[Marxism] The Left Shrugs at Impeachment
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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
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
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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