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Squad Member Bowman Suffers Major Defeat

Progressives feel the pinch and Biden gets a warning

by | Jun 26, 2024 | Articles, Politics

Representative Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) suffered a ten-point defeat in his primary bid for re-election, dealing a significant blow to the self-styled “Squad” of progressive lawmakers in Congress. Losing New York’s 16th District race to pro-Israel George Latimer exposes a fault line in the Democrat ranks that could bring heavy penalties come November.

While the party of Joe Biden is in lockstep on issues such as abortion, immigration, gun control, and the defeat of Donald Trump, a conflict more than 6,000 miles away threatens to become the focal point of an internecine war.

Self-Inflicted Wounds

The Democratic Party primary for Bowman’s seat was the most expensive of its kind ever recorded. With an estimated $25 million spent, it seems that the establishment was keen to remove a political thorn in its side. Bowman has long been an outspoken critic of Israel, more so since the deadly Hamas attack of Oct. 7, 2023. Bowman has used his position to lambast Israeli leadership, criticize fellow Democrats, and push a false and disturbing narrative.

In November last year, he argued that “There was propaganda used in the beginning of the siege… There’s still no evidence of beheaded babies or raped women. But they still keep using that lie [for] propaganda.” It would be more than four months before he finally reversed course and acknowledged what really happened. This 180-degree turn, however, did not lighten his condemnation of the Jewish state.

For some high-level Democrats, his stance was more than enough to break ranks and shift their not-inconsiderable support to someone else.

The Latimer Coalition

George Latimer, a former county executive, was backed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) to the tune of almost $15 million; his candidacy drew the support of notable names, including Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and New York State Democratic Committee Chairman Jay Jacobs. Conversely, Mr. Bowman was backed by his fellow Squad members and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.

During his colorful concession speech, Bowman railed against “dark money” outfits – an accusation usually leveled at the opposition party. He said:

“We should not be well-adjusted to a sick society… We should be outraged. We should be outraged when a Super PAC of dark money can spend $20 million to brainwash people into believing something that isn’t true. We should be outraged about that.”

This sentiment was echoed by Joseph Geevarghese, the executive director of Our Revolution – a group founded by Sen. Sanders. He declared, “Jamaal Bowman had the moral courage to speak out against his constituents’ taxpayer dollars funding war crimes in Gaza… As a result, AIPAC and its MAGA Republican-funded super PAC flooded the airwaves with an unprecedented $14.5 million worth of attack ads against him.” He continued with a tacit political threat:

“Rest assured that millions of young, diverse, and progressive voters across the country see these stunning contradictions, and they are disgusted that Party leaders are sitting idly by as special interests unseat a popular and progressive black man from Congress.”

But just how popular was Bowman? And for that matter, how well-received are his views on the conflict in Israel?

Bowman Bows Out

New York’s 16th District includes Westchester and the Bronx. In the former, Latimer secured more than 63% of the vote (43,000 vs. 24,000 for his opponent); in the latter, Bowman managed to earn a whopping 83% – however, that represents just under 7,000 individuals.

These numbers suggest that Mr. Bowman has small pockets of very firm support, surrounded by oceans of more moderate voters – something that has been replicated across the country. Enclaves of dedicated voters who see the conflict in Israel as a problem created by Israel itself have been making their voices heard in not just congressional primaries but in presidential ones, too.

Primary voters in Michigan gave President Joe Biden a rude awakening – despite only token efforts to unseat him as the Democratic Party nominee. As Liberty Nation News reported at the time:

“The “uncommitted” vote is the big story for Democrats. Over 100,000 Michiganders opted for none of the above as part of an organized protest against Biden’s refusal to broker an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. The possibility that a significant portion of Arab American and Muslim voters might rebel against the incumbent has been sending shock waves through Team Biden, so much so that on the eve of the primary, the president foolhardily suggested that a ceasefire might be in place within a week.”

This revolt against the party status quo was, and apparently still is, a cause of dire concern for the Biden campaign and congressional Democrats hoping to hold on to power.

Read More From Mark Angelides

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