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The Contradictions in the Democratic Party on View

Sunday 31 March 2024, by Dan La Botz

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The tensions and contradictions within the Democratic Party were fully on view on March 28 in New York City. On the one hand, President Joe Biden raised $25 million dollars, more than at any other single fundraising event in U.S. political history. Yet at the same time he was repeatedly interrupted by protestors chanting things like “blood on your hands,” referring to U.S. support for Israel’s war against the Palestinians. Biden appeared with former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama in a demonstration of the party’s unity at the top. But that could not stop protestors from the party’s rebellious rank-and-file from raising their voices against what they called Biden’s support for “genocide” in Gaza.

Some 5,000 people attended the event in person where the cheapest tickets sold for $250 and access to the intimate receptions cost between $250,000 and $500,000. A photo with the three presidents cost $100,000. So far, the Biden campaign and the Democratic National Committee have raised $128.7 million, while Trump and the Republican Party have raised $96.1 million.

Trump must raise money not only for his election campaign but also for legal expenses for the several criminal trials he faces and for penalties in the civil suits he has lost, all of which amount to hundreds of millions of dollars. Last week his Truth Social, Trump’s social media company, was for the first time listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange at a value of $50 per share and valued overall at $6.8 billion. Suddenly Trump’s net worth is estimated at $7.5 billion. However, many believe the stock’s value will collapse, since Truth Social is a small social media presence and has been losing subscribers and money. So, rich as he is at the moment, Trump is not financially secure. Nevertheless, he won the Republican nomination, absolutely dominates the party, and has a fanatically loyal base.

Biden’s strong financial position does not solve the problem of the eroding support his is receiving from some Democrats because of his failure to call for an immediate ceasefire and end U.S. support for Israel’s genocidal war on the Palestinians in Gaza where 32,000 have been killed, 13,000 of them children, thousands of others no doubt dead beneath the rubble, over 75,000 injured, and 1.7 displaced and hundreds of thousands starving. In the West Bank, Israel has killed hundreds of Palestinians, has carried out mass arrests, and set up new illegal settler roads and outposts, as uniformed Israeli settlers engage in violent attacks upon Palestinians.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has repeatedly called upon Israel to protect Palestinian civilians and to make humanitarian aid available. The United States abstained on the recent vote in the Security Council for an immediate but temporary ceasefire for the remainder of the Ramadan holiday and for Hamas’s release of the remaining hostages of the October 7 attack. Yet while Biden’s administration opposes Israel’s plan for an attack on Rafah and has apparently broken with Netanyahu’s government, Biden has not ended his support for the Israeli government, continuing to authorize more jet planes and bombs.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrations continue cross the United States demanding a ceasefire and an end to U.S. support for Israel. Americans as a whole oppose Israel’s actions, Democrats by larger margins. The far left is divided. Some protests are led by Jewish Voice for Peace and the Democratic Socialist of America, while others are organized by Stalinist or campist groups such as the Party for Socialism and Liberation, with Palestinian groups found in all of them. In any case, according to the Gallup Poll, young adults 18-34 show the biggest decline in their view of Israel, dropping from 64% favorable in 2023 to 38% today. That’s Biden’s problem, no matter how much money he raises.

31 March 2024


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