May 28, 2017
“You’ve got a special counsel who has prosecutorial powers now.... Public access to this is probably going to be very limited now. It’s really going to limit what the public will know about this.” So said Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, responding to the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate whether Donald Trump or his administration has broken the law.
We can be sure that the Republican Party would like – in Graham’s own words – “to limit what the public will know about this.” But most Democrats are also calling for “patience,” and to “let the investigation take its course.”
Taking its course means taking its time. Lots of time. The last special counsel, looking into Whitewater, took almost seven years to finish its investigations into presidential wrong-doing.
This is exactly the point of a special prosecutor. No matter how many years it takes, the constant flow of damning information will be sharply reduced, at least for a good while.
Trump, with his constant tweets, not to mention grandiose statements in which he implicates himself in crimes, has created a problem for Washington’s business as usual. Instead of the political agenda of the capitalist class – the insurance companies, the banks, the big industrialists – Trump has put himself on the agenda. He simply can’t shut up.
Washington, and behind it the wealthy class that runs this society, must be hoping that this investigation will put a lock on his mouth.
Trump is clearly a representative of his class: of the wealthy people who run this society. Arrogant people who believe they have every right in the world to say what they want, do what they want, whenever they want – and that no one will call them on it.
For most of Trump’s history, no one did call him to account. He piled up money by ripping off other people. He put businesses into bankruptcy, leaving wages unpaid, while he ran off not only with the money people had earned, but with the money he had borrowed. He hired immigrants without papers, paying them much lower wages. He was so hostile to any attempt to form a union in one of his businesses that he was actually cited by the courts for breaking labor laws – even courts that are not friendly to unions. He was an open sexual predator, bragging about his sexual prowess like a teen-age boy.
The ruling class was fine with all that – most of it was hidden. But now Trump sits in the White House, with a constant spotlight on him. And up until now, they haven’t been able to keep his mouth shut, nor his Twitter account shut down.
That’s what creates a problem for the rest of his class, the ruling capitalist class. Because he continues to brag openly about what the rest of them do, but don’t say. His braggadocio threatens them all.
If Trump can’t contain himself now that he’s under investigation, if he can’t resist throwing out wild statements, if his need for the constant spotlight can’t be stifled by the threat of impeachment, the rest of his own class may well decide he needs to be dumped. And if they decide it, Washington WILL impeach him.
Wherever this investigation now leads, one thing is clear right now. Trump – no matter how arrogant, how self-important he styles himself – does not stand alone. Even if Trump were to be removed by impeachment, the capitalist system will continue – just as it did when Nixon, threatened with impeachment, resigned.
The problem for working people is not whether Trump is to be impeached. Our problem is that Trump and his whole class, the capitalist class that runs this country, should be tossed aside, like the used-up trash they are. No congressional investigation is going to do that. No special prosecutor.
The only force that can do it, and has every reason to do it, is the working class – at the point it finally begins to move, tests its own strength, and comes to realize the power it can have collectively.