DSA Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and fellow “Squad” members spearhead Biden rescue operation

Speaking outside the Capitol Monday evening, New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the most prominent member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), delivered a vociferous defense of President Joe Biden and his embattled reelection campaign.

President Joe Biden, left, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Earth Day, Monday, April 22, 2024, in Triangle, Virginia. [AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta]

“I have spoken to the president over the weekend. I have spoken with him extensively,” the DSA member said. “He made clear then—and he has made it clear since—that he is in this race.”

Ocasio-Cortez added, “The matter is closed. He had reiterated that this morning. He has reiterated that to the public.” The last was a reference to a public letter and follow-up telephone interview Biden gave on Monday.

“Joe Biden is our nominee,” she concluded. “He is not leaving this race. He is in this race, and I support him.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s statements came less than two weeks after the Democratic Socialists of America published a statement calling on Biden to drop out of the race. Essentially a faction of the Democratic Party, the DSA warned on June 28, the day after Biden’s disastrous debate with Donald Trump: “If Biden is the nominee in November, Trump will be president in January, and corporate Democrats will have no one to blame but themselves.”

Seeking to replace the semi-senile Biden with a more palatable Democrat, the DSA embarked on a letter-writing campaign aimed at the Democratic Party leadership. On July 3, the DSA X/Twitter account urged its followers and members to sign a letter telling the party leadership that it was time to “Withdraw Biden” and “Reject fascism.”

Less than a week later, the most prominent member of the DSA, Ocasio-Cortez, has not only refused to endorse the DSA’s campaign but is publicly leading the campaign to quash calls to replace “Genocide Joe”!

One could hardly imagine a more devastating exposure of the unprincipled and bankrupt politics of the DSA and the milieu more generally of pseudo-left organizations of the privileged middle class.

The DSA has nothing to do with socialist, much less revolutionary politics. It exists to block the independent intervention of the working class, on the basis of a socialist program, into the mortal crisis of American and world capitalism and its descent into barbarism.

That is why it populates and promotes the corrupt and pro-corporate union bureaucracy, represented by figures such as UAW President Shawn Fain, which betrays the struggles and interests of workers and seeks to subordinate them to American imperialism’s policy of war against Russia and genocide in Gaza.

Whatever vague “left” verbiage they employ, the DSA and similar organizations are pro-capitalist and pro-imperialist. They above all defend the subordination of the working class to a two-party system by means of which various factions of billionaire oligarchs exercise a de facto dictatorship.

Only a few months ago, the DSA supported the “Uncommitted” campaign in the Democratic primary elections—a trap to keep workers and youth, who are outraged over Biden’s support for genocide in Gaza and police repression against pro-Palestinian demonstrators, trapped within the confines of the Democratic Party.

Throughout, the DSA, including Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, has given tacit support to the centerpiece of the Democrats’ global war policy—the war against Russia in Ukraine, which threatens to trigger a nuclear holocaust.

AOC is not the only “Squad” member to answer the call to prop up Biden. In a comment to an Axios reporter on Monday, Massachusetts Representative Ayanna Pressley said, “We are losing the plot, Joe Biden is the nominee.”

Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, having featured Biden’s endorsement of her in a campaign advertisement on Monday, told the Washington Post that same day: “He’s been the best president of my lifetime, and we have his back.”

This is under conditions where the highly regarded medical journal The Lancet has published a study estimating that at least 186,000 people, or 8 percent of the Gazan population, have been killed thus far in Israel’s war of annihilation carried out with US weapons and political support.

Ahead of a virtual meeting Biden held Tuesday night with Democratic mayors from major cities around the country, DSA-backed Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson issued a statement on X/Twitter saying he was “looking forward to speaking with the president tonight,” and adding that Biden “is the president and our Democratic nominee... ”

Mayor of Chicago Brandon Johnson and Biden [Photo: Twitter]

Also in the last 72 hours, self-declared progressive senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, both of whom challenged Biden for the presidency in 2020, have reendorsed Biden’s campaign.

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has likewise lined up behind Biden. The Washington Post reported that in a Zoom call with roughly half of the CBC on Friday night, followed by another virtual meeting with some 60 members of the Caucus on Monday, “not a single Black House Democrat has defected.”

While a chorus of Democrats has come out in defense of Biden, on Tuesday, New Jersey Democratic Representative Mikie Sherrill, a former active duty Navy helicopter pilot who voted in favor of the recent $95 billion war package to Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan, as well as the TikTok ban, became the seventh House Democrat to publicly call on Biden to withdraw.

In her statement, Sherrill asked that Biden “declare that he won’t run for reelection and will help lead us through a process toward a new nominee.” She praised Biden for “honorably” serving “this country for more than 50 years with grace and dignity,” including his “support for Ukraine and democracies around the world.”

With the NATO summit underway, Sherrill represents a faction of the military-intelligence apparatus worried that Biden’s continued presence at the top of the ticket could lead to a Donald Trump presidency, imperiling their far-advanced war plans and possibly the entire US-led security framework established in the wake of World War II.

This fear was spelled out in a Washington Post editorial published Monday, “Biden’s choices affect NATO, too.” While praising Biden for his role in expanding NATO and waging war against Russia, the Post wrote that Biden’s quest for a second term “in spite of signs he might not be up to the job, could jeopardize these foreign policy successes by increasing the odds that Mr. Trump wins.”

Other sections of the financial oligarchy and Pentagon fear that a second Trump presidency would threaten not only US imperialist objectives and institutions abroad, but the collapse of the entire traditional framework of bourgeois rule within the United States itself.

In an extraordinary statement published by the New York Times Editorial Board on Monday, the newspaper called on leading Democratic Party members to publicly intervene against Biden and force him out of the race.

“For those at the helm of the Democratic Party,” the Times wrote, “including the Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer; the House minority leader, Hakeem Jeffries; and even the former House speaker Nancy Pelosi—the time has arrived to speak forcefully to the president and the public [emphasis added] about the need for a new candidate, before time runs out for other candidates to make their case to the party’s convention delegates.”

At the height of the Watergate crisis in 1974, congressional Republican leaders, including senators Barry Goldwater and Hugh Scott and Rep. John Jacob Rhodes, privately informed Nixon he no longer had the support of Congress, faced impeachment by the House and conviction and removal by the Senate, and should step down. Nearly 50 years later, the Times is calling on Democratic Party congressional leaders to publicly demand that Biden end his reelection bid.

The Times Editorial Board, having downplayed the Supreme Court presidential immunity ruling of July 1 that transformed the US president into a de facto dictator, noted, between parentheses, that under the ruling by the six-justice fascistic supermajority on the court, a reelected Trump could “break the law ... with no fear of criminal prosecution.”

In all of the furor surrounding Biden, nothing is being said by either side about the policies of Biden and the Democratic Party—escalating war against Russia, genocide against the Palestinians, preparations for war against China, and intensifying austerity and repression to make the working class foot the bill. That is because there is full agreement on all sides on this program of war and counterrevolution.

There is nothing remotely “progressive” or “democratic” about either side in the increasingly bitter conflict within the Democratic Party—and the factions of billionaire oligarchs that fund it and the military brass and CIA killers who control it. It is a fight over the best instrument for carrying out the deadly policies of US imperialism.

The alternative on offer is the open fascist Trump and the increasingly fascistic Republican Party. Such is the “choice” presented to the working class by capitalism. It is urgent that the working class mobilize to impose its solution—the expropriation of the oligarchs, a workers’ democracy and socialism.