The Crisis of American Democracy

Trump and Democratic Party establishment retain grip in primary contests

By Patrick Martin, 16 July 2020

Air Force helicopter pilot and war veteran Mary Jennings Hegar, a former Republican, will be the Democratic candidate for US Senate in Texas.

Biden promotes economic nationalism and anti-China militarism

By Barry Grey, 11 July 2020

Biden offered no opposition to Trump’s “back-to-work” drive, mass job destruction during the pandemic or the looming unemployment benefit cutoff.

Epstein assistant Ghislaine Maxwell requests $5 million bail

By Kevin Reed, 11 July 2020

Whatever the outcome of Maxwell’s arraignment on Tuesday, more revelations about the activities and relationships of Jeffrey Epstein and his confidante should be anticipated.

Sanders-Biden task forces and the debacle of Sanders’ “political revolution”

By Genevieve Leigh, 11 July 2020

The Biden-Sanders collaboration has produced a total repudiation of all of the central pillars of Sanders’ campaign, in the midst of an unprecedented social and political crisis of world capitalism.

SEP presidential candidates Kishore and Santa Cruz file federal lawsuit challenging ballot access restrictions in California

By Norissa Santa Cruz—SEP Vice Presidential Candidate, 2 July 2020

The Socialist Equality Party’s candidates argued in court filings Tuesday that the state’s requirement that the candidates gather 200,000 voter signatures is impossible to meet during the pandemic and a violation of basic democratic rights.

Workers, young people denounce undemocratic efforts to keep Socialist Equality Party off the ballot in Michigan

By our reporters, 2 July 2020

Workers and youth voiced support for the SEP election campaign in the United States.

Caterpillar slashes jobs in Illinois, rewards corporate shareholders

By Jessica Goldstein, 2 July 2020

Caterpillar is one of many US-based corporations that have laid off workers and cut jobs and pay since the pandemic took hold in the US, as it continued to pay out dividends to investors.

As COVID-19 infections explode in the US, Fauci warns of 100,000 new cases a day

By Barry Grey, 1 July 2020

Fauci's testimony underscored the grim reality that the pandemic in the US is now far more widespread than it was at its previous height in late March and early April.

Tuesday primaries show rising popular discontent with Democratic Party establishment

By Patrick Martin, 25 June 2020

Voter turnout swelled despite the coronavirus threat, with many voters choosing to vote early or cast mail-in ballots.

US Appeals Court orders case against Michael Flynn dismissed

By Kevin Reed, 25 June 2020

A three-judge panel ruled by two-to-one on Wednesday that the perjury charges against the former Trump national security advisor—to which he had already pleaded guilty—should be quashed immediately.

Bolton appeals for right-wing Republicans to break with Trump on foreign policy

By Patrick Martin, 23 June 2020

The former Trump national security advisor has given numerous anti-Trump press interviews to promote his newly launched—and lucrative—White House memoir.

Fed boosts support for stock market by expanding corporate debt purchases

By Nick Beams, 17 June 2020

Fed chairman Jerome Powell said it would take some time before employment and economic activity returned to pre-pandemic levels.

New Mexico protester wounded by far-right shooter

By Jacob Crosse, 17 June 2020

Encouraged by President Trump and working in concert with local police departments, far-right elements have been allowed to attack and intimidate peaceful protesters across the country.

UAW, federal prosecutors announce talks over corruption scandal

By Tom Hall, 17 June 2020

Whatever the friction between the US Attorney’s office and the UAW, both share as their central aim the suppression of the rising tide of opposition among autoworkers.

Police violence and class rule

By Niles Niemuth and Joseph Kishore, 17 June 2020

What is absent from all of the media commentary on police violence, let alone the statements from bourgeois politicians, is any examination of what the police are and their relationship to capitalist society.

SEP launches petition to appear on the presidential ballot in Illinois

17 June 2020

Supporters of the SEP are fighting to gather 5,000 electronic signatures to place Joseph Kishore and Norissa Santa Cruz on the ballot for the general election in November.

National Guard fired the shot that killed David McAtee in Louisville during protest against police violence

By Kevin Reed, 12 June 2020

Laboratory tests have determined that McAtee was shot and killed by a member of the Kentucky National Guard during an assault on protesters last week.

Would-be führer Trump steps up coup plotting

By Patrick Martin, 12 June 2020

The president is seeking to manufacture a pretext for violent repression and the establishment of an authoritarian regime in America.

George Floyd laid to rest as nationwide protests over police violence continue

By Niles Niemuth, 10 June 2020

The murder of Floyd, caught on bystander cellphone video in excruciating detail, has served as a catalyst for the largest nationwide and international outpouring of political opposition in decades.

Proponents of racial politics react with hostility to multi-racial protests against police murder of George Floyd

By Nick Barrickman, 10 June 2020

Democratic Party officials and their black nationalist supporters have denounced white “outside agitators.”

Thousands pay respects to George Floyd as Minneapolis cop is arraigned on murder charges

By Kevin Reed, 9 June 2020

Protests demanding justice for Floyd and against police violence continued on Monday for the fourteenth day in a row.

Democrats announce toothless police reform bill

By Barry Grey, 9 June 2020

The “Justice in Policing” bill, a collection of minor reforms that has no chance of being passed by the Senate and signed by Trump, is aimed at containing and dissipating mounting social protest.

New York Times editor James Bennet resigns over fascist op-ed

By Patrick Martin, 9 June 2020

The last straw was the publication of a column by Senator Tom Cotton calling for military intervention to suppress the protests against police violence.

Trump intensifies campaign to brand domestic opposition as terrorism

By Patrick Martin, 5 June 2020

The White House’s planned use of anti-terrorism units to apprehend “agitators” is aimed at criminalizing opposition to police violence and the policies of the oligarchy.

Protesters defy Trump’s threats, expand nationwide movement against police killings

By Jacob Crosse, 3 June 2020

Curfews, mass arrests and police terror have not quelled the powerful movement of youth and workers of all races and ethnicities in response to the police murder of George Floyd.

Democrats cover for Trump’s coup d’état

By Andre Damon, 3 June 2020

In contrast to the heroism of the demonstrators, the Democrats have responded to Trump’s dictatorial measures with their typical display of fecklessness, cowardice and complicity.

Protests in Louisville continue day after local restaurant owner killed

By Jerry White, 2 June 2020

Claims that David McAtee was killed after police and National Guard troops “returned fire” from protesters fell apart after the Louisville mayor declared there was no body camera footage of the incident.

With his poll numbers falling, Trump denounces November election as “rigged”

By Patrick Martin, 27 May 2020

The president and his son-in-law Jared Kushner are laying the basis for declaring an election defeat in November to be illegitimate.

US state and local budget crisis looms

By Jessica Goldstein, 27 May 2020

The full cost of the massive corporate bailout and the collapse in state and local tax revenues will be borne by the working class.

Firing of State Department inspector general tied to Saudi arms deal

By Bill Van Auken, 20 May 2020

The firing stemmed from a probe into the Trump administration’s declaration of a “state of emergency” to prevent Congress holding up arms sales to the Saudi monarchy.

Senate hearing for Fed’s Powell, Treasury’s Mnuchin shows bipartisan support for bailout, back-to-work drive

By Barry Grey, 20 May 2020

The prize for sheer demagogy and hypocrisy at the hearing went to Sherrod Brown of Ohio, an economic nationalist and close ally of the trade union bureaucracy.

US government uses Pensacola shooter’s alleged ties to Al Qaeda to renew attack on encryption

By Kevin Reed, 20 May 2020

Attorney General William Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray outlined plans to force manufacturers to build backdoor access into consumer mobile devices.

The New York Times exposes journalist, #MeToo crusader Ronan Farrow as a dishonest fraud

By David Walsh, 20 May 2020

Farrow has been the golden boy of the American media since the publication of his supposed exposé of Harvey Weinstein in the New Yorker magazine in October 2017.

US Senator Richard Burr steps down as intelligence chairman amid investigation into pre-pandemic stock dump

By Jacob Crosse, 15 May 2020

As part of an ongoing Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission’s probe into insider trading, FBI agents have seized the North Carolina senator's personal cell phone.

Declassified Mueller investigation transcripts confirm no evidence WikiLeaks colluded with Russia

By Thomas Scripps, 15 May 2020

The “Russian connection” was baldly asserted by the Democratic Party, US intelligence officials and the corporate media

Supreme Court considers blanket immunity for Trump

By John Burton, 15 May 2020

The Supreme Court on Tuesday held oral arguments on whether to give Donald Trump immunity from congressional and grand jury investigations.

As US House returns to Washington, Democrats signal readiness to grant companies immunity for worker deaths

By Barry Grey, 11 May 2020

It is already clear that any “Phase IV” stimulus bill that emerges will further enrich the financial aristocracy at the expense of the jobs, the wages and the very lives of the working class.

US ramps up COVID-19 propaganda war against China

By Peter Symonds, 6 May 2020

The crude attempt to blame China is aimed at diverting attention from the Trump administration’s criminal negligence in failing to respond to the dangers of COVID-19.

Round two of the “Paycheck Protection Program”: Another disaster for US small businesses and their employees

By Barry Grey, 29 April 2020

The abortive start of the second round of the “small business” program demonstrated that the vast majority of small businesses and their employees will receive little or nothing in relief from the economic collapse.

$310 billion more for misnamed “Paycheck Protection Program”

Senate passes another bipartisan bailout for business

By Barry Grey, 22 April 2020

The Democrats settled for a mere $75 billion for hospitals and a derisory $25 billion for coronavirus testing. They dropped their demand for relief to state and local governments and funding for food stamps.

Baltimore, Maryland approves measure allowing for police aerial surveillance

By Ron Barzel and Nick Barrickman, 22 April 2020

The program would allow the city government to continuously track the movements of the population utilizing technology developed for the US occupation of Iraq.

Trump announces plan to halt all immigration to US

By Eric London, 22 April 2020

Trump’s “pause” on immigration is a desperate attempt by the crisis-riddled administration to distract from the criminality of the ruling class’s own response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pentagon activates military units to defend Washington

By Bill Van Auken, 18 April 2020

The shift of the Joint Task Force-National Capital Region to operational mode indicates rising concern within the US government that the crisis will unleash social upheavals.

Intensive CIA spying on Assange targeted his infant child

By Oscar Grenfell, 18 April 2020

As the US government finalised its bogus charges against Assange, it oversaw dirty tricks operations targeting his partner and their infant child.

Barack Obama endorses Joe Biden for president

By Jacob Crosse, 15 April 2020

Obama’s endorsement, following that of Bernie Sanders, is part of a concerted effort to paint the most right-wing of the Democratic candidates for president as a vehicle for “progressive” change

Ocasio-Cortez offers her services to the Biden campaign

By Genevieve Leigh, 15 April 2020

In an interview with the New York Times, Ocasio-Cortez did not articulate a single demand as a condition for her support for the Biden campaign.

When it comes to Joe Biden, New York Times abandons “Believe women”

By David Walsh, 15 April 2020

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the leading candidate for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2020, has been accused by a former Senate staffer of sexually assaulting her.

US Senate passes massive economic “rescue” bill

By Patrick Martin, 26 March 2020

The $2 trillion bill allocates the bulk of its funds to loans and grants to corporations and businesses, with some emergency aid to workers.

US soon to pass Italy and China in coronavirus cases

By Benjamin Mateus, 24 March 2020

The total number infected in the United States is approaching 50,000, with nearly 600 dead.

US Congress moves toward massive bailout of big business

By Patrick Martin, 24 March 2020

The wrangling between Democrats and Republicans in Washington is political theater to disguise the highway robbery being carried out by corporate America.

Attorney general requests suspension of habeas corpus

Military, Trump administration ready plans for domestic crackdown as virus spreads across US

By Eric London, 24 March 2020

The Justice Department has asked Congress to suspend habeas corpus and due process, even as the military develops plans to deploy troops on US soil to suppress “riots” and “civil disobedience.”

Democratic Party debate dominated by coronavirus pandemic

By Patrick Martin, 17 March 2020

The exchanges between the candidates had been rendered largely irrelevant by consolidation of the Democratic Party behind Biden, making him the presumptive nominee.

ICE officials running unchecked facial recognition searches on Maryland drivers

By Dmitri Church, 17 March 2020

Officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement have been accessing Maryland state driver’s license photos for years to catch undocumented immigrants given licenses by a special state program.

Bipartisan Senate Judiciary Committee introduces bill that censors online content and attacks encryption

By Kevin Reed, 17 March 2020

Leading Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee formally introduced the EARN IT Act, which attacks First and Fourth Amendment rights under the guise of fighting online child sexual exploitation.

House Democrats work overtime to renew US government surveillance law

By Kevin Reed, 12 March 2020

Leading Democrats forced a bipartisan bill onto the House floor that approves the continued spying on US citizens in violation of fundamental democratic rights.

In blow to US campaign against WikiLeaks, proceedings against alleged CIA whistleblower end in mistrial

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 March 2020

The jury could not agree on the most serious charges against Joshua Schulte, a former CIA employee accused of leaking a trove of material exposing illegal spying and hacking operations.

Trump picks ultra-right congressman Mark Meadows as new chief of staff

By Patrick Martin, 10 March 2020

The incoming chief of staff, Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina, was the leader of the ultra-right House Freedom Caucus.

After Super Tuesday primaries, Warren drops out, Sanders tacks to the right

By Barry Grey, 6 March 2020

Sanders began running a campaign ad Tuesday consisting entirely of former President Barack Obama speaking in glowing terms of the Vermont senator.

The political lessons of Sanders’ Super Tuesday defeat

By Eric London, 5 March 2020

Biden’s victory shows once again it is impossible to transform the capitalist Democratic Party into a vehicle for socialist politics.

On eve of “Super Tuesday” primaries

Democratic Party goes to war against Sanders

By Patrick Martin, 3 March 2020

The Democratic Party is opposed to raising the prospect of significant social reforms in the 2020 election.

The “Russian meddling” fraud

Tulsi Gabbard denounces election interference by US intelligence agencies

By Patrick Martin, 3 March 2020

The congresswoman and Democratic presidential candidate attacked planted media articles claiming that Russia was backing Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

Trump ordered Assange’s seizure by British police and wanted him dead

By Thomas Scripps and Chris Marsden, 3 March 2020

Assange is part-way through a show trial that began last week to decide on his extradition to the US, where he faces 175 years in prison on espionage charges.

Attacks against Sanders intensify ahead of South Carolina primary

By Patrick Martin, 27 February 2020

Sanders’ opponents are warning that he may take an insurmountable lead in delegates in the 14 states voting next Tuesday.

Video shows Florida school police officer boasting after arresting six-year-old

By Shuvu Batta, 27 February 2020

Dennis Turner bragged that he had made more than 6,000 arrests and that Kaia Rolle had “broken the record” for the youngest child he had ever detained.

Tennessee carries out fifth electric chair execution since 2018

By Warren Duzak, 27 February 2020

Nicholas Todd Sutton, convicted and sentenced to death in 1986 for the stabbing death of a fellow prisoner, had spent his entire adult life in prison.

Two thousand former US Justice Department officials call for resignation of William Barr

By Patrick Martin, 18 February 2020

The campaign against Trump’s attorney general erupted after he intervened in the prosecution of Trump crony Roger Stone to secure a lighter sentence.

SEP (US) announces speaking tour featuring presidential candidate Joseph Kishore

Socialism and the 2020 elections: the international class struggle and the strategy of world socialist revolution

Socialist Equality Party (US), 18 February 2020

The Socialist Equality Party (US) will hold meetings across the United States featuring presidential candidate Joseph Kishore and vice presidential Candidate Norissa Santa Cruz.

Washington Post war hawk Jackson Diehl lauds Sanders’ foreign policy

By Barry Grey, 18 February 2020

In Monday’s column, Diehl reassures the ruling class that a Sanders administration would not mark a break from the aggressive and militarist policy of American imperialism.

Sanders surge in poll sparks backlash in Democratic establishment

By Patrick Martin, 15 February 2020

The growing support for a self-styled “democratic socialist” has been met by anti-communist diatribes and media smears.

White House orders militarized border patrol unit to carry out raids in “sanctuary cities”

By Andre Damon, 15 February 2020

The new policy was announced as Trump gave a fascistic speech to border patrol agents, pledging to fight the “left.”

Trump pledges to veto war powers resolution, uses Pentagon funds to build border wall

By Andre Damon, 14 February 2020

Strengthened by the failure of the Democrats’ impeachment drive, President Trump has accelerated his efforts to expand the powers of the presidency in every sphere.

Black Democrats endorse Bloomberg after release of racist boasts on “stop-and-frisk”

By Niles Niemuth, 14 February 2020

The immediate response of elected African-American Democrats to the exposure of the billionaire Bloomberg’s racist remarks was to boost him as the only candidate who can defeat President Donald Trump in November.

Sanders tells New York Times he would consider a preemptive strike against Iran or North Korea

By Jacob Crosse and Barry Grey, 14 February 2020

The answers given by Sanders’ campaign to a foreign policy survey published this month by the Times provide a revealing picture of the attitude of the self-styled “democratic socialist” to American imperialism and war.

Trump budget gives top priority to new generation of nuclear weapons

By Patrick Martin, 11 February 2020

The budget document issued Monday reveals that the Pentagon views the use of nuclear weapons as a practical necessity.

Woman who killed UK teenager Harry Dunn was a CIA spy

By Thomas Scripps, 11 February 2020

The Dunn family’s legal spokesman, Radd Seiger, explained it is “high time that the nation can see with full transparency whether or not the government prioritised protecting the identity of the Sacoolas family over the welfare and rights of Harry’s family.”

Democrats seek to suppress Sanders victory in Iowa

By Patrick Martin, 7 February 2020

The effort to conceal or suppress reports of Senator Bernie Sanders’ victory in the Iowa caucuses reached a new stage Thursday with DNC Chairman Tom Perez calling on the Iowa Democratic Party to recanvass the state.

Democratic governor gives right-wing response to Trump State of the Union address

By Joseph Lorenz, 7 February 2020

The Democratic Party rebuttal included hypocritical invocations of democracy, demagogic appeals to struggling workers and falsification of the party’s reactionary record.

Trump gloats over impeachment, but popular opposition mounts to his administration

By Andre Damon, 7 February 2020

While Trump has emerged victorious over his factional enemies within the state, he heads a crisis-ridden government despised by broad sections of workers and young people.

Accuser Jessica Mann’s testimony in the Weinstein trial: A Journey to the End of the Night

By David Walsh, 7 February 2020

In the course of three days of lurid testimony describing the warped, emotionally pathological and mutually destructive relationship between Weinstein and his accuser Jessica Mann, the trial degenerated into a degrading and horrifying spectacle.

Jacobin’s Bhaskar Sunkara on the Iowa caucuses: Don’t lose faith in the Democrats

By Andre Damon, 7 February 2020

Writing in the Guardian, Sunkara claims that “we should have confidence” in the “integrity” of the vote in Iowa, arguing that the DNC will not “steal the election from Bernie Sanders.”

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7 February 2020

As White House asserts unchecked presidential powers

Democrats double down on anti-Russia war-mongering in impeachment arguments

By Barry Grey, 4 February 2020

The Democrats’ final arguments only underscored the reactionary basis of their impeachment drive.

Trump tweets threats as impeachment defense begins

By Patrick Martin, 27 January 2020

Senate Republicans seem determined to bring the trial to an end by Friday of this week.

The impeachment trial begins as Trump escalates fascistic appeals

By Patrick Martin, 17 January 2020

The Democratic impeachment process will not stop Trump’s increasingly blatant assault on the constitutional foundations of basic democratic rights.

Virginia declares state of emergency barring guns at State Capitol ahead of far-right rally

By Harvey Simpkins, 17 January 2020

According to the governor’s executive order thousands of “advocates” will be descending on the city, many armed, with the intent to engage in “violence, rioting, and insurrection.”

Assassination of Iran’s General Suleimani planned months in advance

By Bill Van Auken, 14 January 2020

The claim by the Trump administration that its drone missile assassination was carried out in the face of an “imminent” threat stands exposed as a lie.

Sanders’ rise in polls alarms Democratic political establishment

By Patrick Martin, 14 January 2020

The increased support for the Vermont senator is linked to mounting antiwar sentiment in the midst of the Iran crisis.

Texas becomes the first state to refuse refugee resettlement

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 14 January 2020

An order issued by Trump in September precludes non-governmental and non-profit organizations from resettling refugees without the consent of state and local governments.

House Democrats to forward Trump impeachment articles, setting stage for Senate trial

By Patrick Martin, 13 January 2020

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the next step would be taken Tuesday at a meeting of the House Democratic caucus.

In midst of impeachment, Pelosi honors Trump with State of the Union invitation

By Patrick Martin and Andre Damon, 23 December 2019

The move makes clear that, despite the bitter foreign policy differences at the heart of the impeachment drive, the two parties of American capitalism are united on fundamental issues.

Report unmasks FBI intervention in 2016 elections

By Patrick Martin, 10 December 2019

The real threat to American democracy comes from the national-security state and the capitalist ruling elite, not from any foreign country.

The “Afghanistan papers”: The criminality and disaster of a war based upon lies

By Bill Van Auken, 10 December 2019

The documents published by the Washington Post constitute a damning indictment of both major parties as well as the media for lying to the American people for two decades.

Paris summit on Ukraine overshadowed by inter-imperialist conflicts

By Clara Weiss, 10 December 2019

The escalation of warfare within the US ruling class and the intensification of the conflicts between the imperialist powers occur amid the unraveling of the strategy that US imperialism has pursued in the region since the dissolution of the USSR in 1991.

November US jobs report in perspective: Most jobs “added” to US economy are low wage

By Jessica Goldstein, 10 December 2019

A stark contrast exists between the official US jobs report numbers and the reality that many of the jobs available are of low quality and the result of betrayal by the trade unions.

Pelosi announces Democrats to begin drafting impeachment charges against Trump

By Patrick Martin, 6 December 2019

The House Speaker announced Thursday plans to draw up articles of impeachment for President Trump.

Seton Hall Law School report exposes new details of CIA torture program

By Kevin Reed, 6 December 2019

The report reveals for the first time—with drawings and notes provided by CIA detainee Abu Zubaydah—details of the “enhanced interrogation techniques” used by the US government.

Trump signs Hong Kong “democracy” bill

By Nick Beams, 29 November 2019

Entitled the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act”—and passed by the US Congress with only one dissenting voice, making it veto-proof—the legislation has nothing to do with either.

Over 250 students arrested in Michigan by ICE in fake university scam

By Jacob Crosse, 29 November 2019

After arresting 161 students in January and February earlier this year, US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement revealed that they had detained an additional 91 students in an ongoing sting operation conducted by the federal agency.

Trump threatens to designate Mexican cartels as “terrorists”

By Andrea Lobo, 28 November 2019

The step would set the stage for direct US military interventions in Mexico, while pressuring the Mexican government to escalate militarized repression of social opposition.

Billionaire Bloomberg enters race for Democratic presidential nomination

By Patrick Martin, 25 November 2019

Bloomberg has made a $37 million down-payment on what could well be a billion-dollar campaign.