Thousands of Trump supporters, acting at his direction after a rally outside the White House, stormed the Capitol building Wednesday afternoon, putting a halt to the congressional session at which Trump’s defeat in the 2020 presidential election was being certified.
This is a coordinated, planned fascist insurrection. Trump supporters passed through police barricades outside the Capitol and entered the building without serious resistance. The passivity of the police in the face of an effort to seize Congress should be compared to the massive assault by police and national guard forces on anti-police violence protesters last June.
The response of President-elect Joseph Biden and the Democratic Party as a whole has been politically spineless. Rather than calling for Trump’s immediate removal from office and his arrest, as well as the detention of all the Republican senators and congressmen who have abetted his political conspiracy, Biden called upon Trump to “step up” and go on national television.
No one who is serious about stopping a coup d’etat urges its chief conspirator to address a nationwide audience of hundreds of millions.
This response is worse than pathetic. It is criminally irresponsible. In the midst of a fascist effort to suppress the certification of the election results, Biden leaves the outcome in the hands of the chief conspirator.
It should also be noted that hours have passed without any leading Democrat making a public statement appealing to the public to stop the fascist insurrectionists.
Trump has been preparing for this fascist coup through his continual attacks on the legitimacy of the November 3 election, which he lost by 7 million votes to Biden, and by a margin of 306-232 in the Electoral College. He mobilized support among Republicans in Congress for an effort to block the certification of Biden’s victory at a joint session today, and then directly encouraged the attack on the Capitol in his appearance in front of the crowd Wednesday.
In remarks that amount to direct incitement of violence, Trump said that the political crisis in Washington was no longer simply a matter of [alleged] election fraud, but of “national security, and different rules apply.” He was echoing the statement of his attorney Rudy Giuliani, who told the same crowd that the political conflict would be settled in a “trial by combat.”
The assault has accomplished its immediate aim, which is to halt the certification of the presidential election. The joint session of Congress called for that purpose was going through the roll of states alphabetically and stopped at Arizona when Republican congressmen and senators objected to certification of that state’s 11 electoral votes for Biden.
The events in Washington have totally vindicated the repeated warnings that have been made by the Socialist Equality Party and the World Socialist Web Site. It has been obvious for months that Trump and his co-conspirators would resort to violence to nullify the election if it went against Trump.
Following the first election debate last September, the WSWS stated :
Political reality has burst through the countless layers of deceitful propaganda of the corporate-financial oligarchy and exposed the undeniable fact that the White House is the political nerve center of a far-advanced conspiracy to establish a presidential dictatorship and suppress constitutionally guaranteed democratic rights.
In a statement posted Wednesday morning, the WSWS warned :
The United States Congress is meeting today to formally count the Electoral College votes in the 2020 presidential election. Under normal conditions, this process is a formality. Today’s vote, however, takes place under conditions of an active and ongoing effort by President Donald Trump to stage a coup d’état, nullify the results of the election and establish a presidential dictatorship.
Now that these warnings have been confirmed, it is imperative for all working people and youth to draw the appropriate political conclusions.
The defense of democratic rights is possible only through the political mobilization of the working class. The conspiracies of the fascist thugs must be countered by the creation of rank-and-file committees in factories, workplaces and neighborhoods to organize strike action and other forms of popular resistance to the efforts to set up a right-wing dictatorship.
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