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After President Biden called out Trump supporters and politicians for undermining democracy, the MAGA set was shocked (shocked, I say!) that he dare attack them with such partisan vigor. Never mind that they really are undermining democracy. Regardless, most Republicans and a good number of beltway reporters thought Biden went a little too far in his “Battle for the Soul of America” speech.
The president rightly called out the autocratic, anti-democratic cancer that is in the Republican Party and has spread through our nation. Unfortunately, at the same time Biden was delivering his powerful (albeit creepily lighted) speech at Independence Hall, Democratic PACs and campaigns were lending their financial support to far-right MAGA candidates — generally with television ads that attacked the more moderate Republican candidate or drew attention to the Trumpist bona fides of the crazier candidate.
The logic among some Democrats (including Sen. Chuck Schumer’s PAC), is that if the right wing Trumpist candidates win the Republican primaries, they will be easier for Democrats to beat in the general election. Tactically, I hope they’re right, because a good number of far-right candidates have won, in part thanks to the support of Democrats.
In the unpredictable era of Trumpist politics, this seems like a huge gamble to me. And even if this strategy does work, it still doesn’t pass the smell test to have Democratic organizations lending their support to election deniers, conspiracy theorists and authoritarians.