Ratfu**ed, that is. During the primaries, Democrats spent close to $20 million promoting 16 different far-right candidates who went on to claim the Republican nomination in their respective primaries. That list includes, most notably, Darren Bailey, Dan Cox, John Gibbs, Don Bolduc, Bob Burns, and Doug Mastriano. And how did that work out for the blue team? Very well, indeed. In those 16 races, some of them quite high profile (like, say, the Pennsylvania governor's race), the Democrats went... 16 and 0. The blue team would have won some of those races without getting involved, of course, but it's highly unlikely they would have won all 16.
During primary season, a number of high-profile Democrats were not happy with the tactic, writing an open letter that declared "Our democracy is fragile, therefore we cannot tolerate political parties attempting to prop up candidates whose message is to erode our dedication to fair elections." Are those Democrats unhappy today? We don't know, since they haven't exactly released an updated statement. But there are many times in life where you have to start by doing something unpleasant and even destructive in order to achieve something positive. In that way, ratfu**ing is sort of the political equivalent of chemotherapy.
Indeed, if the Democrats lose control of the House, it will be, at least in part, because—even in a cycle where the Party was willing to play dirty pool—it got out-dirtied by the Republicans. Had New York Democrats been successful with their extreme gerrymander, that might have given the Party enough House seats to hold on to the lower chamber. But the New York Democrats fumbled, and lost to the Republicans in court. Similarly, if racial gerrymanders were illegal, the Democrats would surely have a few more Southern seats right now. But they've lost the mother of all dirty-politics wars, namely the struggle for control of the Supreme Court. And the now 6-3 conservative majority sees no issue whatsoever with racial gerrymanders.
What does this mean going forward? Now that the Democrats have crossed the ratfu**ing Rubicon, will this become a significant part of their toolkit? Or was this a once-in-a-lifetime, desperate-times-call-for-desperate-measures election? We'll find out in 2024, though as Pandora could tell you if she were real, it's not so easy to put these things back in the box once they've been released. (Z)