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.

Ford Prefect: We’re safe.
Arthur Dent: Ah. Good.
Ford Prefect: We’re in a cabin of one of the spaceships of the Vogon Constructor Fleet.
Arthur Dent: Ah. This is obviously some strange usage of the word “safe” that I hadn’t previously been aware of.

The Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy

While the American left was busy crying over the re-election of bibi in Israel they missed something that is even more damaging to their argument and narrative, particularly those of the divestment crowd who have been telling us for more years than I can remember how Israel is an apartheid state built on the oppression of the Palestinians.

Now we could turn to a cartoon to expose this BS for what it is but there is a more concrete proof available to those willing to see it. I first noticed it from a tweet

Let that sink in for a moment.

And the increase in arab members didn’t just come from the Arab union:

 

The number of Arab MKs jumped from 12 to 17, in part because the parties making up the Joint List’s numbers went up from 10 to 13, and also because the Likud and Zionist Union each added an Arab lawmaker.

 

Nor was the arab vote confined to arab parties:

While the Arab list received over 92% of the vote in Nazareth, the remainder of the votes went to: 2.68% for the Zionist Union, 2.09% for Meretz, 1.06% for Likud, 0.42% for Kulanu, 0.39% for Yisrael Beiteinu, 0.22% for Yesh Atid, 0.19% for Shas, 0.13% for Aleh Yarok and 0.04% for Yahad.

So I have this to say to the BDS crowd that our friends at Legal Insurrection have written about at length.

To paraphrase Arthur Dent:  This is obviously some strange usage of the word “apartheid” that I hadn’t previously been aware of.

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