This week the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach Donald Trump. This was a major eventand a very good thing! Even with the narrow terms on which the Democrats carried this out, people seized on this with enthusiasm. Thousands poured into the streets. They were both furious and exhilarated at the fact that Trump was finally beginning to be held accountable for some of his towering crimes.
The next step in the process is for the Democrats to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate, and for the Senate to then hold a trial of Trump. The Senate is supposed to impartially evaluate the evidence and then vote on whether Trump should be removed from office.
The fascist Republican Party grouped around Trump reacted with fury and arrogance. The Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell openly stated that he would NOT be impartial. McConnell said that he would coordinate the trial with Trump himself--the accused--and that, anyway, since he, McConnell, had already concluded that Trump should NOT be removed, there was no need for further witnesses or other evidence to be added. Whoever heard of such a thing!?! And yet this absurdity is on track to become the "new normal" under the Trump/Pence fascist regime.
Trump himself accused the Democrats of treason, and "making war on democracy". In hosting a delegation from the Guatemalan government--a government infamous for repression and murder of opponents--Trump went so far as to say that "they knew how to take care of" the kind of opposition he was encountering from congressional Democrats.
A Criminal Is Indicted--And That's A Good Thing!
It is true and important that the Democratic leadership focused on a crime pertaining in large part to "national security"--that is, the imperialist interests of the U.S. around the world. They explicitly did not take on the much more serious outrages perpetrated by this fascist regime against the masses of people and the planet itself. All this works against what is needed by humanity, here and around the world.
But the articles of impeachment do hit at the very important point that Trump had abused power and run roughshod over the rule of law. This includes the way he obstructed the impeachment process itself by refusing to turn over evidence and allow members of his administration to testify, in defiance of the law and the separation of powers. Had there been no impeachment whatsoever, or had the articles been voted down in the House, the fascists would have been further strengthened.
The fact that this criminal WAS impeached and now goes to trial is something to be welcomed and built on.
A New Situation, Full Of Uncertainty
The furious reaction of the Republicans makes the situation extremely unpredictable. Shortly after McConnell brazenly said that he would not be impartial, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that she would delay sending the impeachment articles over to the Senate until she could be sure that the proceeding would be a fair process.
Right now, nobody knows what comes next.
But, again, the masses of people responded in a powerful, even if beginning, way to the impeachment. Thousands came into the streets on the night before the vote, furious about Trump and seizing a chance to act. Many responded to and took up the chant of OUT NOW! and the slogans being put forward by the #OUTNOW! contingents. This shows real potential that must be seized on and built further.
These sharpening conflicts at the top and the heightened uncertainty they bring make the activities called for by Refuse Fascism and #OUTNOW! for January even more important and make it possible to reach out much much wider.
In this situation, the following point stands out all the more sharply:
The Democrats, along with the New York Times and the Washington Post, etc., are seeking to resolve the crisis with the Trump presidency on the terms of this system, and in the interests of the ruling class of this system, which they represent. We, the masses of people, must go all out, and mobilize ourselves in the millions, to resolve this in our interests, in the interests of humanity, which are fundamentally different from and opposed to those of the ruling class.
This, of course, does not mean that the struggle among the powers that be is irrelevant or unimportant; rather, the way to understand and approach this (and this is a point that must also be repeatedly driven home to people, including through necessary struggle, waged well) is in terms of how it relates to, and what openings it can provide for, "the struggle from below" for the mobilization of masses of people around the demand that the whole regime must go, because of its fascist nature and actions and what the stakes are for humanity.
All this makes it more important than ever to put forward and struggle for the demand that the whole Trump/Pence regime must go NOW and that the key to doing this is bringing forward more thousands today, working toward millions, in massive, sustained, nonviolent struggle.