On eve of NATO summit, conflict within Democratic Party over Biden’s nomination intensifies

The crisis within the Democratic Party following President Joe Biden’s disastrous debate with Donald Trump continued on the eve of the NATO summit in Washington D.C. What was supposed to be a celebration of 75 years of the imperialist alliance and its ongoing efforts to subjugate Russia will instead be dominated by whispers and intrigue over the declining mental faculties of the commander-in-chief of the US military.

President Joe Biden walks off stage during the break of a presidential debate with Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump hosted by CNN, Thursday, June 27, 2024, in Atlanta. [AP Photo/Gerald Herbert]

Whether or not Biden maintains his death-like grip on the nomination or is forced out, the Democratic nominee for US president will continue the Biden administration’s policies of war, genocide and austerity for working class. There is no “progressive” solution to the present crisis except for the independent intervention of the working class against both political parties and the capitalist system they defend.

After releasing a letter Monday morning promising to remain in the race as the Democratic nominee, Biden appeared in an extended interview Monday morning on his favorite television interview program, Morning Joe on MSNBC. In his comments, Biden stressed his role in organizing global war at the NATO summit.

“I’m going to have all these foreign leaders here,” he said. “I’ve been in contact with the new British prime minister, with, anyway. Look the country, the rest of the world, our allies, are looking for US leadership. Who else do you think can step in here and do this? I expanded NATO! I solidified NATO.”

The co-host of Morning Joe is Mika Brzezinski, whose father, Zbigniew Brzezinski, was a top geopolitical strategist for US imperialism throughout the Cold War, and whose brother Mark is now the US ambassador to Poland. Biden said to her, “Ask your brother about it, in Poland. I’ve made sure that we’re in a position, where we have a coalition of people, of nations, around the world to deal with China, with Russia, with everything that’s going on in the world.”

The president claimed to be making “real progress,” with “the Biden plan in Israel, will put forward for the Gaza Strip. Something that was adopted by the UN Security Council.”

In making his appeals on the basis of being a more capable proponent of US imperialist objectives, Biden underscored that the main conflict in the Democratic Party over his nomination is a tactical fight over which capitalist politician can more effectively prosecute the program of war to which they are all committed.

In an attempt to deflect from this reality, Biden tried to strike a defiant populist tone while speaking to his millionaire hosts. He lamented, “I’m getting frustrated by the elites—no, I’m not talking about you guys—the elites in the party. ‘Oh, they know so much more.’”

He claimed that a few carefully scripted campaign events over the weekend demonstrated that the “average voter” supported him.

“I wanted to make sure I was right that the average voter out there still wanted Joe Biden. And I’m confident they do,” Biden said.

In Trump-like fashion, Biden falsely claimed, “We had large crowds, we had enthusiastic crowds,” and that he only cared about the “average voter,” adding, “I don’t care what the millionaires think.”

Less than two minutes later Biden reversed himself, “I want [millionaires] support, but that’s not the reason I’m running. I’m not running, about, what they think and what they care about. And by the way, you don’t see a whole hell of a lot of them flocking to Trump. You don’t see a whole lot of CEOs flocking to Trump.”

In an article posted hours after Biden’s interview on Morning Joe headlined, “Biden Tries to Soothe His Top Fund-Raisers on a Private Call,” the New York Times reported that after his call-in appearance on MSNBC, Biden held a nearly 20-minute private phone call with “some of his biggest fund-raisers and donors,” in which he implored them for support and to put the “bull’s-eye” on Trump.

The Times, citing remarks described to the paper by “almost a dozen people on the call,” reported that Biden took only four pre-screened questions. Among those on the call, according to the paper, were Maryland Governor Wes Moore and campaign manager Jennifer O’Malley Dillon. Last Monday, O’Malley Dillon organized a similar finance call with about 500 of Biden’s top donors.

While Biden falsely claims he does not want or need the support of the financial oligarchy, the fact is the opinion of the “donors” is a decisive factor in the situation. Already several billionaires have publicly stated they will pause donations to the party until another nominee is chosen.

On Monday, NPR aired an interview featuring the CEO of Weyco Group Inc. Tom Florsheim, one of 400 members of the “Leadership Now Project,” a group of executives and Democratic Party donors that have organized against Biden’s nomination following the debate. The group is calling on Biden to “pass the torch” to a new group of Democrats.

After it was reported on Sunday that he supported Biden withdrawing, on Monday Washington Representative Adam Smith officially became the sixth House Democrat to publicly call on Biden to give way. “Personally, I think Kamala Harris would be a much better, stronger candidate,” he told CNN. Smith is the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee.

While not outright calling for Biden to withdraw, in his appearance Sunday on “Meet the Press,” Democratic Representative Adam Schiff (California), former chair of the House Intelligence Committee, opined that Biden “should be mopping the floor with Donald Trump.

“There’s only one reason it is close,” Schiff claimed, “and that’s the president’s age.” Coming from one of the most sinister figures in the Democratic Party national security establishment, such comments are a deliberate diversion. War, genocide, attacks on democratic rights, all of those are supposedly irrelevant to voters fixated on the three-year discrepancy between the 81-year-old Biden and his 78-year-old fascist opponent Donald Trump.

No matter if they support or oppose Biden remaining the nominee, for Democratic Party politicians, Biden’s actual record of unlimited political and military support for the genocide in Gaza, the war against Russia in Ukraine, coupled with his enrichment of the financial oligarchy by prematurely ending COVID-19 mitigation measures leading to mass death, is to be commended and celebrated.

While CIA and right-wing Democrats continue to call on Biden to step down, the left-talkers in the party, in alliance with the main trade union bureaucracies, continue to back the embattled warmongering president.

In an interview with NBC’s Ryan Nobles on Monday, New York Representative and Democratic Socialists of America member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez reiterated her support for “Genocide Joe.” She said she spoke with Biden over the weekend and that it was “time to end the speculation over his future.”

She told Nobles, “Joe Biden is our nominee. He is not leaving this race. He is in this race, and I support him.”

In a video advertisement that began airing in Minnesota on Monday, fellow “Squad” member, Representative Ilhan Omar decided to feature “Genocide Joe” singing her praises.

“Congresswoman Omar,” a recording of Biden says as the ad begins, “I want to thank you for being here.”

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On Monday, the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Representative Pramila Jayapal of Washington state released a statement that read in part, “President Biden and Vice President Harris were elected by the voters and have had remarkable accomplishments over the past three and half years that showed what we can accomplish together for the people.” (Emphasis in original)

In a comment to the Boston Globe, Senator Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts) declared, “President Biden is our nominee. He is an excellent president. He works hard on behalf of working families every day.”

Exposing themselves and the organizations they head as agents of the ruling class and corporations, on July 3 the president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Kenneth Cooper, and the president of the AFL-CIO, Liz Schuler, released statements in support of the Biden-Harris ticket.

Both bureaucrats served up sycophantic praise, completely divorced from reality. Cooper wrote that the “IBEW only partners with leaders who are serious about defending workers and protecting their families. ... That’s why the IBEW is proud to support President Joe Biden in 2024.” Schuler claimed, “No White House has supported workers like the Biden-Harris administration.”