Nancy Pelosi–Forward, never? Photo Gage Skidmore. Wikimedia Commons.
Democrats as “Liberal”? No, Neo-Liberal Capitulation
On Wednesday, December 18, The House of Representatives will vote on articles of impeachment against America’s 45th president, Donald Trump. Should the House vote to impeach, the case will then be sent to the Senate for trial.
Trump will join an infamous list that includes Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, becoming the third American president to be impeached. In my opinion, Trump is guilty as sin. He should be impeached, convicted by the Senate and removed from office.
The problem is that in this current landscape of tribalized hyper-partisan politics, he has no chance of being convicted in the Senate, which has a Republican majority. House Democrats put together a circumstantial case; a very strong circumstantial case but circumstantial none the less. Attorneys will tell you that in a court of law circumstantial evidence can be more damning at times than direct evidence. But this is not a court of law. This is the court of public opinion. In the court of partisan public opinion, you must be clear, with indisputable facts.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has publicly admitted that he plans to stack the deck. According to McConnell, “Everything I do during this, I’m coordinating with the White House counsel…There will be no difference between the president’s position and our position as to how to handle this to the extent that we can.” In 2016, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told us Trump is, “…a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot. He doesn’t represent my party. He doesn’t represent the values that the men and women in uniform are fighting for…I think he’s crazy. I think he’s unfit for office…” He now defends Trump with his last dying breath. Since Graham could not become Commander-In-Chief, he became hypocrite-in-chief.
House Democrats have spent weeks presenting their case during televised congressional hearings. But to what end? Democrats know that the hearings will not lead to the removal of Trump. In fact, the result could possibly provide Trump with a 2020 campaign talking point, “I was exonerated of the Democrat’s baseless charges by the Senate. The call was perfect”.
Are we to believe that the Democrats initiated the impeachment proceedings out of some sense of moral obligation, while Republicans who seem to be owned by Trump, morally bankrupt? Here’s my point. While most Americans were dozing in and out of the “impeachathon”, House Democrats continued negotiations with Trump to pass legislation that supports the broader bipartisan neoliberal agenda. America slept like the Whos in Whoville as the Grinch stole Christmas.
While the U.S. has been caught up in Russia-Gate, Robert Mueller and the impeachment hearings, the socialist government of Bolivian President Evo Morales was overthrown by a U.S.-backed coup after Morales narrowly won a fourth presidential term in late October. According to Jacobin, “Bolivia is currently ruled by an unelected president, Jeanine Áñez, whose government is now responsible for nearly two dozen deaths and hundreds of injuries after Evo Morales’s overthrow.” Senator Elizabeth Warren supports this U.S.-backed attack on Bolivian democracy, saying, “The Bolivian people deserve free and fair elections, as soon as possible…Bolivia’s interim leadership must limit itself to preparing for an early, legitimate election.”
Ahh, Senator, the elections were free, fair and legitimate, just not to the liking of U.S. imperialists such as yourself. To his credit, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) remains the only 2020 Democratic presidential contender to condemn Morales’ ouster.
Two weeks ago, Warren stated a similar position on the U.S.-backed coup in Venezuela: “Start with the fact that Maduro is obviously a dictator, he’s terrible, he’s stolen this election, it’s a nightmare for the people of Venezuela.” The problem is President Maduro is overwhelmingly backed by the Venezuelan people. Also, only three Democrats—Representative’s Ro Khanna, Tulsi Gabbard, and Senator Sanders have spoken out against the US-backed coup.
The fact is, regardless of whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, historically, U.S. policy is pro-democracy in the U.S. and opposed to it in most non-Western countries in the world. Especially if it means that we will not be able to exploit the labor and natural resources in the countries where democracy is being practiced.
Last week 188 House Democrats joined the Republican caucus and passed the sweeping $738 billion military spending bill or 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. It includes funding for the Space Force as a sixth armed service and increases the Pentagon budget by $22 billion. Most House Democrats backed this obscene giveaway to the President after his ungodly $1.5 trillion tax cut. The Trump Administration also introduced three proposals that would impact about 2.2 million U.S. households, or almost 4 million people by removing them from the food stamp program, while also reducing benefits for another 3.1 million households. He has also proposed Social Security changes that could end disability benefits for hundreds of thousands while Democrats are silent.
Also, in passing the NDAA, House Democrats agreed to keep Guantanamo Bay open, remove the bipartisan amendment to stop the war in Yemen and the bipartisan amendment to stop an unauthorized, offensive war against Iran. Only 41 Democrats, voted against the NDAA. The congressional women of color that make up “The Squad”, as well as Barbara Lee voted against the NDAA, while most of the CBC voted in favor of it, as usual. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) chairman of the House Armed Services Committee hailed the measure as “the most progressive defense bill we have passed in decades.”
Finally, Democrats proudly announced that they passed the USMCA, the revision of the NAFTA trade deal with Canada and Mexico, which had been stalled on Capitol Hill. We are still awaiting the final analysis on this, but it looks like American labor loses and big pharma wins again.
Democratic leadership tells us that they are morally obligated to move forward with impeaching the 45th President. They claim to be protecting the Republic and democracy; as they should. After all, the mastermind behind President Trump’s nationalist ideology, Stephen K. Bannon, told us clearly that the White House is digging in for a long period of conflict to transform Washington and upend the world order by deconstructing the administrative state.
Protecting democracy? Elitist Democrats are working with the administration and neocons to cut taxes for the wealthy and perpetuate the military industrial complex. They are far from liberal. By implementing tax cuts on the backs of the poor and working-class they have capitulated to the neocons and are implementing neoliberal policies.
The result could be a frightening America.
Dr. Wilmer Leon is the Producer/ Host of the nationally broadcast talk radio program “Inside the Issues” on SiriusXM Satellite radio channel 126. Go to www.wilmerleon.com or email: [email protected]. www.twitter.com/drwleon and Dr. Leon’s Prescription at Facebook.com
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