by Brent Budowsky
Today I am endorsing every Democratic winner, of every Democratic nomination, in every campaign for the House and Senate in November. As the 2018 midterms that could end the one-party state of Trump Republicans in Washington comes closer, GOP panic is growing intense and unity for Democrats is paramount and essential.
President Reagan, a grandmaster in the art of winning elections, declared his 11th Commandment that Republicans should not attack other Republicans. As the 2018 midterms approach, Democratic leaders should adopt a 12th Commandment, that Democrats should not attack other Democrats in efforts to win control of the House and Senate.
It is perfectly fine and potentially helpful for Democrats to run in primaries and offer differing views about the future of the party and the nation, but Democrats should reject the kind of unfair and unprovoked attacks recently launched by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) against a good Democratic candidate running for a House seat in Texas.
In the race for the Democratic nomination to oppose Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas), Democrats are blessed in the runoff with two finalists, Laura Moser and Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, who are both outstanding and appealing candidates. Let the better candidate win the runoff, without the negative intervention of party schemers in Washington, and let the party unite behind whichever candidate wins.
The GOP panic about the midterm elections is real, intense and growing. Every day brings more news about indictments and plea bargains in the Russia scandal, news of other financial and political scandals, and more resignations and firings of officials close to Trump.
This week, resurgent and united Democrats in Texas, who could gain three to four House seats in November, nominated Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who has a strong chance of defeating Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
Next week, Pennsylvania Democrats have a good chance of electing Conor Lamb, a former prosecutor who served with distinction in the Marine Corps. He has been gaining support for his House race against Republican state Rep. Rick Saccone in a district Trump carried by a landslide margin in 2016. Lamb is an outstanding candidate of integrity and experience who unites enthusiastic Democrats.
The 2018 elections are the most important midterm elections in a century. Young, dynamic candidates such as O’Rourke and Lamb — and similar candidates in races across the nation — give Democrats a real chance to win back control of the House and Senate.
With democracy under attack around the world and a Republican president who praises dictators from Russia to China while insulting America’s neighbors and allies; with equal rights and voting rights under attack and the most dishonest and divisive president in American history ripping apart our national unity, nothing is more urgently needed than Democrats uniting to end the Republican one-party rule in Washington.
When I worked for the House Democratic leadership, the first Speaker I served under was Tip O’Neill (D-Mass.), a grandmaster of the art of maintaining Democratic control of the House. Tip brilliantly understood that the Democratic Party is a big tent, with members of diverse viewpoints all knowing that the process was fair and leadership cared about them all.
Today the GOP is a small and shrinking tent. Liberal Republicans have been thrown out. Moderate Republicans are no longer welcome. Blue-state Republicans could be crushed in November. Even principled conservatives are treated with contempt by Trump.
Radical GOP factions dominate Republicans in Washington. This creates danger for America, disaster for Republicans and extraordinary opportunity for Democrats that is proven by special elections across the nation.
The answer to small tent Republican panic and division is big tent unity and determination from Democrats.
The DCCC and all national party organizations should support and unite Democrats, not attack and divide Democrats. The current moment in American history demands a united, big tent Democratic Party, achieving a massive and diverse voter turnout, to end Republican rule in Washington in the most important midterm elections in a century.