The Democratic Party has been boosting far-right Trump-loving candidates in Republican primaries this year on hopes that they will be easier to defeat in a general election.
However, progressive columnist Brian Beutler believes the party is playing with fire, as the current poor political environment for Democrats means that some of these extreme MAGA candidates could actually win this fall.
"To say that the Democratic strategy of putting a thumb on the scale for these charlatans and conspiracy theorists, in this political climate, has alarmed prominent liberals would be an understatement," he writes in the New York Times. "The MSNBC host Chris Hayes called it 'insane.' Barack Obama’s former chief strategist David Axelrod, who once helped orchestrate similar manipulation, recently wrote that in the Trump era, 'I fear the tactic.'"
Beutler thinks that Democrats need to come up with a better strategy than helping extremists win primaries and then hoping that voters reject them even as they're struggling with $5 gas and 9 percent inflation.
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"If, in some appalling hiccup, the current Democratic plan fails and Ms. Lake and Mr. Mastriano are elected, Democrats might be able to say they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to empower two Republicans who went on to overturn the will of the people in the 2024 presidential election," he argues. "Given the threat Mr. Trump’s loyalists pose to American popular sovereignty, perhaps Democrats should refuse to intervene on their behalf during Republican primaries."