In the week since the midterm elections, the news just gets better and better for Democrats.
In recent days, we have picked up a GOP-held Senate seat in Arizona and continue racking up congressional wins in California. The expectation is that we’ll get very close to gaining 40 seats when every vote is counted, the largest Democrat gain in the post-Watergate era. Not to mention the hundreds of state legislative seats and seven governor’s mansions, and ongoing recounts in Georgia and Florida.
It was a blue wave.
So why are we being inundated with texts and headlines talking about Hillary Clinton running in 2020?
Because so-called Democrats can’t stop themselves from feeding right-wing media.
Mark Penn and Andrew Stein’s Wall Street Journal piece “Hillary Will Run Again” is baseless speculation from people who are, at best, former insiders. Penn, who worked as Clinton’s pollster, now wants to fire Robert Mueller and owns a public affairs company that has worked for Paul Ryan. Stein endorsed Trump in 2016 and heads Democrats for Trump, a big departure from his roots as New York City Council president.
Looked at one way, Penn and Stein’s unhelpful claim that Clinton plans to steal the nomination from the clutches of the Democrat’s energized grassroots is merely the latest iteration of the 2016 claim that she and Trump were cut from the same cloth, with Clinton robbing the party of a real Democratic candidate.
Now, though, they are pressing the idea during a time of Democrat cohesion and electoral triumph, which 2016 was definitively not. The two authors know that the media can’t resist a Clinton candidacy, so they decided to float an unsupported claim as irresponsible as a conspiracy theory about voter fraud, and at the same time drag a former employer and Democratic candidate for president through the mud.
It’s a given that Republicans will always attempt to undermine and de-legitimize our candidates, but it’s sad to see some so-called Democrats will join them in their efforts.
It’s a disease. We understand the appeal of being called “the voice of reason” or “honest” by a bunch of people. Everyone likes to be liked.
But consider who’s in your fan club. Conservative trolls. Clickbait “news” sites. Bots. And most of all, folks that are all too happy to see Trump retain the presidency in 2020.
At a moment of renewed vitality and youthful vigor in the Democratic party, it’s insulting to have two boomers try to dictate the discourse around the presidential primary. Freshly minted officeholders like Lucy McBath, Sharice Davids, and Kyrsten Sinema are exciting voters across the country, but now we are driven to distraction by the mauling of the previous candidate.
Hillary, with her years of service to our country, deserves better than to be used as fodder for right-wing conspiracy and abuse. She takes enough flak without pile-on from Democrats.
If you’re causing Kellyanne Conway to exclaim “Dear God, please yes” you are doing a disservice to Democrats.
It’s critical that we don’t do conservatives’ work for them. Republicans have their own fingers to type with, and their own plans to derail our chances at taking back the Senate and White House in 2020.
For every Democrat thinking about taking the bait and relitigating the 2016 race in a 2020 primary fantasy-land, think about what you’re about to do. If you’ve produced the lead story on the Washington Times and Drudge, you’re probably not helping.
We applaud those who cautioned that Hillary might lose to Trump, but it’s really not so difficult to distinguish hard truth telling from right-wing troll feeding.
Democrats did well in the midterms by staying laser-focused on healthcare and the failures of the president. Let’s keep it up.