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Democrat Divisions Laid Bare

Does a fractured party equal a fractured nation?

It has become apparent that President Joe Biden’s own party is just as deeply divided as the nation when it comes to the issue of supporting either Israel or Palestine. The division will be weighing heavy as the incumbent seeks to use Democrat lawmakers as surrogates for his 2024 campaign message.

Making his first speech on the chaos erupting at campuses across the country Thursday, May 2, the president insisted that protest must be peaceful. But were his conciliatory efforts too late to quell the rising discord in his own ranks?

 Democrat Warnings

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) presented the chaos on college campuses across the nation as Biden’s very own Vietnam. Speaking with CNN on Thursday, the senator gave warning that these continued protests could be the downfall of the president’s re-election hopes. He said:

“I am thinking back and other people are making this reference that this may be Biden’s Vietnam. Lyndon Johnson in many respects, was a very, very good president domestically, and brought forth some major pieces of legislation. He chose not to run in ’68 because of opposition to his views on Vietnam and I worry very much President Biden is putting himself in a position where he has alienated not just young people but a lot of the Democratic base all in terms of his views on Israel and this war.”

But Sanders was not suggesting that Biden give full-throated support to one of America’s most important allies. Rather, he intimated that the president should be unequivocally on the side of those who are cheering on Hamas.

New banner Liberty Nation Analysis 1“So I would hope very much that from certainly a policy our point of view from a moral point of view that the president stops giving a blank check to Netanyahu,” Sanders continued, “and I would hope that they understand that from a political point of view, this has not been helpful. Quite the contrary.”

Not Less, More!

In what is almost certainly about to become a meme-worthy disassembling, Representative Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) insisted to MSNBC’s Alex Wagner that the Columbia University protest was “completely peaceful.” An interesting interpretation when one considers the campus workers who claimed they were “kidnapped” by those breaking into and seizing Hamilton Hall. He explained:

“We want the protests to be peaceful. We do not want violent protests. I visited the Columbia encampment last week, and they were completely peaceful. There was a space for mental health supports, there was a library, there was food, there was coffee, there was water, and they were crystal clear on their demands. They are protesting the collective punishment of Palestinian civilians in Gaza.”

In Mr Bowman’s view, who was responsible for the vandalism, scuffles, and fires? As a fully paid-up member of the Squad, he blames – perhaps unsurprisingly – the police. “Some of the images that we saw from UCLA and other places made it look like a bunch of disorder,” the congressman said. “But the majority of these protests are peaceful. When you send in hundreds of military-dressed law enforcement officers into a college, that brings the disorder and that brings the chaos.”

And in a bizarre final twist, he called for more of the same, saying: “We need more protests that are peaceful to hold us accountable towards what we should be working on in Congress.”

Those of a more suspicious bent might consider his summation as coded language to the protestors, telling them that the more they protest, the more likely it is that their grievances will make it to the House floor.

Is this the message President Joe Biden wants his party to deliver this close to an election? In 2020, then-candidate Biden tweeted:

“Remember: every example of violence Donald Trump decries has happened on his watch. Under his leadership. During his presidency.”

A Lesson from History?

For Joe Biden, he need not go too far back in time to find a parallel. It was only in 2020 that then-President Donald Trump tried to rally the nation under the banner of a fractured Republican Party. There was a battle for the soul of the GOP taking place that was detrimental to both his agenda, and ultimately, his re-election chances.

Fractious relationships among Trump and his fellow Republicans were red meat for the press, who took every opportunity to highlight the divisions, emboldening the narrative that his presidency was chaotic, and that the remedy was bringing the “adults” back. So far, the Fourth Estate has not applied the same standard in detailing every snipe and snarky comment offered by Biden or his fellow Democrats, but cracks are beginning to form.

The president’s speech on the campus protests and anti-Semitism was not simply aimed at the protesters; it was also a tentative outreach to members of his own party, an insistence that he can weather the current storm and keep both opposing factions happy. Sadly for Mr. Biden, straddling both sides of the fence is never a winning strategy. In fact, all it really does is weaken the fence and put you at risk of falling off entirely.

Read More From Mark Angelides

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