Nothing is immune from political fundraising. Tragedies. Gaffes. Scandals. Even the pope wasn’t sacred enough to avoid becoming fundraising-appeal fodder.
A Democratic candidate in Iowa, Desmund Adams, sent an e-mail to supporters Sunday asking them to rally behind Pope Francis’ “powerful message regarding the environment” by sending his campaign money. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, who seems to have found a kindred spirit in the pontiff, also sent a fundraising e-mail last week using the pope’s message about social justice.
So it should come as little surprise that Democrats wasted no time seizing Speaker John Boehner’s retirement as an opportunity for personal gain.
His announcement Friday was dizzying, but even in the fog, Democrats began to express concern that without Boehner as something of a buffer, the most conservative faction of the House GOP caucus will gain even more influence.
When the future is uncertain, all one can do is beg for money.
The most desperate came from the Senate Majority PAC, which works to get Democrats elected to the upper chamber. Using bold red font and all caps, the group sent a fundraising appeal Monday:
The only way to save the world, apparently, is to donate $5 or more (IMMEDIATELY).
Others were a bit less dire.
The campaign of Democrat Rep. Patrick Murphy, who is running for the Senate, mind you, sent a fundraising pitch over the weekend with the subject line: “really bad news (Tea Party).”
“The Tea Party is staging a coup in the House,” the e-mail said. “Now, if they take over the Speaker’s office when John Boehner retires, they could destroy middle class Americans. The stakes for winning this race could not be higher.”
Murphy is running for Marco Rubio’s Florida seat, so yeah, the Democrats taking back the Senate is a legit way to buttress a conservative House. (And guarantee gridlock, but that’s probably inevitable …)
A guy named Doug Applegate, with barely an online footprint, is running for the California seat currently held by Rep. Darrell Issa. His campaign sent an appeal: “Big news last week. Speaker John Boehner announced that he is stepping down. What does this mean? Extremists have finally succeeded in taking over the Republican Party.”
(Well … there hasn’t been a new leadership election yet.)
And Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), who just won reelection in 2014, asked supporters for money with this message: “Tea Party Republicans are more concerned about who’s going to replace John Boehner than keeping Congress on track.”
Maybe it’s a little uncouth to raise money off the end of someone’s career. But it’s just political nature to capitalize on the other party’s turmoil.