Illinois guv candidate dropping socialist running mate over BDS support exposes Dem rift

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Illinois guv candidate dropping socialist running mate over BDS support exposes Dem rift

By John Ruberry

[cap­tion id=“attachment_100773” align=“alignright” width=“300”] Occupy Chicago activists with Pales­tin­ian flag in 2012[/caption]

Even in Illi­nois this story was barely noticed, but the drop­ping of a social­ist run­ning mate by an Illi­nois guber­na­to­r­ial can­di­date betrays a deep rift within the Demo­c­ra­tic Party that deserves a close look.

Late last month State Sen. Daniel Biss, a can­di­date for gov­er­nor, announced Chicago alder­man Car­los Ramirez-​Rosa as his run­ning mate. Just as on the pres­i­den­tial stage, ticket bal­anc­ing is a goal for Illi­nois guber­na­to­r­ial hope­fuls and lately white can­di­dates have been pick­ing minori­ties as their run­ning mates. Incum­bent gov­er­nor Bruce Rauner’s lieu­tenant gov­er­nor is an His­panic. Biss of course chose that strat­egy too.

But his ticket was per­haps too bal­anced. Or was it too unbal­anced? Six days later Biss dropped his run­ning mate.

Not only is Ramirez-​Rosa an His­panic but he’s also openly gay. So he’s a two-​fer, which cov­ers a pair core Demo­c­ra­tic con­stituen­cies. That is almost cer­tainly why this 28-​year-​old with scant expe­ri­ence was selected, not because he’s qual­i­fied to serve as gov­er­nor. C’mon now, 28 years old? Illi­nois is bur­dened with declin­ing pop­u­la­tion, $14 bil­lion in unpaid bills, and one of the worst-​funded pub­lic pen­sion sys­tems among the 50 states. And at one time Biss thought Ramirez-​Rosa was good enough to be a heart­beat away from being in charge of fix­ing this debacle?

But Biss clearly didn’t dig very deep into the back­ground of Ramirez-​Rosa. Biss is Jew­ish but his run­ning mate for that brief time is a sup­porter of BDS, that is, the Boy­cott, Divest­ment and Sanc­tions move­ment against Israel. Biss’ mother grew up in the Jew­ish state. When a Jew­ish Illi­nois Demo­c­ra­tic con­gress­man retracted his endorse­ment of Biss over the BDS con­tro­versy, the chain reac­tion began.

Ramirez-​Rosa was elected to Chicago’s City Coun­cil – that inept leg­isla­tive body that sees a mem­ber grad­u­ate to a fed­eral pen­i­ten­tiary every 18 months or so–two years ago. Ear­lier this year he joined the Demo­c­ra­tic Social­ists of Amer­ica. It’s more social­ist than Democrat.

Just as in 2004, when since-​disgraced John Edwards claimed there were “two Amer­i­cas,” there are two Demo­c­ra­tic par­ties, the old guard, which is still try­ing to recre­ate the Franklin D. Roo­sevelt coali­tion, and the new wing, which is chan­nel­ing the spirit of five-​time Social­ist Party can­di­date for pres­i­dent, Eugene V. Debs. Or to put a con­tem­po­rary label on these fac­tions, it’s Hillary Clin­ton ver­sus Bernie Sanders.

Last month the DSA, which is not for­mally a polit­i­cal party, held its bien­nial con­ven­tion in Chicago. Two things of note occurred. The Demo­c­ra­tic Social­ists voted nearly unan­i­mously to sup­port the BDS move­ment. Yes, Sanders is Jew­ish, but like most left­ist Jews he’s sec­u­lar. Sec­ondly, as Salon noted, an online ker­fuf­fle broke out dur­ing the DSA shindig when old guard Democ­rats com­plained that the social­ists were “hijack­ing the party.” Per­haps they are. And even though the cham­pion of the hijack­ers is a sep­tu­a­ge­nar­ian, energy and youth is with the social­ists’ side, not the stalwarts.

Young against old. Gee, I won­der who is going to win?

[cap­tion id=“attachment_98863” align=“alignleft” width=“300”] Blog­ger at the border[/caption]

By 2020, the Demo­c­ra­tic Party, which was founded by Andrew Jack­son, may be America’s social­ist party. With it will come the anti-​Israeli and yes, anti-​Semitic bag­gage of the far-​left. Except the far-​left could be the center-​left by then.

As for Jew­ish Democ­rats, espe­cially those who sup­port Israel, they will won­der what the heck hap­pened to their party. Actu­ally, it’s occur­ring now. Early this year in a poll Pew dis­cov­ered Democ­rats’ loy­al­ties are almost evenly split in regards to the Israeli-​Palestinian struggle.

Per­haps Biss was too hasty in dump­ing Ramirez-​Rosa. A pro-​Israel Demo­c­rat paired with a BDS Demo­c­rat? Now that’s a bal­anced ticket!

John Ruberry reg­u­larly blogs at Marathon Pun­dit.

By John Ruberry

Occupy Chicago activists with Palestinian flag in 2012

Even in Illinois this story was barely noticed, but the dropping of a socialist running mate by an Illinois gubernatorial candidate betrays a deep rift within the Democratic Party that deserves a close look.

Late last month State Sen. Daniel Biss, a candidate for governor, announced Chicago alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa as his running mate. Just as on the presidential stage, ticket balancing is a goal for Illinois gubernatorial hopefuls and lately white candidates have been picking minorities as their running mates. Incumbent governor Bruce Rauner’s lieutenant governor is an Hispanic. Biss of course chose that strategy too.

But his ticket was perhaps too balanced. Or was it too unbalanced? Six days later Biss dropped his running mate.

Not only is Ramirez-Rosa an Hispanic but he’s also openly gay. So he’s a two-fer, which covers a pair core Democratic constituencies. That is almost certainly why this 28-year-old with scant experience was selected, not because he’s qualified to serve as governor. C’mon now, 28 years old? Illinois is burdened with declining population, $14 billion in unpaid bills, and one of the worst-funded public pension systems among the 50 states. And at one time Biss thought Ramirez-Rosa was good enough to be a heartbeat away from being in charge of fixing this debacle?

But Biss clearly didn’t dig very deep into the background of Ramirez-Rosa. Biss is Jewish but his running mate for that brief time is a supporter of BDS, that is, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. Biss’ mother grew up in the Jewish state. When a Jewish Illinois Democratic congressman retracted his endorsement of Biss over the BDS controversy, the chain reaction began.

Ramirez-Rosa was elected to Chicago’s City Council–that inept legislative body that sees a member graduate to a federal penitentiary every 18 months or so–two years ago. Earlier this year he joined the Democratic Socialists of America. It’s more socialist than Democrat.

Just as in 2004, when since-disgraced John Edwards claimed there were “two Americas,” there are two Democratic parties, the old guard, which is still trying to recreate the Franklin D. Roosevelt coalition, and the new wing, which is channeling the spirit of five-time Socialist Party candidate for president, Eugene V. Debs. Or to put a contemporary label on these factions, it’s Hillary Clinton versus Bernie Sanders.

Last month the DSA, which is not formally a political party, held its biennial convention in Chicago. Two things of note occurred. The Democratic Socialists voted nearly unanimously to support the BDS movement. Yes, Sanders is Jewish, but like most leftist Jews he’s secular. Secondly, as Salon noted, an online kerfuffle broke out during the DSA shindig when old guard Democrats complained that the socialists were “hijacking the party.” Perhaps they are. And even though the champion of the hijackers is a septuagenarian, energy and youth is with the socialists’ side, not the stalwarts.

Young against old. Gee, I wonder who is going to win?

Blogger at the border

By 2020, the Democratic Party, which was founded by Andrew Jackson, may be America’s socialist party. With it will come the anti-Israeli and yes, anti-Semitic baggage of the far-left. Except the far-left could be the center-left by then.

As for Jewish Democrats, especially those who support Israel, they will wonder what the heck happened to their party. Actually, it’s occurring now. Early this year in a poll Pew discovered Democrats’ loyalties are almost evenly split in regards to the Israeli-Palestinian struggle.

Perhaps Biss was too hasty in dumping Ramirez-Rosa.  A pro-Israel Democrat paired with a BDS Democrat? Now that’s a balanced ticket!

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.