Photo Credit: The White House
President Joe Biden in Howell, Michigan.

Did you know Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) has a sister? Her name is Layla Elabed and she is the campaign organizer of a group calling itself, “Listen to Michigan.” The crux of their contention lies in their decision not to back Biden’s re-election bid despite voting for him in 2020, citing his stance on Israel as a major factor. Additionally, they reject the notion that abstaining from voting in November aids former President Donald Trump, thus highlighting a significant challenge for Democrats.

Elabed told The Washington Post on Wednesday about her new group: “It’s a last-minute effort born out of frustration and desperation. Michigan will be decided in November by a few thousand votes, so we’re aiming to show that our antiwar voters, our cease-fire voters could provide the margin of victory for Biden and he needs to listen to us.”


Elabed is urging Democrats to vote “uncommitted” in the primary, and her sister supports her rogue campaign.

Here’s one more thing you may have not known, which adds, I’m sure, to the Biden people’s anxiety: Michigan state law stipulates that any voter may participate in a party’s primary election, regardless of that voter’s partisan affiliation. In other words, you don’t have to be a registered Democrat to throw an egg on Biden’s face. Republican candidate Nikki Haley experienced something similar in the Nevada primary on February 7, when she came in second to None of the Above.

With one week to go before Primary Election Day, February 27, the Biden camp can get some comfort from the fact that 747,534 early votes have already been cast, and since traditionally more Democrats than Republicans vote by mail, Biden may have locked many of his votes before Rashida Tlaib’s sister started goofing around. By the way, seven days before the 2020 primaries, only 489,068 votes were cast.

One more source of comfort for the Democrats: in Michigan, the winner of a primary election is the candidate who receives the greatest number of votes cast for that office, even if he or she does not win an outright majority of all votes cast. This means that Biden only has to get more votes than “uncommitted” to win Michigan in the primary.

But he could still be embarrassed. More and more Arab Americans and progressive college students have been threatening to support “uncommitted.” Their votes could be grabbed by a challenger during the Democratic convention.

In certain Michigan locales without a significant Arab American population, citizens have urged local authorities to pass Gaza cease-fire resolutions. And the alternative weekly publication Detroit Metro Times has also advocated for voting “uncommitted” in the primary election.

Elabed told the Post: “This uncommitted vote is not an anti-Biden vote. … This is our vote to tell Biden he’s not listening to his core constituency. He’s not listening to the voters who came out to support him in 2020.”

Her math is to reach 10,000 “uncommitted,” seeing as Trump beat Hillary Clinton in Michigan in 2016 by 10,000 votes. Biden won Michigan by more than 150,000 votes in 2020. So, to beat Biden would take a whole lot more than 10,000 “uncommitted” votes, but to humiliate the president Arab Americans and progressives have been calling “Genocide Joe,” it would do.

Lexis Zeidan, another Listen to Michigan organizer, told NBC News: “I want to remind everybody that in 2020, the Arab and Muslim community, myself included, sat at the same table with Joe Biden, and we campaigned hard to get him elected. In 2023, that same man that we thought represented humanity, the same man that we thought valued human life, both aided and abetted in a genocidal onslaught of the Palestinian people.”

It’s going to be brutal, folks.


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