Politics

Democrats Campaign for the Trump Guy


Rep. Peter Meijer



Photo:

Tom Williams/Zuma Press

One of the strangest themes of the 2022 elections is that Democrats say President Trump is a grave threat to democracy, even as they’re also trying to help Mr. Trump’s acolytes win Republican primaries. The latest is in Michigan, where the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is spending $425,000 to elevate

John Gibbs.

Mr. Gibbs is demanding a “full forensic audit” of the 2020 election, since he says Mr. Trump’s loss to President Biden was “mathematically impossible.” He should read the Michigan Senate’s report debunking 2020 fraud claims in the state, which was written by Republicans.

Mr. Gibbs is challenging Rep.

Peter Meijer,

one of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Mr. Trump in 2021 after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. If Democrats mean what they say about the fragility of democracy, Mr. Meijer is the kind of man who can help save it.

But despite their pleas to put party above country, Democrats are doing the opposite. They think Mr. Gibbs would be easier to beat in November, and given his history of inflammatory tweets, they might be right. One reporter cites an internal Democratic poll showing Mr. Meijer behind by two points—but Mr. Gibbs down by nine. Democrats are aiming to help Mr. Gibbs win the GOP nomination, even if it’s a cynical roll of the dice.

The DCCC’s ad is putatively an attack on Mr. Gibbs, but it’s obviously intended to give him a boost among GOP voters. It calls him “too conservative” and says he was “handpicked by Trump.” This is the same strategy Democrats executed, with varying success, for primaries in Illinois, Colorado, California and beyond. Talk about playing with fire.

In Pennsylvania the Democratic gubernatorial nominee,

Josh Shapiro,

cut an ad to assist state Sen.

Doug Mastriano

in the Republican primary. Press reports say Mr. Mastriano organized buses to Mr. Trump’s “stop the steal” rally on Jan. 6. He spoke at an event this spring featuring QAnon nonsense. He won the nomination with 44% of the vote.

The Democratic theory is that Mr. Mastriano will be easier to beat in November, which still might prove true. Yet the Associated Press reported Tuesday that “Republicans are warming up to Doug Mastriano.” Public polls show him trailing Mr. Shapiro by only three or four points, which is within the margin of error.

This is a volatile year with voters upset with the status quo, and Democrats could find that their strategy backfires. Recall the Feb. 5, 2016, headline in New York magazine by the left-wing writer

Jonathan Chait

: “Why Liberals Should Support a Trump Republican Nomination.”

Apparently they’ve learned nothing in six years.

Wonder Land: Responsibility for the public failure of this government lies with the Democratic Party, not solely Joe Biden. Images: Bloomberg News/Getty Images Composite: Mark Kelly

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Appeared in the July 27, 2022, print edition.



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