James Carville sees no ethical or moral problem with Democrats meddling in Republican primaries

Democratic consultant James Carville spoke with CNN’s Jim Acosta on Saturday about the practice of Democrat organizations buying ads that promote “extremist” Republican candidates.

And I have to ask you about this, James,” Acosta began, “because this has been something that’s been talked about quite a bit in Democratic circles as to whether or not this is good idea. We’ve seen efforts by Democratic campaigns and outside groups to tilt the playing field in their favor by propping up extremist Republican candidates in some of these critical races…But on the flip side, if the vote doesn’t go their way, you could end up with conspiracy theorists, election deniers, and so on in some pretty important places.” 

It was a poorly-made case since Democrats have been placing conspiracy theorists and election deniers in some pretty important places for decades, but Acosta pressed Carville about the matter nonetheless.

“What do you think, James? I mean, is your party playing with fire?” Acosta asked his guest.

“The idea of a political campaign is to win the election,” Carville responded, “it acts in its own interest.”

There’s been a lot of very public soul-searching going on, as the Democrats wrestle with the moral question of whether they ought to be engaging in underhanded and dishonest tactics. Many feel the campaign is entirely in keeping with Democrats’ standard modus operandi, as it indicates just what sort of respect the defenders of “Our Democracy” have for that hoary institution.

And James Carville, to his great credit, signaled that he feels no qualms about the strategy, nor is he concerned about the possibility of it blowing up in the Democrats’ faces. The idea, naturally, is for Democratic money to prop up what they see as “far-right” and “extremist” Republican candidates, whom they feel will be easier to defeat in a general election. It’s all very cynical and Machiavellian—in other words, not very well thought out at all.

“I don’t see any ethical or moral problem with doing this,” he told Acosta. “And again, I think most of the opposition to this is from the pontifical class mostly located on the coast. I don’t see anything wrong with this. And you try to do everything you can to help your candidate or your party win an election. And that’s pretty simple.”

But there’s always a danger of misreading the room, and quite a few of these “extremist” candidates are proposing policies that many Americans feel are just what the country needs amidst the disastrous pseudo-presidency of Joe Biden. As just one example, Republican candidate for Pennsylvania governor Doug Mastriano—one of the aforementioned “extremist” candidates—is within striking distance of the governor’s mansion.

“Sometimes it backfires, sometimes it doesn’t work,” Carville acknowledged. “Well, okay. People do stupid things from time to time. But I wholeheartedly endorse this idea of being involved in their primaries to help them nominate the stupidest, goofiest, extreme person they can.”

After all, many feel the Democrats have been nominating the stupidest, goofiest, and most extreme people they could for years, so why shouldn’t the Republicans get in on the act?


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Todd Jaquith


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