US Politics

In Democratic debate, Clinton presses Sanders on race, gender and support for Obama

By Patrick Martin, 13 February 2016

The increased appeal to identity issues reflects concerns in the ruling elite over signs that class questions are dominating the political thinking of broad layers of the population.

Socialist Alternative defends Sanders’ support for imperialist war

By Eric London, 13 February 2016

Socialist Alternative declares that Sanders’ support for US-led wars in the Middle East does “not negate the enormously progressive aspects of his campaign.”

Supreme Court blocks Obama plan on climate change

By John Burton, 12 February 2016

The Supreme Court has issued a summary order that effectively invalidates the Obama administration’s new regulations to lower carbon emissions from power plants.

The political role of the Bernie Sanders campaign

By Joseph Kishore, 11 February 2016

Sanders does not speak for the working class, but for a section of the ruling class and political establishment that views the growth of social opposition with fear and is seeking some way of containing it.

Sanders wins New Hampshire Democratic primary

By Patrick Martin, 10 February 2016

A candidate claiming to be socialist won the largest vote ever in the first US presidential primary.

Obama budget proposes increases in military, security spending

By Patrick Martin, 10 February 2016

The budget’s proposed increases in domestic spending are empty election-year posturing, but the increases in military and security spending will almost certainly be enacted.

The International Socialist Organization, Bernie Sanders and the Democratic Party

By Tom Hall and Barry Grey, 9 February 2016

A hallmark of the ISO, as with all the other organizations that comprise the anti-Marxist pseudo-left, is a rejection of any class analysis of political developments.

In New Hampshire debate: Republican frontrunner backs torture

By Patrick Martin, 8 February 2016

“I would bring back waterboarding and I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding,” billionaire Donald Trump declared, evoking applause from the Republican audience.

Hillary Clinton covers for Obama and Democrats in Flint water crisis

By Shannon Jones, 8 February 2016

In a visit to Flint on Sunday, Clinton sought to obscure the criminal role of Democratic officials at all levels of government in covering up the lead poisoning of residents.

Sanders and the left feint in capitalist politics

By Patrick Martin, 6 February 2016

Sanders is not the representative of a working class movement. He is rather the temporary beneficiary of a rising tide of popular opposition that is passing through only its initial stages of social and class differentiation.

Iowa Democratic Party rejects audit of caucus vote

By Barry Grey, 6 February 2016

The Des Moines Register published an editorial headlined “Something smells in the Democratic Party,” denouncing state party officials for refusing to agree to an audit or release details of the voting.

The Sanders vote in Iowa

By Patrick Martin, 3 February 2016

The mass support for Sanders explodes the myth, peddled endlessly by the American media, that the American people are unalterably wedded to capitalism.

Cruz wins Iowa Republican caucuses; Clinton and Sanders in near-tie

By Patrick Martin, 2 February 2016

Clinton’s margin over Bernie Sanders was razor-thin, while Cruz held a significant lead over Donald Trump and Marco Rubio.

On eve of first presidential contest: US two-party system in crisis

By Patrick Martin, 1 February 2016

Tonight’s Iowa caucuses mark the first primary contest in a presidential election campaign already characterized by political convulsions in both corporate-controlled parties.

“This is not a race issue—we need everyone to support this”

Detroit Public School students take a stand with teachers, spreading protests

By Nancy Hanover, 1 February 2016

High school students throughout Detroit speak up, walk out and protest to make their stand with teachers.

Republican debate in Iowa promotes war and reaction

By Patrick Martin, 30 January 2016

The seven candidates plumbed the depths of fear-mongering and racism even without billionaire demagogue Donald Trump.

Emergency meeting on the crisis in Detroit and Flint draws over one hundred workers and youth

By E.P. Bannon, 29 January 2016

The meeting, which was attended by teachers, city workers, autoworkers, students and other sections of the working class, discussed a political strategy for the entire working class.

Bernie Sanders mobilizes African American celebrities to help “keep hope alive”

By Nick Barrickman, 27 January 2016

In an effort to broaden his appeal, Democratic Party presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has shifted gears in recent weeks and begun making appeals to African American voters.

On eve of presidential primaries

Growing support for Sanders highlights US political crisis

By Tom Eley, 26 January 2016

The growth of working class opposition that underlies the support for Sanders is the main factor in the crisis that has emerged, in different forms, in both parties of big business in the current election campaign.

Escalating Michigan crisis overwhelms Obama’s visit to Detroit

By Andre Damon, 21 January 2016

Amid growing evidence of the Michigan government’s complicity in poisoning thousands of children in Flint, Obama boasted that “all kinds of good things are happening.”

The Flint water crisis and the criminality of American capitalism

By Jerry White, 20 January 2016

In a State of the State address, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder sought to cover up and evade responsibility for the poisoning of an American city.

Sanders in the Democratic debate: A “political revolution” that stops at the water’s edge

By Bill Van Auken, 19 January 2016

The attitude taken by the candidates toward the questions of war and US imperialism’s role in the world is the touchstone for understanding the real character of their politics.

Democratic Party demagogy in South Carolina debate

By Andre Damon, 18 January 2016

The three Democratic presidential candidates scrambled to out-do one another in populist denunciations of Wall Street in an effort to keep popular opposition bottled up within the Democratic Party.

Republican debate: Deeper into the swamp of bigotry and militarism

By Patrick Martin, 16 January 2016

The seven candidates sought to whip up fears over terrorism to justify policies of militarism abroad and attacks on democratic rights at home.

Obama’s State of the Union address and the breakdown of American democracy

By Eric London and Barry Grey, 14 January 2016

There is an objective significance to the reduction of the State of the Union address, an American political tradition that goes back to George Washington, to an empty and cynical media spectacle.

Iran releases US sailors in run-up to nuclear sanction relief

By Bill Van Auken, 14 January 2016

The incident served to highlight the deep divisions within the US political establishment over the nuclear deal.

Obama’s final State of the Union: Lies, evasions and threats

By Patrick Martin, 13 January 2016

Neither the US president nor his bipartisan congressional audience were capable of dealing honestly or seriously with the social crisis in America.

Supreme Court hears arguments in union dues case

By Shannon Jones, 12 January 2016

The lawsuit targets millions of dollars in union revenue from labor agreements that compel public employees to pay a fee to a union even if they choose not to be a member.

House Republican committee chairman attacks climate change scientists

By Matthew MacEgan, 12 January 2016

Lamar Smith has issued a subpoena to a group of climate change scientists who have shown that a global warming slowdown has not occurred over the past 15 years.

Obama seeks Silicon Valley aid to spy on social media

By Thomas Gaist, 9 January 2016

A delegation of top Obama administration officials met with tech industry leaders Friday as part of efforts to step up government spying on social media and other online communications.

Crocodile tears from the commander-in-chief

By Patrick Martin, 7 January 2016

Obama professes to mourn for children killed by gun violence while presiding over a never-ending escalation of military violence around the world.

Bernie Sanders poses as an opponent of Wall Street in New York speech

By Tom Hall, 6 January 2016

Sanders’ pledge to break up the major Wall Street banks during his first year in office came with a caveat that rendered it toothless.

Trump pushes racist attack on immigrants, Muslims

By Patrick Martin, 5 January 2016

The first television ad released by the Republican frontrunner reiterates his most openly racist comments from the campaign.

After grand jury whitewash in Tamir Rice killing

More police murders across the US

By Tom Eley, 30 December 2015

Police have taken repeated exonerations, often in the face of overwhelming evidence, as in the murder of Tamir Rice, as a green light for more violence.

Obama, Trump and the working class

By Niles Williamson, 30 December 2015

Trump’s ability to exploit grievances and popular anger for reactionary purposes is due above all to what passes for “left” in official American politics, exemplified by Obama, which has nothing but hostility and contempt for the working class.

Winter storms kill dozens across US South and Midwest

By Shannon Jones, 29 December 2015

As usual in such disasters, hardest hit were working class communities where less well constructed homes as well as trailers were flattened by unusual December tornadoes.

Obama administration prepares raids on Central American immigrants

By Patrick Martin, 28 December 2015

Most of those targeted are women and children who have sought to escape gang attacks, drug-related violence and brutality by US-backed security services in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

Socialist Alternative forms group to support Sanders campaign

By Eric London, 24 December 2015

Efforts to create a phony “left” veneer for sections of the political establishment have become an increasingly important axis upon which the fate of capitalism relies.

Obama responds to terror scare over San Bernardino attack

By Patrick Martin, 19 December 2015

The propaganda campaign over San Bernardino aims to shift US politics even further to the right and overcome popular opposition to expanded military operations in the Middle East.

US Congress passes $1.8 trillion spending and tax package

By Kate Randall, 19 December 2015

The deal includes restrictions on the visa-waiver program and a cybersecurity measure that removes restrictions on direct information sharing by companies with government agencies.

Republican “debate” in Las Vegas

A two-hour commercial for militarism and fear-mongering

By Patrick Martin, 16 December 2015

The event was devoted entirely to whipping up fears over terrorism and presenting mass repression and military violence as the solution.

The International Socialist Organization, police violence and the Democratic Party

By Marcus Day, 16 December 2015

The ISO has sought to obscure the class issues surrounding police murder in Chicago, promote racial politics and prevent a break with the Democratic Party.

Obama vows expanded war in Syria

By Joseph Kishore, 15 December 2015

In remarks at the Pentagon, President Obama sought to counter his critics within the political establishment by vowing to escalate US military operations in Syria.

“Left” propagandists for escalation of imperialist war

By Bill Van Auken, 15 December 2015

A collection of pseudo-left groups that have promoted the CIA-orchestrated proxy war in Syria as a “revolution” are now agitating for a major escalation.

US Supreme Court considering end to “one person, one vote” principle

By John Burton, 15 December 2015

Last week, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in cases brought to abolish the basic democratic principle that legislative districts be apportioned based on total population.

Social inequality and the disintegration of the American middle class

By David Walsh, 12 December 2015

The decline of the middle classes in America has profound and revolutionary implications.

Republican Party crisis deepens over Trump anti-Muslim statements

By Patrick Martin, 12 December 2015

Top party leaders reportedly met in Washington to discuss the possibility of a brokered convention to nominate the Republican presidential candidate.

US Supreme Court justice argues black students should attend inferior schools

By Tom Carter, 12 December 2015

Sixty years after court-ordered school desegregation, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia argued that black students would be better off attending schools where classes would not be “too fast for them.”

The New York Times, fascism and Donald Trump

By Joseph Kishore, 11 December 2015

What most concerns the Times is that the crude politics of Trump shatters the lying rhetoric used by Democrats and Republicans alike to justify the policies of the ruling class.

Trump: The ugly reality of American politics

By Patrick Martin, 10 December 2015

The emergence of an open racist as the leading Republican presidential contender is a consequence of decades of imperialist war and the brutalization of American society.

Obama’s San Bernardino speech and the rightward lurch of US politics

By Barry Grey, 8 December 2015

The drumbeat for military escalation is the result of a calculated decision to utilize the San Bernardino killings to overcome growing popular disaffection and opposition to war.

Obama’s crisis speech on San Bernardino attack

By Patrick Martin, 7 December 2015

Obama’s speech Sunday night from the White House reflected the growing political crisis in his administration, amidst mounting calls for an expansion of the US war drive in Syria.

US Congress passes corporate-backed highway construction bill

By Patrick Martin, 5 December 2015

The five-year, $305 billion bill provides a huge subsidy to construction companies, agribusiness and export giants like Boeing, while keeping mass transit programs on rations.

Top Democrat in New York legislature convicted of corruption on all counts

By Philip Guelpa, 2 December 2015

In one of two ongoing corruption trials of prominent New York politicians, Sheldon Silver was convicted on seven counts of honest services fraud, extortion and money laundering.

Planned Parenthood shooter motivated by right-wing smear campaign

By Tom Carter, 30 November 2015

Responsibility for the deadly attack in Colorado Springs on Friday rests with the ringleaders of the ultra-right campaign against Planned Parenthood.

Trump spews racism and anti-Muslim bigotry

By Patrick Martin, 28 November 2015

Currently leading in the polls for the Republican presidential nomination, the billionaire backs torture, and forced registration of Muslim Americans in preparation for mass detention.

Hillary Clinton calls for escalation of US war in Syria, Iraq

By Bill Van Auken, 20 November 2015

The leading Democratic candidate advocated a no-fly zone in Syria, along with more special forces troops and intensified bombing.

Sanders outlines pro-capitalist, pro-war positions in speech on “democratic socialism”

By Patrick Martin, 20 November 2015

In a speech Thursday, Bernie Sanders presented a version of “socialism” that is based on support for war and “private companies that thrive and invest and grow in America.”

Trudeau promises Obama an enhanced Canada-US partnership

By Roger Jordan, 20 November 2015

In his first formal meeting with Obama, Canada’s Prime Minister pledged closer economic and security collaboration with the US, including in the war in Iraq and Syria.

The class character of the student protests on US campuses

By David Walsh, 17 November 2015

The student protests initiated over the past two weeks have a decidedly upper middle class character, aimed not at fighting for social equality but at carving out greater privileges for relatively privileged African American and other minority professionals.

Obama backs $607 billion Pentagon bill that bars Guantanamo closing

By Bill Van Auken, 12 November 2015

Nearly seven years after the US president promised to shut down the infamous prison camp, he is again signing into law a bill that mandates it remain open.

At Republican presidential debate

“Wages are too high,” declares billionaire Trump

By Patrick Martin, 12 November 2015

Tuesday night’s Republican debate was a blunt expression of the class policy of the US financial elite: cut wages to boost corporate profits.

Netanyahu visits White House seeking massive arms aid

By Patrick Martin, 11 November 2015

The main topic of discussion was a bid to increase the US military subsidy to Israel from $3 billion a year to $5 billion.

Leading New York state politicians on trial for corruption

By Philip Guelpa, 9 November 2015

The corruption trials of two prominent New York politicians, Democrat Sheldon Silver and Republican Dean Skelos, on fraud, extortion, bribery, and other charges, begin this month.

Republicans make limited gains in off-year US election

By a reporter, 6 November 2015

Scattered state and local elections saw extremely low turnout and high levels of campaign spending by “independent” political action committees financed by the wealthy.

US ramps up pressure on Beijing over South China Sea

By Peter Symonds, 4 November 2015

The violation of Chinese maritime claims has nothing to do with upholding international law but is part of Washington’s “pivot to Asia” aimed at subordinating China to US interests.

US moves to dismiss insider trading charges in SAC Capital case

By Gabriel Black, 3 November 2015

The new judicial standard for insider trading cases established in a federal appeals court ruling in December amounts to a legal green light for illegal financial manipulation.

The elevation of Paul Ryan as US House speaker

By Patrick Martin, 2 November 2015

Ryan’s political views, once considered so extreme that even most Republicans were reluctant to cast votes for his budget plans, are now presented as “mainstream” or even “moderate.”

US-Pakistan summit fails to paper over growing strategic rift

By Sampath Perera and Keith Jones, 31 October 2015

Pakistani authorities have issued increasingly alarmed warnings that the US has upset the balance of power in South Asia through its military-strategic embrace of India.

Socialist Alternative proposes electoral alliance with Seattle Democrats

By Eric London, 31 October 2015

The pseudo-left group says that the election of a slate of Democrats to the Seattle City Council “would be a big step forward.”

The third Republican debate: The myth of “big government”

By Patrick Martin, 30 October 2015

The debate was dominated by demands for an end to all government regulation of big business and the destruction of social programs like Medicare and Social Security.

Obama reaches right-wing budget, debt deal with Republicans

By Patrick Martin, 28 October 2015

The bipartisan agreement favors the Pentagon and includes new cuts in Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security disability benefits.

UK’s courting of China sours relations with Washington

By Robert Stevens, 26 October 2015

US officials and advisors have warned that London is “playing a dangerous game” in developing its economic relations with Beijing.

Republican ultra-right faction backs Ryan as US House leader

By Patrick Martin, 26 October 2015

An advocate of the privatization of Medicare and elimination of most federal social programs, Ryan was nonetheless considered not right-wing enough by many in the House Freedom Caucus.

Pediatricians group calls for screening all US children for hunger

By Patrick Martin, 24 October 2015

The recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics is based on studies showing that 16 million US children are “food insecure.”

After the Democratic presidential debate

Pseudo-left groups step up promotion of Sanders and the Democrats

By Barry Grey, 24 October 2015

Behind the squabble over how to adapt to and promote the Sanders campaign, both Socialist Alternative and the ISO work to block the emergence of an independent political movement of the working class.

Clinton testifies before House Benghazi committee

By Patrick Martin, 23 October 2015

The televised circus in Washington covered up the real issue: the alliance of the US government with Al Qaeda forces in regime-change operations in both Libya and Syria.

Bernie Sanders endorses Obama’s decision to keep troops in Afghanistan

By Patrick Martin, 19 October 2015

The Democratic candidate for president refused to rule out unilateral US military action.

Bernie Sanders backs the prosecution of Edward Snowden

By Tom Hall, 17 October 2015

The call by Sanders for Snowden to be jailed for his exposure of illegal NSA spying starkly reveals his support for the American military-intelligence apparatus.

Bernie Sanders, the Democratic Party and socialism

By Joseph Kishore, 15 October 2015

Sanders proposes nothing that is genuinely socialist, combining a series of modest reform proposals with a defense of capitalism and support for imperialist war.

Democratic presidential debate: Nervousness and demagogy

By our reporter, 14 October 2015

The five candidates feigned sympathy with the problems of working people, but offered no solutions to the crisis of the capitalist system.

Obama’s “60 Minutes” interview and the crisis of US policy in Syria

By Barry Grey, 13 October 2015

Under aggressive questioning from moderator Steve Kroft, Obama was unable to present a coherent explanation of either the purpose of the war in Syria or the reasons for the fiasco to date of Washington’s drive to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

McCarthy withdrawal highlights deepening Republican Party crisis

By Patrick Martin, 9 October 2015

The Republican crisis has something of the character of a political iceberg, with nine-tenths or more beneath the surface.

Planned Parenthood fights congressional witch-hunt

By Evan Blake, 8 October 2015

The congressional hearing for Planned Parenthood, the most recent target of a right-wing smear campaign, showcased the degraded state of official politics in Washington.

A reply to redbaiting by the general counsel of the Detroit AFL-CIO

By Eric London, 8 October 2015

The UAW has called on the Metro Detroit AFL-CIO’s lead counsel, Bruce Miller, to launch a dishonest and desperate attack on the WSWS and the Autoworker Newsletter.

Actor Matt Damon repudiates criticisms, embraces Obama

By David Walsh, 8 October 2015

Damon, who made a series of critical comments about President Barack Obama starting in 2011, has had a change of heart.

Bernie Sanders backs Obama on Syria war

By Patrick Martin, 7 October 2015

The Vermont senator and presidential candidate issued a statement supporting the Obama’s policy of airstrikes against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

The New York Times discovers a problem: Too many political parties

By Patrick Martin, 3 October 2015

According to an editorial in the leading US newspaper, voters should have fewer choices.

Surge of small donations helps Sanders match Clinton fund-raising

By Patrick Martin, 2 October 2015

The Vermont senator raised $26 million in the third quarter, compared to $28 million for the Democratic Party presidential frontrunner.

Behind the resignation of US House Speaker Boehner

By Patrick Martin, 28 September 2015

The ouster of the speaker of the House of Representatives demonstrates the growing influence of the ultra-right in official Washington.

Pakistan expresses alarm over ever-expanding US-India strategic partnership

By Sampath Perera, 28 September 2015

In the run-up to today’s meeting between Indian Prime Minister Modi and US President Obama, New Delhi and Washington have further enhanced their military-security ties.