Reprinted from www.counterpunch.org
The impeachment of Donald J. Trump is coming. What to make of it? It's hard not to enjoy watching the Malignant One (Trump) squirm and lash out like a wounded animal. There is no public humiliation too great for this sorry excuse for a human being, this racist, sexist, eco-cidal and fascist bastard who endangers the world with his presence in its most powerful office. Trump's noxiously racist, sexist, Nativist, plutocratic, corrupt, and environmentally disastrous regime has done great damage to basic democratic and human norms, civilizational decency, social justice, and prospects for a decent future. All of that and more makes it impossible for any self-respecting leftist or progressive not to want to see him disgraced and removed. The Trump-Pence regime must be forced out of office as soon as humanly possible.
But forced out how, for what reasons, and with what kind of vision for the post-Trump future? Impeachment requires just a simple majority of the House of Representatives and that branch of Congress is majority Democrat. The betting odds are that it will take place.
Removal requires two-thirds of the Senate and that branch is majority Republican. That odds of removal are low. And the removal of Trump would have to be preceded or followed by the removal of Vice President Mike Pence, a Christian Fascist who is slated to ascend to the White House after Trump's removal under the rules of the U.S. Constitution.
The best way to remove Trump is not merely through elite procedures designed by wealthy 18thCentury slaveholders, merchant capitalists, and publicists for whom democracy was the ultimate nightmare. It is through a sustained mass rebellion by and for those the U.S. Founders and the American ruling class today fears most: We the People, the working-class majority. We should mobilize to bring this regime down in the same way the people of Puerto Rico recently forced out their corrupt and racist-sexist governor Ricky Rosello, the same way the people of Hong Kong won the repeal of an authoritarian extradition law, and the same way the masses of Algeria overthrew an authoritarian regime last year.
We must not let the impeachment extravaganza keep millions seated in front of glowing telescreens to be told how the unmentionably disastrous two-party system, the ruling class corporate media, and the badly outmoded and deeply conservative U.S. Constitution "work" for democracy and the common good. They do no such thing.
The seemingly endless quadrennial big money-major media candidate-centered presidential electoral extravaganza - already in full-swing - feeds deadly mass demobilization. An impeachment carnival could be even worse when it comes to keeping people off the streets, glued to the tube, and wedded to the false belief that we can sustain hopes for a decent future without mobilizing and organizing for what Dr. King Martin Luther King, Jr. properly identified as the "real issue to be faced" - "the radical reconstruction of society itself." This is a society teetering on the edges of irreversible environmental catastrophe and final authoritarian takeover thanks to savage state-capitalist inequality so extreme that the three richest Americans possess more wealth than the nation's bottom fifty percent.
Impeachment just for UkraineGate - just for Trump's violation of ruling class norms by using the bribe of American military assistance to extort a foreign government into digging up dirt on his perceived next presidential challenger, the right-wing corporate-imperialist Joe Biden? United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA, Net Worth-$64 million) appears to want to make this the sole case for impeachment because UkraineGate seems open and shut, easy to understand, unlike RussiaGate (and more like the Watergate scandal that forced Richard Nixon out of the White House in 1974). But the Republicans and the right-wing noise machine will make sure that it's not so simple, counter-spinning with conspiracy theories about Biden and his son and Hillary's emails and the Steele Dossier, etc. And limiting the scope of impeachment to UkraineGate is a cover-up. An activist Website gives the following daunting list of offenses for which the aspiring fascist strongman Trump deserves impeachment: Violation of Constitution on Domestic Emoluments; Violation of Constitution on Foreign Emoluments; Incitement of Violence; Interference With Voting Rights; Discrimination Based On Religion; Illegal War; Illegal Threat of Nuclear War; Abuse of Pardon Power; Obstruction of Justice;Politicizing Prosecutions;Collusion Against the United States with a Foreign Government;Failure to Reasonably Prepare for or Respond to Hurricanes Harvey and Maria; Separating Children and Infants from Families;Illegally Attempting to Influence an ElectionTax Fraud and Public Misrepresentation; Assaulting Freedom of the Press; Supporting a Coup in Venezuela; Unconstitutional Declaration of Emergency; Instructing Border Patrol to Violate the Law; Refusal to Comply With Subpoenas; Declaration of Emergency Without Basis In Order to Violate the Will of Congress;Illegal Proliferation of Nuclear Technology; Illegally Removing the United States from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
All of these are legitimate impeachment and removal subjects. I would add one: the criminal acceleration of Ecocide, the biggest issue of our or any time. Trump has brazenly violated his oath to serve the General Welfare by doing everything he can to turn the world into a giant Greenhouse Gas Chamber as soon as possible.
The Intercept's Medhi Hasan raises an excellent point, suggesting how Pelosi's one-note impeachment "might end up as a defeat." As Hasan explains
"For House Democrats to wait this long and then impeach a reckless, lawless, racist, tax-dodging president only over his interactions with the president of Ukraine would be to effectively give Trump a clean bill of health on everything else"Do these Democrats take the public for fools? Few would dispute the uniqueness or seriousness of these Ukraine revelations. But are they really saying that 'everybody understands' Trump's quid pro quo with the president of a foreign country, and the details of the specific case involving Hunter Biden, but not the illegal payment of hush money to a porn star? Or all of the corrupt behavior on display in front of their eyes? The brazen self-dealing? The daily violation of the emoluments clause"Read a poll. A majority of Americans happen to agree with (literally) 1,000 former federal prosecutors that the president obstructed justice and don't believe the Mueller report exonerated Trump. A majority also agree that Trump is a racist and a liar, and that corruption has increased on his watch. Trump is a historically unpopular and disliked president - and for a variety of reasons."
Never forget Noam Chomsky's criticism of the de facto impeachment and removal of Richard Nixon: Watergate was about Nixon's breaking of ruling class norms by needlessly burglarizing the other major imperial party's candidate headquarters. The Watergate hearings evaded Nixon and Kissinger's mass murderous bombing of Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, Nixon and Kissinger's criminal support for a fascist coup in Chile, and Nixon's vicious, fascist-style police-state repression of the antiwar, Black freedom, and radical Left movements. Nixon's biggest crimes went un-aired and unpunished. It was officially fine for Nixon to inflict monumental murder and mayhem on anti-imperial freedom-fighters, peasants, and the Left at home and abroad. Nixon's only authorized sin was to have stupidly messed with the other American ruling class and imperial party, the Democrats, at home.
It's not just that Pelosi wants to impeach Trump for just one among his many offenses. It's also about the deeply conservative and imperial framing of the crime that broke the logjam for her and her fellow corporate-imperial Democrats: endangering America's so-called national security by clumsily injecting the president's political self-interest into the supposedly noble task of purportedly defending America and the West by arming the right-wing Ukraine regime, which (as nobody in the "liberal media" wants to mention) is rife with scurrilous and dodgy, neofascist elements.