ sails. And as the national Republicans tried to rein them in, the local activists pushed even harder.
Though people like Jim DeMint and Sarah Palin get blamed for these candidates’ nominations and losses, in every case the outside conservative groups they led were completely hands off until the candidates were well into the lead and even then waited until just a few weeks before the primaries. It was the local tea party activists who wanted a resistance to Obama who nominated them.
Democrats want a resistance. They want to impeach the President. They want full-blown socialism. They want to go further to the left than the tea party wanted to go right. A lot of activist Democrats are already interpreting Jon Ossoff’s loss as him not being aggressively anti-Trump enough.
The Democrat base has moved way further left than where the American public is and at a time we seem to be in a pendulum swing back to the right, that could hurt them. As they start challenging Democrat incumbents with more liberal activists and start winning primaries in swing seats with radical progressives, they risk their ability to win.
What makes this fun to watch is knowing they reject that idea and think the more radical and more militant the more likely their candidates will win. I cannot wait to watch their slate of moonbat crazy challengers.