RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment

Douglas writes: "A progressive candidate for office is being attacked and maligned. The surprising twist? It's her own party that is funding the attack ads."

'What is unusual about the attacks on Moser is that they issue not from her Republican rival but from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.' (photo: WP/Getty Images)
'What is unusual about the attacks on Moser is that they issue not from her Republican rival but from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.' (photo: WP/Getty Images)

The Democratic Party Is Now Publicly Attacking Progressive Candidates

By Lawrence Douglas, Guardian UK

26 February 18

A progressive candidate for office is being attacked and maligned. The surprising twist? It’s her own party that is funding the attack ads

n their desperation to win back the House in the 2018 midterm elections, the Democrats have turned to eating their own. How else to make sense of the unhappy drama unfolding in Texas’ 7th congressional district?

The district, which includes much of affluent west Houston, has a Republican incumbent named John Culberson, but was carried by Hillary Clinton in 2016. Culberson, a gun-loving, climate change-denying champion of President Trump, is a dreary exemplar of the kind of reactionary outlier who now passes as a mainstream Republican politician. And so the effort to unseat him has attracted a crowded field of seven Democrats, all vying to win the March 6th primary.

Of the seven, the most intriguing – and exciting – is a 40-year-old mother of two named Laura Moser. Moser is exceptionally intelligent; I taught her when she was a student at Amherst College in the late 90s, and she remains in memory as one of the most intellectually gifted students I’ve come across in my career. At six-foot two, she literally stands out in a crowd and dazzles with her charisma and quick wit.

While this is her first run for public office, Moser has been politically active, founding Daily Action, a grassroots organization designed to mobilize opposition to Trump’s deformation of the American political landscape. As a candidate, she has emerged as an articulate and passionate defender of progressive political causes including women’s reproductive rights, single payer health care, sane gun control and sustainable energy.

Her candidacy has generated excitement; Moser has outraised her six rivals in the new year and has gathered an enthusiastic following particularly among younger voters who supported Bernie Sanders.

So it is perhaps predictable that this young Democratic candidate would become the subject of a withering political attack. Branded a “Washington insider” and a carpetbagger, Moser has been maligned in recent days for harboring an “outright disgust for life in Texas.”

What is unusual about these attacks is that they issue not from her Republican rival but from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the campaign arm of Democrats in the US House of Representatives. Concerned that Moser is too liberal to unseat a Trump patsy, the DCCC has embarked in the kind of smear campaign pioneered and popularized by its political opponents.

To be clear: the charges are ridiculous. It is true that Moser lived in Washington DC for several years, while her husband served as Barack Obama’s videographer. And yes, Moser, who is Jewish, appeared at Obama’s Seder table, thanks to her husband’s White House position. Hardly the stuff to turn her into the second-coming of Nancy Pelosi.

It is also true that Moser, who has worked as a journalist, wrote in a piece for the Washingtonian that she’d “sooner have my teeth pulled out without anesthesia” than live in Paris, Texas. But the article was about the virtues of city living, not about the disgusting idiocy of life in Texas. With all the subtlety of a presidential tweet, DCCC spokeswoman Meredith Kelly tore the statement out of context to indict Moser as unqualified to represent Houston. Sad!

As for the carpetbagger charge, it is true that Moser, who grew up in Houston, only recently moved back to the city, where her family has lived for some five generations. We might as well mention that she also speaks serviceable French.

Finally, there is the deeper concern that Moser is too liberal for Texas’ 7th District. Perhaps so. But in fearing that Moser’s progressive platform and rejection of Trump’s politics of constitutional demolition render her unelectable, it is the DCCC that has betrayed its disgust toward Texans. Moser trusts the intelligence and political sophistication of her fellow Houstonians to embrace change.

The 2016 election demonstrated exactly the kind of catastrophe the Democrats court when they rally behind a supposedly “safe” candidate over one with a galvanic message that promises to reenergize the party and the electorate. And while the DCCC’s desire to win back the House is understandable, its treatment of Moser leaves no doubt about its ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+70 # bread and butter 2018-02-26 18:30
DNC Democrats,

Don't you think we're paying attention? We are.

Please stop DEMANDING we vote for you.

If you want our vote - ACT LIKE IT.
+33 # Benign Observer 2018-02-26 19:18
This is what happens when you don't hold people accountable.

I suppose this is not a deal breaker for most?

THIS is why we can't have a nice party!!
+38 # suziemama 2018-02-26 22:26
The "leadership" of the Democratic Party did the same thing to Dennis Kucinich when he last ran for Congress (as well as during his presidential bids.) I'm sure the Dems will assail Kucinich again, now that he's running for Ohio Governor.
+8 # MainStreetMentor 2018-02-28 04:19
Agree. It's the hierarchy of the DNC which needs flushing - especially of the baby-boomers, (who hold a large degree of responsibility for the state our country finds itself in today!). While the DNC will always outclass the Teapublicans, there is a LOT of room for improvement.
+8 # laborequalswealth 2018-02-28 13:45
I'm a Boomer and I endorse this message!

Get rid of the DNC's Boomer/neolib cabal NOW.
+36 # Thomas Martin 2018-02-26 23:05
The Democratic Party doesn't seem to realize the significance of our moment - it's a watershed, and certainly no time to pull the rug out from under progressives who are ready and willing to work toward recovering America's highest ideals!
+23 # librarian1984 2018-02-27 09:09
And yet that's exactly what they're doing -- again and again and again ...

Seriously, I hope no one is sending money to the Democrats. THAT is what will make them listen to us -- and obviously it's the ONLY thing.
+2 # sashapyle 2018-03-01 21:20
Support individual candidates and campaigns if they are truly progressive— and never give another dime to any organization which serves the overarching Party hierarchy, no matter what they call it.
+3 # randrjwr 2018-03-01 11:31
Quoting Thomas Martin:
The Democratic Party doesn't seem to realize the significance of our moment - it's a watershed, and certainly no time to pull the rug out from under progressives who are ready and willing to work toward recovering America's highest ideals!

Yes, and it an especially important watershed moment given that the Koch campaign to get a Constitutional Convention called is only 4 states shy of the 34 they need. If that happens, watch out--time for Progessives to find another country to live in.
+39 # jwb110 2018-02-26 23:52
This is precisely the reason I stopped donating any money to the DCCC and I never will again. The best they will come up with is a Democrat who will be nothing but a centrist Republican. I have had enough of that and the American people did too when the DCCC and the DNC lost the last presidential election for us.
+22 # librarian1984 2018-02-27 09:15
Democrat 27%
Republican 25%
Independent 42%
Don't Vote ~50%

So about 1/8 of the electorate supports either party yet they still have US in a stranglehold. Neither party represents its base, and with the rules set up the way they are, they still don't feel any need to.

Nancy Pelosi: "Voters don't want change."
+13 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-02-27 13:26
librarian -- good post. This is the reality of US politics. The two parties are operations of the oligarchs. The keep the masses in line and distracted. They act as gatekeepers to public service.

What a deep problem. Hedges is right. Only a revolt will change anything.
-3 # Farafalla 2018-02-28 13:52
Your percentages don't add up to 100%
+3 # Benign Observer 2018-02-28 16:35
Of the approx. 50% who vote, 27+25+42 = 94%

The other six percent, presumably, are third party: Libertarian, Green, etc.
+7 # librarian1984 2018-03-01 03:37
Voters are about 50% of the eligible population, and of THAT group 25% call themselves Dems, etc.

The voters' percentages add up to 94%. That's 94% of 50%, so each party has about 1/4 of the voters, or 1/8 of the eligible population, and each one is outnumbered by Independents.

The two parties are in decline. The DP could grow by using open primaries.
+31 # bonehead3 2018-02-27 00:38
There is two historic possibilities here, exemplified in the piece: Democrats from the establishment can show they learned from the historically disastrous 2016 campaign and grab onto the rails of the galvanized electorate train for 2018 midterms or continue with the same old tired "centrist" platform and direction that has allowed a huge majority of Republican wing nuts in Congress to play to the minority of Americans who support big business, xenophobia, misogyny and the continuing disaster of the forever "war on terror" military adventurism! We of the progressive and humanity based American patriotism have been quite vocal about the direction this party should move in... will they actually listen?
-20 # Lgfoot 2018-02-27 01:24
Meredith Kelly needs to move to Paris, TX and STFU.
0 # randrjwr 2018-03-02 10:02
Quoting Lgfoot:
Meredith Kelly needs to move to Paris, TX and STFU.

Why all the negatives? With friends like her, we Progressives don't need enemies.
+32 # tedrey 2018-02-27 04:24
Does this mean the DCCC would rather take a loss for the party than a win for the public?
+35 # relegn 2018-02-27 07:05
"...Moser is too liberal to unseat a Trump patsy..."
Is this the case or is the DCCC afraid that she won't follow the lead of neo-liberals in their pandering to their Wealthy donors? Generally Progressive programs and policies don't favor the Wealthy and the neo-liberal faction in the Democratic Party still clings to the money teat that the Wealthy offer in exchange for policies that favor the Rich.
+25 # librarian1984 2018-02-27 09:26
We are hearing this a lot from the establishment, that moving 'too far left' will screw the Dems' chances at victory. They are using fear to herd Democrats to the right .. again.

1) What victories are we talking about? Neoliberals have brought us over a thousand defeats just since Obama took office.

2) Despite the defeats the political consultants make money hand over fist. More than half of election costs (and growing) go to these clowns who get paid more and more even after they repeatedly lose. They have no stake in winning.

3) After decades of moving to the right we can't afford any leftward movement? Any adjustment left is depicted as 'radical' but the most radical rightward moves, like supporting the MIIC or Wall Street deregulation, is seen as reasonable. Gaslighting.

4) When polled issue by issue American voters decidely poll progressive, no matter what they call themselves.

5) A poll last year showed an overwhelmingly majority of Americans have no idea what the DP stands for -- because it sure isn't the middle class or the poor.
+15 # Moxa 2018-02-27 12:51
"In their desperation to win back the House in the 2018 midterm elections, the Democrats have turned to eating their own. How else to make sense of the unhappy drama unfolding in Texas’ 7th congressional district?"

Another way to make sense of it is that they are afraid that she actually COULD unseat the Republican and then they'd have one more progressive in the House to worry about. They hate progressives, especially those who could actually win.
+7 # lfeuille 2018-02-27 19:05
More more on the Democratic Party's official treachery check out this report from the Intercept today. They are telling all their candidates to oppose single payer based on rigged internal polling.

+11 # Benign Observer 2018-02-27 20:25
The Intercept's Zaid Jilani is reporting on DCCC internal memos that show the party advising candidates NOT to talk about gun policy or single payer health care.

Even though a Harvard-Harris poll shows 69% of Democrats (and 52% of Americans) support single payer healthcare, one memo says:

"The American people overwhelmingly want Congress to improve the ACA, not repeal or replace it"

Polling was conducted in a very skewed way, asking respondents

"If you could change ONE thing about YOUR healthcare, what would it be?" (emphasis mine)

Top response, 44%: make it cheaper
Tied for second, 12%: make it single payer, or change nothing
Third, 5%: make it less complicated

Moving to single payer would cover the top three, for 61%, but the memo tells candidates to focus on the GOP plan, and ONLY IF ASKED talk about Democrats' alternative solutions: allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices, tax breaks to subsidize health costs, or require insurance companies to reduce administrative costs.

On gun control, even though 70+% of US-ians support stricter gun laws and 61+% favor an assault weapons ban, the DCCC worries this 'politicization ' of the issue hurts their chances in the 2018 midterms, so they tell candidates:

"There will be time for politics and policy .. but any message today should be on OFFERING THOUGHTS/PRAYERS"

THAT is our Democrat Party. PLEASE stop sending them money.

This is the time to HOLD THEIR FEET TO THE FIRE.
+10 # bread and butter 2018-02-28 02:09

It's NEVER time to hold their feet to the fire.

You can't do it in election season, because you'll elect Trump.

And you can't do it AFTER the election, because…. well… just because…. so stop asking.

DNC Democrats don't like their feet held to the fire. It's very uncomfortable for them.


ALMOST as much as being forced to STAND FOR SOMETHING!
+8 # laborequalswealth 2018-02-28 13:48
The ACA is a piece of crap. Reason: It's the REPUBLICAN PLAN hatched at the ultra right-wing Heritage Foundation.

Single pay NOW.
+7 # Benign Observer 2018-02-27 20:40
Correction (I daren't edit the post above):

Zaid Jilani's Intercept article is about Blue Cross Blue Shield working with establishment Dem Gretchen Whitmer to defeat progressive, pro-single payer Abdul El-Sayed in the primary for the MI governor's race:

(Wouldn't THAT be something -- an Arab governor!)

It's HuffPo that offers an article today DCCC memos discouraging candidates from 'politicizing' the gun issue after the Vegas shooting:

Not to be confused with a 2015 DCCC memo that told candidates not to support BLM positions.

How long are people going to support this overtly corrupt party? You cannot cling on to what they USED TO STAND FOR. That is not who they are anymore, and if we don't see that clearly we will never get them to change.

OR you can huddle in a dark corner mumbling 'Russia Russia Russia'.
+5 # laborequalswealth 2018-02-28 13:49
Exactly. This Russia nonsense is just one more way the Demos can avoid actually doing something to stop the Trump trainwreck.

Useless. Absolutely useless.
+8 # hkatzman 2018-02-28 09:47
The overwnelming Cries of
We need change
We need to defeat Republicans

Are met with
We need centrist candidates to get elected
We need moderates to defeat Republicans

Only Republican-lite can get elected (to Republican delight)

Presenting a new vision for the hateful, climate-denying , militaristic, wealth pandering agenda of Republicans is considered (by Democratic leadership) too radical to be elected in a general election. It seems that only a Republican is allowed to present a new agenda. Yet the public is so fed up with the status quo and its politicians.

No wonder Democrats have such difficulty in winning elections
+2 # PCPrincess 2018-03-01 14:53
I now have a very sinking feeling in my gut. If this is a foreshadowing of the way the next Presidential election is going to look, I will pre-pack my bags in the event that our national voters aren't able to conquer the two corrupt parties and the avalanche of propaganda and trolls that will most assuredly come.

I do hope that Bernie is strong and that his supporters are ready to put up one Hell of a fight.
+3 # bread and butter 2018-03-02 00:58
DNC Democrats have made it clear.

They'd rather lose to Trump in the general election than lose to Sanders in the primary.

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.