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Like most of you, I was disappointed that Marie Newman could not defeat Dan Lipinski in the Illinois-03 Democratic primary last night. It was close, but Lipinski, probably the single worst Democrat in the House, managed to hold on, in part because his allies in the Illinois legislature whitened his district to protect him during the last redistricting. All props to Newman and her supporters, who almost did it. We certainly don’t need any Dan Lipinski’s in the Democratic Party of 2018. But in the end, primaries are really, really tough. They aren’t truly impossible to win for an insurgent; Dave Brat knocking Eric Cantor out a few years ago was a classic moment. But that’s much more the exception than the norm. For all we talk about the need to primary bad Democrats, it’s a lot harder to do than defeating Republicans. The key is not to let them get into office in the first place. People such as Lipinski are a dying breed in the party, though they will get a boost from Democrats winning in right-wing districts this fall. But while one might understanding some right-wing votes from a Doug Jones, for a Chicago congressman, there’s no excuse at all. Let’s hope for another challenge to this jerk from the left in 2020.

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