The PJ Tatler

Major Dem PAC to Sit Out 2014 Mid-Terms

This seems significant:

A spokesman with the group, Priorities USA Action, confirmed to BuzzFeed on Wednesday night that it would not be involved in House or Senate campaigns.

“House Majority PAC and Majority PAC are doing everything right and making a real difference. We fully support their efforts,” said the spokesman, Peter Kauffmann, referring to the main groups supporting Democratic congressional candidates.

Priorities USA, which operates under loose campaign finance rules that allow it to raise and spend unlimited sums, put $65 million behind Barack Obama in 2012.

Priorities’ decision signals just how bad things look for the Democrats this year. They won’t re-take the House. Obamacare will probably cost them the Senate too. Obama’s final two years in office look like they’ll be ugly. Why should Priorities spend money they’ll need to help Hillary in 2016, on lost causes in 2014?

At the same time, sitting out and letting the GOP take both Houses is shrewd from a Hillary-backer point of view. Suppose the Republicans do capture both sides of Congress this fall. They’ll have two years of bloody warfare with Obama behind them as we get to 2016. Hillary Clinton can position herself usefully in two ways against that warfare. One, she can say that unlike Obama, she will work with Congress. Two, she can cast the Republicans in control of Congress as radical, intransigent, what have you.

There is some tension between those ideas, but the electorate tends to deal with such tension by ignoring it. The inexperienced Barack Obama, who had authored no legislation and sat on the far left in the Senate and had no record of competently managing anything other than his own campaigns, promised to champion common sense, be a unifying leader, and work with the other side. The Chicago machine politician promised to run an open and transparent government. That never made any sense. Yet he won, twice.

Congress in Republican control going into 2016 hurts the Democratic Party, but probably helps Hillary Clinton.