January 5, 2017

Tom Perriello’s Candidacy Creates New Front In Democratic Civil War

The emerging Democratic civil war between moderates and liberals has been a brutal spectacle since Election Day. While most of the action has been centered around Congress and the DNC, recent developments have seen a new front in that civil war open up in Virginia. That’s because former Congressman Tom Perriello, an extreme liberal, has just announced his candidacy for Virginia governor:

“Tom Perriello, the former congressman from Virginia, is making a surprise entry into his state’s governor’s race, disrupting Democrats’ well-laid plans in what promises to be the most-watched election in the country this year.”

As the New York Times reports, the Democratic primary “will expose the tensions between the moderate and progressive wings of the Democratic Party in Virginia.” Last night, before Perriello even officially announced, we’ve already seen that in action:

While another Virginia Democrat was so despondent he compared Perriello’s candidacy to a “suicide mission”:

“Reaction to Perriello’s decision to run was mixed among state Democrats. State Sen. Dick Saslaw said Perriello was on an ill-advised ‘suicide mission’ that would only succeed in hurting his party’s eventual nominee.”

The former Virginia congressman is well-known and liked in the DC liberal circles that helped fuel the rise of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. During Perriello’s single term in Congress, he voted for cap-and-trade and Obamacare, despite representing a swing district. These two votes ensure that Perriello will be politically toxic for Virginia Democrats in a general election.

Back in May 2016, America Rising’s Chairman Matt Rhoades wrote in the New York Post that the divisive primary battles that had harmed Republicans were headed Democrats way:

“In 2010 and 2012, divisive Senate primaries led to unpalatable GOP general-election candidates in Nevada, Delaware, Missouri, Indiana and Colorado — all states that could have elected Republican senators and provided a nearly filibuster-proof majority. Democrats laughed as the GOP shot itself in the foot. Now, in 2016, I have three words for Democrats: Winter is here. Your party is now locked in a fierce civil war, the populists are at the gate and there are more bloody battles in store.”

Perriello’s candidacy ensures that those words ring true even before Democrats get ready for the bruising 2018 Congressional midterm elections. If today’s events are any harbinger of the future, Democrats are in for a long two years.