A pair of stories based on leaked documents from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have furthered the divide between the party establishment and the liberal activist class, which warned on Tuesday that the party "needs to get out of the way."
The first story, by the Intercept, revealed a DCCC memo circulated to Democrats across the country to persuade them away from embracing single-payer health care, an idea pushed by Bernie Sanders in 2016 and favored by many in the liberal base. Less than an hour later, the Huffington Post published private emails sent by a DCCC staffer instructing candidates to refrain from politicizing the October Las Vegas shooting, advising instead for candidates to offer "thoughts" and "prayers"—a response to tragedies routinely criticized by the left.
The leaks of DCCC materials come less than a week after the party committee published opposition research against one of its own candidates in Texas, Laura Moser, who is endorsed by Justice Democrats, a group founded by former Sanders staffers after the 2016 election.
The group immediately responded Tuesday afternoon to the information from the two leaks by attacking the DCCC for thinking the party can "take back Congress by running on a watered down message."
"It’s becoming evident that the DCCC—and the billionaire donors and revolving door consultants that make up the Democratic Party establishment—believe Democrats can only take back Congress by running on a watered down message," said group spokesman Waleed Shahid.
Shahid said the establishment candidates "stand for an agenda developed by out-of-touch consultants in Washington" and warned that voters will not turn out if candidates offer nothing more than "watered down, mealy-mouthed consultant talk."
"The establishment of the Democratic Party needs to get out of the way of the rising tide of movements that could sweep them into the majority," Shahid said.
"The Democratic Party needs to wholeheartedly embrace the demands of the grassroots, instead of preemptively surrendering to Republicans, Wall Street, and the billionaire class," he concluded.
NBC's Chuck Todd highlighted the "intraparty warfare" exhibited by the DCCC in Texas and how it could end up "totally backfiring" on the party ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.
The division was also evident in California, where Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein, who has held the seat since 1992, failed to secure the state party's endorsement for reelection. Elsewhere in the state, the party proved to be too divided to agree on a candidate to endorse in California's 49th district, a highly coveted open seat in the fight for control of the House.
Republican groups are openly working to tie Democratic candidates across the country to House minority leader Nancy Pelosi due to her unpopularity.
In Pennsylvania, Pelosi is so unpopular that Democratic candidate Conor Lamb is airing ads to assure voters he won't support her if he's elected, though the establishment has quietly still been funneling money to his campaign.