Vietnam 1968 Gaza 2024?

Biden touches down.

Historically, New Jersey’s relatively late place in the Presidential primary campaign cycle has been relegated to footnote status. This year is shaping up to be very different even though President Biden has already secured the delegates for his nomination in Chicago in August.

There’s the blowback to Governor Murphy’s insistence on seeing his wife Tammy in the U.S. Senate. Then there’s the widening disgust  over Sen. Bob Menendez’s continuing to hang around after his third indictment as well as  the  growing movement for a ceasefire in Gaza that’s finding expression in the “uncommitted” preference in the June 4th presidential primary.

Last month, in the Michigan Democratic primary the protest vote by over 100,000 voters out of the 618,000 ballots cast was sufficient for peace activists to secure two delegates to the Democratic Convention. Organizers , which includes Michigan’s growing  politically active Arab and Palestinian communities, had set a goal of just 10,000 votes.

Earlier this month, on Super Tuesday cease fire motivated voters in North Carolina, Massachusetts, Colorado  and Minnesota to cast 263,000  “non-committed” protest ballots. In Minnesota close to 46,000 non-committed votes translated into five delegates.

Here in New Jersey a grassroots movement linked to progressive groups like New Jersey Democratic Socialists of America are busy circulating petitions for the delegate slots for the state’s 20 districts. All in all, primary voters will select 42 men and 42 women and eight alternates that will make up most of the 146 delegates and 11 alternates that will go to Chicago this summer.

The deadline is March 25 at 4 p.m. May 14th is the deadline to vote in the June primary. In New Jersey, unaffiliated voters can opt to vote in a party primary on the day of the election. Voters who have already expressed a party preference have 55 days before the primary to switch their allegiances.

During a recent interview, Celinda Lake, a top Democratic Party pollster who worked for the Biden campaign in 2020, warned that Democrats faced “a real turnout problem” among  “progressives with a serious erosion of enthusiasm among some of the base voters including young people.”

Former Assembly Member Sadaf Jaffer, who teaches at Princeton University, was the first Asian American and Muslim woman to be elected as a mayor in the country. Jaffer told InsiderNJ that she believes that the “uncommitted” movement,  driven by progressive younger voters, has already had an impact on how the Biden administration navigates Israel’s invasion of Gaza  after  the massacre of over 1,300 Israeli civilians on Oct. 7.

Israel’s prolonged military action has already claimed more than  30,000 lives in Gaza.  UNICEF estimates 13,000 children have been killed during the Israeli offensive.

“Vice President Kamala Harris used the words cease fire for the first time the day after the Michigan primary and soon thereafter President Biden started using the work cease fire—maybe not in the same way that those of us who have been calling for a cease fire because we want a lasting cease fire not just temporary pauses,” Jaffer told InsiderNJ. “I think it is certainly noteworthy that Sen. Schumer (D-NY) who had defended Israel and been very unwilling to concede Israel is doing anything wrong, has started to say that, yes—things are not being done properly and he is especially laying the blame on Netanyahu.”

Last week, Sen. Schumer, historically one of Israel’s staunchest partisan,  said for Israel “a new election is the only way to allow for a healthy and open decision-making process about the future of Israel, at a time when so many Israelis have lost their confidence in the vision and direction of their government.”.

“And now, as a result of these inflamed tensions in both the Israeli and Palestinian communities, people on all sides of this war are turning away from a two-state solution — including Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who in recent weeks has said out loud repeatedly what many have long suspected by outright rejecting the idea of Palestinian statehood and sovereignty,” Sen. Schumer said in his pointed address from the U.S. Senate floor. “As the highest-ranking Jewish elected official in our government, and a staunch defender of Israel, I rise today to say unequivocally: This is a grave mistake. For Israel. For Palestinians. For the region and the world.”

Renee Steinhagen is the executive director at New Jersey Appleseed, a non-profit public interest law center that works in several advocacy areas including on empowering voters and protecting voting rights.

“New Jersey Appleseed supports vibrant, multi-candidate elections where voters have a choice.  Unfortunately, this year, the Democratic Party decided that it would not hold a contested primary, so some of their members are frustrated that there are no candidates opposing Joe Biden, who would take different positions than him on some major issues, such as the Israeli/Palestinian conflict,” Steinhagen wrote InsiderNJ.  “Members who believe that Joe Biden does not represent their interests on this life or death issue must have their voices heard and organizing a campaign to elect ‘Uncommitted” delegates who are committed to a permanent ceasefire is an appropriate way to have their voices heard.”

There’s been several articles suggesting there’s an historical parallel between this year’s election and the tumultuous 1968 presidential campaign when the country was sharply divided over the prosecution of the Vietnam War. Tensions exploded in late August of 1968 when  the Chicago Police clubbed and beat anti-Vietnam War protestors outside the Democratic National Convention that would nominate Vice President Hubert Humphrey over Sen. Eugene McCarthy, the peace candidate.

On June 5 1968, Sen. Robert Kennedy was shot after he made his victory speech having prevailed in the pivotal California primary. That same night, in the New Jersey primary, Kennedy came in second place, 1,300 votes  behind McCarthy, but ahead of Humphrey. Of the 12 primaries that year, McCarthy  won seven, Kennedy prevailed in five and Humphrey struck out.

Humphrey had only gotten 66,463 votes, or 2.2 percent of the millions of votes cast in that primary cycle as compared to McCarthy who garnered close to three million as compared to Kennedy’s 2.3 million.

“Road to Chicago’s 2024 Democratic Convention looks a bit like 1968,” John Vukmirovich posited in the Chicago Sun Times.  “We are a nation of movements, with a new generation advocating for Black Lives Matter, defunding the police, LGBTQ+issues, abortion rights and anti-gun legislation. On the other side are polar opposites.”

That was written in August, months before the  Oct. 7th Hamas attack and Israel’s siege of Gaza that’s ongoing.

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3 responses to “Vietnam 1968 Gaza 2024?”

  1. Re: Road to Chicago’s 2024 Democratic Convention looks a bit like 1968,” John Vukmirovich posited in the Chicago Sun Times.

    Now, will that be complete with a Chicago police Riot ll?

    And, will the new street fighting democrat Tom Hayden be filmed fighting back?

    It’s a question?

  2. Bob – very nice job, but you left out the LBJ bow out at the end of March ’68.

    Biden needs to follow that LBJ path, or the entire party is doomed.

    If he doesn’t, Dems must invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him – Newsom seems groomed for that.

    And the other shoe hasn’t dropped – we’ve had several Tet Offensive equivalent episodes in Ukraine, but unfortunately the media has not reported them and continues to mislead the public that the proxy war is winnable. The American people will soon be disgusted to learn of Russian victory and Biden already has tried to blame the Republicans for not funding the war.

    Biden will soon have to own the Assange indictment and extradition.

    And there also might be another Dan Ellsberg in the wings to come forward with “The Ukraine And Gaza Papers”!!!

  3. The Biden Racketeering Crime Family Administration owns the Israel-Gaza War. They have blood on their hands. They and their predecessor, Resident Barack Insane Obama, gave Iran over $150 BILLION in cash that created all of these terrorist groups, e.g., Hamas, Hezbollah, Taliban, al-Qaeda, et al. Iran armed the terrorists and committed them to a proxy war totally funded by American money given by the Biden/ Obama Administration.

    Former President Trump turned off the money flow and Iran was broke and starving its own people (which they still do even with $150 BILLION cash infusion from Obama/Biden). There were no wars in the Mid-East. There was no terrorism percolating in the Mid-East or elsewhere. There was no money to be had. Until Biden and his criminal captains showed up.

    So, no one can blame Trump or Netanyahu for this debacle. It was caused by the fraudulent and failed Biden Administration. They solely have blood on their hands, and hopefully Americans don’t suffer for it with terrorist attacks by illegals coming across the southern border (and northern border).

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