By Coco Das |
“I’m not for impeachment…Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it.” Nancy Pelosi interview with Washington Post, March 11, 2019
“I know that there are political calculations that went into Nancy Pelosi’s statement on impeachment, but she is dead wrong on the principle. If not Trump, then nobody, EVER. This is what I hate about politics. Stand for something!!!” Charles Blow on Twitter, March 11, 2019
Nancy Pelosi’s interview in the Washington Post sounds like a hot mess. On the one hand, she talks about the “very serious challenge to the Constitution of the United States in the president’s unconstitutional assault on the Constitution, on the first branch of government, the legislative branch. … This is very serious for our country.” She says Donald Trump is ethically, intellectually, and “curiosity-wise” unfit to be president. But just in case anyone gets too worried about all this, you can settle down because “Our country is great. It’s a great country. Our founders gave us the strongest foundation.” This country, Pelosi says, can withstand anything, “But maybe not two [Trump] terms. So we have to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
In Nancy Pelosi’s fantasy world, where white supremacy has nothing to do with Trump’s rise and the foundational history of slavery and genocide are erased, there is only one way to resolve this crisis. In 2020, we’ll just have to try and vote Trump out. For the Democratic Party, any other means of stopping or even challenging this regime would be too divisive, too destabilizing. Until 2020, our only hope is that “at some point we can find common ground that he’ll stick to.”
While Pelosi’s comment on impeachment was rightfully controversial, a predictable section of the “resistance” read between the lines to project their own wishful thinking onto the Democratic Party strategy. They say Pelosi is playing chess, not checkers. She knows what she’s doing. The various House investigations will discredit Trump so much that he is unelectable in 2020.
Pelosi is playing chess, but it’s not with Trump. Her calculus and strategy is much more about reining in the resistance than it is about reining in the Trump regime. It is catastrophic to rely on this to stop a regime that must be stopped.
Enough of this insanity and moral depravity! Some points need to be made to help people who care about humanity step back into reality.
- What is not “worth it” about stopping a regime that steals and cages migrant children, bans Muslims, bludgeons the truth, incites physical violence against the press and peaceful protesters, unleashes white supremacist terror all over the globe, erases LGBT people, moves to strip women of their right to control their own destinies, threatens the world’s people with more bombings and fire and fury, throws gasoline on the environmental crisis, and controls all of the institutions and agencies of the government with its hateful agenda? When Nancy Pelosi says he’s not worth it, she’s also saying the people whose lives are on the line under this regime are not worth it. No! We should not be coaxed into sacrificing the precious lives of people around the world to this vicious white xenophobic Christian supremacy perpetrating violence and spreading its poison into every corner of the earth. No one with a heart should be making those kinds of calculations.
- If Trump wasn’t “unelectable” in 2016, he will not be “unelectable” in 2020. Through two years of the Democrats siphoning our outrage and resistance into the #bluewave, Trump has strengthened his base. The conditions that led to Trump winning the 2016 election through the electoral college have not changed. In fact, he has become more normalized, even at times “presidential.” The escalating crimes and outrages of the regime, still coming down on a weekly basis, have been met with less resistance as people are sucked into yet another electoral cycle. As Dave Eggers highlights in this article about Trump’s El Paso rally, Trump is being seen as a success by a surprisingly broadening section of people. And on the slight chance that Trump does lose, he has already claimed that the Democrats “cannot legitimately win” the 2020 elections.
- Nancy Pelosi is trapping us inside a framework that has been torn apart by the Trump/Pence regime and enforcing the rules of a game that the fascist Republican Party has long stopped playing. Whether she doesn’t understand what we’re up against, or she is willfully blinding herself and us, one thing is clear; Pelosi and her party do not have the will, the ability, the heart, or the imagination to change the game against the Trump/Pence regime. They are much more concerned with keeping order and stability, even the order of fascism, than risking the upheaval that could come from impeachment. By putting faith in politics as usual to solve this crisis, millions of people who should be in the streets demanding an end to this fascist trajectory are being dragged onto the stands to cheer on the Democrats as they “find common ground” with the Trump/Pence regime.
- Nancy Pelosi says impeachment would divide the country, but as Andy Zee points out in a recent speech, “When you have Nazis marching in the streets with torches, saying ‘the Jews will not replace us,’ slurring and attacking homosexuals, marching under the banner of the confederate flag and white supremacy, this country is divided.” If the country weren’t already deeply divided, Trump would not have even been a legitimate candidate for president. When Pelosi laments the divisiveness of impeachment over the divisiveness of fascists in the white house, she is urging us to unite and conciliate with and accept the order of fascism over a resistance that could actually peel millions of people away from their adjustment to politics as usual. This would be a major disruption and upheaval in society. No struggle for justice has ever come without upheaval and disruption and yes, disunity. Meanwhile, Trump and his fascist base are bringing their own brand of disruption and upheaval, with tragic results.
- There is some real expression of concern in Nancy Pelosi’s interview. The Trump/Pence regime represents true dangers even for those who conciliate with it. There is potential to wrench some victories for the people through these splits and fissures among the ruling powers, but not without a mass movement from below. As the Refuse Fascism Call to Action states, “A determined struggle that doesn’t yield and won’t be provoked can create a serious political crisis. Those in power who are themselves now under attack by the regime but conciliating with it would be compelled to respond to our struggle from below, leading to a situation where this illegitimate regime is removed from power.” The same drive for stability that leads Nancy Pelosi to reject impeachment now could propel her and other ruling forces to take a harder stance against the regime, IF there is a critical mass movement disrupting business as usual and refusing to back down.
- Right now, to Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Party leadership, fascism is not an impeachable offense, but it is a crime against humanity for which we have more than two years of evidence. What is considered a “high crime and misdemeanor” is subject to interpretation, and that interpretation is influenced by various factors, including a mass movement from the people. In South Korea, hundreds of thousands of protesters kept hitting the streets until their government conceded to the demand of impeachment. In this country, Democratic leadership did not want to begin impeachment proceedings against Nixon either, but they couldn’t ignore the public pressure, especially after the massive protests of the late 60’s.
- At the same time, Refuse Fascism is not organizing for impeachment. We are calling for a sustained, non-violent protest movement that demands nothing less than the removal of the Trump/Pence regime. This demand is concentrated in our slogan: “No, in the name of humanity, we refuse to accept a fascist America. This nightmare must end. The Trump/Pence regime must go.” While impeachment might be one mechanism by which the ruling powers concede to this demand, impeachment alone, or even replacing Trump with Pence, is not and should not be our ultimate demand. Refusing to accept a fascist America requires refusing to accept the mental chains, the cages and traps of politics as usual. We have to think and step outside of those normal channels, setting our sights on humanity instead of narrow national interests.
- Only the people acting together with courage and conviction can break out of the normal channels and mental shackles and transform the level of resistance. Every wrong that has been righted in American society has come from people acting without permission and changing the game. To stop this regime, we need thousands turning into millions who take to the streets day after day in a sustained, non-violent protest movement, refusing to stop until the Trump/Pence regime is driven from power. This is something neither the Democrats nor the Republicans want, for different reasons, but it has worked to drive out dangerous regimes all over the world.
Imagine the difference it would make if people flooded the streets demanding that this regime must go because it is fascist, not just because of campaign finance violations. Our interests today are the interests of humanity. Together we must take responsibility ourselves, acting in fierce and sustained opposition outside the confines of politics as usual.
What is stopping this regime worth to you? To all of us who have joined with Refuse Fascism, it is worth everything.