The war in Gaza and the resultant pro-Hamas protests spreading across America are already having an impact on next year’s elections. Most members of Congress have admirably stood up for Israel and its right to defend itself, but not all of them. Among the loudest and proudest of the pro-Hamas caucus has been “squad” member Cori Bush of Missouri. She has been presumed to be in a safe seat, but now a leading Democratic Senate candidate in her state has dropped out of that race and announced a primary bid against Bush. And Democrats in other states are already being encouraged to do the same to the rest of the anti-Israel members. (AP)
Most members of Congress have stood firmly behind Israel since the Hamas attack last month, but not Cori Bush. The Missouri Democrat called Israel’s response a “war crime” and an “ethnic cleansing campaign,” and was among the few House members who opposed a resolution supporting Israel.
Her unwavering stance has angered some in her district. St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell on Monday dropped a U.S. Senate bid to challenge Bush in next year’s 1st District Democratic primary, and moderate Democrats believe he could win.
Bush isn’t alone. She’s among a small group of Democrats viewed by critics as insufficiently supportive of Israel — both long before and now after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel — or insufficiently critical of Hamas. Across those districts, moderates like Bell are being encouraged to run. In particular, Summer Lee in Pennsylvania, Jamaal Bowman in New York, Ilhan Omar in Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib in Michigan probably will face challengers.
If you had asked me only six months ago what the main issues driving the 2024 elections would be, I would have listed the economy, the border crisis, inflation, and crime rates, probably in that order. I didn’t see this cycle revolving around foreign policy. But October 7 clearly changed the political landscape significantly. Those other issues will still be drivers, but the spread of antisemitism in the country has rightly been a bridge too far for some, particularly in the Democrats’ primary picture.
In Pennsylvania, Summer Lee, another big Hamas cheerleader, had already drawn a primary challenge from Bhavini Patel prior to October 7. But now Patel is already getting a closer look and attracting some funding from pro-Israel Democrats. New York representative (and infamous fire alarm puller) Jamaal Bowman recently learned that Westchester County Executive George Latimer might jump into the primary. Latimer hasn’t filed paperwork yet, but it sounds like he’s close.
Last year, Ilhan Omar barely squeaked past Democrat Don Samuels, who ran against her support for defunding the police. Samuels may be back again as a supporter of Israel and potentially could perform even better. In Michigan last year, Rashida Tlaib proved to be bulletproof in the Democratic primary, but this year she is facing calls for pro-Israel groups to more strongly fund one of her challengers. The opposition doesn’t seem to have coalesced around a single challenger yet, but there is still plenty of time before the primary so it could still happen.
The “Squad” has been a toxic influence on the Democratic Party ever since they burst onto the scene a few years ago. They have pushed the party much further to the left and most of the legacy media has cheered them on loudly. But all of this support for the Hamas terrorists may have finally been the straw that breaks the Arabian camel’s back. It would be an unexpected but highly meritorious way for the Squad to finally come crashing down if they were all driven out by a growing wave of pro-Israel support.