TPD- Tyrannical Personality Disorder

Fascists select leaders with what I think of (the current DSM is mute on this one) as Tyrannical Personality Disorder.  A person with TPD simply does not take any shit, never backs down, is always right no matter what, doubles all risky bets whenever challenged, gets ugly, public revenge 100% of the time on anyone who crosses them, or might.   The GOP has become, finally, the party of TPD.   Reactionary extremists are always this way — they have a vision of unchallengeable power that must be implemented by any means imaginable.  Often they will say contradictory, even opposite, things, sometimes simultaneously.   The “logic” of fascists, of all TPD types, is almost always incoherent.  In the absence of reason, there is only will, and, in their eternal war weltanschauung, the triumph of the superior will. 

The reactionary drive to now make it a federal crime for pregnant women and girls (and trans men with wombs, I suppose) to travel from a state where abortion is banned to a state where abortion is legal is now in the news.  Millions of religious Christians, and those who exploit their religious beliefs, say every fertilized egg is a sacred life, so, now that we have the unappealable  power to make it law, all must behave accordingly.   Jesus Christ said so, you goddamned sick fucks!  Perfect fascist logic.

There’s an 1873 Supreme Court case, aptly referred to as Slaughterhouse [1], from five years after the 14th Amendment was ratified.   The 14th Amendment was passed to make it illegal for states to deprive anyone born in the US, or naturalized, of the full rights of US citizenship.  If the Constitution gives everyone a right to free speech, freedom of religion, down the non-exhaustive list of enumerated rights the federal government may not infringe, enshrined in the Bill of Rights, no state could abridge these rights either. The first section reads:

‘no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.’   

The Slaughterhouse cases were decided, 5-4, and the majority went out of its way to underscore that the 14th Amendment had been written to protect the rights of newly freed slaves, not a bunch of white butchers.    But while they were elucidating constitutional matters they stopped to draw a sharp, calculated line between the rights of federal citizenship and state citizenship, a line that virtually nullified and struck down enforcement of the 14th Amendment for almost a century.

The court held, 5-4, ignoring the clear intent of the framers (who were all alive to ask) that the rights of federal citizenship were but four: the right to use ports, the right to use navigable interstate waterways, the right to be protected from piracy on the high seas, the right to freely migrate from state to state.  All the rest of the privileges and immunities of citizenship, the one vote majority ruled, was completely up to the states.  States’ rights, you dig.  As a result of this ruling and a few similar ones, no lynching was punished for the next ninety years.  The good old days.

Now today’s strict “textualist” Republican extremists want to cross off one of those four inviolable enumerated rights of federal citizenship. No right to interstate travel for women with a fertilized egg in their womb. Amy Coney Barrett cares so much about the sacred unborn that she will go to the mat for this one!  She will be joined by the Thomases, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and possibly a reluctant, but also irrelevant, John “arbitration clause” Roberts.

TPD, yo, provoke it at your peril.

[1]  It arose from a series of cases brought by a group of disgruntled slaughterers contesting Louisiana’s monoply on slaughterhouses.

Ten years later a member of the Slaughterhouse majority, Joseph Bradley, would solemnly opine, in ruling against the Civil Rights Act, that there comes a time when Blacks “cease to be the special favorites of the law” and must be regarded as “ordinary citizens” (though with far fewer rights, obviously).

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