The fourteenth installment of Sheldon Whitehouse’s excellent The Scheme series, outlining very clearly how far right extremists have captured the federal judiciary for preordained political ends, funded with unlimited dark money from undisclosed extremely wealthy reactionaries intent on preserving their privileges at all costs.
The only shame is that this chillingly true presentation was not made, and widely disseminated, ten years ago, in time for voters and legislators to stop the infernal machinations of dark money funded reactionary zealots, before these fiendishly determined motherfuckers won their long war to turn back the clock and protect their own rights at the expense of everyone else’s.
The John Birch Society was, at the time of its creation in 1958, the lunatic fringe of the far right. Formed by several wealthy right wing businessmen in a rage against the “activist” Supreme Court that unanimously declared segregation of public schools unconstitutional, Birchers believed this communist judicial activism was leading us down a slippery slope toward “forced integration”, integrated labor unions, full rights for women and other abominations of majoritarian tyranny. Movement conservatives steered clear of these rich extremists who saw commies everywhere, pulling the strings, making intolerable outcomes happen — like forcing whites who honestly hated Blacks to send their children to school with… you know. The lunatics who started this paranoiac right-wing interest group (which is still alive today, google these insane funsters) included wealthy fossil fuel baron Fred Koch, admirer of Mr. Hitler and father of American far-right titan and architect of the modern Republican party, Charles Koch. They’ve come a long way since 1958, taking over the Republican party with the vitality of their big ideas, as Heather Cox Richardson explains:
In Michigan, Republican Ryan Kelley, who is running for governor, has openly attacked the idea of democracy. “Socialism—it starts with democracy,” he said. “That’s the ticket for the left. They want to push this idea of democracy, which turns into socialism, which turns into communism in every instance.” Kelley’s distinction between “democracy” and a “constitutional republic” is drawn from the John Birch Society in the 1960s, which used that distinction to oppose the idea of one person, one vote, that supported Black voting.
In turn, the Birchers drew from the arguments of white supremacists during Reconstruction after the Civil War, who warned that Black voters would elect leaders who promised them roads, and schools, and hospitals. These benefits would cost tax dollars that in the postwar South would have to be paid largely by white landowners. Thus, white voters insisted, Black voting would lead to a redistribution of wealth; by 1871, they insisted it was essentially “socialism.”
Democracy, a dirty, slippery slope down to providing equal rights and equal protection of the law to everyone. Where does this decadent slide toward socialism end? Socialized medicine, a so-called right to affordable health care in the richest nation in human history? Making billionaires, who made two trillion in pocket change during the pandemic, pay more than 8% tax on that money? Jesus, socialism is un-American, as anti-American as anti-fascism and the millions of unhinged “woke” maniacs protesting when one black guy, with a criminal record, no less, gets accidentally killed by four cops. God save our flawed vessel king! Who are you gullible dummies going to believe, the fake news or Jesus Christ Himself?
Spend unlimited amounts of money on non-profit right wing think tanks, create dozens, if not hundreds. The opinions emerging from these think tanks will then be disseminated through the mass media and often dominate public discussion of the issue at hand. Employ the brightest partisan lawyers you can find, to craft court cases to change the law to what you want it to be. Spend millions on learned amicus briefs that give the Supreme Court all the learned arguments and citations they need to overturn any inconvenient precedent. Vet your nominees to the federal bench to ensure loyalty to the judicial principles you inculcate in your judicial fraternity.
When a nominee has an openly partisan history like Kavanaugh’s, hide thousands of pages of compromising legal writings that could be used to question his judicial integrity. When credible accusations about his past behavior and candor are made against him, have the FBI open a five day investigation and make sure all tips that come in, 4,500 we’re told, are routed directly to the lawyer for the White House who is determined to get him appointed – none reach the FBI. Don Fucking McGahn had one job as White House counsel, to get as many Federalist Society judges as he could on the Supreme Court. He pushed Gorsuch and then Kavanaugh. Two for two. Don McGahn, American patriot and hero of authoritarians. This piece is an excellent short course in how the right-wing ecosystem works, how it attains and consolidates power.
The steps to totalitarian control by a small, determined minority are always the same. First, end “majoritarian tyranny” and the “coercive state” by limiting the right to vote to your supporters. It is helpful to control advertising and media prior to elections by spending billions to make sure your supporters vote the right way. The US Supreme Court, by a one vote majority, has approved both of these techniques, ruling that enforcement of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional and that anonymous donors can spend unlimited amounts to influence electoral outcomes. In each state, we have legislatures, so-called independent state legislatures, that march to the same drumbeat of social control. Here’s the Florida version, going back to 2000.
Good old fashioned invidious disenfranchisement in de land of cotton. Supreme Court Federalist Society majority holds that politics is not de business of de Supreme Court, no suh!
One of America’s great, no bullshit journalists, Mehdi Hassan, lays out a bit of Trumpie’s penchant for encouraging violence in his followers, and the need to hold the plotters of the Hail Mary “legitimate political discourse” (political violence) of January 6th legally accountable:
As though everything that happens in the world must be seen through a strictly partisan lens. See if you can spot my objection to this paragraph in an otherwise excellent analysis of the many crimes of Mark Meadows.
On the call, the president told Raffensperger: “I just want to find 11,780 votes” to win the state. That has led Democrats to assert that Trump was seeking to interfere with an election.
You dig, in the name of “fairness” we, the liberal media, have to suggest that only Democrats claim this call to pressure the man responsible for certifying the twice recounted election results in a state Trump lost, by 11,779 votes, could be seen, perhaps, as an attempt to interfere with an election.
Read or listen to this detailed, well-researched exposition Inside Mark Meadows’s final push to keep Trump in powerand see if you can explain to yourself why Merrick Garland is so squeamish about having it never look political, as though holding an unhinged enabler of an unhinged maniac responsible for his illegal actions is a political position. As Democrats allege, of course… while Meadows and his co-conspirators defy subpoenas, lose, appeal, obstruct justice and/or plead the Fifth ten times a minute, Democrats have claimed. . .
I’ve got a lot of bones to pick with the NY Times, though they do excellent and important investigative work from time to time. Their default position seems to be that whatever benefits Wall Street is more or less good for our well-educated readers and there’s no point to seem one-sided in balancing the grim and desperate needs of the oppressed and the ongoing bright prospects of the perpetually challenged well-to-do.
The Grey Lady often does this balancing in a somewhat subtle manner, which makes it look like cranky caviling to take issue with it much of the time, though once a while something obvious jumps out and punches me. Like the headlines they post, amplifying right wing talking points, on the same day government reports come out highlighting the success of any one of Biden’s several major economic initiatives. On the same day the US economy reported another record month for job growth, the Grey Lady offered this on page one:
Nobody at the NY Times has access to google? Five seconds with that arcane search engine and you discover that Biden, in spite of cheery jobs numbers, low unemployment numbers, infrastructure repairjobs booming and other good things he has done against determined, sometimes insane opposition, may not have all that much to do with Worldwide inflation.
Read the Times headline, against the backdrop of brutal anti-Biden propganda in the FOX infotainment universe and you come away thinking not only has Biden jeopardized the economy of the US with run away inflation, he’s fucked just about every other wealthy country too! Check out the damage he’s done!
A few seconds on Google, and you have the beginning of a more nuanced, realistic picture of global inflation
There are lower inflation numbers in Scandinavia and other places, Japan 1.2%, Afghanistan is doing fantastic (relative to inflation, that is), with only 1.56%, and higher ones, 16.7% in Russia, 13.7% in Ukraine, 69.97% in Turkey, but the US numbers are not out of line with inflation in other wealthy nations in the aftermath of a massive global disruption due to a deadly pandemic. We are also aware of the unimaginably gigantic windfall profits the richest individuals and corporations raked in during that same deadly period. Oh, well. Biden may be doing some things right, against tremendous odds, but… look at that fucking record inflation he is causing! Everywhere!!!
One candidate in the recent Georgia Republican gubernatorial debate steered hard right in her arguments to the Christian voters of Georgia. Charles M. Blow in the NY Times recounts her moral stand for the white children of Georgia:
Another candidate, Kandiss Taylor, an educator herself, went further still. “We not only have C.R.T. and S.E.L. and comprehensive sex education teaching transgender perversion to our children,” she said, referring to critical race theory and social-emotional learning, “we also have anti-white racism that has not been addressed by the current administration. It has taken over our schools, and it’s ruining the students. It’s ruining the environment.”
S.E.L. is a teaching technique that, research suggests, can boost academic performance. But it is a practice that conservatives view with suspicion, thinking it could abet lessons about race and gender. God forbid children should become more emotionally intelligent. Their empathy might grow, and with it a better understanding of others. In that way, I can understand why it would unnerve oppressors.
In her closing comments, Taylor ratcheted up her inflammatory language: “We’re going to ensure that boys aren’t in our girls’ bathrooms and girls aren’t in our boys’ bathrooms, and people aren’t being raped. And we’re going to get rid of kindergarten teachers — men with beards and lipstick and high heels — teaching our children. We’re going to get back to being moral in Georgia.”
As a white woman, and mother of three, Taylor is in the demographic that Republicans are trying to attract. But she is also a near-perfect encapsulation of the party’s fringe.
During the debate, she chastised Kemp for not contesting the 2020 results in Georgia, saying: “Donald Trump won. He won. We have a fraudulent pedophile in the White House because Governor Kemp failed.” The idea that Satan-worshiping pedophiles are running the country is a central belief of QAnon.
The day after the debate, Taylor tweeted a video with a caption that read in part: “I am the ONLY candidate bold enough to stand up to the Luciferian Cabal. Elect me governor of Georgia, and I will bring the Satanic Regime to its knees ….”
As ominous music plays in the background, she shifts from satanic cabals to human sacrifice, saying: “Back in biblical times, human sacrifice was a form of demonic worship. We’re still doing it, in present day, by killing our unborn. It’s the same demons. It’s the same sacrifice. It’s the same sin. It’s just a different time.”
In June 2020, during ongoing multiracial protests across the country after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, in a show of strongman strength, Trump used force to break up a peaceful protest in Lafayette Square Park. Bill Barr dismissed claims of racism and ordered federal anti-riot forces, including troops from the Bureau of Prisons, to unleash force to disperse a peaceful, crowd of protesters lawfully assembled, seeking a redress of grievances. Arrests were made, though in the end no charges were brought against any protesters.
AfterwardsBarr lied repeatedly about the need for and the extent of the force used, denying tear gas was deployed, claiming angrily that pepper spray was not a chemicalirritant and manfully refraining from using the n-word in expressing his contempt for millions of idiot Americans pretending thereis widespreadracism at law in the USA.
Trump had been angry, and no doubt felt humiliated, because the day before, after being rushed to an underground bunker during a night of protest, the lying Press traitorously reported his dashto the bunker. Made him look like a coward, the worst thibg for a strongman to be. This was the night before he unleashed armored riot troops, many on horseback, to disperse a peaceful protest by his critics.
The day his rush to the bunker was reported, he arranged a conference call with Republican governors. Lambasting them for looking like pussies, he told them that they had to show strength, dominate the streets, that they couldn’t let these black sons of bitches and woketransanti-fascists win.
Sometime after that photo op in front of the church, Trump had a non scalable fence/wall put up around the White House for his protection from violent mobs of anti-fascists (unAmerican scum!) and BLM terrorist sons of bitches. This barrier protecting Trump from the people was in place on November 3rd2020, Election Day, and can be seen behind him two months later at his rally at the Ellipse when he stood behind bulletproof glass and exhorted a crowd to go down to the Capitol and strengthen the spines of his vacilating party members to do what must be done toreverse the treacherously stolen election — an election, quite frankly, stolen by Blacks and their pathetic, sick, politically correct enablers, in both parties.
Now, in a way you have to tip yer yarmulke to the bloated orange Hitler admirer, his hunch has so far proved right.
Brazen it out, haters love an angry lie, plus, if your followers are angry enough they will dismiss any mountain of evidence they don’t like. Prosecute your enemies and pardon your friends, Barr was with him every step of the way, before Barr treacherously betrayed him in the days before the permt- free march and his “will be wild” riot jumped off.
Soon enough, after initially condemning his insane acts on January 6th, all of his eager lackeys were once again lined up behind him, to kiss the rings (on his crusty colon) and the Republican party position became that the riot was not a riot at all but “legitimate political discourse”.
The injured Capitol police? “Fuck those traitor cops who wouldn’t let my people into my houseto do my urgent business...”
Then of course in stark contrast to the June 2020 photo op, the Trump rioters were allowed to peacefully disperse after ransacking the Capitol building, halting the certification of the duly elected president’s victory, threatening the lives of elected officials and putting dozens of police in the hospital.And, of course, also defecating in the halls of the people’s house, as you do when engaged in legitimate political discourse.
You know just like those Black Lives Matter and antifa terrorist sons of bitches did a million times, and nobody said anything about them!!!!And what about fucking Hunter Biden!
Fortunately for all these criminal conspirators and conspiracy theorists, elected and unelected, the Democratic Party leaders are ultimately beholden to the same large, dark money donors who put every president in the White House.Democracy was an experiment anyway, and who can prove actual intent, ever?Not to mention the First Amendment right to scream fire in a crowded theater, which is second only to the Second Amendment right to take a gun anywhere and shoot anybody you’re afraid of!