Democrats Funding MAGA Primary Candidates

Hardball politics or dirty pool?

Yesterday morning’s episode of the NYT The Daily podcast, “Why Democrats Are Bankrolling Far-Right Candidates,” was fascinating. It’s an interview with reporter Jonathan Weisman updating his June 16 storyDemocrats’ Risky Bet: Aid G.O.P. Extremists in Spring, Hoping to Beat Them in Fall.”

The headlines give away the plot: Democrats are putting considerable resources into key Republican primary races, mostly in competitive House districts but occasionally swing state Senate and governors races as well, buttressing MAGA candidates competing against more moderate Republicans. Apparently, the strategy was first employed by Claire McCaskill in her 2012 re-election bid.

The practice raises several questions:

1. Is it effective? It’s really hard to say but signs point to yes. In 2012, McCaskill funneled $1.7 million into ads to get Todd Akin, who was until then faring poorly in terms of both the polls and fundraising, elected. This cycle, longshot Doug Mastriano won the Pennsylvania gubernatorial nomination after Democrats employed the strategy and Peter Meijer, one of only a handful of House Republicans to vote to impeach President Trump for his part in the Capitol riots, was defeated by a MAGA candidate, John Gibbs, in Tuesday’s primary after Democrats poured half a million dollars into the race—more than Gibbs himself spent. Other races have been a mixed bag and, of course, we don’t definitively know who would have won these races absent Democratic intervention.

2. Is it legal? Probably. In McCaskill’s case, there is a serious question as to whether she violated campaign finance laws by illegally coordinating with Akin’s campaign. But, in most cases, that’s not really an issue: Democrats are simply running pro-MAGA advertisements that are thinly disguised as attack ads.

3. Is it ethical? Opinions differ. I find it odious and undemocratic but the perpetrators argue that it’s simply hardball politics. McCaskill was unopposed for the Democratic nomination in 2012 but she lives in Missouri, a state where it’s difficult for a Democrat to win statewide. (Indeed, she lost handily to Josh Hawley in 2020.) So, she decided to ratfuck the Republican primary to get the opponent easiest to beat.

Again, I find that despicable. But I would have no qualms at all about Democrats in Missouri having done the opposite: voted in Republican primaries to try to ensure that the general election winner wasn’t a Tea Party nutter.

4. Is it advisable? Even if we assume that the strategy is effective in the sense of making it easier for Democrats to win in November, the obvious downside is that it could backfire. While McCaskill crushed Akin in 2012 (54.7% to his 39.2%) he was actually leading in the polls until a legendary gaffe in a television interview, in which he claimed that women’s bodies have a way of not getting pregnant from a “legitimate rape.” His own party leadership abandoned him, begging him to withdraw from the race.

Mastriano might well win the governor’s race. It’s unlikely that the MAGA candidate will retain Meijer’s seat but it’s not inconceivable.

So far as I know, Democrats did not employ this strategy during the 2016 presidential primaries. But, had they done so in an effort to boost Hillary Clinton’s chances, they would certainly bear significant culpability for Donald Trump’s presidency.

Beyond that, it’s not exactly a path to restoring a working democracy. We want folks like Meijer, who put principle over party, in office. He was already risking the wrath of his own party for doing so. And his reward is that the Democrats helped his Republican opponents defeat him.

I see that as completely different from opposing him in the general election. It’s perfectly reasonable for his Democratic opponent to say “Pete Meijer is a good and honorable man who did the right thing by his constituents, his country, and the Constitution. But my policies are better for this district than his policies. Further, at the end of the day, he’s a vote for Speaker Kevin McCarthy and turning President Biden into a lame duck two years early.” That’s how politics is supposed to work.

UPDATE: I see that I’m not the only one uncomfortable with this practice.

“It’s cynical and dangerous,” said Richard Hasen, a UCLA law professor and director of the Safeguarding Democracy Project. “We know that the Trumpian wing of the Republican Party is doing a lot to undermine people’s confidence in the fairness and integrity of elections. The idea that Democrats would be willing to gamble on electing more of these people because they think they’ll be easier to beat in the general election really is playing with fire.”

Some of the criticism has come from within the party.

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat who has made protecting democracy a hallmark of her work, called out the decision of some in her party to provide support to Gibbs.

“If we are going to say as a party — or as leaders — that we believe in a healthy democracy, which requires citizens to be informed and engaged, we have to live out those values in everything we do,” Benson said in an interview with The Washington Post. “Interference with another party’s primary does not reflect those values.”

She called it “a dangerous game to play for anyone, as part of some strategy, to support election deniers.”

“That type of playing the other side stuff is, I think, a very risky proposition,” Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) told The Post on Wednesday. “It’s a dangerous proposition for a campaign committee to instead of propelling Democrats, trying to propel a Republican in a primary. Because they actually may win in the end and you’ll have someone who’s even more extreme.”

The second-guessing from Democrats had been building before primary day.

“I’m disgusted that hard-earned money intended to support Democrats is being used to boost Trump-endorsed candidates, particularly the far-right opponent of one of the most honorable Republicans in Congress,” Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) posted on Twitter last week when the ad debuted.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Jen says:

    I genuinely don’t like it, but politics ain’t beanbag, as they say. It’s a major reason I got out–I didn’t like where it was headed and thought things had gotten bad in the mid-90s.

    Republicans are far from saints. Their ratf*cking of elections is equally insidious, setting up untraceable committees to lob appalling potshots at their opponents.

    I think this is a dangerous practice, but this is what we’ve got.

  2. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Harry Reid did this with Sharron Angle in his 2010 reelection bid. Anybody else remember Chickens for Checkups? As I recall, groups backing Reid spent over $1 million getting Angle selected as the GOP candidate in Nevada that cycle. They wanted to run against her instead of Lowden or Tarkanian, and it worked. She was so badly flawed as a candidate that she motivated more than a few prominent Nevada Republicans to endorse Reid instead.

  3. Kylopod says:

    @HarvardLaw92: In 2010 there were three Senate races where the Republicans arguably blew winnable races by nominating extremists: besides Sharron Angle in Nevada, there was also Christine O’Donnell in Delaware and Ken Buck in Colorado. I’m not sure how much the Dems attempted to get those candidates nominated, though I’m also dubious (as I am this year) that anything the Dems did made a difference to these nomination outcomes.

  4. Kari Q says:

    At this point, I don’t see any difference between Republican candidates for the House. Will they vote for McCarthy as Speaker? Yes? Then it doesn’t matter whether you have Gibbs or Meijer. The difference is insignificant.

    Governor and Secretary of State races are different and the worst candidate could do a world of damage that a reasonable candidate would not.

    Ultimately, though, the focus on what Democrats are doing rather than who Republicans are voting for once again absolves Republicans of responsibility for their actions. Republicans are responsible for Republican candidates. They are the ones who choose them. Democrats didn’t force anyone to vote for these candidates and aren’t to blame for them.

  5. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Kylopod: The polling in that one was pretty clear, IMO. Angle was an also-ran, until suddenly, magically, out of nowhere she wasn’t. Those attack ads against Lowden were truly vicious – they turned a simple gaffe that would likely have generated a few laughs and then been forgotten into a basically career ending faux pas.

    I’m not up to speed on Dem spending in DE and CO in that cycle, but both of those candidates were gaffe prone as well, especially O’Donnell. In her case though, I’d attribute her primary win to Tea Party group spending on her behalf.

  6. Rick DeMent says:

    If we had sensible campaign finance laws this would be much less of a problem. There are all kinds of sins that have flowed from the ridiculous and logic challenged notion that money = speech. Until we, at a minimum, get back to pre – 90’s campaign finance structure (better yet reform it all together and ban most types of money bundling) this is going to be the norm.

    Having said that the ads weren’t trying to fool anyone about who (generally speaking) was putting out the ad. Basically it was an ad that Gibbs himself might have ran had he the money. Basically hitting all his talking points were there, Stop the steal … check. Trump supporter … check. Anti- Abortion …check.

    When my wife was working to elect a woman for the Statehouse in MI, there were these generic ads running all over the state calming that the Dem candidates were Marxist, socialists, pro- abortion, open borders, soft on crime blah, blah, blah. They were all exactly the same and they would simply change the graphic with a picture of the candidate and their name. The Republican who ran the ad against the candidate my wife was working for screwed up and actually used a picture of my wife confusing her with the actual candidate (they did get the candidates name right).

    One last thought. There is an asymmetrical way we look at stunts like this. Republicans get away with the most egregious examples of the dark political arts you can imagine and Republicans are concerned in the slightest. If you’re not cheating you’re not trying … am I right? Since it happens so much people are just exhausted talking about it due to the fact it’s such a commonplace phenomena. Yet here we have Democrats doing a very mild version of this sort of thing and it inspires countless column inches, discussions, and tut-tutting, as well as suggestions that Democrats are somehow doing something flat out evil.

    What happened in MI is mild compared to the dirty tricks that are de rugiour in races from dog catcher to president on the Republican side. It is also pretty common in political analysis where you get people giving Republicans a free pass on a broad rage of dark arts and nonsense and Democrats get slapped for even thinking it. The coverage is not symmetrical.

    One example is the way people would talk about Roe v Wade. It became an article of faith that Roe was a bad decision, full of contorted logic, and faulty jurisprudence. But Alito’s dissent in Dobb v Jackson was a complete shit-show in a fuck-factory in comparison and hardly anyone calls out the fact that the opinion was clearly backwards engineered to get the result he wanted, and he wasn’t even particularly clever about it. It makes Roe v Wade seem like a shining example of judicial reasoning by comparison. But you can’t even cite Roe without including the phrase, “horribly decided” as a prefix without drawing snickers from the chattering classes. Yet commentators, with a straight face, will talk about Dobbs as if it’s in the same room as a well reasoned decision.

  7. CSK says:

    Yes. Christine “I’m Not a Witch” O’Donnell was a Tea Party darling.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:


    If the GOP hadn’t groomed and nurtured their voters on so many absolute whack-a-loon ideas, maybe their field of candidates wouldn’t have become such fertile ground for the crazy?

    They are reaping what they sowed.

    And having said that, DEMs should take the warning to heart.

  9. Kylopod says:

    @HarvardLaw92: @CSK: While I think this happened after the primary (I’d have to check), O’Donnell’s big gaffe came after Bill Maher released a clip of her from Politically Incorrect in the ’90s in which she had claimed to have once been a witch who had a picnic on a satanic altar. The “I am not a witch” ad that followed was her attempt to weather the controversy generated by the release of this clip. The bizarreness of her comment in the original clip doesn’t get nearly enough attention, in my view. There are people who self-identify as witches, but the notion that it involves satanism is nothing but a smear by Christian fundamentalists. I’ve heard people argue that she was kidding when she made this remark. Personally, I think she was simply lying–making up a redemption story in her born-again self-branding.

  10. wr says:

    Remember kids, Republicans can use every kind of dirty trick imaginable to steal elections, from disenfranchising tens of thousands of Black men whose names somewhat resemble those of convicted felons to stealing voting machines after elections to “prove” they’ve been rigged, and it’s all good. But Democrats must follow every single rule and every single norm and never do anything that hasn’t been completely vetted by Republicans or they’re slimy cheaters.

  11. CSK says:

    Yes. Christine’s I Am Not a Witch ad came out in October, a little less than a month before the election she lost.

  12. Setting aside the ethics, it is stupid and dangerous since it runs the risk of getting truly unfit candidates elected which is not in the public interest.

    @Rick DeMent:

    If we had sensible campaign finance laws this would be much less of a problem. There are all kinds of sins that have flowed from the ridiculous and logic challenged notion that money = speech.

    Agreed. And I will confess to at one point being of that view, but in general have come to the view that the way we finance campaigns is a huge part of the problem.

  13. gVOR08 says:

    It’s Murc’s Law. Also the soft bigotry of low expectations. Republicans are nominating klown kar candidates and Democrats not only shouldn’t take advantage of it, somehow Democrats are supposed to fix it. Meijer did one decent thing once, and he’s supposed to get a free pass forever?

  14. @gVOR08: I think the better analogy is that Reps are playing with fire and the Dems in some cases are risking burning us all. That just doesn’t seem wise.

  15. MarkedMan says:

    I agree with James that this is a dangerous policy. What’s more interesting to me is why it is possible to do this, rightly or wrongly, with so many candidates at once. Remember what happened in California. The Republicans were extremely viable – until they weren’t. The extremist, racist wing of the party went all in on the anti-immigrant message and a feedback loop was created. Moderates were driven from the party leaving an ever increasing percentage of extremists, which eventually turned off the electorate. Now Democrats have a supermajority in the State House there and pretty overwhelming control of the US Congress delegation. The same thing is happening more and more.

    Take Maryland as an example. The Dem ratf*ck campaign is just speeding up the inevitable. Yes, the Dems ran ads “against” Cox that were essentially duplicates of his own ads, but they worked because the Republican Party has imploded here. Hogan was probably the last moderate of stature left standing. It’s the clown car from here on out.

  16. Kylopod says:


    Christine’s I Am Not a Witch ad came out in October, a little less than a month before the election she lost.

    Yes, but the Bill Maher clip which was what prompted the ad came out earlier. I was trying to determine whether he released the clip before or after the primary, because if it was before, that might be an example of a liberal trying to get an extreme Republican nominated. Checking the Wikipedia article, I’m still not quite sure of the exact timing of events. The primary was held Tue, Sep. 14, 2010. The article reporting on Maher’s clip is from Sep. 16, though I know his show airs Friday, which would suggest it was from the previous week, shortly before the primary.

  17. HarvardLaw92 says:


    It did, but I’d consider that the coup de grace at the end of what a long and storied flood of problems with O’Donnell – the financial issues, educational record problems, her views on a host of issues (masturbation comes to mind, among others), etc. By the time the witch thing came out it was the icing on an already deflated, ruined cake.

  18. CSK says:

    It wouldn’t have helped her campaign if she’d just ignored the Maher clip, but it might have helped her look like somewhat less than a total horse’s ass.

  19. Rick DeMent says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Agreed. And I will confess to at one point being of that view, but in general have come to the view that the way we finance campaigns is a huge part of the problem.

    Sure, but if we would just get back to the “pre-soft money” days that would be a start. The idea that a group from California or Texas, can dump a boat load of case (millions) into a Michigan election at the snap of a finger is just crackers. Hell I’m at a loss to explain why we can’t have an election season that goes on for more then 60 days.

    I mean you are right, we won’t fix it. As it stands the party with the most money benefits not just in the amount of spending they can throw at races, but in the media, think tanks, grass roots (Astroturf), and dark arts.

  20. gVOR08 says:

    In my earlier comment I touched on Murc’s Law and the soft bigotry of low expectations. Let me add to my cliches IT AIN”T JUST TRUMP. In my little corner of paradise in SW FL I’ve received a couple of big, slick mailers calling one of the GOP candidates for state senate a “MAGA Clown”, “Bringing the MAGA Circus to town”, and with a picture of the gentleman in question wearing a red MAGA hat with a clown nose. Another example of Dems trying to boost the weaker Republican candidate, right? Wrong. It’s the other Republican in the primary. There’s no Dem running. Under FL law if the party primary will decide the seat, both parties get to vote. My D mail in ballot includes this R primary race. So the incumbent, a very establishment GOP, chair of the state party committee which appears to have paid for these flyers, is mailing these selectively to registered Ds hoping to suppress the D vote for his R opponent.

    I’ve already marked my ballot for the MAGA clown and sent a letter to the local paper hoping to expose this to the MAGAts, who I hope will not be amused. Sure @Steven L. Taylor: can say

    it runs the risk of getting truly unfit candidates elected which is not in the public interest.

    But my choice is between a very competent Republican asshole and a clown of a Republican asshole. Neither is fit for public office. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. The only thing that saved us from Trump was his incompetence.

  21. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    Again, I find that despicable.

    The DCCC is a person. And just like every other person in the country, has a right to express it’s opinions on matters of political content.

    Beyond that, it’s not exactly a path to restoring a working democracy.

    And if we had a society that shared an interest in having a working democracy, such concerns might well matter. I don’t see much evidence of any interests other than winning at the present moment. That being the case, liassez les bons temps rouller.

    As to whether the tactic is smart, your guess is as good as mine. But we won’t know that for a long time, and our democracy republic is already broken, so we may never know how the tactic affected the climate.

  22. gVOR08 says:

    Serendipity. I turned from arguing @gVOR08: “It ain’t just Trump”, they’re all bad to WAPO, where I find Dana Milbank making the same argument, The GOP is sick. It didn’t start with Trump — and won’t end with him.. He dates the turn to the dark side back to 1993 and Gingrich.

    Much has been made of the ensuing polarization in our politics, and it’s true that moderates are a vanishing breed. But the problem isn’t primarily polarization. The problem is that one of our two major political parties has ceased good-faith participation in the democratic process. Of course, there are instances of violence, disinformation, racism and corruption among Democrats and the political left, but the scale isn’t at all comparable. Only one party fomented a bloody insurrection and even after that voted in large numbers (139 House Republicans, a two-thirds majority) to overturn the will of the voters in the 2020 election. Only one party promotes a web of conspiracy theories in place of facts. Only one party is trying to restrict voting and discredit elections. Only one party is stoking fear of minorities and immigrants.

    Trying to parse differences between the good Republicans and the bad Republicans is a waste of time.

  23. Michael Reynolds says:

    It’s war. You fight to win. The (R) after a name is like a uniform – see a guy in a Wehrmacht uniform, that’s the enemy. The only relevant question is whether this tactic is effective.

  24. Moosebreath says:

    I think Jonathan Last (not exactly a flaming liberal) has the right take on this:

    “A few weeks ago I proposed an analogy:

    Let’s pretend that you make Coxonium and this product is poison.

    I decide to run ads promoting Coxonium that say,

    Coxonium is good for your health! Tastes great, goes down smooth, and cures whatever ails you!

    If people buy Coxonium, maybe that is my fault? I have lied to them about Coxonium and what it does. Sure, maybe they should have done their own research. Not relied on a single ad. Checked the news to see if anyone had died from Coxonium. But whatever. I’ve still got some culpability. I was selling people a bill of goods.

    But what if I run Coxonium ads like this:

    Coxonium is poison. Real, genuine poison. If you take it, you will probably die. Do not buy Coxonium because it will kill you.

    And what if people who see this ad say, “Well shit, Lurleen. I been fixin’ to git myselfs some poison and damned if that Coxonium don’t look like the finest poison there is. Let’s buy it!”

    Is that really on me and the ad?

    Because it seems to me like the culpability lies with the guy who loves poison and can’t wait to buy it, even after being told what it does.”

  25. de stijl says:

    It’s a savvy move if the MAGA idiots lose in the general election. If the asshole wins, however…

    I’m not for it by any means, it seems like cheating to me. But I am not a Democrat – I vote for them by default because they are on the right side of policy I prefer roughly 70% of the time. Republicans, otoh, are on the right side of my preferred policy outcome maybe 1% of the time if that.

    Easy choice for me.

    If Ds bend then rules a bit 1. It isn’t my business. I don’t prefer that activity, but I can see the why of it. 2. Rs bent the rules way harder for decades and karma is a bitch.

    A miscalculation would be potentially catastrophic, though. If you go down that path you sure as hell need to win in the general election or else you unleashed an incompetent idiot on the populace on purpose.

    They need to tread this path extremely carefully. I would prefer they did not. The downside is catastrophic.

  26. Scott F. says:

    We want folks like Meijer, who put principle over party, in office. He was already risking the wrath of his own party for doing so. And his reward is that the Democrats helped his Republican opponents defeat him.

    I don’t want folks like Meijer, who put principle over party just this one time, in office. Meijer didn’t run in this primary on his principles. He ran away from his impeachment vote.

    And as the JVL post from @Moosebreath notes, the DNC ads in the Michigan presented Gibbs as a dangerous Trump suck-up and that’s what the district wanted. Any culpability for who represents this district come November will lie with the district’s voters. They now have a very clear choice.

  27. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I have now watched the ad. WTF are you complaining about JJ?

  28. Jen says:


    He dates the turn to the dark side back to 1993 and Gingrich.

    Thanks for pointing to this, I need to go read it, because that’s almost precisely when I got disgusted with the path the GOP was taking and left that line of work.

  29. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “The only relevant question is whether this tactic is effective.”

    Exactly. And we won’t know until November. If the MAGAs go down in fiery wreckage, the Dems are strategic geniuses. If we have entire states ruled by Alex Jones clones, the Dems are idiots.

  30. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    If the ads were lying or misleading about the candidate, then it would be unethical. Since the ads simply and truthfully pointed out which candidate was more MAGA than the other, and that’s what the voters wanted…

    I don’t know about effective or not–seems to be a mixed bag historically. I’m uneasy about the danger (trusting voters to not elect a nut is obviously foolish and more, especially in a mid-term). But I don’t see how it could be described as unethical.

  31. Stormy Dragon says:

    Ironically, the very screen capture at the top of this article demonstrates that the entire basis is bad faith. The Democrats did not, as claimed, run ads supporting Gibbs, they ran an ATTACK AD directed at him.

    The argument here is that Republican voters are so batshit crazy that attacking their as extremists only makes Republicans want them even more, so any criticism of them has be treated as a secret-double-bluff support. This is complete BS and is just a Murc’s Law distraction so Republican Pundits don’t have to address why so many Republican voters WANT someone like Gibbs.

    That this is coming out now on OTB is especially hilarious when the poor aggrieved Mr. Meijer himself just yesterday came out and started campaigning for Gibbs:

    Congressman Peter Meijer introduces John Gibbs at Kent County GOP unity event.Gibbs defeated Meijer in 3rd Congressional Republican Primary. @WOODTV— Jacqueline Francis (@JFrancisTV) August 3, 2022

  32. steve says:

    Mastriano was considered a rising star since he turned anti-vaxx. Oz also won. PA Republicans want to vote for those I would consider the worst candidates.


  33. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The Republican incumbent is running similar ads against one of her Republican primary opponents at this moment. I just watched one yesterday, in fact. Sadly, she’s not targeting the one who’s more likely to defeat her, but no one hired me as a strategist, and the one who can beat her is more unalloyed conservative/evangelical/supremacist.

  34. clarkontheweekend says:

    So, so tired of reading posts like this on this topic. This must be the 7th or 8th such OP-ed I’ve seen on the topic, and it’s all such bs. Hey, how about focusing on the batshite crazy candidates Rs are running in these things – an election conspiracy theorist just won for AZ Sec of St primary ffs – and I’m reading about why and what the Ds should be doing about it! Outrageous. Couldn’t agree more with the other commentators who’ve made this very point.

  35. Jax says:

    It’s not the Democrat’s job to save the “Good Republicans” from their own voters. If they wanted “protections”, Meijer and others like him could very publicly throw in the towel and switch parties, and explain exactly why.

  36. Matt Parker says:

    I agree that it makes me feel icky. And I think it’s playing w/ fine.

    That being said, can we talk about the fact that an add that says: “Joe Gibbs is too conservative for Western Michigan, and too close to Trump/Ben Carson”. is considered “support”.

  37. Jax says:

    @Matt Parker: @clarkontheweekend: Riiiight?! A House seat in the hands of a Republican, even when that Republican voted to impeach the match lighter, is one seat too many when we’re trying to save the goddamn country. Sorry ’bout your bad luck, Meijer, but if you stuck to your guns just a little bit harder and switched parties, maybe you’d still have a job and could help save the country.

    Now he’s just a sore loser bitchin about how he coulda been a contender if it weren’t for those pesky Dems and those ads that really only illustrate how fucking crazy the Republican party has become. 😐

  38. Hal_10000 says:

    Well, gee, if only there were a recent example of the Democrats hoping and praying for an awful candidate that backfired on them when he became President of the United states, bungled everything for four years and turned the GOP into a fascist personality cult. Oh, well.

    Backing Mastriano, in particular, is incredibly stupid. If Mastriano win, the Republican candidate in 2024 night very well get PA’s electoral votes, no matter what the voters say. In fact, there are GOP nominees in Nevada, Michigan and Arizona who could 2024 into a nightmare. Is it worth it?

  39. Jax says:

    @Hal_10000: At this point, they’re just supposed to play nice? They’re not even doing anything wrong, just pointing out what the batshit crazy candidates are for. It’s not their fault that’s what the Republican base likes. There’s nothing Dems can do to fix that, you’re gonna have to shovel out your own outhouse on that one.