Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died

Her final wish:

Just days before her death, as her strength waned, Ginsburg dictated this statement to her granddaughter Clara Spera: “My most fervent wish is that i I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

Get ready. The political war is about to flare up. You ain’t seen nothing yet.


  1. VolcanoMan says

    Welp. America’s fucked.

    To tell you the truth, I’ve been checking my news feeds on a daily basis since the beginning of this year, DREADING this day, and just hoping that it doesn’t happen until 2021. So…not sure how this is going to go down, but it’s clearly not going to be good.

  2. VolcanoMan says

    Oh right. RIP and all that. She was a great lady. A hero who never let me down. America is a better place because of her. The political ramifications of this are dire, but it’s important to remember that Ginsburg was an exemplary person with family and friends who are grieving.

  3. microraptor says

    Bet Republicans can somehow figure out a way to organize a vote for a replacement before October.

  4. nomdeplume says

    The end of America as we have known it. “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.” Fat chance! Trump and McConnell have a list, and will have another far-right Black letter ideologue theocrat installed within days I reckon. Certainly before the election.

  5. pipefighter says

    From now on every justice over the age of 65 needs to be cycled out under a friendly president/senate. RIP.

  6. Rob Grigjanis says

    If she cared that much, she should have quit in 2008, when the Democrats had the Senate and the House.

  7. gijoel says

    As an Australian I just want to hug all Americans and say ‘fuck it all to hell’. I hope tang Caligula gets voted out in November.

  8. Rob Grigjanis says

    Ed Seedhouse @14: Sure. How many Americans might end up suffering because of her decision to hang on? The needs of the many outweigh the egos of the few.

  9. says

    This campaign has just become a delaying action. If the Democrats had any courage at all they would immediately starting on a new round of impeachment hearings. It doesn’t have to stick (nothing does with that slime ball), but if they can delay and clog congress until mid December the Senate will recess for the year and Trump’s first term will be over before they return. Twelve weeks to screw Trump and Mitch out of a THIRD Supreme Court appointee.

  10. Rob Grigjanis says

    Ray Ceeya @17:

    Start thinking about what can be done NOW.

    Easy. Win the presidency, win the Senate.

  11. says

    Cross posted from the political madness thread.

    From Russell Berman, writing for The Atlantic:

    […] Trump will be eager to fill Ginsburg’s seat immediately, seizing an opportunity to rally his base before the election and to cement his legacy in the event that he is defeated in November. He could also become the first president since Richard Nixon to install three justices on the high court in a single four-year term. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already indicated that he’s ready for another confirmation battle, either before or immediately after the election. Republicans might be hard-pressed to consider and approve a Trump nominee in the eight weeks before November, but even a victory by Vice President Joe Biden and a Democratic takeover of the Senate might not prevent Trump from successfully appointing another justice. Republicans would still control both the White House and the Senate until a new Congress takes office in early January.

    Ginsburg made her own desire clear in the days before her death, NPR’s Nina Totenberg reported today. She dictated a statement to her granddaughter that read: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

    Whether that final wish will be granted is unclear. McConnell has insisted that the precedent he created to deny former President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland in the final year of Obama’s term—in a vacancy that occurred nearly nine months before the 2016 election—no longer applies, because the same party controls both the White House and the Senate majority. “Oh, we’d fill it,” the Kentucky Republican promised in May 2019, more than a year before Ginsburg announced the cancer recurrence that took her life. Never mind that the rationale McConnell gave at the time—that voters should have the chance to weigh in on their next Supreme Court justice—would seem to apply even more strongly during an election in which the first ballots have already been mailed.

    The more salient question is not whether McConnell would try to confirm Trump’s nominee but whether his GOP majority would go along with it—either before the election ends in November or in a lame-duck session of Congress afterward. A number of Republican senators have already said they’d want to fill a Supreme Court vacancy if Trump is still in office. But McConnell would need the votes of 50 out of his 52 members to allow Vice President Mike Pence to break a tie (assuming all Democrats voted against Trump’s nominee), and the numbers may not be on his side. One Republican, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, already voted against the president’s last Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, who won confirmation by a single vote in 2018. Another, Senator Susan Collins of Maine, supported Kavanaugh but is now in danger of losing her bid for a sixth term this fall. And a third Republican, Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, voted to convict Trump during the president’s impeachment trial earlier this year; having already tried to remove Trump from office, Romney might be disinclined to give him another lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.

    The Supreme Court has now seen three vacancies in the past five years. Because of her age and ill health, Ginsburg’s is the least surprising. But it may be the most consequential. […] Should Trump pick Ginsburg’s replacement, however, the ideological shift rightward it represents would likely be the largest for a single Supreme Court seat since the conservative Clarence Thomas succeeded the liberal Thurgood Marshall nearly three decades ago. And that opportunity could be too enticing for Republicans to pass up.

    McConnell, backed by the Senate Republicans who have ratified his decisions, has shown above all a willingness to wield power to its fullest extent when it comes to the federal judiciary, to interpret as widely as possible the Constitution’s delegation to the Senate of the authority to “advise and consent” on presidential nominations. He cares more about the confirmation of conservative judges than anything else the Senate does […]

    […] The vacancy thus might provoke the turnout boost for Democrats that previous court battles did not, as well as a push for retribution if Republicans are seen as ignoring the will of the voters. A successful GOP effort to replace Ginsburg with a conservative before or immediately after a Democratic victory will almost certainly lead to more progressive calls for Biden—along with a willing Democratic Senate—to simply pack the Supreme Court with more seats to offset the conservative advantage.

    The stakes of the next two months—with hundreds dying daily from the coronavirus, with an incumbent president fanning violence and undermining the integrity of a national election—could hardly have been higher before Ruth Bader Ginsburg succumbed to cancer. Into that cauldron now goes a Supreme Court fight, with an outcome that could alter American society not only for the next four years, but for a generation to come.


    A woman’s right to choose is in peril.

  12. rpjohnston says

    It’s do or die. I for one ain’t going to live under a Saddam Hussein But Stupid And Cruel regime. Likely quite literally. Every tactic needs to be on the table to take back power on the SCOTUS.

  13. says

    Also cross posted from the Political Madness thread.

    From The Washington Post:
    […] A landmark moment for Justice Ginsburg came in 2011, when the court for the first time opened its term with three female justices. Justice Ginsburg said in an interview with The Washington Post that it would “change the public perception of where women are in the justice system. When the schoolchildren file in and out of the court and they look up and they see three women, then that will seem natural and proper — just how it is.”

    Her outspoken feminism played a role in Justice Ginsburg’s success. President Bill Clinton acknowledged that in 1993 when he nominated her to replace retiring Justice Byron White. At the time, she was a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

    “Many admirers of her work say that she is to the women’s movement what former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall was to the movement for the rights of African Americans,” Clinton said in Rose Garden ceremony. “I can think of no greater compliment to bestow on an American lawyer.”

    (Justice Ginsburg herself usually demurred when the comparison was made, saying that Marshall literally risked his life defending Black clients in the segregated South and that her legal work required no such sacrifice.)

    On the court, Justice Ginsburg’s most notable rulings and dissents advanced feminist causes.

    In 1996, she authored a groundbreaking decision ordering the Virginia Military Institute to admit women, ending a 157-year tradition of all-male education at the state-funded school.

    While Virginia “serves the state’s sons, it makes no provision whatever for her daughters. That is not equal protection,” Justice Ginsburg wrote in United States v. Virginia. The 7-to-1 decision — her friend, Scalia, was the dissenter — was the capstone of the legal battle for gender equality, she said later.

    “I regard the VMI case as the culmination of the 1970s endeavor to open doors so that women could aspire and achieve without artificial constraints,” Justice Ginsburg said after the decision.

    Later in her career, discrimination against women was the theme of several forceful dissents Justice Ginsburg read from the bench, a sparingly used bit of theater that justices employ to emphasize deeply held disagreements with a majority opinion.

    Among them was a protest of the court’s decision to uphold a federal ban on so-called partial-birth abortions. “The court deprives women of the right to make an autonomous choice, even at the expense of their safety,” Justice Ginsburg wrote. “This way of thinking reflects ancient notions about women’s place in the family and under the Constitution — ideas that have long since been discredited.”

    In another, she objected to a ruling that said workers may not sue their employers over unequal pay caused by discrimination alleged to have begun years earlier. That case had been filed by Lilly Ledbetter, the lone female supervisor at a tire plant in Gadsden, Ala., who sued after determining she was paid less than male co-workers.

    In an interview with The Post in 2010, Justice Ginsburg said the Ledbetter case struck a personal chord.

    “Every woman of my age had a Lilly Ledbetter story,” she said. “And so we knew that the notion that a woman who is in a nontraditional job is going to complain the first time she thinks she is being discriminated against — the one thing she doesn’t want to do is rock the boat, to become known as a complainer.”

    She called upon Congress to take action, and once Democrats were in control, it did. Obama signed the law relaxing the deadlines for filing suits.

    If the law is often complex, her view of equality was simple, she once said.

    “It has always been that girls should have the same opportunity to dream, to aspire and achieve — to do whatever their God-given talents enable them to do — as boys,” Justice Ginsburg said in a 2015 conversation at the American Constitution Society. “There should be no place where there isn’t a welcome mat for women. . . . That’s what it’s all about: Women and men, working together, should help make the society a better place than it is now.” […]

    More at the link.

  14. kome says

    Maybe we should start listening to people who’ve been right about these things and called these things? Be a nice change of pace than constantly being told to shut up by people who are constantly, always f-ing wrong about this stuff because they’re clinging to their own comfort and are willing to sacrifice the lives of the already oppressed to maintain it.

    I’m tired of listening to the centrist, moderate, compromise-loving pragmatists who got us here in the first place. They’ve never given a damn about me, or people who look like me, so I’m going to fight them just as hard as I fight those who are out for my extermination. Because the lot of them are an existential threat to me, whereas I only present a threat to their creature comforts and feelings of racial or class superiority.

  15. Sunday Afternoon says

    If McConnell gets his way, President Biden should immediately nominate 2 additional Justices upon taking office in January, one for each of McConnell’s transgressions regarding the court.

  16. PaulBC says

    @23 I was thinking that too. (1) Expand SCOTUS (2) Abolish the electoral college (3) Statehood for DC and Puerto Rico. While I don’t see a path to doing these things, it would really be the only way to restore something like a representative government in the US. Splitting up California into several states is also a good idea, though depending on the split, it’s unclear who it would advantage.

  17. Ed Seedhouse says


    I repeat. Fuck off, fuck right off right now. You are too stupid to engage with, and are a waste of space. Begone Troll.

  18. VolcanoMan says

    There is no law stating that the Supreme Court MUST have 9 members. But if the Democrats are the one to break that particular tradition, there’s a good chance it comes back to bite them in the ass later. Still…one problem at a time – they can put out this fire now, assuming Trump manages to GET a nominee through the Senate, with Biden winning in November and the Senate swinging Democrat as well, and worry about the ramifications later.

    Also, in the interests of preventing a possible civil war…I think it’s possible that 3 Senate Republicans might vote against a Trump nominee. It’s all well and good to push to take away peoples’ rights when it’s an abstract concept…but when the country really is in danger of becoming a Western version of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, not every conservative is prepared to follow through.

    What I most worry about though is that, just like in 2016 (with a Court vacancy), this development gives Trump the extra votes he needs in places like Pennsylvania and Arizona to win a second term. After all, if it’s looking like a current nominee won’t be confirmed (and that’s a distinct possibility), the paranoid reactionary RWNJs are likely to come out and vote for him in even greater numbers. In fact, it’s a distinct possibility that Trump delays starting this process by about a month, stirring up the masses in the 2-3 weeks leading up to the election, planning on using the publicity to help him win. And if he loses, he still has more than 2 months to try and get a nominee through the Senate. So…I don’t know what’s going to happen, but the chances of things turning out okay are pretty low right now.

  19. PaulBC says

    Also, in the interests of preventing a possible civil war…I think it’s possible that 3 Senate Republicans might vote against a Trump nominee.

    Doesn’t it take 4, assuming Pence will cast a tie-breaker?

  20. says

    @Ed Seedhouse.

    I was responding to a comment of “a hero who never let me down.” RBG had cancer 4 times was well into her 80’s and she had to have seen the changes 2010-2015 brought to the GOP. She only hanged on because she wanted to swear in Clinton (first women president). She put her entire life’s work at risk because symbolic gestures. It. was. selfish.

    She did a ton of good but she fucked up here. No heroes. No one above criticism.

  21. PaulBC says

    I am definitely not going to blame Ginsburg for her failure to see 12 years into the future. Maybe she could have done something different in 2014, but SCOTUS is a position for life, and she had every right to hold onto it. This seems like a really asinine thing to attack her for.

  22. ORigel says

    @27 The progressives are fired up as well and the GOP base is smaller than it was in 2016.

    I’m worried that SCOTUS will rule that Trump gets a second term when the results are contested.

  23. Rob Grigjanis says

    robertbaden @26: Yes, who could have foreseen that the Democrats might not hold on to the Presidency, the House and the Senate until whenever Ginsburg died or decided to step down? It’s not as though history teaches us anything, is it?

  24. klatu says

    So what now? Your piece of shit president – or his piece of shit cabinet – gets to appoint another life-time surpreme justice? With the power to immiserate/incarcerate/enslave millions of people?

    Did I get that right? Great system you got there. Very democratic.

  25. raven says

    There goes Roe versus Wade.

    I’m really glad I’m decades past having children without advanced medical help.
    I really feel sorry for all the younger women growing up today.

    .1 The so called pro-lifers are really just female slavers and forced birthers.
    If you don’t control your own body, what are you?
    A slave.

    .2. Oddly enough, this is also going to be a disaster for the fundie xian/white racist supremacists.
    Black and Latino women use abortion much more often than white women
    For Black women it is 5 times, Latino is 2.5 times as often.
    The nonwhite birth rate is going to go up rapidly.

    This is a case of not being too careful about what you wish for.
    You might just get it.

  26. says

    @#22, kome

    Maybe we should start listening to people who’ve been right about these things and called these things?

    That would require eliminating essentially all of the Democratic Party’s leadership.

    @#26, robertbaden:

    Speak for yourself; I foresaw where we are, in principle if not in detail, by the mid-90s. The whole “centrists fuck over the left, then concede everything to the right in order to differentiate themselves from the left in the eyes of the rich, so the right moves further right and the centrists follow them” pattern has happened before, most famously in 20s and 30s Germany.

    @#27, VolcanoMan

    There is no law stating that the Supreme Court MUST have 9 members. But if the Democrats are the one to break that particular tradition, there’s a good chance it comes back to bite them in the ass later.

    Ah, but that would require the Democrats abandoning their two most favorite excuses: “we don’t want to break tradition” and “but the Republicans will call us names!”

    @#34, klatu

    Great system you got there. Very democratic.

    Still more democratic than the UK — or did you miss the part where the Tories had less than 40% of the vote in the last election, but got such a huge majority in Parliament as a result that all other parties combined can’t do a single thing to stop them from doing whatever they want? Even Trump had a better claim to legitimacy than Boris Johnson.

  27. raven says

    Also, in the interests of preventing a possible civil war…I think it’s possible that 3 Senate Republicans might vote against a Trump nominee.

    This is the dumbest thing I’ve read today.
    Which is saying something since this has not been a good day.

    Not going to happen.

    No one is going to go to war over abortion, even if it is outlawed, which is almost certain.
    No one did before when it was against the law and women routinely died from amateur abortions.

  28. oddie says

    It feels a lot like the country is fucked now but honestly it was already fucked to begin with. if one person is all that stand between us and the abyss, that system is not tenable. The Republicans held up a Supreme Court justice for almost a year, it should have been clear then that this system does not function

  29. raven says

    FWIW, I’m sure you can wave bye bye to Roe versus Wade.
    The fundies have been after abortion since it was legalized in 1973.
    I know right this minute, there is massive amounts of blood in the water, and the fundie sharks are going berserk.

    It won’t actually stop abortions though.
    Data. Ceausescu, the Romanian dictator, outlawed abortion and birth control because he decided he needed more Romanians, whether they like it or not.
    The birth rate went up.
    Then it went back down to what it was.
    People are adept and ingenious at evading laws they don’t agree with that make their lives a whole lot worse.
    It also left behind huge numbers of unwanted “orphans” that the state couldn’t care for, who grew up stunted in various ways without any sort of future.
    It was a humanitarian disaster.

    What will happen in the USA.
    The rich will go to Europe, get an abortion, and do some shopping.
    The middle class will go to Canada or Mexico, get an abortion, and do some shopping.
    Leaving the poor to struggle to find an illegal abortion or just end up a forced birth slave.

  30. dianne says

    Ceausescu, the Romanian dictator, outlawed abortion and birth control because he decided he needed more Romanians, whether they like it or not.
    The birth rate went up.
    Then it went back down to what it was.

    Maternal mortality, on the other hand, stayed up.

  31. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Enough with arguing about what could have or should have been. Start thinking about what can be done NOW.

    Somehow win enough support around the country to pass a boatload of constitutional amendments, including the following (a somewhat arbitrary list off the top of my head for stuff that I think is really important). How do we win enough support to pass the constitutional amendments? That’s the hard question.

    The amendments:

    Roe v Wade as a constitutional amendment.

    Universal suffrage for all adult citizens. No exceptions. Suffrage for adult felons. Suffrage for adults in jails, prisons, asylums, etc. Suffrage for adults with outstanding debts, public and private. Also, because it’s tied to voting rights: Once citizenship is formally granted, it shall not be revoked, no matter the cause.

    A single nation-wide vote with party-list voting for the federal house. Instant-runoff voting for the federal senate (because of constitutional restrictions on new amendments messing with senate representation). Instant-runoff for the president.

    Something for SCOTUS: One idea: 36 year appointments. One appointment per president. No replacements in case of death or disability. (The size of the court would slightly vary, never more than 9.) — Another idea: lifetime appointments. One appointment per president. No replacements in case of death or disability. (The size of the court would vary.) — Optionally, require 3/4 of senate for approval of all federal judge appointments. The more I think about this, the more I like this 3/4 option. It would force compromise (the alternative being to shut down the federal courts). Yes an unruly minority party could shut down the courts by denying all new appointments, but I think that given the new rule, this nuclear option would not only rarely be exercised because they would have zero prospect of changing the situation in the next election.

    National amendment so that the president is chosen by simple nation-wide instant-runoff election. Or get enough states on-board with constitutional amendments to achieve a simple nation-wide vote where the winner is the biggest plurality.

  32. VolcanoMan says


    You really think, with the country as polarized as it is today, with the Supreme Court becoming what nobody wanted it to become – a political body – and with a MINORITY of Americans OPENLY ADMITTING that their goal is to retain power over the majority in perpetuity…that civil war isn’t a possibility here? Now I will grant that the complacency of white Americans is staggering…but black and Hispanic Americans are already pushing back against a system that denies them equality, a system in which extrajudicial executions are so commonplace they don’t even always make the news.

    In the absence of gerrymandering and voter suppression, the Republicans would never win a federal election again. They are a minority party that is desperately trying to find ways to keep hold of their power. America is a powder keg, and CoViD has already provided so much stress to an already stressed system. We are beyond the point where protesting will do any good…nobody’s mind is going to be changed on these issues, not really. And with the gutting of campaign finance legislation in Citizens United, and the gutting of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the GOP are already successfully preventing voting in areas with high minority populations, while riling up their base with media campaigns funded by unlimited donations to SuperPacs. Imagine what brazen new techniques they’ll think up to maintain their control, believing that there is no power in the ‘verse that can stop them. We have to stop pretending that this is business as usual, and start understanding that they don’t care about being popular, and they don’t care about preserving norms or traditions – they’ll find ways to stay in power despite being hated by the vast majority of Americans.

    I also worry about this election in particular. Trump has already poisoned the well, priming his supporters to dismiss any result that isn’t a Trump victory. Moreover, as most postal votes are likely to be counted only in the days to weeks following election night, it is very possible that the result from just ballots counted on election night WILL be a Trump victory, while the total vote count (which possibly won’t be available until mid-November) awards the Electoral College to Biden (if he CAN win despite the voter suppression that is taking place). In this case, there is every chance we see Trump and his proxies fighting as hard as they can to throw out those postal votes, and if they lose those fights, there are millions of Americans who will take to the streets with their GUNS, demanding that the Fuhrer remain in power.

    And that was the situation BEFORE Ginsburg’s death. Now, every law passed by any Democratic government for a generation (should there BE any Democratic governments, given the way the GOP have rigged the system) that the GOP don’t like will get challenged in court, and who knows what a 6-3 court believes is “Constitutional?” Moreover, what kinds of laws would GOP governments be able to get away with, knowing that the chances of a court overturning them are slight? Roe v. Wade is just the beginning. Wait until they start regulating the press (which is already 90% pro-capitalism propaganda), or banning protest (for the protection of property, of course). Wait until they start expanding police powers, giving law enforcement even more encouragement to act with impunity, knowing that there won’t be any consequences.

    When things were 5-4, we could rely on Roberts caring about his “legacy” to prevent anything TRULY CRAZY from happening in his Court. Now though…he’s not the swing vote anymore. Who is? Maybe Kavanaugh…which is kind of scary.

    So I’m not saying a civil war is going to happen this year, or the next. But nobody REALLY expected 1930s Germany to devolve into death camps. America is already on the brink of a very dangerous precipice, and I fear that Trump being allowed to name another justice to the Supreme Court takes it even closer to the edge (and perhaps over the edge).

  33. raven says

    So I’m not saying a civil war is going to happen this year, or the next.

    That is a separate issue.

    No, outlawing abortion isn’t going to start a civil war.
    That effects mostly women and no one cares that much except…women and not much more than half of them.
    It also effects mostly nonwhite women and no one cares that much either except nonwhite women.

    Don’t forget that a majority of white women voted for Donald Trump.
    They knew exactly what the fundie xians, the GOP, and the GOP leadership were trying to do, which is outlaw abortion.
    They’ve been trying to do this since 1973, for 47 years.

  34. raven says

    America is already on the brink of a very dangerous precipice, and I fear that Trump being allowed to name another justice to the Supreme Court takes it even closer to the edge (and perhaps over the edge).

    Look VolcanoMan, calm down.

    .1. We are already over the edge.

    .2. I’m just going to quote Oddie at #40.
    “It feels a lot like the country is fucked now but honestly it was already fucked to begin with. if one person is all that stand between us and the abyss, that system is not tenable.”

    .3. If all that stood between us and the abyss is an 87 year old woman who had cancer 4 times, we were already gone.
    More data. Trump despite failing spectacularly at everything to do with running the country, still has an enormous amount of support.
    He might well win the upcoming election despite 200,000 dead for Covid-19 and another Great Recession.
    This is another indication that the USA is rapidly becoming a failed nation.

    Really, we are already in failure mode.
    This looks a lot more like what happened with the USSR, not all that long ago.

    It’s time to figure out how to pick up the pieces and move on.

  35. VolcanoMan says

    And I’m saying it’s about MORE than abortion. Abortion is just ONE of their targets (red meat to throw at “the base” so that they keep voting GOP). And (by the way) only about 1/3 of Americans want to see abortion outlawed most or all of the time. So again…a minority passing laws against the will of a majority. Fine, you might not find a lot of men in this majority willing to shed blood for abortion rights (though there are certainly lots of men who would), but there is a limit to the amount of suffering you can impose on the majority of a country’s population before they decide that they’re done being pushed around (and abortion is only one issue…in case you hadn’t noticed, America’s turned into a bit of a police state, so there is certainly more oppression going on than the oppression of women). And there is a point at which the Democrats are not going to be seen as a viable alternative to that majority (having been let down by them, time after time after time).

    A revolution (or civil war, depending on various circumstances*) CAN happen when there are no options for change WITHIN the system, when a large majority of people in a country realize that nobody with political power is taking their interests or their concerns seriously, when the political class (and the people rich enough to have access TO the political class) is no longer interested in serving the people, but only in serving themselves (and have arranged things so that they need never fear for their power). Oh, both parties are experts at distracting the masses with the “culture wars”…but this is about money and power for them. You really think Mitch McConnell cares about abortions? Trump certainly doesn’t. So it’s about time the American people wake up to the reality that they’re being MANIPULATED. Maybe they can act to prevent what seems to me to be an inevitable period of AT LEAST low-level political violence for the next decade…maybe they can act to ensure that it doesn’t escalate BEYOND low-level violence, by somehow taking back control from the two-party system.

    *I think a civil war is MORE likely than a true revolution because those Americans with authoritarian tendencies (between 25-30% of the population) are more likely to DEFEND the political class than join the rest of Americans in an uprising AGAINST the political class.

  36. raven says

    And (by the way) only about 1/3 of Americans want to see abortion outlawed most or all of the time.

    They clearly didn’t care enough to vote for candidates to keep abortion legal.

    I think you need to take a time out here.
    What you are writing is descending rapidly into pure gibberish and I’m not going to bother reading any more of it.
    We’ve got big problems to solve and some guy babbling on about a civil war isn’t the least bit useful.

  37. says

    I am very sorry. I am sorry to see such an amazing woman go,.
    I am sorry for her family, who lost a beloved person.
    I am sorry for all of you in the USA.
    The Vicar
    Shut the fuck up for once.
    Have some last pretense of decency. Everybody here, their dog and the lint in their belly button knows your position by now and you don’t need to hog another thread, one on the death of an amazing woman for your bullshit.
    You’re a ghoul and no better tja McConnell in this.

  38. lotharloo says

    You guys are delusional. Biden has been running on his ability to “work with Republicans” not fight them. He will not do anything even close to the radical things people post here. He will talk about “healing the nation”, “fighting the division”, “spreading bipartisan” while Republicans laugh behind his back plotting how to steal Democrat’s lunch one more time and spit in their faces in the next opportunity.

    When Trump is out, they will go back to talk about “family values”, “the deficit” and all the other nonsense.

    A disadvantage of voting for the lesser of two evils is that you end up with a group of weaklings who are supposed to fight the big evil. It is not happening, it will never happen. “Republic-lite” is not going to fight Republicans, they will always try to make peace with them.

  39. VolcanoMan says

    And that was BEFORE CoViD, BEFORE Trump started talking about how he, as the president of the United States with all the power that this office wields, may very well decline to accept a losing result in the 2020 election and attempt to maintain his position as president in defiance of the will of the people, BEFORE the already stolen Supreme Court was in a position to have a 6-3 right-wing majority (which likely guarantees overtly conservative decisions from the Court for at least a couple decades). A little over two years ago, a Rasmussen poll found that 31% of probable US voters believed that a second Civil War was likely in the next 5 years. No idea what the number is now (after the clusterfuck of a year that 2020 has been), but I bet it’s higher.

    So…I’m not being paranoid. This is POSSIBLE. In a broken country with terrible governance and a population who are getting ever more desperate as their jobs evaporate and their debts increase, with minorities who are fed up with being treated like second-class citizens by the police, and with a ruling class that is becoming more and more detached from the real suffering of millions of their constituents (starving social programs while giving themselves and their buddies plenty of tax breaks)…things really could go that far.

    Also, at least some research ( has shown that exposure to extreme rhetoric really can cause people to pull back from the brink and agree to talk things out rather than resort to violence. Being aware of this possibility may be key to ensuring that it doesn’t become a reality.

    I am more worried now about the future of the American experiment than I’ve ever been. None of the changes that would actually help America become a more equal, more equitable place can happen if the people who are pushing for these changes are never able to gain power. Nor will there be any effort to make systemic changes to America’s energy policy if the people in power are being paid off by those who extract and sell fossil fuels…and thus climate change will continue to get worse, leading to more chaos as people are displaced from their homes by both short- and long-term climate emergencies (short-term: a single hurricane; long-term: the submersion of Florida). America has never been perfect, but everything is pointing to the fact that it is well and truly fucked at the moment. And if steps aren’t taken to reduce the inequality, the systemic racism, the xenophobia, the tribalism, and the carbon emissions…the future looks pretty bleak.

    I’ve said my piece, and won’t post again in this thread. Maybe I’m over-reacting. Maybe not. Only time will tell.

  40. rpjohnston says

    We have already failed state, and we are already in a civil war. I’d give it about a 50% chance the skirmishes become hot before the election and 90% after. A civil war is preferable to a genocide because that means our side is fighting back which means we have a chance of maybe not dying. The Right will kill over abortion or just for shits and giggles and hate, I doubt they’ll stomach dying for it much though.

    I’ve been saying for years – the pillars of American institution are coming down, it’s just a matter of seeing whose head it falls on and who gets to build America 2. Whichever side that is is the one that’s more ruthless in acquiring and wielding all forms of power available to them. We at least have a leg up in that we have twice the population of the other guys but there’s way more zeal for murder on their side. I can only hope that either the Right gets spooked by those of us who ARE willing to project strength and back down, or that the people at the bottom of Niemoller’s poem join the fight before it’s too late.

  41. chrislawson says

    The US has been going downhill since the election of Reagan, who transformed the usually awful conservative politics into extra-awful evangelical know-nothing conservative politics. The 2 key moments in the subsequent failure of the US were the Supreme Court’s decision to give GWB an election he didn’t earn, and then the re-election of GWB despite rank incompetence and cronyism (Trump is really just a more blatant and reprehensible variation on GWB).

    Whatever we may think of Republican machiavilleanism or craven Democrat centrism, the fact remains that a distinct majority of American voters chose GWB despite proving himself to be worthy of a 50-year prison sentence for war crimes rather than a second term. The overall American electorate is getting what it asked for and what it cruelly continues to ask for. The sad thing is, of course, that plenty of people within that electorate deserve a whole lot better. But that’s not the way American voting, or indeed American culture, works. Exceptionalism + unaccountability + rank xenophobia is the current formula for American success. It works better than developing genuine expertise and is a hell of a lot less work.

  42. unclefrogy says

    yes the October surprise came a little early this season. I am saddened by the passing of a great human being I rejoice in her life and her wisdom and sad that she left us alone without her.
    That guy could win the election, and Moscow Mitch, might get a new justice through.
    They will not help the pandemic nor it seems exert the effort to reduce the death count. The guy did tip his hand though it was he who actually panicked and fell back on the only tool he has lies and coercion of people to hide the truth which scares him to pieces he panicked at the realization of death coming for him
    They will not fix the second great depression either, they have not the tools nor the intelligence needed, so it will get worse, right along with the pandemic.
    the demonstrations will continue because of the unaddressed grievances of the people.
    global warming will continue without our help though other nations will step up to try and help.
    Our standing and influence in the world will continue to slide, with the economic depression and the inability of the republicans to do much to fix it the importance of our market will probably also deteriorate .
    The guy may win this election by hoke or by crook but it will continue to go to shit any way just like his other failed businesses and unless he dies in office (vary possible) he will have to leave eventually and the state courts will still be waiting maybe even jail time.
    a civil war an armed revolution? guns in the streets, rivers of blood and slaughter, wanton destruction ending in armed tyranny of some kind? I have seen that stuff before and heard the call but well……………?
    uncle frogy

  43. gnokgnoh says

    There will not be a civil war. For what cause big enough to provoke an entire group of people to rebel and take up arms against the rest of the country? Overtures by Texas to secede were simply noise. Regional (geographic) secessions will not work, because the threat to the union is too great to tolerate. Its greatest likelihood would have happened under Trump, not subsequent administrations. Not gonna happen.

    2% of the country are farmers, 17% are rural, 55% are suburban, 27% are urban. There is no doubt that 19% of the population could wreak havoc, but that is what it will be, havoc. Rump actions and waving of arms and AR-15s. Vigilante murders. Most conservatives despise threats to their version of law and order. Think about it. Same scenario as Texas with other states. What strength in going it alone? The only one with a shot is South Dakota, with their own banks. I can see that governor trying it on for size under a Democratic president.

    Sometimes progressives have a deep, dark wish for civil war, because that is the only way that can see out of our centrist quicksand, the same way that many wished for and continue to wish for Trump to upset the apple cart. He is the apple cart, but he has fun messing with the apples. Not gonna happen.

  44. René says

    My condoleances, America.
    Am I the only one thinking of a color triangle when reading “RBG”? It would have been a splendid heraldic emblem for her.

  45. rpjohnston says

    Calling 19% of the population wreaking havoc with rump actions and vigilantes murders “not a civil war” is a hell of a take. :rolleyes: Well, I suppose it’s true, in that that’s simply a genocide if our side doesn’t fight back

  46. logicalcat says

    The ones calling for action are the same camp who couldnt be fucked to show up and vote for their guy. These are the same accelerationists who wanted a Trump presidency because it fueled their fantasy of fighting for a socialist America. Nevermind putting us all in danger to begin with.


    If Biden is indeed doing that its because he doesnt believe he could get the leftist vote and who could blame them. Can never please the leftosts enoughh to gove a shit.

  47. raven says

    These are the same accelerationists who wanted a Trump presidency because it fueled their fantasy of fighting for a socialist America.

    That is the idea that things have to get worse and worse and then finally the Proletariat will rise up and overthrow the Capitalists.
    Marx said that and it was wrong then and it is wrong now.

    What usually happens when things get worse and worse is that they just keep going.

    IIRC, revolutions are more likely to happen when things are bad and start getting better.
    The USSR fell after Gorbachev tried to reform the grim conditions that the Soviet people lived under, Perestroika.

    The literal meaning of perestroika is “restructuring”, referring to the restructuring of the Soviet political and economic system.
    Perestroika is sometimes argued to be a significant cause of the collapse of the Eastern Bloc and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, which marked the end of the Cold War.

    Literal meaning: Restructuring
    Perestroika – Wikipedia

  48. consciousness razor says

    The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

    Calling 19% of the population wreaking havoc with rump actions and vigilantes murders “not a civil war” is a hell of a take.

    But there are leftists and liberals in rural areas (what that spurious figure represents), and the suburbs also have a lot of hardcore conservatives. I know that’s news for some people who are entirely too insulated from of the rest of the country. In any case, that’s just a silly way to carve things up.

  49. John Morales says


    A disadvantage of voting for the lesser of two evils is that you end up with a group of weaklings who are supposed to fight the big evil.

    And the advantage is that one may avoid the greater evil.

    Only a perverse person seeks to not avoid the greater evil.

    It follows that you, lotharloo, are perverse.