DONALD Trump became the first president of the United States to be impeached twice when the House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to charge him with inciting violent insurrection against the US government.
With the Democratic Party House leader, Nancy Pelosi, denouncing Trump as a ‘clear and present danger to the nation we all love’ the impeachment vote was passed with 10 Republican members joining with the Democrats in their condemnation of Trump.
This vote will not mean that Trump is immediately ejected from the presidency or that the huge power he commands will be curtailed for the next week until the Democrat president-elect Joe Biden assumes office.
To convict him of this charge two-thirds of the 100-member US Senate would have to vote for conviction.
This would require 17 Republicans jumping the Trump ship and joining the Democrats.
While Trump will not be forced out because of this vote, the intention behind it is the hope that if enough Republicans join forces with Biden it will put an end to Trump and his aspirations to run again for the presidency in 2024.
This will unquestionably split the Republican Party from top to bottom, as Trump still retains considerable support amongst the party as demonstrated in the 197 Republican House members who voted against impeachment on Wednesday, not to mention the millions who voted for him in the election.
This is what Biden and the Democrat leadership are aiming for: Dump Trump for good, split the Republican Party and win a section over to form a bloc for waging war against the real enemy – the US working class.
This is clearly demonstrated in the incessant calls from Biden for ‘reconciliation’ and ‘unity’ with the very people who only a week ago were baying for the blood of Democratic members of Congress and openly encouraging and evidence is emerging, actively organising a bloodbath during Trump’s failed coup attempt.
There have been no demands from the Biden camp for any settling of accounts with all those Republican lawmakers who aided and abetted Trump, only for a bipartisan approach to deal with the massive crisis confronting US imperialism.
Overshadowing and driving the US political crisis is the economic crisis that is devastating American capitalism. In the four years of the Trump presidency, US debt increased by almost $7.8 trillion and stands currently at $28 trillion with total debt reaching 130% of American Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The last time the US ran up this staggering debt-to-GDP ratio was at the end of World War 2 – then, with the end of spending on the war, it could be paid off comparatively quickly.
Today, there is no way that this massive debt can be paid off except through making the working class pay with savage cuts across the board like nothing seen since the Hungry Thirties and the Great Depression.
Biden is preparing for a reactionary bloc with a section of the Republican Party to wage a class war against the US working class and Trump’s impeachment is just the first step along this road.
When Trump first made it clear he would overthrow the result of the election, the leader of the US trade union federation (AFL-CIO), Richard Trumka, threatened that the unions would take action to force Trump out.
Trumka quickly ran a mile from leading the working class to take the initiative in getting rid of Trump by calling a general strike, instead passing responsibility over to Biden and the Democrats who are now preparing war on workers.
The way forward for the working class is to force the trade union leaders to immediately break with the Democratic Party and build an independent US Labour Party to fight for the working class and for socialist demands.
The decisive issue will be building a section of the International Committee of the Fourth International to lead the fast-developing revolutionary struggle to victory through the overthrow of capitalism in the US and the establishment of the Socialist United States of America.