National Democrats jump feet first into local Dem House primary
Saying that Laura Moser, a candidate in the crowded Democratic primary for a seat being held by a Republican, is "not going to change Washington," the Democratic National Congressional Committee took the highly unusual step of dropping some opposition research on Friday, clearly going on record as opposing Moser's candidacy.
Moser only recently moved back to the 7th District in Texas and has been quoted as saying she doesn't like the state. But she seems to toe the standard liberal Democratic line on almost everything else, making the DNCC's choice to oppose her a puzzlement.
The committee said Moser, who recently moved back to Texas, wrote in a November 2014 magazine article that "she'd rather have her 'teeth pulled without anesthesia' than live in Texas." (In the story written for Washingtonian magazine, Moser was more specific, referring to her grandparents' hometown of Paris, Texas, which is not located in the 7th District.)
The DCCC also alleged that Moser's husband has benefited from her campaign spending, since he works at Revolution Messaging, which her campaign has paid for online consulting and advertising.
Moser criticized the move in a Thursday night statement.
"We're used to tough talk here in Texas, but it's disappointing to hear it from Washington operatives trying to tell Texans what to do," Moser said. "These kind of tactics are why people hate politics."
"The days when party bosses picked the candidates in their smoke filled rooms are over," she said. "DC needs to let Houston vote."
One of Moser's opponents, Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, has been endorsed by EMILY's List, who supports pro-choice female candidates. The DNCC may be worried that the women will split the pro-woman vote, handing the primary race to an unelectable male challenger.
That may be the Democrat's biggest problem in trying to retake the House. Across the country, radical liberal activists are running to unseat Republicans. They are being heavily backed by the most extreme elements of the party. Many are Bernie Sanders supporters energized by his candidacy in 2016. For a party already out of touch ideologically with most of the country, there is a real danger that as much as voters are disgusted by Republicans, they would rather vote for them than some wild-eyed radical Sanders-supporter.
Democrats are energized more than at any time since 2006, when they retook the House from Republicans. At that time, they needed only 15 seats to flip in order to gain control. This time, they need to pick up 24 seats in an electoral world where Republicans have redrawn district maps, carving out dozens of safe seats and leaving the Democrats with far fewer contested races to target.
Not saying it can't be done. Not by a long shot. But regardless of Republican mistakes, it's still a steep hill for Democrats to climb, and the national party sticking their nose into local primaries is probably not going to help their cause.