The last few days have been truly amazing. I didn’t even write an article yesterday; I’ve just been staring transfixed by my social media feeds watching liberal Americans completely lose their minds. I can’t look away. It’s like watching a slow motion train wreck, and everyone on the train is being really homophobic.
I’ve been writing about Russiagate since it started, and I can honestly say this is the worst it’s ever been, by far. The most hysterical, the most shrill, the most emotional, the most cartoonishly over-the-top and hyperbolic. The fact that Trump met with Putin in private and then publicly expressed doubt about the establishment Russia narrative has sent some political factions of America into an emotional state that is indistinguishable from what you’d expect if Russia had bombed New York City. This despite the fact that the establishment Russia narrative consists of no actual, visible events whatsoever. It is made of pure narrative.And from Bill Van Auken's "The 'treason' charge against Donald Trump":
I don’t even know where to start. Everyone has been completely mad across the entire spectrum of what passes for America’s political “left” today, from the usual suspects like Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi and their indistinguishable Never-Trump Republican allies, all the way to supposedly progressive commentators like Cenk Uygur and Shaun King. Comparing this pure narrative non-event to Pearl Harbor is now commonplace and mainstream. I just watched a United States Senator named Richard Blumenthal stare right into the camera refer to the hypothetical possibility of future Russian cyber intrusions as “this 9/11 moment.”
“We are in a 9/11 national emergency because our country is under attack, literally,” Blumenthal told CNN while demanding a record of Trump’s meeting with Putin at the Helsinki summit. “That attack is ongoing and pervasive, verified by objective and verifiable evidence. Those words are, again, from the director of National Security. And this 9/11 moment demands that we do come together.”
Nothing about the establishment Russia narrative is in any way verifiable, and the only thing it has in common with 9/11 is the media coverage and widespread emotional response.
September 11 had actual video footage of falling towers. You could go visit New York City, look at the spot where those towers used to be, and see them not being there anymore. You could learn the names of the people who died and visit their graves and talk to their family members. Exactly how it happened is a matter of some debate in many circles, but there is no question that it happened. There was an actual event that did happen in the real world, completely independent of any stories people tell about that event.
Russiagate is like 9/11, but with none of those things. It’s like if 9/11 had all the same widespread emotional responses, all the same nonstop mass media coverage, all the same punditry screaming war, war, war, except no actual event occurred. The towers were still there, everyone was still alive, and nothing actually happened apart from the narrative and the emotional responses to that narrative.
Russiagate is 9/11 minus 9/11.
Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of history must question the current glorification of these agencies as defenders of democracy against the “traitor” Trump.
In any democratic society, the secret police and intelligence forces of the capitalist state have always been regarded with the greatest of suspicion. Nowhere is this truer than in the US.
Indeed, so great was the suspicion of the CIA, that its founding charter barred it from conducting operations within the US itself, based on the recognition that its secretive activities took place outside of the parameters of the law, both national and international.
Dubbed “Murder, Inc.” for its organization of assassinations, it also engineered coups against democratically elected governments that installed savage dictatorships from Iran and Guatemala to Turkey and Greece and countries throughout Latin America.
As for the FBI, its record is littered with judicial frameups, provocations and murders. The agency conducted a virtual war against the civil rights movement, the antiwar movement and every section of the American left, flooding organizations with thousands of spies and agent-provocateurs.
These agencies are largely responsible for the twin lies that have been utilized to justify the last quarter century of US foreign policy based on unending wars of aggression: “weapons of mass destruction” and the “war on terror.”
That expressing skepticism as to the veracity and integrity of the CIA, FBI and NSA can be branded as treason represents a stark warning of the dangers of a US police state.
The other “treasonous” act was the attempt to diminish tensions with Moscow. While Trump views Russia through the prism of his transactional “America First” foreign policy, the predominant factions within the US ruling establishment and Washington’s vast military and intelligence apparatus are so committed to the preparation for a military confrontation aimed at carving up and colonizing the Russian federation that no letup can be tolerated.
These are the interests expressed by the Democrats, the consummate party of Wall Street and the CIA. It is unwilling and unable to oppose Trump from a progressive, not to mention left-wing, standpoint because it is the defender of the interests of finance capital and the Jeff Bezoses of this world.
The terms “left” and “right” have ceased to have any real significance within the context of bourgeois politics in the US. The neo-McCarthyite politics embraced by the Democrats express the shift by the entire ruling establishment and its warring factions toward reaction and the destruction of the basic social and democratic rights of the broad mass of working people.
That the same dynamic prevails among the pseudo-left organizations orbiting the Democratic Party was made clear by the reaction of the International Socialist Organization (ISO) to the uproar over the Helsinki summit, where, it declared, “Trump managed to look like a dupe of one of the most transparently evil people on the planet.”
All of these political tendencies, reflecting the interests of the more privileged layers of the upper middle class, are being pushed sharply to the right by the upsurge in class struggle in the US and internationally and the threat of a revolutionary social explosion.For an actual assessment of why Trump is in the White House read Thomas Edsall's "Why Don’t We Always Vote in Our Own Self-Interest?" --
One question that has troubled Democrats for decades is freshly relevant in the Trump-McConnell era: Why do so many voters support elected officials who are determined to cut programs that those same voters rely upon?
Take Kentucky, which has a median household income that ranks 45th out of the 50 states.
Over the past half century, residents of Kentucky have become steadily more reliant on the federal government. In the 1970s, federal programs provided slightly under 10 percent of personal income for Kentucky residents; by 2015, money from programs ranging from welfare and Medicaid to Social Security and Medicare more than doubled to 23 percent as a share of Kentuckians’ personal income.
Twenty years ago, there was only one county (out of 120) in which residents counted on the federal government for at least 40 percent of their personal income. By 2014, 28 counties were at 40 percent or higher.
But as their claims on federal dollars rose, the state’s voters became increasingly conservative. In the 1990s, they began to elect hard right, anti-government politicians determined to cut the programs their constituents were coming to lean on.It is a confused, resentful, unselfed nation.