The reason Nancy Pelosi does not act to impeach our patently criminal President is twofold: first, she correctly believes that Trump represents the best possible opponent for any Democratic nominee attempting to achieve the White House in next year’s national elections; second, the base of the Democratic Party is divided about Trump. He has done many things that please this core segment of the Democratic Party’s ruling apparatus, even while he has horrified and upset many within its lower ranks.
It is crucial to acknowledge and understand this latter point, as many people still harbor illusions about who the Democrats serve and what forces effectively control the Party apparatus. The DP shares with the GOP the same core base, those who have come to be commonly referred to as “the one percent” (or more simply, the 1%). These ultrawealthy and powerfully connected people finance, influence, and receive comprehensive servicing from both parties; the rivalry between the two reflects the disagreements and differences of perspective among the 1% themselves. This is the real “democracy” in the United States, a two-party contest to work out how best to rule us and what policies to adopt in the course of that undertaking.
This bifurcated situation is awkward for the corrupt politician holding the outsized gavel as she presides over the House; she wants to hold off as long as she possibly can from pressing the case against Trump, but may herself be pressed by his increasingly blatant illegalities to take tangible steps towards impeachment. She knows that for all his personal repugnance and cruelty, Trump’s actions have been a dream come true for many of the 1%; he has done things by way of rolling back environmental protections, protection of working people in their places of employment, and has removed statutory requirements that corporations found constricting. These are steps that probably no Democrat would dare to undertake, as that party maintains itself as the left face of the status quo–though that has been only relative to the increasingly rightward-marching GOP.
This accounts for the decline in health, living standards, and wellbeing of the 99%, something not originating with Trump’s election, but greatly accelerated by the actions of his administration. It would seem, then, that electing a Democrat to replace him is the most urgent political task before us. However, this seeming truism is complicated by the contradiction explained in the foregoing: the Democratic Party does not exist to correct the GOP’s errors, but to achieve its same general ends via means more palatable to the 1%. That is the real difference and contest between the two parties: to see which of them can more effectively administer the machinery of profit-making and overall rule of the country, including of course the very necessary imperial adventures abroad that ensure a “favorable business environment”: sanctions, threats, subversion, and wars of varying intensity.
The danger in this for those who urgently desire Trump’s exit, is that the Democrats would rather lose than have a genuine progressive enter the White House. The 1972 campaign of George McGovern illustrated this, where he had not only to run against the loathsome Richard Nixon, but also against his own party. The 1% were appalled that McGovern seriously intended to end the war against the Vietnamese people, and more broadly, to reorient the United States towards a nonbelligerent posture in the world. This resulted in “Democrats for Nixon,” the neutrality of almost all organized labor, and the studied distance of mainline Democrats from the McGovern campaign. His crushing defeat was the product not of any genius on the part of Nixon, but of the near-unanimous antipathy of the 1% towards McGovern. The Democratic Party machine did not work for their own nominee; it visibly stood aside where it did not actively oppose him.
This is our danger today. Those who would like to see the genuinely progressive Bernie Sanders nominated to run against Trump in 2020 are attempting to utilize a structure and process specifically tasked with keeping progressive policies and politicians out of the White House (and, ideally, any other federal-level office). Many painful lessons lie ahead for those who entertain notions of fairness, openness, or even rudimentary democracy in the functioning of the “Democratic” Party. It would be wise to begin discussion and planning for two contingencies: the obvious denial of a Sanders nomination by all other candidates’ delegates unifying behind one other person (Biden seems preferred by the 1%, just now) or, if by some miracle Sanders got the nomination, a replay of the McGovern campaign, in which Sanders would be effectively running against both parties, though as the official Democrat. If the latter proves the case, then you can expect the “dangerous radical” theme to be loudly and routinely repeated, including the sighing and sorrowful participation of well-known “real” Democrats.
We do not have a democracy in this nation–we have a capitalist society serviced by two parties dependent upon money to make their wheels go around, and reward their elected capos with the largesse that has rightfully given Congress the odor of putrescent decay summed up by the 99% sense of ‘politician’ and ‘politics’. We need to think now about what we will do if Biden or some other 1% apparatchik is nominated; the rule of a corporate cutout who proceeds to the White House with the same business-as-usual agenda as before, ensures the death of our planet. The stakes could not be higher.