Attention has been focused on the splits in Republican ranks after Rep. Liz Cheney was ousted from her leadership role for criticizing former President Trump. But there are also fissures in Democratic ranks with leftist lawmakers increasingly willing to criticize their own party leaders. One issue that revealed these rifts was the fighting between Israel and Hamas, since President Biden remains a staunch supporter of Israel but lawmakers led by Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who is of Palestinian descent, sharply condemned Israel's tactics. Tlaib was also one of several lawmakers who almost sank a bill providing extra security for the Capitol because they objected to more funding for police. This pressure from the left is potentially a major problem for Biden, since only 24 per cent of voters in the last election identified themselves as liberals and a party analysis of the voting agreed that talk about "defunding the police" from some activists badly damaged Democratic candidates. With Democrats maintaining very slim margins in both the House and the Senate, control of the Congress will not be decided in the big city coastal districts where liberals reign, but in suburban heartland areas where only moderate Democrats stand a chance of winning.
May 24, 2021