A Democrat who stepped out of line by questioning Joe Biden's fitness for office has been forced out of leadership.
Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips resigned from his position as co-chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Caucus (DPCC), citing his differences with the party concerning Biden. He will continue to serve in Congress.
Phillips drew attention for his vocal dissent against the party coalescing around Biden ahead of the 2024 election.
In a statement, he acknowledged holding views at odds with most Democrats - a capital offense, in the eyes of the party - but he said he is stepping down of his own volition.
“My convictions relative to the 2024 presidential race are incongruent with the majority of my caucus, and I felt it appropriate to step aside from elected leadership to avoid unnecessary distractions during a critical time for our country,” Phillips said.
"I celebrate Leader Jeffries for his remarkable and principled leadership, and extend gratitude to my outstanding friends and colleagues for having created space and place for my perspectives," Phillips continued.
I have decided to step down from the DPCC & Democratic Caucus leadership. While politics & official work do not mix, it’s clear my convictions about 2024 are incongruent with the position of my colleagues & that was causing discomfort. I was not pressured or forced to resign. 1/2
— Rep. Dean Phillips 🇺🇸 (@RepDeanPhillips) October 1, 2023
Besides his glaring mental decline, Biden is also facing rising discontent with the economy and an unprecedented immigration crisis that Biden cannot plausibly deny responsibility for, given his open border policy.
Meanwhile, President Trump is edging out Biden in the polls - despite an unprecedented lawfare campaign against Trump led by Democratic prosecutors.
While Democrats are concerned about signs of Biden's vulnerability, the party's elites are backing him anyway, despairing of a "safe" alternative.
Phillips was reportedly remonstrated at a closed-door meeting with Democrats last week, where Rep. Sydney Kamlager-Dove (Ca.) received a round of applause for singling him out.
"There is someone in leadership who is not on message about our president,” she said.
Phillips has even suggested he might challenge Biden himself, but that seems very unlikely.
While Phillips says he was not forced out, it appears he was made to kiss the ring, so to speak. Democrats run their party like a dictatorship - what would they do to the country, if they had the absolute power they seek?