Fascist takeover alert: Brett Kavanaugh and the end of democracy

Let’s pretend, for just a moment, that we have rule of law in America right now, and that this country is democratically run, and just having a crisis right now.

Kavanaugh will end that if we give him the power he seeks:

With Gamble vs. U.S., No. 17-646, the results of this case will have the power to change the lives of Donald Trump and every Republican scumbag in Congress (and beyond), as well as America as we know it. Gamble vs. U.S. deals with the “separate sovereigns” exception to the double jeopardy clause and, if overruled, will allow a sitting president to pardon both federal and state-level crimes.

For those who don’t see the danger, Trump and his partners in crime are vulnerable to multiple state-level charges. Because states are supposed to have some level of self-governance, the power to pardon those convicted of state crimes rests solely with the governor of that state. The President of the United States of America is currently only authorized to pardon people for federal crimes.

Kavanaugh is already known to believe that the President should be above the law, and this would be the last step to total impunity.

This is the Republican long-game. This is why the GOP has been fighting tooth and nail to rig the justice system to have as many conservative activists swinging a gavel as possible. I don’t know if it was the shift caused by the Southern Strategy, or the influence of powerful people wanting more power, but the GOP has been deliberately trying to overthrow democracy in America for decades. They also haven’t really been quiet about it – the desire to have total control has been at the forefront of their strategy, and it really seems like the Democrats were so used to punching hippies, that when the GOP started agreeing with the hippies and saying “yeah, no, we want authoritarian Republican rule in perpetuity”, the Dems ignored that the same way they ignore Antifa.

It’s almost enough to make one wonder if the gaggle of millionaires “representing” the left wing of this country aren’t actually fighting very hard for the American People. Every step of the way, they have insisted on returning to regular order after the GOP pushed the government to the right, including refusing to get rid of the filibuster even as the GOP abused it in a manner never before seen in American history.

Regardless, the Democrats are all we’ve got, and this supreme court fight may be all that stands between the GOP and total authoritarian rule.

Once Kavanaugh gets on the court, Trump will be able to pardon ANYONE in the country for ANY crime, and it’s not going to stop there.

Remember the laws proposed to make it legal to murder protesters with your car?

Or how about the Universal Military Service and Training Act of 2001, or it’s multiple predecessors?

Think about the camp that currently houses hundreds of children whose “crime” is that they came here or were brought here seeking refuge. Think about the thousands of dead in Puerto Rico. Think about the thousands of dead from Katrina.

Fascism in the 21st century will be just as brutal as it was in the 20th century, but in addition, the climate that the GOP ensured would be unstable is going to be killing off most of their targets  anyway. And if someone gets charged with criminal negligence for letting thousands die of preventable disease, or flooding, or starvation? Well, they control the courts, and even if there’s a judge or two with a conscience, they’ll be able to just pardon them.

Or pardon a person who might “accidentally” let the A/C break in a concentration camp during a heatwave.

Or whoever was responsible for the now-undrinkable water left to rot in Puerto Rico while people were drinking from wells they KNEW were poisoned to survive.

However bad you think it is now – however bad you think it has been in the last century, Fascist America will be worse. There is no end to how bad this gets. The longer Fascism has hold, the more it consumes, and if you look at the rhetoric, policies, and actions of today’s GOP, they will make excuses for everything. It’s an ideology that requires a world-ending enemy to unify the nation, and there’s no limit to what humans will do to an enemy like that.

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  1. Dunc says

    No, the really sad reality is that I’m not sure that it will actually make any practical difference.

  2. says

    My experience with open authoritarian rule is fairly limited, but I did spend a couple weeks in Cuba in 2001, and the difference is notable – not the economic differences caused by sanctions, but the way people talk about politics – gestures indicating shackles, not talking politics around strangers, or even people wearing army green, checkpoints that knew our schedule, all that jazz.

    There is a real difference between open authoritarianism and the sort of pretense at liberal democracy (as a class of government, not a political bent) that we have now.

    I think before we get there, what we’re more likely to see is more incitement of the GOP base, while withholding the protection of the law from minorities and people on the left, and then use self-defense as an excuse to further vilify and illegalize those groups as they did with the Black Panthers.

  3. Dunc says

    I’m speaking from the perspective of being amongst the 96% of humanity that doesn’t live in the USA. Your pretence of liberal democracy hasn’t been very convincing to us for quite some time, and I struggle to muster much sympathy for the danger that you might be about to experience first-hand the style of government you’ve been exporting since before I was born.

  4. wontbehere4long says

    Every single voter and supporter for Trump, including my own family, needs to face punishment for this in some way.

  5. says

    Understanding would be punishment enough. I understand the rage though – anger is something I’ve always struggled with.

    It helps me to think about the way Germany viewed the end of WW2. I think it was Three Arrows that had a piece that included a German official in 2003 or thereabouts pointing discussing Germany’s loss as the liberation of the German people.

    The problem with propaganda is that it works. People are taken in and decieved, and that’s the whole point. Part of trying to build a new world based on a real understanding of human behavior is, in my opinion, being welcoming to those who have fallen prey to one of our weak spots.

    It depends on how far that goes, of course, and what crimes are committed in the name of a lie, but if someone genuinely realizes what they did wrong, I’ll welcome them as another pair of hands willing to work. I don’t think we can afford to turn anyone away – just make sure their previous lapses in judgment mean they don’t get to run things now that they’ve realized how wrong they were.

  6. says

    @Dunc – it’s been a long time since it’s been convincing to me either. I think Bush’s election was the formative moment for me. I was part of the apparently small group in America that noticed the buildup to the Iraq war BEFORE 9/11, and while I couldn’t vote at the time, the fact that he won with a minority really stuck in my craw.

    I think I understand your struggle for sympathy, and I don’t think that’s what’s needed right now.

    I fear that what will be needed in the near future will be asylum for those in the crosshairs of the people in power here, and and a bloody answer to any attempts at world domination.

  7. says

    @Dunc – I also worry that America’s expansionism will get worse as we get farther from the aforementioned pretense. I don’t need to tell you that my country’s not good at keeping its problems within its borders.

  8. wontbehere4long says

    I’m part of the LGBTQIA+ community, and when you find out that there is a vocal group of people within your community who DON’T want you to live the life you want to live, I.E. get married and have children with the person of the same sex and gender that you love…it makes me want to kill.

  9. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To OP
    There’s a danger, yes, but this is not part of a conspiracy.

    So the claim is that the Trump administration wants the court to overturn the Separate Sovereigns doctrine so that his pardons will apply to state criminal cases as well as federal ones. But a quick look at the briefs filed in the case show this to be nonsense. First of all, the Trump administration, through the Solicitor General, is taking the exact opposite position. You can read their brief here.

    Nor is this a simple matter of left and right. In the most recent precedent upholding the Separate Sovereigns Doctrine, Puerto Rico v Sanchez Valle, Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote a concurring opinion, joined by Justice Thomas, that said:
    So this is not a left or right issue. And frankly, regardless of the outcome of this particular case or how it affects Trump’s pardons, the Separate Sovereigns doctrine should be done away with. The ACLU takes that position, as do many other liberal groups. So let’s not spread this around like it’s true. The reason they want to hurry the Kavanaugh nomination through is because the midterms are coming soon and if the Democrats take control, they will have much more control over Trump’s nominees in general, including for the Supreme Court. There is no deeper conspiracy going on here, certainly not one involving this case.

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