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Dem “Unity” Takes A Backseat To The Intraparty War

- March 1, 2018

Ahead Of The DNC Rules Committee Meeting To Address The Unity Reform Commission, The Democrat Party Remains As Divided As Ever

The DNC Rules And Bylaws Committee Will Meet Today And Tomorrow To Discuss The Report Of The Unity Reform Commission Among Other Issues. "Thursday, March 1, and Friday, March 2, the Democratic National Committee's Rules and Bylaws Committee will meet in Washington, D.C. Over the course of the two-day event, participants will review the Unity Reform Commission report and address other party business." (Press Release, "Next Week: Meeting Of DNC Rules And Bylaws Committee," Democratic National Committee , 2/22/18)

DEMOCRATS ARE DIVIDED IDEOLOGICALLY AND STRATEGICALLY AS 2018 PRIMARIES LOOM

The Democratic Party Is Going In Two "Opposite Directions"

The Democratic Party Has Two "Very Different" Ideas Of What Direction It Should Go In 2018. "This weekend we got a glimpse into two different Democratic congressional races across the country, and we witnessed two very different ideas of where the Democratic Party thinks it should go in the era of Trump." (Amber Phillips, "The Democratic Party Is Pulling Itself In Two Different Directions," The Washington Post , 2/26/18)

Democrat Messaging Isn't "Even In The Same Book, Let Alone On The Same Page." "Naturally, Democrats are going to message differently for different sets of voters. But the messages they've adopted aren't even in the same book, let alone on the same page." (Amber Phillips, "The Democratic Party Is Pulling Itself In Two Different Directions," The Washington Post , 2/26/18)

Democrats Have Had Over A Year To Reconcile The Progressive And Establishment Wings Of Their Party And Have Been Unable To Do So. "And so 15 months after the presidential election, Democrats haven't answered the central question facing their party in the era of Trump: Is Sanders-style liberal populism the way to win, or should the party adopt a much more moderate approach?" (Amber Phillips, "The Democratic Party Is Pulling Itself In Two Different Directions," The Washington Post , 2/26/18)

The Washington Post : "More And More, The Party Appears To Be Going In Totally Opposite Directions." "But if the question is Have Democrats learned a unified lesson after Trump's win? then the answer seems to be no. More and more, the party appears to be going in totally opposite directions." (Amber Phillips, "The Democratic Party Is Pulling Itself In Two Different Directions," The Washington Post , 2/26/18)

LIBERAL PROGRESSIVES ARE AT WAR WITH THE DCCC

The Far-Left Of The Democrat Party Is Furious With The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

The DCCC Said It Is Not Opposed To Intervening In Primaries, Which Has "Infuriated" Democratic Candidates And Activists. "But in the more uncertain House races, the DCCC has been conducting polling and said it is 'keeping all options on the table' for intervening in primary elections. The prospect of national Democrats attempting to pick winners has infuriated some candidates and Democratic activists. 'Local Democrats don't appreciate Washington telling them who their nominee ought to be,' said Schiff. 'So it's a real problem. And we haven't figured out how to resolve that.'" (David Siders and Carla Marinucci, "Democrats Fear California Crack-Up," Politico , 2/23/18)

The DCCC Has Attacked Progressives Running Against Incumbent Democrats In 2018. "The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee also circulated a memo alleging that a sizable chunk of money from Moser's campaign has been paid to her husband's consulting firm. (He's a former Obama administration official who is now a partner at the progressive ad firm Revolution Messaging.) 'Laura Moser's outright disgust for life in Texas disqualifies her as a general election candidate,' DCCC communications director Meredith Kelly said. It's the first public shot at a fellow Democratic candidate so far this election cycle, but the committee isn't ruling out further intraparty engagement." (Josh Kraushaar, "As Primaries Approach, Democratic Divisions Deepen," National Journal , 2/25/18)

NBC's Chuck Todd Highlighted How The DCCC's Attack On Fellow Democrat Laura Moser In Texas Only Draws Further Attention To The "Intraparty Warfare" And May Further Strain The Relationship Between The Establishment And Progressive Wings Of The Party. (NBC's "Meet The Press," 2/23/18)

Click To Watch

Democracy For America Slammed The DCCC For Its Attack On "Progressive #Prochoice" Moser. (Democracy For America, Twitter Feed , 2/22/18)

The Young Turks Said "The DCCC Is Doing Everything It Can To Undermine Progressive Democrats." (The Young Turks, Twitter Feed , 2/23/18)

DCCC Press Staff Advised Democrat Congressional Candidates To Not Discuss "Gun Violence Prevention Policy" The Morning After The Las Vegas Shooting. "The morning after the Oct. 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas, a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's press staff warned House candidates and their staffs not to 'politicize' the shooting that day. Politicization, according to the DCCC official, included talking about gun violence prevention policy." (Daniel Marans, "DCCC Advised Candidates Not To Discuss Gun Control Policy Right After Vegas Shooting," The Huffington Post , 2/27/18)

DCCC Press Staff Also Urged Democrat Candidates To Not Politicize The Parkland, Florida School Shooting. "The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee not only warned its candidates to avoid talking about gun control policy immediately after the Las Vegas shooting in October, but also sent a similar message after the recent massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The afternoon of the Parkland, Florida, shooting on Feb. 14, a member of the DCCC press staff counseled House campaigns to avoid saying anything that could be construed as 'politicizing' the tragedy." (Daniel Marans, "DCCC Advised Candidates To 'Be Careful' With Initial Comments On Parkland Shooting," Huffington Post , 2/28/18)

The DCCC's "Cautious Approach" To Gun Control "Disappointed" Activists And Was Described As "Pathetic." "But the cautious approach in Lukaske's email is increasingly out of touch with what many party members, as well as gun violence prevention activists, would like to see from politicians ― especially in the wake of the recent deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Many of the surviving Parkland students waited almost no time before beginning to agitate for different gun policies, sparking a movement that has captivated the country. Gun violence prevention activists said they were disappointed the DCCC was advising candidates not to aggressively talk about policy solutions as often as possible. Ladd Everitt, director of the gun violence prevention group One Pulse for America, described the DCCC email as 'pathetic.' Mark Glaze, senior adviser to the group Guns Down, said it was 'straight out of the NRA's talking points.'" (Daniel Marans, "DCCC Advised Candidates Not To Discuss Gun Control Policy Right After Vegas Shooting," The Huffington Post , 2/27/18)

Senior Adviser To Guns Down, Mark Glaze, Said The DCCC's Behavior Was "Straight Out Of The NRA's Talking Points" And Called Them "Even More Incompetent Than We Thought." "Mark Glaze, senior adviser to the group Guns Down, said it was 'straight out of the NRA's talking points.' 'If the DCCC is willing to give up a key issue and offend virtually every Democrat so as not to bother eight Independents in rural Missouri, they're even more incompetent than we thought, and Democrats should be very worried about the midterms,' Glaze said." (Daniel Marans, "DCCC Advised Candidates Not To Discuss Gun Control Policy Right After Vegas Shooting," The Huffington Post , 2/27/18)

The DCCC Told Candidates It Does Not Want Them Supporting Single-Payer Health Care. "The messaging handouts, obtained by The Intercept, made clear where the party wants its candidates to stand when it comes to health care reform - preferably nowhere, but certainly not with single payer advocates." (Zaid Jilani, "DCCC Internal Polling Presented To Members Of Congress Panned Single Payer Health Care," The Intercept , 2/27/18)

The DCCC Cautioned Democrats That The American People "Overwhelmingly Want Congress To Improve The Affordable Care Act," Not Do Anything "Radically Different." "The memo cautions Democrats, 'The American people overwhelmingly want Congress to improve the Affordable Care Act, not repeal it or replace it with something radically different. We need to offer reasonable solutions to improve the law instead of a massive overhaul.'" (Zaid Jilani, "DCCC Internal Polling Presented To Members Of Congress Panned Single Payer Health Care," The Intercept , 2/27/18)

The DCCC Was Blasted By Progressives For Opposing Single Payer, With The Justice Democrats Saying "It's Becoming Evident That The DCCC - And The Billionaire Donors And Revolving Door Consultants That Make Up The Democratic Party's Establishment - Believe Democrats Can Only Take Back Congress Running On A Watered-Down Message." "The Justice Democrats - founded by The Young Turks creator, progressive activist Cenk Uygur - shared its criticism of the DCCC in response to reports that the DCCC told lawmakers not to support single-payer health care and to refrain from talking about gun control policies following a mass shooting last year. 'It's becoming evident that the DCCC - and the billionaire donors and revolving door consultants that make up the Democratic Party's establishment - believe Democrats can only take back Congress running on a watered-down message,' the Justice Democrats said in a statement." (John Bowden, "Progressives Torch DCCC Over Gun Control, Single-Payer," The Hill , 2/27/18)

CALAMITY IN CALIFORNIA

Democrats Have A Mess On Their Hands In California, Where A Bevy Of Far-Left Newcomers May Destroy The Party's Chances Of Winning In November

California Democrats Are Facing The Issue Of Too Many Ideologues And Too Many Candidates As They Enter Primary Season For The 2018 Midterms. "In one California race, Democrats are at serious risk of squandering one of their most winnable House seats because too many candidates are running, splitting up the Democratic vote in an all-party primary. The unique primary system in California is also raising the outside prospect of Democrats getting shut out of the general election in other key races." (Josh Kraushaar, "As Primaries Approach, Democratic Divisions Deepen," National Journal , 2/25/18)

In California's 49th Congressional District, Five, Soon To Be Six, Candidates Have Already Thrown Their Hat In The Ring Ahead Of The Primary This Summer. The volume of Democratic candidates is a particular problem in Issa's 49th Congressional District in San Diego and south Orange County. On a recent phone call with 300 local activists, organizers fretted over the entry of a fifth Democrat into the race and rumors about a sixth. (Christine Mai-Duc, "California Democrats Agree They Have Too Many Candidates For Congress. What To Do About Them Is The Problem," The Los Angeles Times , 2/24/18)

  • One Democratic Organizer Said "What I Would Like To Do Is Ship All These Candidates To A Deserted Island For A Season Of 'Survivor.'" "'What I would like to do is ship all these candidates to a deserted island for a season of 'Survivor,'' Terra Lawson-Remer, who leads the Flip the 49th grassroots group, said on the call." (Christine Mai-Duc, "California Democrats Agree They Have Too Many Candidates For Congress. What To Do About Them Is The Problem," The Los Angeles Times , 2/24/18)

In California's 39th District, As Many As Eight Democrats Have Already Thrown Their Hat In The Ring Ahead Of The Primary This Summer. "Democrats also see possible trouble in the 39th Congressional District, set mostly in northeastern Orange County and currently represented by Rep. Ed Royce, who is retiring. There are at least eight Democratic candidates, and only one with experience as an elected official." (Christine Mai-Duc, "California Democrats Agree They Have Too Many Candidates For Congress. What To Do About Them Is The Problem," The Los Angeles Times , 2/24/18)

In Light Of California's "Top-Two Primary System" Democrats Are Worried That The High Number Of Democrat Candidates Running In The Primaries "Could Leave Democrats Off The November Ballot." "In races for 14 GOP-held House seats around California, the number of Democrats lining up to take on Republican incumbents is record-breaking, leading party leaders to worry that the competition, and the elbow-throwing, could damage the unity and energy that has been fired up by the party faithful's dislike of Trump. Those fights will unfold against the backdrop of mounting fears that the state's top-two primary - in which the top two vote-getters advance to the November general election regardless of party affiliation - could leave Democrats off the November ballot in several key House contests." (David Siders and Carla Marinucci, "Democrats Fear California Crack-Up," Politico , 2/23/18)

  • Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) Acknowledged That If "You Get Too Many Democratic Candidates" You Can End Up With "Two Republicans In The Runoff. So That Is A Real Concern." "Rep. Adam Schiff acknowledged California Democrats need to become more focused. 'The jungle primary is a real concern … we saw before in the district that [Congressman] Pete Aguilar now represents that you can have a district that is even majority or plurality Democratic, and you get too many Democratic candidates - and you get two Republicans in the runoff. So that is a real concern,' he said." (David Siders and Carla Marinucci, "Democrats Fear California Crack-Up," Politico , 2/23/18)

"Infighting Appears Certain" In The Primary Race Between Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) And Primary Challenger And State Senate Leader Kevin de Leon, Which Is Reminiscent Of The Fight Between Bernie Sanders And Hillary Clinton In 2016. "But infighting appears certain. In addition to a contested races for governor and attorney general, one of the most obvious flash points is the ongoing debate among state lawmakers over single-payer health care. State Senate leader Kevin de León's bid to unseat U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein is another likely point of conflict, with progressive groups courting delegates in an effort to block the state's senior senator from receiving the party endorsement. Like the fight over single-payer health care, the Senate primary is colored by the lingering bitterness surrounding the 2016 Sanders-Clinton primary." (David Siders and Carla Marinucci, "Democrats Fear California Crack-Up," Politico , 2/23/18)

In A Display Of Deep Division Within The Party, Long-Time Liberal California Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) Was Not Endorsed By The Democratic Party Of California. "Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) did not receive the endorsement of the state Democratic Party this weekend in her bid for reelection, a snub that boosts her main primary challenger, State Senate leader Kevin de León, who has literally accused President Trump of not having a soul." (Amber Phillips, "The Democratic Party Is Pulling Itself In Two Different Directions," The Washington Post , 2/26/18)


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