As DSA Democrats back Biden's war policies

New York Democratic Socialists of America endorses Ocasio-Cortez, Jacobin calls for “left” support for Jamaal Bowman

On March 13, the New York City chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) emailed supporters with the subject line “WE BACK AOC.” In the email, the NYC-DSA wrote:

At a time when the difference between establishment stooges and people of principle could not be clearer, we are proud to announce that our chapter has once again elected to endorse NYC-DSA member Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for Congress!!

Just last month, Time magazine—not exactly an enemy of the political establishment—published an article headlined: “How Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Became One of Joe Biden’s Most Valuable Boosters.” Writing that Ocasio-Cortez’s “main job in 2024 may be President Joe Biden’s most valuable pinch-hitter,” the author cited her recent statement to CNN:

I know who I’m going to choose. It’s going to be one of the most successful presidents in modern American history.

The congresswoman was not asked if she measured success by how many hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians and Russians had been killed in the US/NATO-instigated war in Europe, or how many Palestinian women and children in Gaza had been blown up by US-supplied bunker-buster bombs.

Time went on to accurately assess Ocasio-Cortez’s assigned role in the midst of a political crisis of historic dimensions and a Democratic reelection campaign that is hemorrhaging support, particularly among young voters, due to Biden’s complicity in Israel’s “Final Solution” to the “Palestinian Problem.” It wrote:

Ocasio-Cortez has been a case study of how a perceived radical can be useful for a national party in the middle of a branding crisis… Which is to say, as his campaign weighs how to deploy the army of surrogates ready to shore up his support over the next nine months, one of the most powerful VIPs may be AOC.

Ocasio-Cortez’s slobbering praise for the war criminal Biden, who repeatedly boasts of his decades as senator from the corporate haven of Delaware and promotes his capitalist credentials, did not prevent her DSA chapter from calling the New York Democratic congresswoman “one of the leading voices for working people, for a Green New Deal, for Palestine, and for true democracy on the national level.”

They, of course, omitted mention of Ocasio-Cortez’s vote to ban railroaders from striking in 2022 and impose a contract that the workers had already rejected.

In addition to Ocasio-Cortez, the NYC-DSA announced endorsements for “our eight Socialists in Office,” referring to eight Democratic Party politicians: Phara Souffrant Forrest, Emily Gallagher, Zohran Mamdani, Marcela Mitaynes, Sarahana Shrestha, Julia Salazar, Jabari Brisport and Kristen Gonzalez. The NYC-DSA also announced endorsed “insurgents” Claire Valdez, Eon Tyrell Huntley and Jonathan Soto. The email included a link that read “Let’s elect them all!” which led to a donation page run by ActBlue, the main fundraising platform of the Democratic Party.

The NYC-DSA’s endorsement of Ocasio-Cortez has provoked dissent among left-leaning workers and youth. In a March 13 Instagram post announcing the endorsement, hundreds of comments were left denouncing the organization and congresswoman. These critical statements garnered thousands of “likes.”

“Does anyone know of an actually reputable socialist account and movement to follow instead of this one? This is a sincere question,” asked one poster. Another wrote: “[T]alk about completely going against your supposed core values and audience. AOC is a genocide supporter...”

“Not renewing my membership. F*** Nancy Pelosi Jr,” another poster wrote.

Left-leaning workers and youth register their disgust with the NYC-DSA's endorsement of Ocasio-Cortez on their Instagram page. [Photo: Instagram]

“If your ‘socialism’ includes supporting the Iron Dome, being more upset about the word ‘genocide’ than the actual genocide, arming Ukrainian Nazis, pushing for a war against China... you have no justification in calling yourselves socialist at all. You are imperialist,” wrote another user. 

Two days before the NYC-DSA chapter announced its endorsement of Ocasio-Cortez, Jacobin magazine, the unofficial press organ of the DSA, published an article by Liza Featherstone titled, “Jamaal Bowman Deserves the Left’s Support.”

Featherstone, a member of the DSA, acknowledged that Bowman’s “history on Palestine... has been complicated,” a discreet reference to the congressman’s two votes to send billions in military equipment to the Zionist regime. She went on, however, to call him “a passionate advocate against the war, for a cease-fire and for Palestinian lives.”

In fact, just last month Bowman voted for legislation (H. Res 966), which propagates Israeli lies that Hamas deliberately carried out mass rape as a “weapon of war” on October 7. “Today I voted for H.Res. 966 to condemn all instances of sexual violence committed by Hamas,” Bowman wrote in a February 14 statement. In fact, this unsubstantiated war propaganda has been used to justify and whitewash daily Israeli war crimes, including mass executions and the deliberate starvation of the population.

At the outset of the US/Israeli campaign of genocide last October, both Bowman and Ocasio-Cortez denounced pro-Palestinian protests that were held in New York. “It should not be so hard to shut down hatred and antisemitism where we see it,” Ocasio-Cortez said last October. Bowman issued a press release declaring he was “shocked and disgusted by the rally held here in NY this weekend celebrating death.” It was later reported that Bowman allowed his membership dues in the DSA to lapse following the October rally, in which the New York City DSA chapter participated.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman, June 3, 2021. [Photo: Staff of Rep. Jamaal Bowman]

When Bowman is not spreading Israeli propaganda, or voting to fund the Israeli military, he, alongside Ocasio-Cortez, is voting to send billions of dollars in military equipment to Ukraine in furtherance of the US/NATO war against Russia. In a statement released in 2022, Bowman boasted, “Ever since tensions increased between Russia and Ukraine, I have been completely behind supporting the Ukrainian people.” He added, “I have supported more than $50 billion in military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine this year alone.”

Ocasio-Cortez also voted to send $40 billion in military aid to Ukraine in 2022.

The words “Russia,” “Ukraine” and “NATO” do not appear in either Feathertone’s column calling on the “Left” to support Bowman or in the NYC-DSA’s endorsement of Ocasio-Cortez. Another proper noun missing from the Jacobin article and the NYC-DSA endorsement is “Joe Biden.”

While Bowman has not officially endorsed Biden, he has, alongside Ocasio-Cortez, embarked on press tours touting Biden’s supposed achievements and presenting him and the Democratic Party as the only means of defeating Trump. Last month, in an interview with PIX11, Bowman said that Biden’s first two years were “some of the most impactful two years of any president ever.” He denounced the Republicans for blocking the passage of vicious anti-immigrant legislation included in Biden’s nearly $100 billion national security supplemental funding request.

The DSA, as the World Socialist Web Site analyzed last month, is in the throes of an extreme political crisis. Workers and youth, including those who mistakenly thought they were joining a socialist organization, are fleeing in droves.

The WSWS wrote:

The DSA is not a socialist organization. It is a faction of the Democratic Party. It represents the interests of privileged layers of the upper middle class, not the working class. As with all organizations of the upper-middle class, it is thoroughly nationalist, supporting American imperialism while promoting the politics of racial and gender identity.”