Conservative Democrats, the Iron Law of Institutions, and Ersatz Unity

I’ve never been one for insisting Democrats be one happy family: there are ideological differences that translate into meaningful policy differences, and those differences affect people’s lives. So we should have primary fights, despite conservative Democratic calls for the left-ish wing of the party to not challenge Democratic incumbents. For over a quarter century, there has always been an emergency that requires the left to keep quiet.

It’s worth noting that Ocasio-Cortez challenged Crowley in a district that was going to go Democratic regardless of who won the primary. Other attempts to challenge long-time Democrats, who happen to be major recipients of banking largess–and whose legislative records demonstrate that quite aptly–are occurring in districts that have sky-high PVIs (they aren’t going to elect a Republican). In other words, the left is attempting to elect what they perceive as better Democrats who, after the primary, still will win the general election and caucus with House Democrats.

However, that doesn’t seem to be the modus operandi for conservative Democrats, who are attempting to knock off a liberal Democrat, in a district that the party establishment candidates could not recapture since 1993 (boldface mine):

The political action committee affiliated with a bipartisan caucus on Capitol Hill is spending money to back a Republican challenge to Rep. Katie Hill of California, a freshman Democrat who has been an independent and at times progressive voice in the House, despite serving in a district previously held by the GOP.

Hill is what’s known as a “front-liner” in Democratic caucus politics, because she’ll face a difficult challenge to hold on to her seat in California’s 25th District. Mike Garcia, an Iraq War veteran, launched his campaign in April, and the With Honor PAC jumped in to support him that same month…

That makes the support for a Republican challenger from the For Country Caucus, which includes at least 10 Democrats, fairly remarkable, particularly as House incumbents have launched a full-blown counterrevolution against the so-called Squad and the organization that backs them, Justice Democrats, accusing them of undermining the party by targeting incumbents.

Justice Democrats, which became a prominent actor in Democratic politics after helping elect Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, however, has so far not endorsed a single challenger to a front-line Democrat, even as a new centrist caucus backs a Republican against Hill. The caucus is co-chaired by California Democrat Jimmy Panetta, who was first elected in 2016 and is the son of longtime Democratic operative and former Rep. Leon Panetta. The caucus also includes Democratic Reps. Seth Moulton, Mass., Chrissy Houlahan, Pa., Gil Cisneros, Calif., Jason Crow, Colo., Jared Golden, Maine, Conor Lamb, Pa., Elaine Luria, Va., Max Rose, N.Y., and Mikie Sherrill of N.J. None of the caucus members responded to a request for comment.

In 2018 primaries, Crow, Luria, and Cisneros faced progressive primary opponents and won with the weight of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee behind them. They are now linked up with a PAC working in direct opposition to the interests of the DCCC.

Despite all the caterwauling about Justice Democrats and other left-leaning groups, it is the conservative Democrats (and we warned you Cisneros would be awful) who are collaborating with Republicans* to defeat the first Democrat to win that seat in twenty five years–before some of the readers of the blog were born. In 2019, can you imagine nine Republican House members openly assisting a Republican candidate?

Which brings us to the Iron Law of Institutions (boldface mine):

What he’s overlooking is that the Democrats operate according to the Iron Law of Institutions. The Iron Law of Institutions is: the people who control institutions care first and foremost about their power within the institution rather than the power of the institution itself. Thus, they would rather the institution “fail” while they remain in power within the institution than for the institution to “succeed” if that requires them to lose power within the institution.

Chapo Trap House et alia, as stupid and annoying as they are, really aren’t the problem here. It’s conservative and corrupt Democrats who, through their well-funded actions, show that they believe liberal Democrats are more of a threat than Republicans.

Unity, my ass.

*This might be one reason why the ‘Resistance’ isn’t really a resistance.

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