“Vote Uncommitted”: A Democratic, pseudo-left ruse to swindle opponents of genocide into voting for Biden in November

As President Joe Biden continues to hemorrhage support among broad layers of the population over his unyielding support for the US/NATO-backed Israeli slaughter and starvation of Palestinians in Gaza, pseudo-left forces have been activated in an attempt to save Biden’s presidential campaign.

President Joe Biden is greeted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after arriving at Ben Gurion International Airport, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023, in Tel Aviv. [AP Photo/Evan Vucci]

In 2016, Hillary Clinton lost Michigan and its 16 votes in the Electoral College to Donald Trump by just over 10,000 votes. In the 2020 election, Biden’s victory over Trump in Michigan was roughly 154,000 votes.

This battleground state has the highest percentage (2.2 percent) of Arab Americans in the United States and the second most in the country by population (221,631), behind California (272,485).

A 2020 exit poll conducted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations found that 69 percent of registered Muslim voters selected Biden, while only 17 percent chose Trump. In the 2016 election, Trump received a similar margin, 13 percent.

However, since October 7, polling by major media organizations and political groups has shown that at least two-thirds, if not more, of Muslim and/or Arab Americans indicate that they will not vote for Biden, with many open to a third party candidate.

Sections of the ruling class are terrified that widespread disgust with Biden and the Democratic Party over the genocide in Gaza will result in masses of workers and youth not only refusing to vote for Biden, but breaking with the Democratic Party entirely and looking for new, independent forms of struggle.

While the Socialist Equality Party fights to develop the anti-genocide protests into a conscious movement of the working class against the government and the capitalist system—the source of inequality, war and fascism—pseudo-left elements respond to the historic breakdown of the capitalist system with cynical political maneuvers aimed at rescuing the Biden campaign and channeling disaffected workers and youth back behind the Democratic Party.

Leading the cheering section for “Genocide Joe” is Democratic Socialists of America member and Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Since the start of the new year, the phony “socialist” from New York has appeared on podcasts and cable news shows to trumpet the alleged accomplishments of the Biden administration and tell the world that her support for Biden’s reelection in November is an “easy decision.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s fulsome support for Biden was recently profiled by Philip Elliott for Time magazine in an article published February 16 titled, “How Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Became One of Joe Biden’s Most Valuable Boosters.”

“AOC’s main job in 2024 may be President Joe Biden’s most valuable pinch-hitter,” Elliott wrote. He continued:

As mainstream Democrats were tearing their hair out over new questions about the President’s mental acuity, there was Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday not only reaffirming her backing of Biden, but not-so-subtly slapping down those in her wing of the party screaming for him to step aside.

“I know who I’m going to choose. It’s going to be one of the most successful Presidents in modern American history,” she told CNN.

Elliott added that when “needed the most,” Biden’s allies “include Ocasio-Cortez as part of the Establishment defense.”

While AOC is overt in her support for “Genocide Joe,” other members of “The Squad” (self-declared progressive and “left-wing” representatives in Congress) are supporting Biden through less overt means.

In the state of the Michigan, which is scheduled to hold its Democratic primary on February 27, this has taken the form of the “ Vote Uncommitted” campaign. Unlike many other states, Democratic primary voters in Michigan have the option to choose “Uncommitted” on the ballot, in addition to Joe Biden, Marianne Williamson and Dean Phillips.

There is no question that, despite widespread anger, Biden will win the Michigan primary on Tuesday. Williamson has already suspended her campaign, and Phillips, who has marketed himself as a younger version of Biden, has yet to garner any support beyond the margin of error.

Fearful that disgust with the support by Biden and the Democrats for ethnic cleansing will lead to widespread abstention not only in the primary but also in the general election, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, former Michigan Rep. Andy Levin, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and what remains of “Our Revolution”—which emerged out of Senator Bernie Sanders’ 2016 “political revolution”—have called on Michigan voters to select “Uncommitted” on February 27.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., speaks during a news conference on May 25, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Washington. [AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib]

“‘Our Revolution’ Calls for Protest Vote Against Biden In Michigan,” the New York Times reported on February 14. Speaking to the Times, Levin, the scion of a Michigan Democratic dynasty that included his father, Representative Sander Levin, and his uncle, Senator Carl Levin, spelled out the purpose of the campaign.

“I am working with some people who feel like they will never vote for Joe Biden, but there are many, many, many I feel will vote for Joe Biden on Nov. 5 if he changes course,” Levin told the Times. “This is the best way I can help Joe Biden,” he said.

Doing her best to “help Joe Biden,” in a video posted on February 17 from Dearborn, Michigan, Rep. Tlaib—who was censured by her fascistic Republican “colleagues” as well as some fellow Democrats after October 7 for meekly speaking out against the Israeli slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza—said it was important to “create a voting bloc” by voting “Uncommitted” in the primary.

“This is the way you can raise our voices,” Tlaib said, adding, “Right now we feel completely neglected and just unseen by our government. If you want us to be louder, then come here and vote ‘Uncommitted.’”

It should be noted that Tlaib, the only Palestinian American member of Congress, on the eve of her censure vote made a point in an interview with the Detroit Free Press of denouncing Hamas’ October 7 incursion into Israel as a “war crime just like the collective punishment of Palestinians right now is a war crime.”

The DSA and its various social media and graphics teams released several copy/paste statements declaring their support for the “Uncommitted” campaign. “We can and must fight back, right inside the halls of power,” wrote the DSA. “That’s why we call upon all comrades to call their Congress members.”

To this end, the DSA has scheduled virtual phone banks to “get out the vote” for “Uncommitted.” Additionally, the youth section of the DSA held a rally at the University of Michigan on February 20. Despite heavy coverage of the “Uncommitted” campaign on cable television and promotion by various pseudo-left forces, only a few dozen students participated in Tuesday’s rally at the college. Addressing the small crowd, Levin said it was time “to turn from war to diplomacy.” He continued, “At long last, Joe Biden, you can become a much greater president by leading the turn to peace.”

After a muted response, Levin pleaded, “Text all your friends ... all across the state ... all the campuses across this state. Get out there and vote. Don’t stay home.”

The same day the rally was held in Ann Arbor, the New York Times, the unofficial press organ of the Democratic Party, published an opinion piece by the Democratic mayor of Dearborn, Abdullah Hammoud, in support of the “Uncommitted” charade.

Hammoud wrote: “My greatest fear is that Mr. Biden will not be remembered as the president who saved American democracy in 2020, but rather as the president who sacrificed it for Benjamin Netanyahu in 2024.

“It is for that reason,” Hammoud continued, “that I will be checking the box for ‘Uncommitted’ on my presidential primary ballot next Tuesday. In doing so, I am choosing hope. The hope that Mr. Biden will listen.”

If the last four months of global mass protests have proven anything, it is that “hope” and moral appeals to the perpetrators of the slaughter are less than useless. No matter how many people vote “Uncommitted” on February 27, the US government and the Biden administration, the Democratic and Republican parties, will continue to supply the genocidal Zionist regime with all the political, military and economic support it needs to carry out the “Final solution” of the Palestinian question.

The question for workers and youth disgusted with the US/Israeli genocide is not how to register a “protest vote,” but what is the social force capable of putting a stop to the slaughter.

Protesters oppose Israel's genocide in Gaza at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, on November 30, 2023.

The fight to end war and genocide requires a turn to the working class, the international social force comprised of billions of people all around the world that not only produces all of society’s wealth, but can also stop the production and transfer of weapons through a mass general strike.