News & Politics

Incumbent Dem House Members 'Looking Over Their Shoulders' at Potential Primary Foes

Incumbent Dem House Members 'Looking Over Their Shoulders' at Potential Primary Foes
(Photo by: Alex Edelman/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images)

Reason #5,501 why Donald Trump will win re-election.

Last month, House Democrats went to war over the border funding bill, with less radical, more practical liberals voting in favor of the Trump-backed bill.


This incensed the far left, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and her wild-eyed minions who helped engineer her upset primary victory over long-time New York  Democrat Joseph Crowley.

Earlier this year, it appeared that AOC’s threats to primary Democratic incumbents who didn’t agree with her were fading. A combination of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) cracking the whip and some backlash from other Democrats seemed to have kept the radicals somewhat at bay.

But threats to challenge less loony Democratic incumbents have resurfaced as the radicals are picking up some energy from what they see is a “betrayal” on border funding.


That Democratic firefight and others have inflamed liberals looking ahead to 2020, including the group that was behind now-Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s upset win last year. The raw emotions have many in the party wary of an all-out battle for the party’s soul in primaries from the presidential race all the way down to the congressional level.

“Members are looking over their shoulders,” said Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), the chairman of the House budget committee.

The list of Democrats facing primaries is growing as the restive liberal base fights hand-to-hand in skirmishes across the map. A local New York City district attorney race erupted onto the national scene last month, with the result between a progressive insurgent and the establishment Democrat still up in the air.


Parenthetically, the notion that AOC and her friends are, in any sense of the word, “liberal” is nonsense. Liberals may have been a little batty even just 10 years ago, but if they had proposed crap like the Green New Deal, Medicare for all, or free college tuition, they would have been laughed out of the caucus.

Today, none of these Democratic politicians are laughing.

There are still questions about how far-reaching and organized the effort to remake the Democratic caucus in the House will be— and whether it could jeopardize the party’s control of the chamber. But the uptick of actual and threatened primary challenges presents an additional headache for the party as it seeks to hang on to its majority next year. An Associated Press analysis found that 40 percent of currently declared Democratic challengers were in districts with sitting Democrats.


All of this plays into Donald Trump’s hands. Most of his potential challengers have been forced into adopting many of the more radical proposals being pushed by the loonies. Trump has already been trying out some attack lines on the campaign trail — sure-fire winners with a majority of more sensible citizens.

Trump might as well run with the tag line, “I’m not crazy.” It should be like shooting fish in a barrel if anyone but Joe Biden gets the nomination.


Biden has the gift of making his own radical proposals sound reasonable. He has also opposed most of the radicals’ more insane ideas. But you have to look at where the center of gravity sits in the current Democratic Party. Biden may have the support of mainstream Democrats, but most of them don’t vote in primaries. And an energized, angry, hysterically anti-Trump base could easily throw up a Bernie Sanders or some other radical who will lead the party to near annihilation.

Biden was outmaneuvered by Kamala Harris at the first debate, losing ground to some of the more radical candidates. A couple of more debate performances like that and he’ll end up being a footnote in history.

So, Republicans should cheer on the activists in their quest to punish those who dare disagree with their kooky agenda. It will not only help re-elect Donald Trump, but could very well hand the House back to the Republicans.

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