As President Donald Trump continues to win support for improvements on jobs and production and in foreign policy, the liberal media, Democrats and some Republicans are trying to breathe life into their waning efforts to overturn the 2016 election and drive him from office. They have seized on the conviction of his former campaign manager Paul Manafort, a plea bargain by Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, and the president’s decision to revoke ex-CIA boss John Brennan’s security clearance.
The president has boosted his support in the U.S. ruling class as the capitalist economy continues to grow. He lessens military conflicts that Washington has been unable to win, and pushes for concessions from competitors abroad, imposing tariffs and sanctions, then offering one-on-one negotiations. Workers have no stake in backing Washington in these conflicts.
As a consequence of the capitalist economy’s growth, Trump is gaining support among many in the working class. While workers’ wages remain stagnant, many find it easier to get jobs today. And the president’s efforts to end some of these wars means fewer workers will be killed and maimed as cannon fodder for the U.S. rulers.
The moves by the White House to tamp down conflicts and lessen military tensions in Korea, Afghanistan and the Mideast unintentionally create better conditions for workers there. They open doors to discuss and debate a road forward against the rulers’ attacks.
The liberal owners of the New York Times, Washington Post and other media reacted with glee to the conviction of Manafort and the deal Cohen struck with New York prosecutors. “Twin convictions are a stunning rebuke of Trump,” Post editors opined. The Times hailed the Manafort verdict — convictions on just eight of 18 charges — as “Robert Mueller’s biggest victory yet.” They claimed that it’s no less than “one of the most successful special counsel investigations in history.”
Special prosecutor and former FBI boss Mueller — supposedly tasked by the Justice Department to investigate whether the president engaged in “collusion” with Moscow in the 2016 election — threw a pile of charges at Manafort for financial fraud, hoping some would stick. None were remotely related to claims of “collusion” with Moscow.
Cohen pled guilty to financial shenanigans, including campaign-finance violations by making payments to Stephanie Clifford and Karen McDougal on Trump’s behalf. The payoffs were in exchange for not revealing details of relationships they claim to have had with Trump some years ago. Again, these charges have nothing to do with “collusion.”
After 15 months Mueller has found no collusion. Like all such special counsels and grand juries, he doesn’t start with an actual crime, but with a target to bring down — in this case, the president. As former head of the U.S. rulers political police, Mueller knows how to dig for dirt on the president’s subordinates. His goal is to squeeze them to cough up something he can use against Trump. “You know they’re still looking for collusion,” Trump told supporters at a rally in Charleston, West Virginia, Aug. 21, the day of the two convictions. “Where is the collusion? Find some collusion!”
If Trump paid for the silence of those he is alleged to have had relationships with, it won’t come as a surprise to most workers. Those who voted for him weren’t looking for a saint. And they won’t judge him based on the liberals’ outcry.
They backed Trump because they were attracted to his call to “clean the swamp” of Democratic and Republican politicians in Washington, who for years showed no interest in the widening impact of the U.S. rulers’ wars, joblessness and the broader social crisis affecting workers’ lives. They’ll pass judgment on Trump based on his actions on these questions, and so far a lot think he’s doing OK.
Ex-spy bosses boost witch hunt
The president yanked ex-CIA Director Brennan’s access to Washington’s vast state secrets Aug. 15. These “secrets” were acquired through Washington’s spy operations at home and abroad. Trump cited the fact that Brennan is a big supporter of Mueller’s open-ended witch hunt.
Brennan was responsible for leading the expansion of Washington’s murderous drone assaults in Pakistan and Yemen; for targeting people, including U.S. citizens, for assassination; and managing CIA torture programs that the spy agency euphemistically refers to as “enhanced interrogation.”
A dozen former CIA directors, including Robert Gates, David Petraeus and Leon Panetta — all of whom served under Barack Obama — issued an indignant open letter opposing the president’s decision to pull the clearance, accusing him of stifling free speech.
When another 175 former national security operatives, spies and other political appointees joined the defense of Brennan’s “free speech” rights, Trump responded. “Everybody wants to keep their Security Clearance, it’s worth great prestige and big dollars, even board seats,” he tweeted, “and that is why certain people are coming forward to protect Brennan.”
Since Trump’s July meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Brennan has repeatedly claimed that the president is “treasonous.” He appears to revel in making unsubstantiated accusations that Putin “may have something on” Trump. You’re supposed to think his clearance gave him access to something you don’t know.
Brennan’s right to say what he thinks was not encroached one iota when he lost his security clearance. He has generous access to the pages of the Times and the Post whenever he wants.
Assaults on free speech and freedom of assembly are being carried out today. They’re being organized by a layer of Trump’s liberal opponents, like Maxine Waters, who urges mob attacks on government officials to hound them from public life.
In a series of coordinated editorial columns, the liberal owners of some 350 newspapers around the country claimed the president was attacking press freedom when he tweets about fake news.
But Trump’s remarks have nothing to do with imposing constraints on the press. More and more of these papers have given up any pretense at printing “news,” instead running article after article arguing with Trump and calling him a liar.
As they trade conjectures about the effects the court rulings on Manafort and Cohen, and “treason” calls by Brennan, will have, most bourgeois commentators agree there’s little chance Trump will be indicted or successfully removed from office.
Their conclusions? All out for the Democrats in 2018! And, if they have to, against Donald Trump in 2020.
The Socialist Workers Party is fielding candidates across the country, speaking out about the capitalist rulers’ assaults on working people and the oppressed, and championing labor battles and social protests. The party explains that the road forward is for the working class to break with all the parties of the capitalist rulers and chart a course to take political power into their own hands.