SHARE
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media at the United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly on September 24, 2019 in New York City. World leaders are gathered for the 74th session of the UN amid a warning by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in his address yesterday of the looming risk of a world splitting between the two largest economies - the U.S. and China. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Legislators of the Democratic Party, majority in the U.S. House of Representatives , initiated an impeachment process against President Donald Trump. In case of advancing in this chamber and then in the Senate, this could lead to Trump’s destitution . What does this all mean ?

By: Alejandro Iturbe   –   Oct/02/2019

The impeachment process began from the leak of a recorded conversation between Trump and the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenski, pressing him to investigate and make public negotiations of Hunter Biden in the Ukrainian energy sector. The leak came from a member of one of the U.S. intelligence services and was defended as a “correct action” by Joseph Maguire, Director of the National Intelligence Agency at a hearing of the U.S. Congress Intelligence Committee  [1].

Hunter is Joe Biden’s son , former vice president of Barack Obama, who was  considered the Democratic candidate with a better chance of confronting Trump in the next presidential elections in late 2020. All news reports indicate that Hunter has many business activities [ 2].

At the same time, it is common practice in U.S. bourgeois politics that a candidate investigates his rival , and if he finds “a skeleton in the closet,” creates a scandal to discredit him. However, the use in this case of the presidential power to pressure a foreign president to do the “dirty work” seems to have exceeded the accepted rules of the game. The influential newspaper The Washington Post published an article signed by seven “moderate” Democratic leaders with the title “These accusations are a threat against everything we swore to protect” [3].

Trump’s first response has been a threat: he accused the leaker of being a “spy” and added “in the old days  spies were executed, although now we can no longer do that” [4].

He made the same accusation days later against Adam Schiff, the Democratic congressman who conducts the investigation in the House of Representatives. 

A change in the Democratic leadership

The impeachment process marks a change in the democratic leadership policy that until now, had refused to push it forward, despite the fact that Trump had done similar  or worse things than what he is now being accused of.This was expressed in Nancy Pelosi’s position , speaker of the House of Representatives:

“Over the past few months, Pelosi stopped all attempts by the most radical Democrats to open an impeachment process against Trump and argued that, as leader of the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives , her role was to avoid any decision that would harm the party in the 2020 presidential elections ”[5].

Now, the majority position of  Democrat legislators and the leadership of the party have led to a change in policy.The reasons used for this change include the “patriotic duty”,  the fact that this “dirty play ” by Trump would be much easier to explain and be understood by the “average American” and finally, the emotional speech given by veteran black congressman John Lewis ; who in 1963 accompanied Martin Luther King when he led the famous March on Washington and made his famous  “I have a dream” speech [6].

Why now?

We believe that the explanations given by the Democrats are not the real reasons that generated this policy change. We believe this change occurs because of  electoral reasons and to maintain the strategy of displacing Trump in the 2020 presidential elections.

The trigger for this change is, in our view, the fact that Trump’s “dirty play” meant “a torpedo below the waterline” of Joe Biden, the candidate who appeared most likely to defeat him in the next elections, based on the prestige of having been part of the Obama administration. The Democratic leadership was betting on drawing a “middle line” between the conservative image of Hillary Clinton and the “radicalization” of Bernie Sanders.

Media analysis consider that , regardless of the course of the impeachment process, Joe Biden’s campaign has already been “hurt” , “ Biden will be the most affected . There is no doubt that this is going to splash his candidacy and any investigation , even in the field of impeachment, will be bad, ”according to a study by a U.S. university [7].

In that context,  Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, who came second in the polls of Democratic candidates, begins to strengthen.We believe that this democrat  move aims to wear down and discredit Trump, to “shield” the Democratic candidacy and, thus, secure the electoral victory in 2020. Additionally, it can be a move that also aims to “corner” the current president and force him to apply a policy closer to that promoted by the Democratic Party, in the remaining 15 months of his mandate, transforming him into a “lame duck”. 

How is the process going ?

We believe that the Democratic Party does not have the real intention of impeaching Trump,  but rather wearing him down and cornering him. During that process , he will be helped by the institutional legislative mechanisms and by the current configuration of both houses of the congress.

In the House of Representatives, a simple majority suffices to proceed with the process, something that Democrats already have . Consulting firm Eurasia considered that there were 75% favorable possibilities [8].

However, once the process is resolved at this level, it should go to the Senate, in which Republicans have a majority. At this level, Eurasia considers that the possibilities are minimal: 10% [9].

But even in the House of Representatives, the Democrats will move in “slow motion” (of several accusations and defense sessions) to win “the largest number of voters” to support the impeachment [10].

In this sense, a survey carried out between September 24 and 26 resulted in 47% of the respondents favoring the impeachment and 39% against it. At the beginning of the month, the responses had been 43 and 41% respectively.That is, Trump’s impeachment support grows rapidly. The Democrats could accelerate this process by promoting mass mobilizations but this goes against all politics they’ve had since Trump’s inauguration and the electoral strategy set out to displace him. 

A little history and some conclusions

Donald Trump (a man of ultra-reactionary ideology) won the presidential elections in the U.S. and took office in early 2017. He expressed sectors of the American imperialist bourgeoisie dissatisfied with some results of “economic globalization” and “American weakness.” Trump primarily represents an industrial sector of the old productive apparatus dependent on fossil energies that is in a historical crisis and, therefore, closely linked to oil companies.He was not the man preferred by the central sectors of the American bourgeoisie but he “slipped” in the midst of the post-Bush crisis of the Republican party and the electoral backward movement of the Democratic Party, with his speech both reactionary and populist of America First (” the United States in first place ”) and  “ the world is taking advantage of our weakness ”. Thus he managed to add, to the support of the traditional Republican reactionary voter, a sector of the white working class harmed by the decrease of the weight of the industry in the U.S. economy and fed up with  “Washington politics” and  “Wall Street parasites” [11].

Despite not being the “chosen one” by the majority of the bourgeoisie, Trump managed to pass a very regressive tax reform , long-awaited by the great bourgeoisie. Something that neither the Democrats nor their Republican opponents could have done. With that large tax cut, he obtained temporary support from many bourgeois sectors.Concerning the mass movement, since the very beginning of his government, he faced strong mobilizations of youth and women. After that , there was a great mobilization against some of his measures to attack  immigrants or the return of those already living in the United States (Muslim ban ). There were also struggles of the working class, among which a very massive one for the minimum wage of $ 15 an hour, in the service sectors, and the unprecedented strike of teachers from various states of the country, in the spring of 2018. These events marked a change in the dynamics of the class struggle in the country, in a wave of struggles that is not yet closed [12].

Add now, the great recent mobilizations against climatic deterioration in which Trump, because of his positions, is clearly the “enemy”.The Democratic Party (or its cadres in the mass movement) promoted and participated in some of these mobilizations but, within the framework of their electoral strategy, they always did so to control them and prevent them from overflowing into a generalized struggle against Trump. Beyond Trump’s bravado, his is a relatively weak government, conditioned both by the division of the U.S. imperialist bourgeoisie and by the relationship with the mass movement. This relative weakness was accentuated after the recent “midterm” parliamentary elections, Trump’s partial defeat against the Democrats and the loss of the majority in the House of Representatives, which led to an impasse of the bourgeois institutional U.S. regime  [13].

If the defeat was not worse, it was because the U.S. economy remained at a low but acceptable level of growth (2% per year) and unemployment decreased (although most new jobs were more precarious and lower wages). The reality is that the living conditions of U.S. workers and masses tend to get worse and worse. But even this situation of weak economic growth seems to be ending and most international analysts pose a possible recession in the United States as a certain possibility, within the framework of a similar dynamic in the world [14].

The concrete thing is that, along with the struggles we already mentioned, there are indications of the return of the industrial working class, as shown by the 50,000 General Motors workers strike [15].

Another profound fact is that there are signs of crisis (increased suicides and resignations) in the repression agencies against immigrants, as indicated by a recent article on immigration agents that persecute undocumented people crossing the U.S /Mexico border [16].

At the same time, Trump’s popularity and approval are falling [17]. And his government has suffered a major crisis with the dismissal of John Bolton, chief National Security advisor [18].

That is, a deterioration of the situation as a whole and a weakening of the Trump administration. In that framework , the democratic party tries ,on one hand , to take advantage of the situation , and at the same time prevent a generalized process of mass movement organization.

An electoral strategy that promises ‘’all will be better with us ‘’ , being the reason for not getting rid of Trump . The workers and U.S. masses should not hear this “siren call” from the Democrats. On the contrary, they must strengthen their struggles and attacks  against the Trump administration, and advance in their organizing , independent  of every bourgeois variant. On the other hand, the last democratic governments of Barack Obama have already shown that it will not be with them [representatives of a sector of the U.S. imperialist bourgeoisie] that the problems of the workers and the masses will be solved [19].

Translation by Blas ( Corriente Obrera LIT-CI)

Notes:

[1] https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2019/09/26/ukraine-hearing-gives-glimpse-democrats-impeachment-strategy-and-its-hurdles/epr3D9Mnnam5BB7H6o1ZTJ/story.html?et_rid=530093015&s_campaign=todaysheadlines:newsletter

[2] https://www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias-internacional-49839100

[3] From brasilean magazine Exame : https://exame.abril.com.br/mundo/o-que-mudou-para-que-os-democratas-decidissem-pelo-impeachment-de-trump/

[4] https://cnnespanol.cnn.com/2019/09/27/acusan-a-trump-de-intimidar-testigos-al-sugerir-que-quien-le-dio-los-datos-al-informante-del-caso-ucrania-es-un-espia/

[5] Ídem, our translation.

[6] Ídem.

[7] From https://exame.abril.com.br/mundo/impeachment-quais-as-chances-de-trump-ser-removido-da-presidencia/

[8] Ídem.

[9] Ídem.

[10] Article Ukraine hearing gives glimpse of Democrats’ impeachment strategy – and its hurdles, online edition  “The Boston Globe”, 9/27/2019.

[11] International Courier # 16 January 2017

[12]  https://litci.org/es/menu/mundo/norteamerica/estados-unidos/la-resistencia-del-movimiento-de-masas/

[13] https://litci.org/es/menu/mundo/norteamerica/estados-unidos/estados-unidos-una-derrota-parcial-trump/

[14] Ver https://litci.org/es/menu/economia/estamos-ante-inicio-una-nueva-recesion-mundial/ y https://www.sunoresearch.com.br/noticias/mercado-eua-sinal-possivel-recessao/

[15] https://litci.org/es/menu/mundo/latinoamerica/brasil/mas-de-49-000-trabajadores-de-la-gm-hacen-huelga-en-los-estados-unidos/

[16] https://www.nytimes.com/es/2019/09/17/espanol/mundo/ice-deportaciones.html?campaign_id=42&instance_id=12430&segment_id=17079&user_id=00d43cf2b74587eee8cd749aa535ec7f&regi_id=75245102

[17] https://mvsnoticias.com/noticias/internacionales/sigue-en-caida-la-popularidad-de-trump-encuesta-698/

[18] https://cnnespanol.cnn.com/2019/09/11/por-que-john-bolton-tenia-que-irse-y-ahora-que-se-puede-esperar/

[19] International Courier #16