What Could Cost Biden a Second Term

There is still a lot of water that will flow under the bridge before November 5, 2024. The presidential race could change, but right now it is starting to look bad for Joe Biden. I am a Biden supporter and will remain so. I think that overall, he has been a great president, given the hand he was dealt. But he finds himself between a rock and a hard place, which could make him a one term president, and it is not the MAGAs and Trump fanatics that will hammer the nail in the coffin. It will be the progressives and the younger voters, who normally vote for a Democrat. The two issues that put him at risk are Israel’s War on Hamas in Gaza and immigration.

First, the situation in Gaza. It is nearly impossible for a sensitive person to watch the evening news night after night without flinching when seeing  young children crying out for parents whom they will never see again, when hearing women crying and screaming in despair, when watching the total destruction of apartment buildings and hospitals, and the long lines of people marching to the south, which was supposed to be a safe haven, but now is in the line of fire and unrelenting bombing. “Only” about twenty thousand Palestinians have been declared dead so far, eighty percent being women and children. Netanyahu so far has refused to allow sufficient aid, supplies, food, and medicine to get into Gaza to avert a looming humanitarian crisis of Biblical proportions. He is adamantly opposed to a lengthy ceasefire, truce, or negotiations to end the war. For this to happen Hamas must be “completely destroyed.” But the cost of killing every Hamas fighter and supporter could mean killing every Palestinian living in Gaza.

U.N. healthcare workers warn that time is running out. Unless there is a ceasefire and the needed medical and nutritional assistance are allowed to get to those in dire need, in addition to the deaths by bombs and ammunition, we can expect cholera, dysentery and other deadly diseases along with mass starvation.

It may also mean the end of Joe Biden’s hope to be a second term president. As much as most Democrats despise Trump and all he stands for, many on the progressive side will stay home and so will a lot of younger Democratic voters who tend to favor the Palestinian cause over the Israel’s. Biden needs those votes to win. Many will not be able to pull the lever in the voting booth for someone on whose watch this catastrophe happened. They will not be able to vote for someone whose country cast the single veto for a ceasefire in the U.N. Security Council. They will not be able to vote for someone whose government continues to send billions of dollars every year to support  Israel’s war effort.

Make no mistake: Joe Biden is not a bad person. He is not “evil” or responsible for this war. He is stuck between taking a stand on one of two alternative, irreconcilable choices. Were he to take a hard line against Israel’s excessive overreaction, he would lose many of the votes of Democrats who support Israel over the Palestinians; and there a lot of them—almost the same percentage as support Palestine. But if he is unable to get Netanyahu to back off, he loses many in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. There is no question that he is trying to walk a middle ground and trying to get Israel to come to the negotiating table but so far with very little to show for it. If the war is not over and if massive aid does not flow into Gaza well in advance of the election, Biden will be in real trouble.

The other issue is immigration. The Republicans are using border security and deportation of illegal immigrants to get concessions to allow other critical laws to pass Congress. Today on the news I learned that Biden has hinted he may be willing to make concessions regarding asylum as a reason to allow people to enter the country and in sending back illegal immigrants. I do not know how this will end up, but if it means significant rounding up of immigrants and “dreamers,” it will mean another slap in the face of many progressives. Biden cannot make too many concessions to hard line, right wingers without alienating his base. Many will stay home.

Poor guy. He is caught in the middle of the Great Alienation that our country is experiencing. We progressives and MAGAs rarely speak to each other. We do not understand one another. We do not see the other side. Yet the stakes in 2024 have never been higher. The Times published a lead article today, December 19, showing Trump continues a two-point lead over Biden overall. The number of all voters who disapprove of the way Biden is handling the Gaza War is an astonishing 57% compared to only 33% who approve. Some 46% say Trump would do a better job handling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict compared to 38% for Biden. Almost half (47%) of all  voters favor Israel in the conflict compared to only 20% for the Palestinians.  (Democrats are split—31% for Israel, 34% for Palestine.) However, the numbers are reversed with younger (under 30) voters—only 20% for Israel compared to 46% for Palestine.

The thought of another Trump presidency is a nightmare. And if Trump does win, the United States may end up as another casualty of the Israel Palestine War in Gaza.


2 thoughts on “What Could Cost Biden a Second Term

  1. I totally agree with everything you have put together in your blog for today. A Lebanese friend has introduced me to a book, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, by John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt, a must read if we are trying to figure out why Biden supports Israel entirely in the current conflict. Published in 2007, reprinted just recently. I ordered it through Politics and Prose.

  2. Good analysis, Joe, I do fear you could be right.
    Shame on any “progressives” who stay home.

    However, I do take come comfort in a column that states:
    “Three of the last four presidential elections unfolded differently from the conventional wisdom of one year earlier. Beyond that, the ultimate winner in many past elections was not apparent a year out.
    In the past 80 years, the following presidential winners were not regarded as favorites a year beforehand: President Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Hillary Clinton was favored twice — and lost both times.”
    Just google “Leubsdorf: A Biden-Trump rematch in 2024? Maybe. Maybe not” The piece is everywhere.

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