Social media post by Rep. Doris Matsui opens door for criticism on Gaza-Israel war; Bad sign for Biden?

Rep. Doris Matsui at today's House's Commerce and Energy Committee hearing. | 

The current Israeli-Gaza war has created wide political fissures in American politics. The fissure is most evident with liberals, progressives, and Democratic-leaning voters.

This divide was evident today in a posting by Democratic Rep. Doris Matsui. Today's Instagram post by the longtime Sacramento, Calif.-based representative highlights challenges facing the Democratic House caucus and the entire party.

Generally considered liberal on most policies, Matsui and many other Democratic representatives have been routinely criticized by progressives. Today's Instagram post features Matsui speaking during a hearing of the Commerce and Energy Committee.

As the ranking Democratic member, the video features Matsui discussing expanding broadband access to various communities. Although unrelated, not long after posting the video, several people criticized Matsui regarding the Middle East conflict.

The comments include the hashtags like #freepalestine and #permanentceasefirenow. As noted in this statement, Matsui commended the ceasefire and urgent aid needed for Gaza civilians.  

While Matsui is considered in a safe Democratic district and under no threat of a viable primary or general election challenger, these comments directed at Matsui are a more troubling sign for President Joe Biden's prospects. One person said, "Will not be voting for you again, you are unwilling to speak out against genocide, or call for a permanent intermediate ceasefire. No thank you no more blue no matter who you got to work for it."

Because of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's far-right positions, as this report shows, even before the start of the war, support among young voters for Palestine was increasing. After the war started, Politico reports youth support for Palestine has increased, while support for Israel has dropped.   

Most Democrats have expressed sorrow for the loss of life among innocent people who have become collateral damage in the war and have supported the temporary ceasefires, but support for the state of Israel remains unabated. If the war lingers, it will hurt Biden's reelection prospects.

While these vocal young progressive voters who were part of the 2020 Biden coalition are unlikely to support Donald Trump, they could support a third-party candidate or not vote. This bloc of voters in swing states like Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, which Biden narrowly won, is critical.  

For Biden and the Democratic party, who hope to hold the White House and the Senate and regain the House, this issue, not the existential threat to democracy that a second Trump term poses could be the deciding factor in the direction our country takes one year from now. 

Historically, domestic affairs are the determining factors in Presidential elections. Next year could test that if Biden loses these Palestinian-supporting voters.

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1 comment

Juan Trippe said...

No doubt, Doris will be reelected. Who has the money or name recognition to realistically challenge her?

Even though she is safe, her and other members of congress who swore an oath to American democracy, better speak up and get young voters to the poll. After all, most baby boomers will be gone within 20 years, but the Gen X and Millennials will be left with the fallout.

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