They are trying desperately to stop sounding like leftists…
(Quin Hillyer, Liberty Headlines) As talk intensifies about a possible “blue wave”of Democrats winning contested elections this fall, Democrats increasingly are running with Republican-sounding cultural profiles in order to appear less liberal, and thus more electable.
Or, in some cases, candidates with traditionally Democratic profiles are actually running under the Republican label, trying to confuse voters while hoping the Republican affiliation will mask their liberal beliefs.
An early model for this ongoing Democratic strategy was Jon Ossoff, the then-30-year-old candidate for Congress in a June, 2017 special election in Georgia.
In a district that trended heavily Republican, Ossoff put a real electoral scare into Republican nominee Karen Handel before falling short, but garnering a more than respectable 48.2 percent of the vote.
Ossoff presented himself to voters not as a left-liberal butas a centrist(in the tradition, wrote the New York Times, of Georgia’s famously hawkish former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn), playing up a record of doing investigations into organized crime and exposing atrocities committed by ISIS terrorists.
He made numerous remarks distancing himself from liberal, national Democratic leaders such as former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and supported some tax cuts.
In last month’s special election for Congress in Pennsylvania, Democrats actually won a formerly Republican seat by running someone with even more of a traditionally conservative profile: Conor Lamb, a former Marine and former federal prosecutor and supporter of gun rightswho also specifically pledged not to vote for Pelosi to retake the Speaker’s office.
So now Democrats all over the place are trying desperately to stop sounding like leftists, as Democratic strategists support candidates easier to portray (whether honestly or not) as centrists.
In an April special congressional election in Arizona – in another seat long held by Republicans – emergency room physician and anti-cancer researcher Hiral Tipirneni, a Democrat, calls herself“a moderate” who supports “a safe and secure border” and gun rightsfor “law abiding citizens… to protect their homes.”
Some analysts say the race is a near toss-up.
In an Illinois congressional race set for this fall, RealClear Politics reports that “Dems boost ‘Conor Lamb clone’” – namely, Brendan Kelly, a state’s attorney and former Naval officer who, in a now-recurring theme, vows not to vote for Pelosi for Speaker.
He also promised to work across party lines, and sounds at least somewhat more like a Republican than a limousine liberal on guns and border security as well.
Indeed, so prevalent is this “move to the center” tactic of Democrats this year that leftist publications are sounding the alarm.
The online Jacobinmagazine complains that (from their hard-left vantage point) the Democrats have recruited a bunch of “millionaires, mediocrities and militarists.”
As if it’s a bad thing, the magazine laments that too large a portion of the candidate rosters “tends to be military veterans…particularly if they happen to be business owners.”
The article then lists 11 examples of such office-seekers from various states across the country: Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Washington.
Even the two of those 11 who the magazine does recognize as having “progressive” records are, says the Jacobin piece, hiding their leftism by “running a deathly boring campaign” stressing issues such as local economic development.
Meanwhile, some with liberal records in districts conservative enough that no Democrat can win have figured that if they can’t beat Republicans, they should pretend to join them.
Rather than run as Democrats, some candidates, especially in the South, are running as newly minted Republicans claiming to be moderates.
Even if they don’t win their primaries, they are taking the fight to more conservative opponents and tying them down so those conservatives can’t help fellow conservatives run in other districts.
Witness Charlotte, North Carolina’s Ty Turner, a black activist for homosexual causes who once helped manage a Planned Parenthood office and as recently as 2015 served on the state Democratic executive committee.
Now he’s running as a Republican for a state legislative seat, claiming to be an “avid Trump supporter.”
Then there’s Beth Monaghan, also from Charlotte, running in a GOP primary against longtime incumbent conservative state Sen. Dan Bishop.
A former campaign contributor to Hillary Clinton and to the state Democratic Party, Monaghan said she is trying to knock off Bishop because he was a leading sponsor of North Carolina’s “bathroom bill” that requires transgender people to use rest rooms of the gender of their birth certificate.
Monaghan said she saw the bill as a slap against people like her son Jordan, who is homosexual.
Bishop is expected to win the race easily, but the very fact that liberals are entering Republican primaries shows the extent to which the left is trying to blur the usual partisan lines and take the fight to conservatives wherever conservatives may be.