Doing the Infrastructure Shuffle

How Schumer and Pelosi Normalize the Fascist Trump



Last Tuesday, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi (aka Screwmer and Piglosi)—the leaders of the Democratic Party—met with Trump for 90 minutes. They made a deal to push for $2 trillion to rebuild the transportation and communication infrastructure of the U.S. Schumer called the meeting “very, very good” and Pelosi gushed that “we’re very excited about the conversation we had with the president.” Pelosi herself had requested the meeting with Trump.

What else happened in the days before, during, and after this meeting? The morning of the meeting itself, the U.S. and its puppets in Venezuela launched an attempted military coup against the government. Two days after the meeting, a report came out that the U.S. is killing 10 times more civilians in its undeclared wars than previously reported. That same day, the Senate refused to overturn Trump’s veto of a resolution to end U.S. support for the genocidal Saudi war against Yemen.

The day before the meeting, the Pentagon announced plans for an expanded military role at the border. The Trump/Pence regime put into effect new fees and restrictions for asylum seekers, which will mean that many people fleeing violence will be put inside U.S. prisons while they wait years for their hearings. A day after the meeting, a 16-year-old Guatemalan immigrant became the third child fleeing violence to die in U.S. custody. And a day after that, a 10-month-old Honduran infant drowned when the raft he was on capsized in the Rio Grande, with three other people also feared dead.

The Friday before the meeting, Trump (again) praised Robert E. Lee, amid new reports of rising white supremacist violence. Alabama passed the most restrictive anti-abortion law in the U.S.—encouraged by the Trump/Pence regime’s packing of the federal courts with abortion opponents. Three days later, the Trump/Pence regime expanded the so-called “conscience rule,” which allows religious institutions (including hospitals and schools) to discriminate against women and LGBTQ people in health care.

And for good measure, the regime rolled back safety regulations on off-shore drilling.

But worst of all, this Schumer/Pelosi meeting with Trump took place in the direct aftermath of the Mueller report. The report laid out Trump’s multiple and repeated attempts to use executive power to obstruct justice. There for all to see were clear assaults on the rule of law and separation of powers.

And instead of calling this out, Schumer and Pelosi give him cover. In fact, the New York Times could only find one relatively low-level Democrat who would publicly point out that this meeting was held in the middle of a “constitutional crisis.” Brian Fallon, a former aide to Schumer, said, “The most important job the Democrats have right now is to uphold the rule of law against a president who thinks the law doesn’t apply to him. We have bigger fish to fry than trying to look like we gave it a shot on infrastructure. This was the play in 2016. It strikes me as a very pre-Trump approach for how to manage.”

The spectacle of Schumer and Pelosi at the White House trough reveals two important things:

First, as Barack Obama said after Trump’s election, “we [meaning ruling class politicians] are all on the same team.” They function as imperialist operatives first and foremost, and both the Democrats and Trump want to revamp the imperialist infrastructure to better compete against their rivals.

Second, and more to the point, the Democratic leadership is desperately attempting to ward off any calls for impeachment, let alone driving out the regime. They fear the “disorder” of the struggle it would take to actually STOP fascism far more than they fear the full imposition of fascism itself. Meeting with Trump on infrastructure is tantamount to meeting with Hitler to plan how to build the autobahn (the German superhighway system) while the concentration camps are being readied. It is a major symbolic move to normalize and fully accept this presidency.

The fascist juggernaut has momentum. It is more urgent than ever to drive it from power AND it should be clear—especially after the “infrastructure” shuffle danced by these Democrats—that the only way to stop it is through the masses of people relying on our own efforts, with massive, sustained, nonviolent protest.

Finally: this regime grew out of a specific system—capitalism-imperialism, at a time when it is racked by multiple crises. The representatives of this system, whether Democrat or Republican, will fight most of all for the continued operation of that system; and unless and until this system is overthrown, these will be the (non)-choices offered to the masses. That cannot be tolerated—and can only be resolved through a revolution to get beyond this system and the madness it brings down.

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