House Dem claims leadership tried to ‘beat moderates into submission’

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Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) is getting ready to retire, but on her way out the door, she blasted her party’s leadership in an interview on Friday for promoting progressive Democrats while stomping on the more moderate faction of the party.

She told Politico that Democratic leadership “beat moderates into submission” while pushing to pass President Joe Biden’s agenda.

Murphy routinely bucks House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over various issues. She has announced that she will not be seeking reelection ostensibly because she’s fed up with radical leftism in her own party.

“I can’t tell you the number of times I said, ‘You can’t keep promising rainbows and unicorns when your political reality is such narrow margins in the House and a dead-even Senate,'” the three-term congresswoman who sits on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee recounted. “They took the difference between rainbows and unicorns and political reality — which is anger and disappointment — and turned that anger and disappointment against their own members.”

Democratic moderates pushed back against party leadership’s efforts last year to link the nearly $2 trillion Build Back Better Act to the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. Both bills eventually passed and moderates were exiled to the corner and collectively told to put a sock in it.

(Audio Credit: Politico Playbook Deep Dive)

“I felt from the start [connecting the two bills] was a failed strategy,” Murphy asserted. “I also felt like you can’t promise rainbows and unicorns when you know that you don’t have the votes for it.”

She noted that those controlling the party had less “tolerance” for moderates voting in ways that could retain their seats in Congress since Democrats seized control following the 2020 election.

“My first term … there was a lot more tolerance for, ‘Do what you need to do to hold your seat, and come back because we’re trying to build towards [a] majority,'” she remarked. “With us being in the majority, that tolerance eroded a bit. It’s unfortunate because I think in order for us as Democrats to hold the majority, you have to be able to win in seats like mine and in redder seats. That means you have to cut your members a little bit of leeway to vote their district. This march towards party unity is going to be detrimental to our ability to lead.”

Murphy was accused of holding “anti-immigrant” views for supporting “Kate’s Law,” which would have increased penalties for people who sneak back into the US illegally after being deported.

“I believe in immigration and comprehensive immigration reform and the ability for people to immigrate to the United States in a legal way,” the Blue Dog Democrat told Politico. “But I also believe in law and order, and ensuring that we hold people who commit crimes accountable.”

She also savaged Democratic interest groups for spending big bucks to unseat moderate Democrats during a tough election year. Murphy beat a primary challenge in 2018 from an American Civil Liberties Union attorney who was endorsed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez but it is evident she’s had enough of the struggle.

“I told those groups, ‘For every dollar that you spend against me, it’s going to take 10 to repair that.’ … Why, as Democrats, we would take money that we need to reserve for the on-year to help win and grow the majority — why we would spend that money against our own members is really baffling,” she bitterly commented.

“I believe that the DCCC exists for one reason and one reason alone, and that is incumbent protection and expanding the majority,” Murphy contended. “I don’t believe that the person who runs the DCCC should be a member who’s elected, because inevitably that member … has further aspirations in the Democratic leadership.”

“And in order to ascend in Democratic leadership, you have to secure the progressive vote. And securing the progressive vote makes it difficult for you to also then protect moderates and create space for them to do what they need to do to win and hold seats. … I think that’s just … a structure that is misaligned to what should be the sole purpose of the DCCC, incumbent retention and expanding the majority,” the first Vietnamese American woman to be elected to Congress asserted.

In a very bad sign for Democrats in the 2022 midterm elections, at least 31 House Democrats have announced they will not be seeking reelection in November. It is believed that they see the red wave coming and are jumping ship to avoid it. A number of polls indicate that Republicans are going to sweep both the House and the Senate this year.


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