Guess who’s playing the voter manipulation game now

Private Citizen Joe Biden and the Democratic Party were on the right track when they demanded an investigation into what we just learned: Russia largely interfered in America’s 2016 election – running video ads and more Doing that helped Donald Trump win the presidency.

Biden and his fellow Democrats were right then, however, when Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s March 2019 report after an in-depth investigation showed a national determination to defend our democracy from those trying to manipulate our voters. If not produced, then again outraged, reverse our elections and destroy our democracy.

The Mueller report gave us a detailed warning: Russia had successfully used social media to “undermine the American electoral system … in what it called an ‘information war’. … Social in (Russian) Operations”. Including the purchase of political advertisements on the media … favoring candidate Trump and disgruntled candidate (Hillary) Clinton in early 2016.”

So today it should come as no surprise that many of us are rightfully offended. We are witnessing yet another carefully planned attempt to manipulate voters in the 2022 mid-term elections – by a very different astonishing criminal. Once again, an unlikely source is buying video ads promoting pro-Trump Republican candidates in several states.

But this time you are not hearing expressions of displeasure from President Joe Biden or the leaders of the Democratic Party. That’s because this year’s manipulative pro-Trump ads are being paid for by — not Russia, not Trump — the Democratic Party.

(Reader: Don’t adjust your news screen or newsprint. You read that right.)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) are buying up ads promoting the messages and themes of stop-the-steel, pro-Trump Republicans in primaries, in one of the most cynical campaign efforts ever . For the Governor, the Senate and the House. Why? Democratic schemers think they can manipulate opposition primaries so they can run in November against pro-Trump, love-the-big-lie candidates who will be easier to defeat. So they think.

So far, this super cynical Democratic manipulation scheme has achieved its initial goals in several states. In Michigan, Republican Rep. Peter Meijer, one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump after the January 6 Capitol uprising, was challenged and narrowly defeated by pro-Trump conservative John Gibbs.

DCCC’s TV ad featuring the capital in the background and words taken from Gibbs’ tweet: “John Gibbs and Donald Trump,” “same policies.” The Democratic ad also called Gibbs “too conservative for West Michigan” — but certainly in a Republican primary, that’s not really a negative attack, it’s going to get a positive vote. And the bottom line is: DCCC spent $435,000 on its ad featuring Gibbs; Gibbs only spent $334,000 on his GOP primary campaign—and won.

In Maryland, limited-term Republican Gov. Larry Hogan endorsed moderate Kelly Schultz—but was challenged by Trumper Dan Cox. The Democratic Governors Association ad featured a Cox tweet that said: “Dan Cox: Reject fraudulent elections on January 6th,” and also a Fox Channel screenshot saying: “Cox announces 2020 election results.” Fought for certification.”

Speaking on January 6, the anniversary of that rebellion, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, the president of the DGA, tweeted: “Governors must help stand up for the truth, protect our democracy, and ensure that it is The vote of the people that decides the election.”

But Cooper didn’t put his DGA money where his tweet was: The DGA spent $2 million on ads featuring Trump-backed Cox’s message. Last month, Cox won decisively. And yet, the compelling words tweeted by Cooper on January 6 were very much on the mind of Democrat Jocelyn Benson, Michigan’s secretary of state, as she told The Washington Post what her fellow Democrats thought of that real message. When they were playing the Republican primary in the sandbox.

“If we are going to say as a party – or as leaders – that we believe in a healthy democracy that requires citizens to be informed and engaged, then we have to live up to the values ​​that We do,” Benson said. “Interference with another party’s primary does not reflect those values.”

The last time Democratic schemers were so clever was in the summer of 2015. We had just witnessed one of the most non-political spectacles: a reality TV rich man gliding past his gold-colored escalator, through his pink marble lobby and set politically smart in a role he knew never fit. Will happen. TV prime-time pundits and late-night comedians were making The Donald their national punchline.

Except for a distant amateur pundit with access to a bankroll – and an office that has nice views of Red Square.

Martin Schramm is an op-ed columnist for the Tribune News Service. ©2022 Tribune Content Agency.

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