[Marxism] The Left Shrugs at Impeachment

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Nov 25 07:16:06 MST 2019

WSJ Opinion, Nov. 24, 2019
The Left Shrugs at Impeachment
by Ted Rall

'Will the Democratic Party, this time in open collusion with the 
intelligence apparatus, succeed in its second attempt to depose 
President Donald Trump in what might fairly be called a bloodless coup?" 
asks columnist Patrick Lawrence. What's surprising is that Mr. Lawrence 
is a man of the left. Like many progressives, he has as much disdain for 
Democratic centrists like Hillary Clinton as he has for Mr. Trump.

He may be unusual in his ferocious opposition to impeachment. But few 
progressives are excited at the prospect. Most aren't talking about it, 
and apathy is common among those who are paying attention.

Over the past month, the socialist magazine Jacobin hasn't run a single 
article about impeachment, or even about Mr. Trump. Progressive social 
media is focused on whether Elizabeth Warren is far enough to the left 
to be trustworthy.

Jacobin did run a symposium in October that addressed the "coolness" 
toward impeachment on the Left. Samuel Moyn of Yale Law School observed: 
"Lots of folks are seeing impeachment as a way of removing a political 
opponent rather than reinventing the Democratic Party or part of 
crafting a policy that a lot of voters, including some of Donald Trump's 
voters in 2016, want, which is to wrest the state from elites and attack 
endless war, economic inequality, and many other baleful things that 
both parties have brought us over the past generation."

Touched off by a cadre of self-branded "national security Democrats," 
the impeachment inquiry is doing nothing to bridge the gap between the 
party's left (represented by Ms. Warren and Bernie Sanders) and center 
(Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg). That's the divide that cost Democrats 
the White House in 2016.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her fellow House leaders chose not to frame 
impeachment around issues dear to progressives, some of which might also 
have offered some crossover appeal to Republicans. Mr. Trump's Muslim 
travel ban, potential violations of the Emoluments Clause, the 
child-separation policy at the border -- all were left on the 
cutting-room floor.

Instead, impeachment hearings focused on the allegation that Mr. Trump 
used his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, to circumvent the State 
Department. Progressives have no sympathy for or interest in "deep 
state" career diplomats who have executed elites' policies of American 
military and economic intervention around the globe for decades while 
domestic infrastructure crumbled, globalization stole American jobs, 
underemployment became the norm, and working people struggled.

Impeachment is a distraction from these issues, Doug Henwood, editor of 
Left Business Observer, tells me. Mr. Trump "needs to lose the election, 
and badly," he says. "But it seems like a lot of Dems think that 
everything was pretty much OK until Trump took office, and if we can 
just get back to the status quo ante, everything will be all right. Add 
to that the fact that impeachment is making liberals celebrate spies, 
prosecutors, and heavily medaled soldiers -- people no one on the left 
should have any warm feelings towards -- and you get a serious feeling 
of derangement."


Mr. Rall is a political cartoonist and author of "Francis: The People's 
Pope," the latest in his series of graphic novel-format biographies.

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