After an Israeli settler attack on Palestinians (
by Dan Burns
Aug 7, 2023, 1:30 PM

MN-03: What is with Rep. Phillips’s ridiculous nonsense?

Perhaps you’ve seen about his recent antics. I’ve developed a hypothesis – just a hypothesis, to be sure – about what’s really going on.

As far as I’m concerned, any possibility of a legitimate primary challenge to Pres. Biden was effectively squelched when Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who I voted for on Super Tuesday in 2020, endorsed him for reelection almost immediately after Biden’s own announcement. At least in part I took that as Sanders acknowledging what I believe myself, namely that while Biden has been nowhere near a perfect president he’s been far better, in both word and deed, than many of us on the progressive left expected. And that any serious primary challenge would just distract from our chance at a serious blue wave in 2024.

Of course a serious blue wave in 2024 is about the last thing a rich-kid corporate conservadem, with an ego riding far higher than his intellect like Dean Phillips, wants to see. I don’t know that he and his backers really expect to throw a wrench in the works for Biden’s reelection. But they probably figure that they can, in political parlance, “nudge him to the right.”

I think the #1 backer, though, is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). With the odious Israel “leadership” essentially coming closer every day to rendering that country a near-pariah, AIPAC presumably is hoping to flex some muscle and try to make sure Biden doesn’t retreat on his current hands-off approach. And Phillips is one of the primary AIPAC tools in Congress.

A gaping chasm in my “logic” immediately presents itself. Are corporate conservadems in general, and AIPAC in particular, really so detached from reality as not to see that antics like this are far more likely to produce a backlash against them, than to actually get anywhere in the way that they hope? I for one have certainly seen no indication that Dean Phillips is really any kind of serious power-monger in the current Congress. Or that any significant numbers are ever likely to vote for him for President.

The thing is, AIPAC did manage to screw progressives, a little, last time around. So they might well be believers, here.

What I believe is that, based on the last couple of elections (especially for the Minnesota legislature) MN-03 is now safely blue. Even if it wasn’t, Rep. Phillips’s behavior fairly howls for a primary challenger of his own, and a solidly progressive one at that. Just a thought.

Update: About that primary challenge for Dean…

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