Friday, June 08, 2018

Status Update On The CIA Democrats

WSWS |  The Democratic Party has made a strategic decision to bypass candidates from its progressive wing and recruit former members of the military and intelligence agencies to compete with Republicans in the upcoming midterm elections. The shift away from liberal politicians to center-right government agents and military personnel is part of a broader plan to rebuild the party so it better serves the interests of its core constituents, Wall Street, big business, and the foreign policy establishment. Democrat leaders want to eliminate left-leaning candidates who think the party should promote issues that are important to working people and replace them with career bureaucrats who will be more responsive to the needs of business. The ultimate objective of this organization-remake is to create a center-right superparty comprised almost entirely of trusted allies from the national security state who can be depended on to implement the regressive policies required by their wealthy contributors. 

The busiest primary day of the US congressional election season saw incumbent Democrats and Republicans winning renomination easily, while in contests for open congressional seats the Democratic Party continued its push to select first-time candidates drawn from the national-security apparatus.

On the ballot Tuesday were the nominations for 85 congressional seats—one-fifth of the US House of Representatives—together with five state governorships and five US Senate seats.

Of the five Senate seats, only one is thought competitive, in Montana, where incumbent two-term Democrat Jon Tester will face Republican State Auditor Matt Rosendale, who has the support of the national party, President Trump and most ultra-right groups. Trump carried Montana by a sizeable margin in 2016.

Republican Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi won renomination and faces only a token Democratic opponent, while three Democratic incumbents, Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico and Diane Feinstein of California, won their primaries Tuesday and are expected to win reelection easily.

Among the five governorships where nominations were decided Tuesday, Republicans are heavily favored in Alabama and South Dakota and Democrats in California and New Mexico, with only Iowa considered a somewhat competitive race. Republican Kim Reynolds, the lieutenant governor who succeeded Terry Branstad after Trump appointed him US ambassador to China, will face millionaire businessman Fred Hubbell, who defeated a Bernie Sanders-backed candidate, nurses’ union leader Cathy Glasson, to win the Democratic nomination.

The most significant results on Tuesday came in the congressional contests, particularly in the 20 or so seats that are either open due to a retirement or closely contested, based on past results.

Perhaps most revealing was the outcome in New Jersey, where the Democratic Party is seriously contesting all five Republican-held seats. The five Democratic candidates selected in Tuesday’s primary include four whose background lies in the national-security apparatus and a fifth, State Senator Jeff Van Drew, who is a fiscal and cultural conservative. Van Drew opposed gay marriage in the state legislature and has good relations with the National Rifle Association.