Senate approves extreme rightwinger Pompeo for Secretary of State


Photo: Code Pink

Following cynical political calculations the Senate has approved Mike Pompeo to serve as President Trump’s new Secretary of State. Pompeo is a true war-monger, an anti-gay and anti-Muslim bigot and a climate change denier. His confirmation will add to the spectacularly reactionary and backward line up in the White House which is hell-bent on attacking all civil rights and dragging us into another and potentially even more disastrous war.

Threat to Muslim and LGBTQ people

Mike Pompeo  has made a point of spreading bigotry and hatred against Muslim people. In 2014 he said in Kansas:

“The threat to America is from people who deeply believe that Islam is the way and the light and the only answer… It is absolutely a minority, within the Muslim faith. But these folks are serious. And they abhor Christians and will continue to press against us, until we make sure that we pray and stand and fight and make sure we know that Jesus Christ as our savior is truly the only solution for our world.”

During the Senate Confirmation on April 26 Pompeo repudiated gay marriage after an inquiry from New Jersey Democratic Senator Cory Booker. This is no surprise. In 2015 at a “Church God and Country Rally” Pompeo referred to gay people as a “perversion.” Quoting the words of Pastor Joe Wright he said:

“Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. Lord we know your word says, ‘Woe to those who call evil good,’ but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and inverted our values… America had worshiped other Gods and called it multiculturalism. We’d endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle.”

Enemy of anti-war and environmental activists

Like Trump, Pompeo is a fervent opponent of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action also known as the Iran Nuclear Deal. Pompeo has replaced Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who clashed with Trump over the deal, paving the way for heightened U.S. aggression towards Iran. With a May 12 deadline imposed by Trump last January it seems like the deal could be sabotaged by U.S. sanctions on Iran despite the widespread international support for the deal. Rather than support a deal for detente and potential peace, in 2014 as the deal neared completion, Pompeo, at that time a Congressman, called for U.S. airstrikes on Iran a country of some 80 million people. (LA Times)

As if Pompeo could get any worse he is also a “climate change denier” and has been a vocal proponent of anti-environmental legislation and groups. On April 10, two hundred environmental organizations authored an open letter in opposition to Pompeo. The letter read in part:

“At a time when our planet is rapidly warming and millions are being impacted by climate change supercharged hurricanes, fires, drought, mudslides, and more, the last thing we need is another climate denier in the White House administration; his nomination must be rejected. Any Senator who votes in support of his nomination to the important position of Secretary of State is complicit in advancing the Trump/Pompeo pro-fossil fuel, anti-climate agenda.”

Ineffectual Congress indicative of system

As Pompeo joins the White House it’s important to note that he, Trump and the rest of the War Cabinet are not acting alone and couldn’t have come to power without the support of Congress including both the Republicans and Democrats. At various key steps since Trump has assumed office Congress has had the power to install roadblocks for the White House but failed to act.

From Pompeo, to immigration issues, to the tax-scam overhaul, Congress continues to act like a rubber stamp for the White House. At the end of the day under this system it’s an indisputable fact that it’s the same corporate lobbyists representing the likes of the oil companies, weapons manufacturers, prison industry, pharmaceutical and insurance companies and banks frequent both the White House and the Congress. They partner with both the Republicans and Democrats. Republicans, for all the infighting, fall in line and the Democrats allow just enough votes to let the right-wingers have their day.

Democratic “resistance” or real tactics for change

Democrats, who call themselves the “resistance,” time and time again fold like a house of cards when the most key moments arise. Despite Mike Pompeo being widely despised, despite hundreds of environmental groups, and thousands of LGBTQ and anti-war activists registering their opposition, despite a protest that took place right behind Pompeo as he sat for an interview in Congress–even despite some Democrats’ speeches about the very real danger that Pompeo represents–the party didn’t organize a meaningful opposition and Pompeo is now sworn in and off to Europe and then the Middle East to represent the U.S.

Democrats Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, Bill Nelson of Florida and Claire McCaskill of Missouri all endorsed Pompeo from the Senate floor on Thursday. All five of them are up for re-election in states that voted for Trump and calibrate their politics accordingly. In other words political decisions that will directly threaten the lives of millions of people are not made on the basis of the issues themselves but on the careerist political calculations of rich Senators. (

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee could not even muster a negative recommendation and allowed Pompeo’s appointment to reach the Senate floor unopposed after Rand Paul ,a Libertarian Republican from Kentucky switched in favor of Pompeo on the urging of Trump and was joined by two Democratic votes.

The United States is profoundly lacking when it comes to true democracy. This is why more and more people are beginning to demand systematic change and fight for it. It’s clear more so than in a long time that we need a new Congress that actually represents the needs of working families and oppressed communities over the ambitions of the ultra-rich and Pentagon. As people continue to organize and mobilize street protests, the tactics for a real resistance with a profound potential for change will reveal themselves.

Related Articles

Back to top button