I’m with Mary Trump, brilliant niece of a cunning opportunist of average intelligence, I don’t join the bipartisan attack on President Biden. He wasn’t my first choice, or even my fifth choice, but he is the president 81,000,000 of us voted for, the president we have to work with as we try to figure out how to preserve democracy in the face of 52 immovable votes against it in a best of 100 scenario. In some ways Biden has exceeded my expectations (which were admittedly low), but in other ways I’ve been confirmed in my reservations when the DNC orchestrated his sudden candidacy, over the man who had won most of the primaries up to that point.
I would rather have taken my chances with a less morally flexible president, one with a clear vision of justice and a real fighting spirit, who’d announced and stood by his ideals year after year, always had the most direct, honest and reasonable reaction to the latest provocations by Trumpists, had a real vision of what this country could be, a hopeful vision in line with probably 60% of America. Instead, when it was deemed such a candidate couldn’t win (Biden famously said of his comfortable margin of victory over his predecessor: don’t forget, I ran against Trump) we got the compromise candidate. I don’t reduce him to this one craven act, but I never forget that Biden could not bring himself to actually apologize to Anita Hill for subjecting her to the humiliation she faced, at the hands of a bipartisan committee of white men, when truthfully testifying about what should have disqualified Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court. “I wish I could have done more,” Biden, the former chairman of the Judiciary Committee, told Hill, to clinch the decades-belated, politically motivated non-apology he tendered.
That said, Biden and his administration are our last, best hope for fact-based democracy, seemingly ready for the fight, at least in spirit, and infinitely preferable to the open, incoherent authoritarianism of a major party whose members must now swear loyalty to a transparent, anti-democratic lie about a rigged, stolen election to protect the ego of a delicate, vengeful madman.
Fascist takeovers are often preceded by a quieter legal takeover, as moderate, compromise-oriented politicians leaning slightly left thoughtfully ponder the way the water in the pot is getting hotter and hotter, almost boiling. The 1971 Powell memorandum commissioned by the US Chamber of Commerce advised corporations and their wealthy supporters to get serious about installing activist corporatist judges to lifetime appointments to the federal bench — or perish under the weight of “minority” voters and their parasitic entitlement. Two months after producing the Powell memorandum, its author, a corporate lobbyist, was on his way to a lifelong appointment to the Supreme Court. The right-wing has been deadly serious, and extremely successful in consolidating and ensuring perpetual minority power. The video below takes a look at the organized right-wing judicial capture that has a dagger at the throat of majority rule, while huge mobs of our countrymen believe, for some reason, that violence against a cabal of lying, poisonous pedophile cannibals is not only justified, but probably necessary at this point.
The Supreme Court that Federalist Society and religious Christian cult member Amy Coney Barrett insisted are not partisan hacks (she did this at the McConnell Center in Kentucky, the Grim Reaper himself doing his choked smile on the podium next to her) is a 6-3 majority of partisan hacks. Skilled hacks, in most cases, with the best legal minds they can hire researching and writing their opinions, rulings that consistently advance their carefully vetted extremist ideology.
The danger of a moderate, institutionalist, compromise-oriented presidential administration as the last bulwark against a well-organized, billionaire-funded, determined anti-democratic movement bent on destroying all democratic institutions, is that it will try to remain moderate and compromise-oriented, even when confronted with uncompromising partisans willing to use lies, bribery and violence to get its way. It will attempt compromise until it is too late.
They will appoint a moderate, ideologically balanced commission to study the problem of an openly partisan 6-3 Supreme Court, to ensure everyone of fairness. Eventually, after being thwarted over and over (along with a large majority of struggling Americans) by united far right obstruction, and sinking in the polls that drive our horse race politics (policy is too boring! horse and dog races are exciting!), in spite of major achievements, they will give an angry, irrefutable speech six, or ten months too late to make any difference swaying public opinion which is best shaped by bold action.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse lays out the judicial part of the scheme in the eleventh installment of his excellent series The Scheme.
No code of ethics for the Supreme Court, although Biden’s special commission to study how to re-balance the Federalist Society/Trump Supreme Court ventured that one was needed. Such a code could require recusal in cases where an incorruptible justice appears to have a conflict of interest! It would have made the 5-4 decision in Bush v. Gore impossible, for example! Why impose ordinary government ethical requirements and oversight on nine judicial superheroes who are unappealably above the political fray?
Anonymous donations, to the tune of $400,000,000, to pack the federal courts? Uhmmm. Orchestrated flotillas of amicus briefs, funded by dark money, almost 100% persuasive to right wing judges, eh … wait, unlimited dark money is protected speech under Citizens United, 5-4.
Fast tracks for partisan 5-4 (now 6-3) decisions supporting donor chosen cases helpful to their bottom lines? No problemo, boss. That’s why they invented the shadow docket! Nothing wrong with a partisan judicial motive in democracy, it is fair play, just like partisan advantage in redistricting, and legislating in your own advantage, when you have the power. It’s a war (against Christianity, don’t you know?). Concerns about the “dubious legitimacy of how some of the justices were appointed” –mere fighting words from America-hating cucks like Laurence Tribe (how does a moderate even put someone like that on the advisory commission?!).
We had a 6-3 political ruling yesterday, a fast-tracked ruling on a Republican challenge to Biden’s allegedly tyrannical abuse of OSHA to try to restrain the new deluge of super-infectious covid cases in the face of united Republican opposition to vaccines, masks and public safety. This ruling was treated as a fast-tracked emergency, while Trump’s losing appeal languishes, continuing to baselessly delay the release of papers from the National Archives (presumably an army of dark money funded lawyers is working to find a legal theory for the court two overrule the two lower courts and affirm Trump’s right to obstruct justice in perpetuity).
The ruling against OSHA’s vaccine or weekly testing requirement (with an exemption for religious science objectors, don’t you know) may have been idiotic, it boils down to “Covid has nothing to do with workplace safety, cucks!” but it is also the unappealable last constitutional word on the subject. The big shocker was that two of the Federalist Society Six actually agreed with the three America-hating communist justices that programs funded by Medicare and Medicaid may require vaccines, masks and testing of their public facing health care employees. A great day for our activist Supreme Court. A great day for America, particularly fascist America, where tyranny, like racism, is only possible when the stinking evil, hateful majority does it. As for the Supreme Court, the stench is hard to miss.
Human history, written in the blood of the vanquished, is an uninterrupted epic poem of what happened when decent people, with the best of intentions, were besieged by armies of enraged fanatics who would stop at nothing to overrun weaklings. It generally does not end well for decent people, with the best of intentions. We have a fight of historic magnitude on our hands today, my friends.