SEP Summer School 2021 Lecture

The Democrats, the pseudo-left and the cover-up of the January 6 coup

The following lecture was delivered at the Socialist Equality Party (US) 2021 summer school, held August 1 through August 6, by Jacob Crosse, a writer for the World Socialist Web Site. All of the major reports to the school will be published on the WSWS in the coming days.

This report concerns the central role of the Democratic Party and its pseudo-left appendages in downplaying and covering up the fascist insurrection of January 6. The response of the Democrats, a party of Wall Street and the Central Intelligence Agency, has been to chloroform the working class and uphold the legitimacy of the Republican Party. At the same time, they appeal to their Republican “colleagues” to carry out their shared class agenda of ruthless capitalist exploitation at home and imperialist war abroad, specifically “Great Power” conflict with Russia and China.

Within 48 hours of Trump’s attempted coup, Washington D.C. was transformed into a ring of steel. Seven-foot-high non-scalable fencing was erected around the Capitol complex, and eventually over 25,000 National Guardsmen were deployed. Despite the massive show of force, Democrats remained fearful of another attack, perhaps from within the military or from “across the aisle.”

President Joe Biden’s banal January 20 inauguration address sought to obscure the political forces behind the attack, as characterized by Joe Kishore in the WSWS January 21 perspective titled “Biden’s inaugural address: Banality and empty abstractions to cover over reality.” He drew attention to Biden’s attempt to transform “the attempted coup into the abstract operation of disembodied ‘violence.’ It was, according to Biden, ‘violence’ that stormed the Capitol.”

Comrade Kishore explained it was not abstract or disembodied “violence” that stormed the Capitol. Enraged petty-bourgeois elements, fascist dust, Republican operatives, QAnon adherents and retired and current police and military officers stormed the Capitol on the orders of Trump, who had the backing of the majority of the Republican Party, along with sections of the financial oligarchy, and the police, military and intelligence apparatus.

President Biden, a defender and representative of the capitalist state for over 50 years, obviously drew no attention to this reality during his inauguration speech, nor did he comment on the fact that the fascists, who demanded an overturn of the election, were the same elements summoned by Trump and big capital to oppose any measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Nearly eight months after the attempted coup, Biden’s calls for a “strong Republican Party” have been met with intransigent GOP resistance in Congress to his legislative agenda and ongoing threats of fascistic violence directed at his fellow Democrats in Congress. Biden has said virtually nothing about Trump’s ongoing attempts to overturn the election through unconstitutional recounts and “forensic ballot” analysis conducted by private businesses with links to the Republican Party. Meanwhile, American democracy is rotting on its feet.

It is the task of the Trotskyist movement to provide Marxist political leadership to the revolutionary working class, independent of the reactionary capitalist parties and the sclerotic, corrupt trade unions, through the formation of our rank-and-file committees. By turning towards the working class and patiently explaining the historical tasks, we can build the mass socialist movement that will command the respect of the best layers of the middle class, forestall the rise of fascism and bring about the radical transformation of society.

The immediate aftermath of the failed coup

In the immediate aftermath of the coup, the Republicans were in disarray as Democrats launched their second impeachment of Trump. Leading Republicans, such as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, tried to distance themselves from the coup, even mildly criticizing Trump in their first speeches before Congress following the insurrection. Both placed blame on Trump, while omitting their roles in propagating his fascistic lies that the election was stolen.

These mild recriminations against Trump quickly evaporated as it became apparent that Biden had no appetite for an impeachment trial, even as the danger of fascistic violence permeated the Capitol and the armed forces.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, former CENTCOM (United States Central Command) commander and board member at Raytheon Technologies, Nucor Corp. and Tenet Healthcare, announced an unprecedented “stand-down” to address “extremism in the ranks.” The Pentagon chief needed to make sure he still had control of the soldiers and officers.

In a January 28 press conference Nancy Pelosi, who had already ordered metal detectors installed outside the House floor, stated that funding for more security was needed, “when the enemy is within the House of Representatives.” Asked to clarify, Pelosi replied, “It means we have members of Congress that want to bring guns on the floor and have threatened violence on other members of Congress.”

Despite controlling both houses of Congress and the presidency, leading Democrats admitted they remained terrified at the prospect of political violence from their “Republican colleagues.”

In the WSWS January 29 perspective, “The Democratic Party and the fascist ‘enemy within’,” Patrick Martin wrote: “The unwillingness and incapacity of the Democratic Party to defend democratic principles, even when the physical survival of its own representatives is directly threatened, is a warning to the working class.”

The Democrats, in their haste to welcome Trump’s co-conspirators back into the fold and “move on” from the coup, sought to downplay and cover up Republican duplicity in Trump’s plans, placing the blame solely on Trump in the lead-up to and during the Senate trial.

Throughout January, the corporate media helped facilitate this cover-up and the reconciliation with the Republican Party, heaping praise on Biden’s overtures to Trump’s party of co-conspirators. The media held up arch-conservative Liz Cheney, the daughter of former vice president under George W. Bush, the war criminal Dick Cheney, as a defender of “democracy,” for being one of 10 House Republicans to vote to advance the articles of impeachment to the Senate.

In a January 21 appearance on the Seth Meyers show, which he retweeted to his followers the next day, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders put forth the basic line of the Democratic Party, stating that it would be “best to reach out to the Republicans.”

While the cable and television news networks replayed videos of the attack and reported accurately on the arrests of the low-level fascist thugs of the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys who stormed the Capitol, they refused to ask obvious questions about the deliberate sabotage of the building’s defenses, including the lack of intelligence warnings, from the multitrillion-dollar spy apparatus. We know now that reporters for the Washington Post were sitting on startling revelations, demonstrating the awareness of Trump’s coup plans at the highest levels of the state, such as General Mark Milley’s comments about the run-up to January 6 being “a Reichstag moment, the gospel of the führer.”

After Vice President Mike Pence refused Democratic overtures to invoke the 25th Amendment and declare Trump incompetent to continue in office, the House of Representatives on January 13, in a near party-line vote, advanced the articles of impeachment to the Senate. After the vote, Biden officials made it clear that the overriding concern of the incoming administration was not to hold the would-be führer accountable and expose the complicity of a majority of the Republican party in the coup.

Biden, himself a five-decade servant to the banking industry, credit card companies and war-profiteers, called for “healing,” while rejecting calls from some within his party to demand the resignation of Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, the two senators who led the opposition to certification of the Electoral College results, even after the coup attempt.

Biden refused to demand, or even give nominal support, for the invocation of the 25th Amendment to have Trump removed from office. His silence came even as some “left” Democrats, such as New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Missouri Representative Cori Bush, briefly demanded its invocation on social media.

The fecklessness of Biden strengthened Trump and emboldened his fascist allies. Two weeks after the House vote, 45 out of 50 Senate Republicans voted “yes” on a motion to quash the impeachment trial before it even began. The measure, put forward by far-right Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, a libertarian, and backed by 90% of the Republican senators, signaled that Trump’s upcoming impeachment trial would end like the first, with his acquittal.

Only the World Socialist Web Site asked what kind of government and agenda would emerge from Biden and the Democrats’ collaboration with Republican fascists. In a January 28 perspective, “Republicans unite behind Trump,” Barry Grey wrote:

Biden and the Democrats argue that they have to unite with the Republicans to get their agenda passed. That poses the question: What kind of agenda requires the support of fascists and their allies?

The Democrats’ abject cowardice and complicity serve to dull the consciousness of the masses of people, burnish the image of Trump and the Republicans and spread the fatal illusion that all is well. All of those who seek to minimize the fascist assault on the Capitol, incited and supported by the US commander in chief, are guilty of politically disarming the working class and strengthening the neo-fascist right.

While the Democrats sought to build a coalition government with “reasonable” Republicans like Cheney and Air Force pilot and war-hawk Illinois Representative Adam Kinzinger, the Socialist Equality Party laid out a clear independent path forward for the working class, warning that no faith could be placed in the Democratic Party to carry out an independent investigation into the coup. Calling for a general strike against the coup threat, we called on the working class to do what the Democrats would not—demand the arrest of Trump and his co-conspirators in the Republican Party and government agencies and an independent investigation into the attack.

The second Senate trial of Donald J. Trump

On the first day of the Senate trial, February 9, the Democrats released an 80-page brief detailing Trump’s obvious guilt in the attempted coup, while omitting the key role played by his Republican co-conspirators in propagating his election lies. The brief also neglected to mention any reference to the first time Trump threatened a coup and to invoke the Insurrection Act, six months prior, during his June 1, 2020 speech before going out publicly on Lafayette Square.

The Democratic Party’s omissions were on purpose, as Barry Grey explained in a February 9 perspective, “The Senate trial of Donald Trump: The questions that must be answered.” He wrote:

The Democrats have no desire to expose the extent of the conspiracy, because this would involve an exposure of the underlying political and social conditions of which the Trump administration is an expression.

The three-day trial was over almost before it began. The truncated proceedings were hastened even further after the Democrats refused to call witnesses, even after Washington Republican Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler came forward with evidence that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was in contact with Trump as the coup was ongoing. In a statement later submitted in writing, Herrera Beutler provided evidence of Trump refusing McCarthy’s request to call off the attack. Trump instead aligned himself with his fascist mob, telling McCarthy that they apparently cared more about the election than McCarthy did.

Throughout the trial Democrats upheld the “courageous and patriotic” arch-reactionary Vice President Mike Pence, while appealing to the Republicans on moral and national security grounds. Texas Democratic Representative Joaquin Castro urged his Republican colleagues to vote to convict in order to strengthen the world position of American imperialism against its foreign rivals. Castro pointed to “Russian, Iranian, and Chinese influence actors” seizing “the opportunity to amplify narratives in furtherance of their policy interest amid the presidential transition.”

Covering for the complicity of key sections of the US security state in the coup, the role of the military in delaying the dispatch National Guard troops to the Capitol was completely omitted throughout the trial. Nothing was said about the role of the U.S. Capitol Police in sabotaging the defense of the Capitol. No explanations were given as to how the FBI failed to designate January 6 a National Security Special Event or even issue a threat assessment, despite Democratic impeachment managers providing evidence during the trial that the White House was monitoring social media accounts calling for a “MAGA militia” to descend on D.C. The Democratic House impeachment managers did everything they could throughout the trial to blind the working class to the scope and scale of the coup, in order to protect the institutions of the state and block the growth of a movement against the financial oligarchy that produced Trump.

The collapse of the bipartisan select committee

Following the failed impeachment trial of Trump, enormous questions remained unanswered regarding the role of the police, military, Republican officials and financiers in the attempted coup. Far from seeking to answer all or any of these questions and expose the emergence of fascist tendencies in the center of world imperialism, in a public trial broadcast around the world, Pelosi and the Democrats sought to cover up and conceal the connections between the state and the Republican Party in order to preserve the GOP as an instrument of class rule. This effort would initially take the form of the proposal for a “bipartisan” commission, modeled on the commission that covered up key issues in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

After months of back-and-forth negotiations, on April 22, with thousands of National Guard troops still stationed at the Capitol, Pelosi announced she had agreed to major concessions demanded by Trump’s accomplices in order to formally establish the commission. Her capitulation to Republican demands included accepting a 50-50 representation on the committee and a formula which would require Republican support to issue subpoenas. For her capitulation to the Trump’s co-conspirators, Pelosi received resounding endorsements in the editorial pages of the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post and the New York Times.

The only Republican demand the Democrats did not accept was that the commission broaden its “scope” to include the summer protests against police violence as part of its purview, making a filthy equivalence between the thousands of multiracial protests against state violence and Trump’s insurrection against bourgeois democracy.

Serving as commissioners on the committee would be trusted Republican and Democratic national security officials responsible for innumerable war crimes and the evisceration of democratic rights globally. It was modeled after the bipartisan September 11, 2001 commission, which covered up the role of intelligence agencies and the Saudi government in facilitating the terrorist attacks. We wrote at the time:

[T]he January 6 commission is being promoted not to reveal the true extent of the fascistic plot to keep Trump in office, for fear of the explosive political and social consequences, but to politically rehabilitate the Republican Party and prop up the two-party political system through which the corporate-financial oligarchy rules. Both before and after January 6, the Democrats have promoted the false narrative that Trump alone is the source of the attack on bourgeois-democratic forms of rule, rather than the embodiment of the protracted decline and putrefaction of American capitalism and its entire ruling elite.

Even as fascist Republicans, such as millionaire freshman Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene accosted Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the hallways of the Capitol and issued not so thinly veiled death threats to the “Jihad Squad,” the House, with minimal Republican support, passed the bipartisan proposal on May 18. After the bill’s passage in the House, Trump demanded Senate Republicans reject the committee, calling it a “Democratic trap.” Heeding his instructions, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stated his opposition to the committee the following day, calling it “slanted and unbalanced,” leaving it dead in the water. In a Senate vote held on May 28, the proposal for a commission failed to overcome a filibuster, defeated by a vote of 54-35, less than the 60 votes needed. Only six Republicans backed the commission, while nine GOP senators and two Democrats abstained from voting.

The failure to set up the bipartisan commission coincided with ongoing revelations detailing the deliberate security stand-down by Trump-loyal elements in the state. The World Socialist Web Site was the only publication to report on every “flash report” from U.S. Capitol Police Inspector General Michael Bolton and key House and Senate committee investigations into the coup and draw the necessary historical conclusions about the role of the capitalist state.

The “flash” and committee reports detailed numerous security failures for which there is no innocent explanation, including on the day of the coup: U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) being barred from using “less-lethal” crowd control munitions; USCP surveillance teams deployed against a few counter-protesters while hundreds of Proud Boys were ignored; former House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving deliberately moving security barricades the day before the coup allowing a clear path to Capitol; Capitol Police Chief Steve Sund ignoring intelligence reports stating that “Congress itself” would be the target on January 6, while claiming that the USCP had “a good plan for the 6th”; Capitol Police leadership being AWOL as the coup was unfolding, refusing to give orders over the radio; rank-and-file police not briefed on the threat and not equipped to deal with the armed and violent crowd. In addition, the Capitol Police’s version of a SWAT team, which was trained by former U.S. Special Forces soldiers who idolize the Nazi SS, refused to deploy or carry out its security task in safeguarding congressional members.

Subsequent reporting has confirmed that U.S. Capitol Police and District of Columbia (D.C.) Metropolitan Police were given radios by the FBI that had the radio channels that the fascist militias would be using pre-programmed into them, further exploding claims that the attack was unforeseen. Instead, the question is how much of a direct role did the FBI play in facilitating the attack? Besides the chairman of the Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio, being a known FBI informant, Florida Proud Boys leader and Iraq War veteran Joe Biggs has also confirmed his relationship with the domestic intelligence agency. Meanwhile, Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, who was present on the Capitol grounds during the siege and named in multiple charging documents against others, has yet to be arrested. He continues to be a credentialed presence at Republican events, including at the most recent Conservative Political Action Conference.

Less than three weeks after the bipartisan commission collapsed, the Senate Homeland Security and Rules committee released an extremely limited joint cover-up report on its investigation into January 6. While confirming that the Capitol Police, FBI and Department of Homeland Security were well aware weeks in advance that pro-Trump elements were planning an attack on Congress to stop the Electoral College certification, the report left out the key role of the coup-plotter-in-chief, Trump himself!

In the weeks since that report’s release, Trump has repeatedly held up the “investigation” to exonerate his role in the coup, pointing to the fact that nowhere in the report does it blame him for the insurrection, a word which is also omitted in the report by Democrats at the request of their Republican colleagues.

The complacent pseudo-left and the DSA campaign against Trotsky

While the World Socialist Web Site has fought to raise the consciousness of workers regarding the fascist threat, writing over 140 articles concerning the January 6 coup attempt, as well as several articles denouncing the far-right and fascistic attacks against Democratic Party officials like Ocasio-Cortez, and statements opposing right-wing recall campaigns against Seattle City Council Member Kshama Sawant and California Governor Gavin Newsom, the response of the pseudo-left has been the polar opposite. They are terrified of any appeal to the working class and are oriented to upholding the Democratic Party. The magazine Jacobin, for example, closely tied to the Democratic Socialists of America, on the handful of occasions it has even written about the coup, has sought to downplay its significance entirely.

In a January 8, 2021 article written by Genevieve Leigh, titled “Jacobin’s Bhaskar Sunkara on Trump’s January 6 coup: ‘Nothing to see here!’”, it cited tweets on the day of the coup by the founding editor and publisher of Jacobin, Bhaskar Sunkara. In one, he laments “extreme labels for bad things,” followed by another tweet in which he expresses his confidence in the “stability of US republican institutions.” Following in Sunkara’s steps, leading Jacobin writers Branko Marcetic and Julia Damphouse likewise downplayed the coup, with the latter telling her followers to “get a grip.”

The January 8 comment explained:

Jacobin’s denial of the scale of the crisis, its insistence on the “stability of US republican institutions” is bound up with its organic hostility to revolution. Jacobin’s politics—and this is the politics of the Democratic Socialists of America as a whole—is based on the claim that social reform will be achieved within the framework of the Democratic Party and the capitalist system…

Those who make up the editorial board of Jacobin, speaking for privileged sections of the upper-middle class, are characterized by their complacency, opportunism and unseriousness. Everything they write is aimed at containing the growing social opposition from below.

The upper-middle-class writers of Jacobin were not alone in their prognosis of January 6 being a non-event. The International Marxist Tendency, “left” defenders of capitalism since their break with the Fourth International decades ago, likewise wrote that what happened on January 6 was “far from” an “insurrectionary coup.” A week later, following the line of journalist Chris Hedges, as well as Joe Lauria of Consortium News, the IMT declared that the far greater threat to democracy was the censorship of Trump’s twitter account.

Beginning in March, the DSA, after declaring there was “nothing to see here” regarding the first fascist coup attempt in US history, embarked on a vicious social media campaign denouncing the WSWS as “bad faith actors,” while celebrating the 1940 assassination of Leon Trotsky by Stalinist GPU agent Ramon Mercader.

This campaign was launched in response to several WSWS articles written by Eric London exposing a series of lies voiced by Ocasio-Cortez in an interview with the DSA’s Democratic Left magazine published March 19. This publication has written nothing about the ongoing revelations concerning January 6 which detail the intimate connections between the Republican Party, fascist militia groups and elements of the security state in facilitating Trump’s coup.

Seeking to conceal the ongoing danger and to build up the Democratic Party as a legitimate instrument of working-class resistance, capable of being “pushed to the left,” Ocasio-Cortez heaped praise on the Democratic Party while claiming that a left, i.e., Marxist, evaluation of the oldest capitalist party in the United States was “a really privileged critique.” As thousands of migrant children remained detained in concentration camps along the US-Mexico border and Biden continued to launch air strikes in the Middle East and Africa, Ocasio-Cortez, claimed that right-wing Democratic politicians were “totally reinventing themselves in a far more progressive direction” since the election of Biden.

The interview, conducted by longtime AFL-CIO operative Don McIntosh, took place on January 27. Despite the interview taking place roughly three weeks after Trump’s coup, Ocasio-Cortez, herself a frequent target of far-right death threats, made no mention of the attempted coup or the ongoing danger of fascist violence.

As the WSWS exposures of Ocasio-Cortez racked up over 100,000 unique views and was shared across multiple social media platforms among their own members, the leadership of the DSA and YDSA reacted by solidarizing themselves with the monstrous crimes committed by Stalin and his totalitarian bureaucracy, spreading memes celebrating the assassination of Trotsky. An Open Letter to Maria Svart, National Director the DSA, written by David North, and posted in May, has yet to be answered. This silence exemplifies the political bankruptcy of this long-time appendage of the Democratic Party.

Furthermore, just last week, Jacobin writer Branko Marcetic wrote another article concerning the Michigan plot, not to warn the working class that the state was cultivating fascist militia groups but to stand up for fascist militia members supposedly “entrapped” by the FBI, based on reporting by Buzzfeed which, according to Marcetic, “all but confirms this was the case.” Again, the concern is not for the democratic rights of the working class threatened by Trump or his ultra-right accomplices but the democratic rights of the fascists themselves.

Glenn Greenwald: From pseudo-left guest speaker to Fox News apologist

Joining Jacobin, Trump and the Republican Party in downplaying the attempted coup and claiming that the real danger and concern to emerge from the Michigan plot and the storming of the Capitol is not the rise of fascism in the US but Trump’s access to Twitter and the threat of “neo-liberals” expanding the security state, is libertarian journalist Glenn Greenwald.

Greenwald and other upper-middle-class journalists, such as John Pilger, Chris Hedges and the sometimes-comedian Jimmy Dore, will readily admit they are not Marxists and do not see the working class as a revolutionary class or socialist revolution as the only way out of the historical crisis of world capitalism. They do not view reality and history through the prism of class struggle but instead rely on impressionistic and vulgar interpretations of events, in many cases, purposely divorced from the context in which they take place.

Greenwald exemplifies most vividly an unmoored middle-class approach to the Trump attempted coup. After the coup his initial tweet was to wonder how it was possible for the Capitol, one of the most secure buildings on the planet, to be overrun for hours by a relatively small mob.

“How have hundreds of billions upon hundreds of billions of dollars been spent in the name of security since 9/11, along with the deployment of drones and surveillance tech, yet a few hundred protesters can so easily breach the Capitol, just waltzing in and taking it over?” —GG January 6

However, within 24 hours Greenwald pivoted to denouncing Trump’s twitter ban.

“A handful of Silicon Valley oligarchs decided who can and cannot be heard, including the President of the United States. They exert the power unilaterally, with no standards, accountability or appeal. Politics now is begging them to silence adversaries or permit allies to speak.” —GG January 7

By February 5, Greenwald was chastising Democrats for refusing to work with Trump co-conspirators to combat “Big Tech.”

By the summer, Greenwald was favorably retweeting an admirer of Stalinism who said that January 6, 2021 “might be the least important date in the country’s entire history” and that the plot against Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer was an “inside job.”

He started repeating the talking points of lead “Stop the Steal” organizer and friend to the Oath Keepers militia, Paul Gosar (R-Arizona). Like Gosar, Greenwald advances the theory that Trump supporters and fascist militia members were entrapped by the FBI. While socialists are well aware of the role the domestic intelligence agencies play in upholding bourgeoisie class rule, Greenwald refuses to acknowledge the fact that the oppressive instruments of the capitalist state have long cultivated backward, racist and reactionary elements to bludgeon socialist and working-class resistance to capitalism, while turning a blind eye to the innumerable crimes committed by their “informants.”

In this context, Greenwald claimed “the most interesting question about 1/6 remains how embedded was the FBI in the 3 groups they say were behind it, and what did they know about what was being planned. That, of course, is what corporate journalists are least interested in asking ...”

Greenwald’s trajectory from darling of the pseudo-left to far-right apologist has been swift. During the late Obama years Greenwald was featured guest at the now-defunct International Socialist Organization conferences. Now he spends his days on Twitter defending “journalist” Tucker Carlson, attacking the World Socialist Web Site, propagating the Wuhan Lab Leak lie, and generally toeing the Republican line.

The fascist transformation of Trump’s Republican Party

After the collapse of the bipartisan committee following the Republican Senate’s filibuster, Nancy Pelosi announced that the House would instead create its own select committee to “investigate” the January 6 attack. Unlike the previous proposal, this committee would not be split 50-50; instead the Democrats would select eight members, while Republicans were allotted five, with the first hearing set to begin on July 27.

After meeting with Trump at his estate in New Jersey, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy named three Republicans to the committee who had voted to overturn the election, including leading Trump co-conspirators Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jim Banks of Indiana. After initially appearing to accept the provocation, Pelosi rejected Jordan and Banks, to which McCarthy responded by pulling all five nominees.

The attempt to blow up the committee by McCarthy took place only 11 days after Trump gave a fascistic diatribe at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas, which was attended by Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and III Percenters militia members, including Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes. Throughout Trump’s speech, inspired by Hitler, he repeated his lies about the “rigged” election, railed against communism and socialism, claimed socialists have “stolen our American heritage,” denounced the “China plague,” and upheld QAnon Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, killed on January 6, as a martyr.

In the July 12 perspective, “The CPAC conference and the fascist transformation of Trump’s Republican Party,” Eric London wrote that a clear warning must be made: “Donald Trump is consolidating power over the Republican Party, transforming it from a conservative bourgeois party into a fascist party with a personalist leader and a paramilitary wing.”

He drew special attention to the fascist speech given to CPAC by Trump adviser Stephen Miller, who claimed Trump was “defending this nation’s heritage, its culture, its values,” ending with the declaration, “We will triumph!” This, Comrade London wrote, “was an almost word-for-word repetition of the Nazi propaganda slogan ‘Wir werden siegen, weil uns Adolf Hitler führt’.” (“We will triumph, because Adolf Hitler is leading us.”)

While the Republican Party openly embraces fascism, the Democrats, with their obsessive promotion of race and identity politics and economic policies that lead to the further enrichment of the financial aristocracy, embolden the extreme right.

The Democrats’ fecklessness was further displayed in the first Select Committee held on July 27. While four police officers who defended the Capitol on January 6 gave impassioned testimony and first-hand accounts of the fascist mob’s intent to kidnap and kill elected officials in order to block the certification of Biden’s election, naming the author of this crime as Donald Trump, not a single Democrat on the committee spoke Trump’s name once.

Instead the Democrats once again left it to right-wing warhawk Liz Cheney, one of two anti-Trump Republicans appointed to the committee, to stress the importance of subpoenaing Republican officials to ascertain the “truth” of what happened in the White House before, during and after the coup attempt.

Once the hearing concluded, Democratic Chairman Bennie Thompson of Mississippi would not say when the next hearing would be held, except that it would likely be after the upcoming August recess. Continuing their efforts to cover up the coup in order to prosecute US imperialist war abroad and class war at home, neither Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez nor Bernie Sanders commented on the hearing.

It is only the SEP that is fighting to raise the class consciousness of the international working class, across racial, ethnic and national boundaries in a common struggle to overthrow the source of fascist threats to democratic rights: the capitalist system.