When male whooping cranes compete for a mate, they do a formalized, ritualized dance, designed to impress and intimidate, but also to ensure that no serious damage is done to their rival. A serious question is determined – which male will get to pass on his genes – but equally important is the assurance that nothing is done to damage the survival of the species as a whole.
That was the dance performed on Thursday (June 8) in Washington DC when fired FBI director James Comey testified before the US Senate committee. Circling and posing, the Democratic and Republican rivals attempted to secure a decisive advantage, all the while trying to make sure that no serious damage was done to their political set-up or to their system as a whole (capitalism).
Comey used an unusually blunt term when referring to a US president: “I was… concerned that (Trump) might lie about the nature of the meeting,” he said. Although politicians lie every day as a matter of course, to actually use that term when referring to a rival is almost unheard of. The Democratic questioners pushed on, trying to make it clear that Trump was trying to get Comey to back off of any investigation of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
Anyone listening to Comey’s testimony with just half of an open mind would conclude that it’s clear that’s what Trump was doing. There’s no other way of interpreting Trump’s repeated assurance that he wanted Comey to stay on as FBI head (something that should have been more or less automatic by the rules of this government), followed by Trump’s saying “I hope you can let this (investigation of Flynn) go.”
The Republicans countered by misdirection, trying to draw attention to the investigation of Hillary Clinton for her misuse of e mails. In one hilarious series of questions, Senator John McCain – former harsh critic of Trump but now defender of the genetic survival of his party – continually tried to mix up these two investigations, as if they were one and the same. McCain came off as an aged whooping crane, no longer able to perform even the most minimal series of postures or moves, unsteady on his own legs instead.
The capitalist media played their part:
On one side was the representatives of the mainstream of the capitalist class. A “performance of a lifetime,” wrote
the Washington Post about Comey’s testimony. “The prototypical G-man, always on the straight and narrow, dedicated only to truth and justice, and the aggrieved victim of an undisciplined, line-crossing president…. Comey was a little bit Jimmy Stewart,” was how they described him. Foreign Policy, journal of the Foreign Affairs Council and one of the most central voices of mainstream US capitalism, took matters a little further: “Intriguingly, Comey said he couldn’t discuss in an open hearing why ti was problematic for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has recused himself from the probe of Kremlin meddling, to be involved in an investigation involving Russia,” they wrote. In other words, the government’s chief law enforcement officer, the attorney general, may get dragged into a possible criminal investigation too.
The most militant section of the capitalist class also has their voice in the editors of the Wall St. Journal. Despite some misgivings, they still support Trump because they sense a great opportunity to decisively free Corporate America from almost all government regulations, freeing them to loot and plunder the environment at will. In their editorial on the testimony they attack Comey for “trying to have it both ways” and complain when Comey refused to say whether or not he believed Trump has committed a crime (obstruction of justice). Comey is “a government official motivated by political self-interest who should have resigned if he believed what he now says he did. That he failed to act at the time suggests his motive now is more revenge than truth-telling,” they wrote. All of which may be entirely true, but is totally irrelevant to the issue of Trump’s role.
On the same day that Comey testified, a young woman who was an NSA contractor, Reality Winner (really!), was formally indicted for leaking a classified document to The Intercept. It must have pained the editors of this pro-Putin journal to publish it, but publish it they did, and so carelessly that the leaker was identified almost within hours by US law enforcement officials. The document shows that all the talk about Russian involvement in the US elections is not simply propaganda; top government investigators believe they actually have the means (or at least some of them) through which this was accomplished. It provides a smoking gun for the claim, not decisive proof but getting closer.
Back in DC, politicians (including Comey) as well as the US media (such as CNN’s Don Lemon) wailed loud and long about this hacking being an attack on our democracy, and all sorts of other patriotic phrases. (Workers who note that there is not a single representative of their class in DC might be pardoned to ask “what democracy?”) But the fact that the US government directly interferes with elections all around the world, everything from undermining unfriendly politicians to supporting friendly ones to helping organize coups — that is ignored.
The Real Issue
But the real issue, that is totally covered up by all these players, the one that threatens real damage to the “species” (US capitalism) as a whole, is covered up by all these dance maneuvers. That question is: ‘Why would the Putin regime have a vested interest in Trump’s victory; What is the real connection between the two?”
As we have documented, Trump has longstanding direct financial ties to the Russian oligarchs/mafia. He is seeking to use the White House as a wholly owned subsidiary to his real estate empire. In doing so, he is favoring a major rival to US capitalism: Russian capitalism. (See this series of articles.) In other words, he is sacrificing the global interests of the mainstream of the US capitalist class to his own, personal financial interests.
All wings of the US capitalist class are terrified about really opening up this can of worms because it would threaten to reveal the truly predatory and degenerate nature of their class as a whole. That’s because inherent in the role of Trump is his money laundering for the Russian mafia through his real estate developments. As we will be writing on in the near future, it seems that money laundering for the drug cartels and other criminal gangs is rampant throughout the real estate industry. (This evidently is mainly done through the use of Limited Liability Corporations – LLC’s.) But if it’s rampant throughout the real estate industry, this means that the major banks and other financiers of real estate development are in it up to their necks.
That’s why the mainstream of the US capitalist class has to perform this ritualized dance, trying to get Trump into line or, failing that to get him out of office, without doing too much damage to their credibility as a whole. This is a true crisis for them and will ultimately have major fallout throughout US society.