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WaPo columnist complains that 2020 Democrats are ‘doing Trump’s job for him’
Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg via Getty Images

WaPo columnist complains that 2020 Democrats are ‘doing Trump’s job for him’

Isn't that always a concern?

The Democratic primary race is heating up, with candidates attacking each other for various reasons as is to be expected from a presidential primary election. Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson, however, thinks that they need to start taking more of a high road, lest they actually help out their eventual general election opponent: President Donald Trump.

In a column titled, "Democratic candidates are doing Trump's job for him," Robinson makes the case that all the mudslinging on the Democratic primary trail is just giving the Trump campaign more and more ammunition for when an eventual nominee is chosen:

Somebody, eventually, is going to win the Democratic nomination. If the candidates are sincere when they say this is the most important election of our lifetimes and ousting Trump must be the top priority — and I believe they are — then how does it make sense to generate so much fodder for Trump campaign ads in the fall?

Look, I know that politics ain't "Kumbaya." It would be insane to go through the grueling experience of running for president without trying to win, and that means convincing voters you're the best for the job. There's a difference, though, between making the most effective case for yourself and arguing that your opponents are so flawed as to be disqualified for office.

Rather than being nailed to the wall for something they did or said 20 years ago, the candidates need to be given time and space to evolve, just as the nation has evolved. President Barack Obama, you will recall, opposed marriage equality until the relatively late date of 2012 — long after it was a matter of faith for the progressive wing of the party.

Oddly enough, Robinson then goes through a lengthy list of all the purported deficiencies of the various candidates. Those include efforts to cast Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) "as the second coming of Karl Marx," accusations of racism and sexism against former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, a controversial past prosecutorial decision made by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), former Vice President Joe Biden's lack of "sharpness" at campaign events and so on.

"The party will have to unite — not superficially, for the duration of the balloon drop at the convention in Milwaukee, but genuinely," the column concludes. "So dial back the hissing and spitting, people. It only helps Trump."

Robinson's far from alone in his concerns about infighting the primary process. A similar sentiment was recently echoed by Democratic pollster Brad Bannon in a recent op-ed at The Hill where he decried the "Democratic demolition derby" on the campaign trail.

"During the summer, I walked on a beach with a sign that warned people against throwing trash in the ocean," Bannon wrote. "My version of that warning would be that the candidate you trash now will be the candidate you will have to swim with in November. If Democrats don't hang together this year, we all will hang separately over the next four."

But while there's been no shortage of inter-candidate feuds, swipes and controversy over past statements and current policy positions on the Democratic campaign trail, is what we've been seeing really all that unusual? After all, it is a presidential primary election that we're talking about.

"Primary fights tend to be blood feuds toward the end when the desperate second-tier candidates are struggling for one last chance at the brass ring. It's the nature of the beast," HotAir's Jazz Shaw explained in response to Robinson's plea. "When you compare this year's Democratic primary to those of previous cycles, it really doesn't strike me as all that different."

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