Say one thing for the far left and right of the respective parties—they nearly always make the perfect the enemy of the good. Take for instance the buzz about vanquished and politically tainted Speaker of the House Chris Donovan possibly launching a third-party effort in the fifth congressional district as the nominee of the Working Families Party which is anchored in the support of labor unions. There is no evidence to think that Donovan would have any shot of success in the general election unless “success” is defined as labor throwing a temper tantrum because its guy didn’t win the primary.
The well-respected Juan Figueroa, president of the United Health Care Foundation and one-time candidate for governor, suggests that Donovan should run “until Elizabeth Esty proves she will fight for working families…On many of core issues of importance to working families, Elizabeth Esty’s position is unclear — hurting Democrat’s chances in November,” Figueroa said. Really? What is clear and what will sink Democrats chances in November is backing a candidate—Donovan—who couldn’t win a party primary even with the presumed support of labor. There’s no indication that Donovan can win over unaffiliated voters in a general election, the largest voting bloc in the district.
What’s going on here is Esty, at least to this point, has not genuflected at altar of labor and has not joined the ranks of far-left, union sycophants running for office. She very well may soon enough and then we all can be happy and move forward to the fall. Until then, united support of the Democratic Party for the candidate who won the Democratic primary is being held hostage. That’s just sad.
When I wrote about the consequences of a Donovan third-party run, I quickly noted that Donovan himself seemed to leave the door open. He never congratulated Elizabeth Esty on her primary win (she garnered more of the Democratic vote than Republican Andrew Roraback did in his Republican win), he never mentioned her name and focused on changing the campaign finance laws. As one mentor-type once said to me, “People rob banks all the time. We don’t make new bank-robbery laws every time it happens.” In other words, “How about abiding by the laws we have?”
I went back and reviewed the Donovan’s “concession” speech. If you listen closely, he says, “…while I won’t be the Democrat nominee in November, I will continue to fight for the progressive causes I’ve always fought for…” (Shad emphasis). Add to those words the fact that a campaign spokesman said Donovan is on vacation and the campaign would have nothing further to say about a possible Donovan third-party run.
Let’s not forget the jackpot his campaign found itself in that caused the speaker’s downfall in the first place. The voters certainly haven’t. Is here anyone who really thinks the federal investigation is over and that another shoe won’t drop? Democrats need to join together if they have any shot of retaining the seat. That won’t happen if the far left continues to think it more important than the average Democratic voter.