The political crisis wracking the Democratic Party has continued to deepen since former special counsel Robert Mueller delivered testimony before the House Judiciary Committee July 24 that revealed nothing new. The likelihood of liberals being able to overturn the 2016 election by impeaching President Donald Trump — a possibility that ended months ago — was shown to be precluded once more.
Mueller, formerly head of the capitalist rulers’ political police, the FBI, was forced to answer questions about his unrestricted probe into alleged collusion by Trump’s 2016 campaign. The special counsel issued 2,800 subpoenas, nearly 500 search warrants, organized highly publicized armed raids on many of the president’s former associates and found nothing on Trump.
Mueller refused to answer questions at the House hearing about former British spy Christopher Steele, who provided Fusion GPS, a “research group” hired by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, with false claims and innuendos against Trump. This “evidence” was used by the FBI to get a warrant to spy on Carter Page, a 2016 Trump campaign worker. Another former FBI chief, James Comey, used these same claims to get the witch hunt against Trump rolling.
After Trump won the election — because wide swaths of working people were fed up with what they faced and the disdain they got from politicians of both parties in Washington — he fired Comey for trying to swing the election for Clinton. The Justice Department was then pressed into setting up Mueller’s special counsel probe.
The Democrats’ use of the FBI today to try and criminalize their political differences with Republican Party politician Trump is dangerous for working people. It emboldens the rulers to use their political police against their more serious enemy, the working class. For decades the FBI has spied on members of the Socialist Workers Party, other working-class militants and Black rights fighters, with the backing of both Democrats and Republicans.
“There is not a single public official doing more to protect Mr. Trump than” House Leader Nancy Pelosi, complained Cenk Uygur, one of Pelosi’s Democratic Party opponents, in a July 21 Wall Street Journal column. Recognizing impeachment’s unpopularity and believing it could endanger the Democrats’ chance of winning in 2020, Pelosi opposes pushing it to a vote.
The failure of the Mueller testimony to provide any new dirt on Trump strengthened Pelosi’s hand.
She was able to secure the backing of a number of Democrats, including some on the left in her party, to join Trump and the Republicans to push a budget through the House July 25. This included the votes of Democratic Socialists of America members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, who recently clashed with Pelosi and race-baited her, claiming she was targeting them as “people of color.” The Democratic Party-backed budget that Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib voted for includes $733 billion for the Pentagon to defend the interests of the capitalist rulers in their wars around the world.
New York Times columnist Charles Blow complained that the Democratic Party leadership feared impeaching the president because it “might upset the white people who voted for Trump’s racism but might be open to considering a Democrat.” Blow considers Trump voters — many of whom voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012, seeking change — as bigoted people who need to be contained.
What drives liberals’ disdainful attitudes towards workers is the hope “of finding ways to disenfranchise larger numbers of working people, whom they’re convinced are unqualified to have a decisive voice in ‘important’ government decisions or even to recognize what’s in our own best interests,” explains Jack Barnes, Socialist Workers Party national secretary, in his introduction to Tribunes of the People and the Trade Unions.
Liberals turn to race-baiting
Times writer Farhad Manjoo, one of those who refuses to give up on impeachment, urges Democrats to forget Mueller and instead impeach Trump because of his “racism.” Anyone who disagrees with the course liberals and the middle-class left push is targeted as “racist” to shut them down and derail discussion and debate.
Pelosi got in on the act, accusing Trump of a “racist attack” July 27, when the president scolded Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings as a “brutal bully,” after Cummings criticized miserable conditions in detention centers at the southern border. Trump made a degrading claim that Cummings should “clean up” Baltimore, the Maryland district he represents, saying it is a “rodent infested mess.”
The president, like his Democratic and Republican predecessors, defends the interests of the propertied capitalist class. They maintain their rule by fostering divisions among working people — Black and Caucasian, foreign and native born, men and women — to press their assaults on workers’ living standards and conditions and try to push back our struggles.
The liberals and left claim the problem is Trump’s “base” of racist, xenophobic workers. But there is less racism among working people today, a consequence of the revolution in social relations forged in struggle by the Black-led mass movement that overthrew Jim Crow segregation.
“Working people need to break with all capitalist politicians and the bosses’ twin parties, the Democrats and Republicans, and rely on our own capacities to struggle,” said Lea Sherman, Socialist Workers Party candidate for New Jersey General Assembly.