The Supreme Court is broken

It’s happening. The Supreme Court, packed with regressive assholes, intends to overthrow Roe v Wade and throw the country into chaos. A copy of “Justice” Samuel Alito’s decision was leaked, and quotes from this terrible document are circulating on the internet, and we can see where Alito waxed poetic about his decision.

I have wondered sometimes if a man, to be a man, must not master a woman and if a woman to be a woman must not know herself mastered.

No man who has seen a woman in Pleasure Silk, or watched her dance, or heard the sound of a belled ankle or watched a woman’s hair, unbound, fall to her waist can long live without the possession of such a delicious creature.

It is said, in a Gorean proverb, that a man, in his heart, desires freedom, and that a woman, in her belly, yearns for love. The collar, in its way, answers both needs. The man is most free, owning the slave. He may do what he wishes with her. The woman, on the other hand, being owned, is institutionally and helplessly subject, in her status as slave, to the submissions of love.

Perhaps it should only be added that the Gorean master, though often strict, is seldom cruel. The girl knows, if she pleases him, her lot will be an easy one.

It is one thing to own a woman, and it is another to have her within the bonds of an excellent mastery.

Oh, sorry. Those are quotes from John Norman’s Gor series, you know the fantasy novel where men enslave women and the women like it. I wonder if Alito has a basement stash of those horrible old books?

Here’s what he actually wrote. The sentiment is similar, if not quite as openly expressed.

Alito’s draft ruling would overturn a decision by the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals that found the Mississippi law ran afoul of Supreme Court precedent by seeking to effectively ban abortions before viability.

Roe’s “survey of history ranged from the constitutionally irrelevant to the plainly incorrect,” Alito continues, adding that its reasoning was “exceptionally weak,” and that the original decision has had “damaging consequences.”

“The inescapable conclusion is that a right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions,” Alito writes.

Hmm. Well. Roger B. Taney — I mean, Slimy Sam Alito — is right, you know. The oppression of women has a long history in this country — after all, women only won the right to vote 100 years ago, with the ratification of the 19th amendment. Let’s just roll all the progress acquired in the last century to something more like the era when women were chattel. Instead of recognizing that it takes roots a long time to grow, just rip them out now.

Hey, you know what else isn’t deeply rooted in this country? Equal rights for black people. Using Alito’s reasoning, one could argue that we should bring back slavery.

But don’t worry. This decision won’t strip away abortion rights in and of itself, it’s just going to give state governments the right to do so. The Supreme Court will then sit back and smile benignly on every repressive measure the Republicans impose on their citizens.

“The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion,” the draft concludes. “Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives.”

Well then, our elected representatives need to get to work and pass legislation to make abortion and health care a protected right. For once, I might agree with the old fossils of the Democratic party.

“If the report is accurate, the Supreme Court is poised to inflict the greatest restriction of rights in the past fifty years — not just on women but on all Americans,” read a joint statement from Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). “… Several of these conservative Justices, who are in no way accountable to the American people, have lied to the U.S. Senate, ripped up the Constitution and defiled both precedent and the Supreme Court’s reputation — all at the expense of tens of millions of women who could soon be stripped of their bodily autonomy and the constitutional rights they’ve relied on for half a century.”

I notice that they don’t say what they’re going to do about it, other than be outraged and send more fundraising letters to me. At least Bernie Sanders has the right idea.

“Congress must pass legislation that codifies Roe v. Wade as the law of the land in this country NOW,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) wrote on Twitter on Monday night, calling for an end to the Senate’s filibuster rule to enact such a bill with a simple majority.

In fact, a Democratic bill that would have done just that garnered only 46 votes in February, thanks to the opposition of Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) and the absences of several other Democrats.

Meanwhile, the Republicans are more upset that anyone dared to leak the decision.

Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) deemed it a “a shameless attempt to pressure justices into reversing their correct position that individual states can outlaw killing unborn babies.”

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) called on the court and the Justice Department to “get to the bottom of this leak immediately using every investigative tool necessary.”

Sure, women will die because of this decision, but oh, dear, the decorum! The loss of trust!

Poor guy. Who wants to break the news to him that our trust in the Supreme Court was broken a long time ago? The final straw was when Mitch McConnell decided to deny a nominee so that he could pack the court with the assholes we’ve got there now. It’s a politicized pigsty for the Right.

To be fair, though, obviously there are some citizens who approve of any decision to restrict the rights of other women to get healthcare and abortions.

A woman named Hannah, who declined to provide her last name, stood in the middle of First Street and prayed that the justices “would find resolve.” She said she was “very sad to see people cheering to kill our children” and “was praying that people’s hearts will be softened.”

Yes,” she said, “we also wish to be free.” She smiled. “In every woman,” she said, “there is something of the Free Companion and something of the Slave Girl.


  1. Reginald Selkirk says

    The only way to give rights to states is to take them away from people.

  2. Reginald Selkirk says

    Alito continues, adding that its reasoning was “exceptionally weak,”

    I’m sure we all look forward to seeing Alito’s superior reasoning, which will in no way indicate that he started from his conclusion and went searching for arguments to justify it.

  3. says

    I can recall reading stories about how Central American women who planned to have babies, while detained in detention centers along the Mexican/US border, had their reproductive organs removed against their will so they won’t have babies at all. I also recall reading about that Stupid Idiot arranging to have secret abortions done to cover up affairs he’s been having with his mistresses, all while establishing misogynist pigs in the SCOTUS who are determined to ban all types of abortions and strip women of all the rights We the People have long fought for. If this isn’t an act of pure hypocrisy on Stupid Idiot and his cronies’ part, I don’t know what is.

    The front steps of the Supreme Court has better be packed with protests up and down the street!

  4. Akira MacKenzie says

    I notice that they don’t say what they’re going to do about it, other than be outraged and send more fundraising letters to me.

    That’s all they’re going to do. I believe that, in private, Chucky, Nancy, Biden, and the rest of the Dem leadership are heaving a massive sigh of relief. No longer will they be forced to “defend the indefensible” to a nation of religious rubes who think that that reproduction and fetuses/infants are magical. Next they’ll abandon LGBTQ people and Church/State separation, hoping that if they signal surrender on cultural issues that the white working class and rural Americans will come back to them.

    We’re now going to see just who our allies really are.

  5. F.O. says

    @Owosso Harpist:
    Your gotcha arguments don’t work on these people.
    Rules are for the inferior ones, certainly not for the rule-givers or the generally powerful.
    Trump hushed a lot of abortions? It’s ok if HE does it.
    They don’t respect reason nor compassion, just hierarchy and power.

  6. StevoR says

    Yes, its broken.

    Time it was repaired.

    Political and judicial reforms long overdue – now is the fn moment!

  7. hemidactylus says

    Roe v Wade was flawed (now perhaps fatally), relying on the potential pareidolia of privacy seen in the constitution. Griswold did similar things. Ginsburg didn’t like it much, preferring a basis in equal protection. I guess now we need to go to the legislative branch for remedy? Great. What could go wrong?

  8. StevoR says

    I suggest the Democratic party now acts immediately.

    Arrest Kavanaugh for the rape of Christine Blasey Ford and for contempt of Congress, conspiracy to pervert the course of Justice and perjury. Because he clearly lied when he said this (among many other obvious lies he told.) :

    Kavanaugh testified that he believed Roe was “settled as a precedent of the Supreme Court” and that Planned Parenthood v. Casey was “precedent on precedent”.

    Source :,_2018

    Arrest the handmaiden Amy Comey OfBarret for contempt of Congress, conspiracy to pervert the course of Justice and perjury. Because she falsely said – & also refused to be properly acountable to Congress :

    Barrett was asked whether Roe v. Wade had been wrongly decided. She refused to answer, noting that there are ongoing cases related to abortion laws: “I can’t pre-commit and say, ‘yes, I’m going in with some agenda.'” Barrett added “I have no agenda.”

    Source :

    remove bothof them form SCOTUS, review how SCOTUS justices are appointed, change the damn way they are appointed and make it impossible for partisan rigging of SCOTUS to ever occur again.

    Stop pulling any punches with the Repugliqon traitors and start taking every possible measure against them as far as possible – including arresting Trump , Moscow Mitch, etc ..for incitement, treason, conspiracy, etc ..

    Oh and whilst on with it long since time to scrap the anti-Democractic Electoral College too. Because :

    Gloves. Off. Democrats.

  9. StevoR says

    @ Owosso Harpist :

    Well, if there’s any upside to this, it should make the Democratic base and voters actually come out and vote at the mid terms and oppose this Repugliklan agenda? Right? Know they finally face the absolute crisis point and can see what’s at stake yeah?

  10. raven says

    We knew this was coming a year ago when the christofascists finally had a majority of the US Supreme court.

    Stare decisis, the rule of precedent, is now dead forever. What was reversed can always be reinstated. When the court has a majority of normal people, Roe versus Wade can come back as the law of the land.
    To be sure, that will take a few decades and I will be long dead before that happens.

  11. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 10

    None of that is going to happen. The process to impeach a Supreme Court justice is just like that of the president: You need the permission of the party that put him in that office to begin with. Do you think the Republicans are going to vote to unseat and convict someone who is advancing their agenda?

  12. StevoR says

    @ 12. raven : I so hope you are wrong it taking decades to fix. Why noty fix it ASAP? As soon as posible meaning, well, tomorrow or at least in over a few weeks or months time?

    Before the midterms? Is the President of the United States of America anad the party that controls both Houses of Congress really that fucking powerless to act and make a difference?

  13. StevoR says

    @ 10. Akira MacKenzie : WTF! Really!? That’s sounds utterly absurd. Can’t the police act? Theycannot be aboev the law – not even in the US of A. Also see last line above.

  14. StevoR says

    PS. I’m not talk impeachment – I’m talking criminal arrest for clarity here.

    Though both seem well deserved.

  15. raven says data for 2019

    Among the 30 areas that reported race by ethnicity data for 2019, non-Hispanic White women and non-Hispanic Black women accounted for the largest percentages of all abortions (33.4% and 38.4%, respectively), and Hispanic women and non-Hispanic women in the other race category accounted for smaller percentages (21.0% and 7.2%, respectively) (Table 6). Non-Hispanic White women had the lowest abortion rate (6.6 abortions per 1,000 women) and ratio (117 abortions per 1,000 live births), and non-Hispanic Black women had the highest abortion rate (23.8 abortions per 1,000 women) and ratio (386 abortions per 1,000 live births).

    The abortion rate for Black and Hispanic women is much higher than for white women. It is 3.6 times higher for Black women and 2-3 times higher for Hispanic women.

    Outlawing abortion is going to increase the nonwhite birth rate by a lot.
    Ironically, this is the greatest fear of the white supremacists who actually favored outlawing abortion.
    They are simply increasing the nonwhite population and decreasing the time until the USA becomes majority nonwhite.
    They never think things through very far.

    The white racists are now in the position of being the dog that caught the car. And equally clueless.

  16. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 15

    In order to remove a politician, a president, or a judge from office, you need to impeach and convict them. While the House of Representatives needs a simple majority to impeach, the Senate requires a 2/3rds majority. This nothing gets done without the support of the same politicians who support the defendant.

    You could just arrest Kavanaugh, but he’ll still be a sitting justice.

  17. microraptor says

    As Rachel Maddow pointed out last night, four of the people responsible for this decision were put on the Supreme Court by presidents who lost the majority vote. The Senate is either a Republican majority or split 50/50 despite far more people voting Democrat. We have a country where there is no majority rule.

  18. lotharloo says

    US is a dysfunctional country and it cannot be saved. This was predictable. Gay rights is next. Maybe fascism. This is what happens when the minority can obtain power. Minority wins the presidency, the senate, the house and packs the courts with their goons. Minority suppresses voting, and expands their propaganda.

  19. says

    Hey, you know what else isn’t deeply rooted in this country? Equal rights for black people. Using Alito’s reasoning, one could argue that we should bring back slavery.

    You’re saying that as if that’s not the plan.

  20. says

    Yes, the Supreme Court is broken. The fact that one can predict the outcome of a SCOTUS vote based on nothing more than the party of the president who nominated each justice is a dead giveaway. These are supposed to be legal rulings, not political opinions.
    But a big chunk of the problem is the fact that the US Senate is not apportioned by population. We have numerous states, mostly red, with under two million people, and each one elects the same number of senators as California, which has 39 million. And not only is the Senate responsible for confirming justices, Electoral College votes are apportioned according to the total number of House representatives and senators.
    So we end up with two presidents who lost the popular vote nominating a majority of Supreme Court justices, confirmed by an unrepresentative Senate, ignoring precedent and negating a SCOTUS decision from 40 years ago. Not to mention blocking an Obama nominee by refusing to even hold hearings.
    And it will likely get worse. Within a few years, if demographic trends continue, 70% of the American population will be living in 15 states, meaning that 70% of the Senate will be elected by the other 30% of the population.
    Gah. That’s all I can say for now. This is a weakness I don’t think the framers of the Constitution foresaw.

  21. lotharloo says

    Honestly, the only reasonable solution is secession. Let the dum dum states wallow in their own misery. It would also be better for the entire fucking world. No more stupid wars paid by the richer blue states, more environmental protections and so on. As a bonus, it also breaks the hegemony of the USA; stupid countries should not be super powers.

  22. Dauphni says

    @StevoR #15

    They have in fact repeatedly demonstrated to be above the law. Impeachment has already proven to be nothing more than a fantasy, and the police is blatantly on their side and will not touch them.
    If you want to remove them you are going to have to do so through other methods.

  23. rorschach says

    Yes the Supreme Court is “broken”, in the sense that the process of appointing judges is broken. But it seems to me that the USA as a whole is broken, because your election process is unfair, heavily manipulated through gerrymandering, and there are a legion of christofascists counting votes and those overseeing vote counts who are not going to play by the rules. So you essentially can not hold free and fair elections anymore. That is the problem.

  24. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 25

    Let the dum dum states wallow in their own misery.

    As tempting as that sounds, what about the poor, non-fascist souls who are stuck in those states and can’t afford to leave?

    Who get’s the nukes in the divorce?

  25. Dauphni says

    The only way to fix this is to rip up the constitution and start over. There’s no reason a document written by and for 18th century slaveowners should still be binding in the 21st.

    Just look at France, they became a republic shortly after the USA, and had their first constitution written by the same sorts of people. They are currently enjoying their fifth republic, while the USA is still stuck in the first.

  26. StevoR says

    @ 27. rorschach : truth.

    @ Akira MacKenzie : 19 & 20 : Thanks I guess.. Also .. expletives.. not at you at the whole shitshow.

    @ 25. lotharloo : Unforunately there’s stll a lot of good people there who don t deserve hell* in those bloody awful states. Plus splitting up the (dis)United States of America would result in a lot of argy-bargy over who gets the nukes and likely war and that would not end wellfor the world and if it did suceed could well result in not one but two (or more?) nuclera armed, unstable, nations withgrudges so .. yeeeahh.

    . * Not that anyone actually does tempting tho’ it may seem at times ..

  27. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 29

    The only way to fix this is to rip up the constitution and start over.

    That’s even less likely than impeaching Kavanaugh or secession. As outmoded and outdated as our constitution it is, it’s a literal idol to many–even many liberals who don’t deify the Founding Assholes like the right-wingers do. That, and you can be sure that even if that were to happen, some liberal moron would insist that the Republicans/conservatives get a say in the process in the name of “unity.”

    Face it. We’re fucked. My advice is to hope to die before things get really bad.

  28. lotharloo says

    @Akira MacKenzie
    Yeah too bad for the five non-fascist voters who live in Alabama. But not everyone can be saved. Secession will do more in harm reduction than tying all the wealth of the USA to the whim of its ignorant minority. The system cannot be fixed. It’s design flaws are too foundational.

  29. StevoR says

    @ ^ lotharloo : Pretty durn sure there’s thousands more than just 5 non-fascist voters even in Alabama .. not that I’ve ever been there, got any connections there or want to go there.

    @ Akira MacKenzie : well, that’s cheerful.

    What’s your plan B or C here?

    Anything other miserable deafeatism to offer please?

  30. Rob Grigjanis says

    Top five states by population: 120 million people, 5 dem senators, 5 repub senators.

    Bottom five states by population: less than 4 million people, 2 dem senators, 8 repub senators.

    Yeah, your country’s been fucked from the start.

  31. Dauphni says

    @Akira MacKenzie #31

    You’re not wrong, but I’m trying to not be completely defeatist.
    Honestly, I don’t see a non-violent way out of this, but I am also acutely aware that in case of a violent solution the fascists have most of the guns, so that would only make things worse.

    If anyone has any better ideas I’d love to hear them.

    And it’s not just the USA either, Hungary and Poland are dealing with the exact same issues, and are even further along this path.

  32. birgerjohansson says

    The supreme court only has power because you give it to the court.
    There were Jim Crow laws. There has been a lot of other laws. The transition in the 1960s was mostly peaceful but – and I am using other countries as a template here- if it becomes impossible for society to maintain and enforce discredited laws something has to give. I am thinking of colonial India, South Africa, Cyprus during the British rule et cetera. Those changes did not come easy, there were probably more in those countries who had their skulls cracked by the police than in USA during the sixties but it worked.
    And if the current Democrats keep being useless, you dump them. If they do not want to lead, chuck them aside.

  33. brucegee1962 says

    I notice that they don’t say what they’re going to do about it, other than be outraged and send more fundraising letters to me.

    Because getting more Dems elected is literally the only way we can stop this. LITERALLY. THE ONLY WAY.
    As many have noted above, the majority of Americans don’t support these restrictions. But way too many people don’t vote in down-ballot elections, and that is exactly why we are in the mess we’re in today.
    If Dems had a solid majority in the Senate, we wouldn’t have the far-right SCOTUS we have today.

    As for lotharloo@25 on secession — whenever I see the word “secession” I substitute “bloody civil war.” There is no way this country could be split apart peacefully. It would make 1862 look like a Sunday picnic. And unfortunately, the other side has way more gun nuts, which is why that’s what they want.

  34. Dauphni says

    But way too many people don’t vote in down-ballot elections, and that is exactly why we are in the mess we’re in today.

    But the reason people don’t vote is because the Dems don’t want to fix this. And if your only two options are parties that will both screw you over why vote at all?

  35. StevoR says

    @ 35. Rob Grigjanis : Shared before, will probly share again, the USA’s anti-democratic Electoral College simply has to be abolished.

    One person, one vote (ideally with preferences or run off elections a la France too) and NO gerrymandering or voter suppression allowed by anyone. Mandatory voting (or at least ticking your name off at polling station a la Oz politics) and automatic voter enlistment once someone is old enough to legally do one or more of the following – drink / drive / fuck. That need to be the goal & priortity to achieve I reckon. :

    ..the biggest vice of the Electoral College is its blatant unfairness to voters in the bigger states. As a resident of the largest state, California, I look at the residents of the smallest state, Wyoming, with particular envy during election season. Each vote cast in Wyoming is worth 3.6 as much as the same vote cast in California. How can that be, you might ask? It’s easy to see, when you do the math. Although Wyoming had a population in the last census of only 563,767, it gets 3 votes in the Electoral College based on its two Senators and one Congressman. California has 55 electoral votes. That sounds like a lot more, but it isn’t when you consider the size of the state. The population of California in the last census was 37,254,503, and that means that the electoral votes per capita in California are a lot less. To put it another way, the three electors in Wyoming represent an average of 187,923 residents each. The 55 electors in California represent an average of 677,355 each, and that’s a disparity of 3.6 to 1.

    Source :

    California – & New York and other more populous states – should NOT let this injustice exist. They should NOT have to put up with their people having so much less say than others. 1 person. 1 vote – with preferential voting system that stops spoilers (eg Nader, Sanders, Perot) and gives every individual person a proper democratic say.

    Obvious political reforms. So badly needed. Why TF aren’t Americans working to make them more strongly and prominiently?

    I know not so easy to implement and achieve but .. FFS.

  36. raven says

    But the reason people don’t vote is because the Dems don’t want to fix this.

    That is not true at all.

    The whole reason we even had Roe versus Wade for 50 years was because of the Democrats.

    The problem is far more with the voters than the Democrats.
    78 million people still voted for Trump, despite all evidence that he was barely cognitively competent and not the least concerned with actually running the country.

  37. raven says

    And if your only two options are parties that will both screw you over why vote at all?

    That just makes you part of the problem, not part of the solution.

    The only way we are getting out of this is by voting.

    Roe versus Wade is going to hit the Red states and the fundie xians harder than the rest of us. The abortion rates of the fundies is higher than the general population.
    They are about to find out just what forced child bearing means in Real Life.

  38. StevoR says

    @ Dauphni : “But the reason people don’t vote is because the Dems don’t want to fix this.”

    Don’t want to or can’t because they don’t have the numbers?

    If not the Dems then who and how?

    So. Fucking. Frustrating.. & I type this from the planet’s biggest ocean away* so how it feels to you folks can only begin to imagine but .. Aaaarrrrghh!!

    .* Yet the USA still has so much sway over my nation and so many others so .. again,, Aaargh!

    PS. Also, no, I can’t sleep despite the hour in my timezone, despite working today .. yet again.. Sigh.

  39. hillaryrettig1 says

    The whole point of a political party is to amass and use power. The Democratic elite seem very good at using the power of their party to obscenely enrich themselves. Less good at helping us ordinary people and securing our rights.

  40. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 33 and 36

    There comes a point and time where you have to look at a situation and realize that there is just no practical path to victory or even survival. It’s not “defeatist” to point this out, it’s just stating a fact.

    To borrow a Star Trek analogy, it’s Kobayashi Maru scenario. Only, unlike James T. Kirk, I doubt the Dems have the spine or the brains to cheat their ways out of this mess.

  41. Akira MacKenzie says

    Edit @ 45

    To borrow a Star Trek analogy, we’re in the Kobayashi Maru scenario.

  42. asclepias says

    lotharloo @25 Gee, thanks for that. A lot of us posting here live in those “dum-dum” states. I like Wyoming, despite the many dum-dums who live here. I grew up here, and attended public schools here. There are Republicans here who wholeheartedly supported Trump, but are great people despite that. There are also a lot of Republicans who wish they could take back their vote for Lummis for the Senate because she supported the January 6 riots. And if you’re trying to persuade people that your approach is best, calling them dum-dums is unlikely to make them feel respected or that you are making a worthwhile argument.

  43. unclefrogy says

    the idea of secession is ridiculous and short sighted and probably just a reaction to the frustration.
    If you look at many of those states who are often lumped together they are not white only populations and all have sizable none white populations especially those in the south, all of those states are also not contiguous either.
    Another idea that is born out of pure fantasy is scraping the constitution and writing a new one.
    Given how the politics are at the moment with a very messy divided country with many ongoing conflicts just what how would imagine the process of writing a new constitution go?
    all of those ideas are trying to find an easy way out of this toward more liberty and justice for all. I am afraid that is what has gotten us into this mess in the first place, trying to find an easy way . There does not seem to be one, the easy way is a slide down hill. If we want to continue forward it takes effort and plenty of it and involvement. The truth is even with all the effort and struggle any victory is only as it were temporary only good for the day there is no once and for all!
    The “conservatives” are always trying to maintain the familiar pattern. They have always spelled the end of greatness in historical eras and bring the end to advancement and growth, sometimes leading to complete collapse.

  44. robro says

    unclefdrogy @ #48 — I was thinking of saying much the same about several of these “easy” solutions, which aren’t easy at all.

    I think one of the more difficult solutions that should be pursued and could be successful is campaign financing reform. It’s the source of too much monied influence and graft.

    The other is the Senate. Two votes per state is just a vestige of government by a privileged elite…slave owners in the past, now just very rich people. I heard Elizabeth Warren make a case for having the Senate as a “deliberative body,” but seats proportioned by population.

  45. donfelipe says


    Thanks for realistically pointing out so many of the “solutions” being tossed about aren’t even remotely realistic. Maybe its just the response to being completely fucked?

    And then there’s so many comments blaming Democrats for not stopping the Republicans, as if the Republicans and their voters are robots who can’t be held accountable. Or blaming all of the Democrats for somehow not being able to convince the Joe Manchin subset to not be awful. Why can’t Kentucky, Wisconsin, Kansas, or Montana elect Democratic senators when they have Democratic governors? (In fact they have some of the flat out WORST Senators) It’s clearly not impossible. Why can’t we blame the voters of those states because they can’t make rational decisions?

    This goes a long way to explaining why regardless of how awful Republicans are it is still likely they will gain control of Congress. People are pissed their choices aren’t exactly what they like versus finding utility in what there is. They can identify we don’t have a perfect or ideal system but justify voting habits by saying candidates themselves aren’t perfect.

  46. rpjohnston says

    Always gotta love the argument that it’s voters’ duty to give power to people and never the powerful’s duty to earn it

    People who don’t believe that their leaders will protect them will turn their energies inward and build their own network to survive. Or just give up and let what happen, happen. People who do believe that their leaders will protect them don’t spend energy building protections they don’t think will be necessary. People have limited bandwidth and these are mostly mutually exclusive coping regimes.

    That’s simply the reality of how people work. You can sit there and sneer at all the people who don’t believe it worth their emotional energy to put trust in politicians if it makes you feel superior. If your goal is to get Democrats elected, you will fail. But at least you’ll know who you want to blame.

    The people crawled through broken glass and defied nigh-insurmountable statistical rigging to give Democrats a trifecta. This is the best that Democrats will get – and will not get it again – unless they use their power, lawful or otherwise, to gain ground. The ball is in their court.

  47. Bruce Collins says

    Dred Scott II – And intended to have similar results.

  48. houseplant says

    PZ, seems disturbingly well informed about Gor. I hope that this is not part of the reading list for any of his courses.

    Also @25.
    A bit outdated. I don’t think that red state USA would necessarily start more more wars than blue state USA. This would have been the case 30 years ago, but right wing America is becoming more isolationist.

  49. nomdeplume says

    A country with the world’s most disfunctional system of government and law heads into the dustbin of history.

  50. raven says

    A country with the world’s most disfunctional system of government and law heads into the dustbin of history.

    I didn’t have to wonder how the people in the USSR felt when it imploded and died.
    Anyone there who could came west for survival and I ended up working with a few Russian scientists. They went from the elite nomenklatura of their society, to subsistence farmers trying to survive after they stopped getting paid.
    It was as ugly as you can imagine.

    So what is next?
    The christofascists aren’t going to stop abortions. They are just going to make it harder for women to get them.
    It is Prohibition all over again.

    So how did that work?
    .1. The USA outlawed alcohol by a constitutional amendment early in the 20th century.
    It didn’t work, caused huge problems, and was eventually repealed.
    .2. Cannabis (marijuana) is illegal in the USA.
    I drove by 5 or so Cannabis shops on my way home tonight. They run ads everywhere.

    The point I’m trying to make here is that when a law is very unpopular and doesn’t make sense, people just ignore it.
    People will just go the DIY abortion route. There is already a Black Market for misoprostol and RU-486, the abortion drugs. A lot of people grow Pennyroyal in their back yards.
    A lot of women will also just travel, the rich to Europe, the middle class to Canada and Mexico, the poor to wherever they can.

  51. PaulBC says

    OT (except sort of the Gor part and “what it means to be a woman”) A FB friend just reminded me of the old TV commercial for Enjoli perfume (late 70s, early 80s): “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never never never let you forget you’re a man.” Honestly, it seemed pretty ridiculous to me at the time too.

    So as of this historical marker, women had acquired the “right” to work outside the home, but every other expectation is about the same. Has there been any progress since then? (Maybe some but it’s not for me to say.) I am not sure John Norman would approve of this kind of uppity woman though, even if she did fall back readily into a domestic/sexual role after returning with “the bacon.”

  52. dianne says

    I can’t remember where I heard this, but I’ve heard it claimed that the immediate goal is Roe v Wade, but the actual target is Brown v Board of Education. I thought at the time that this was a bit alarmist. I’m less convinced now.

  53. StevoR says

    It occurs to me that having failed to suceed with a political and physical coup, the Repugs and the reichwing have suceeded – or are close to suceeding – in a judicial coup imposing their ideology and power on the majority and over the executive governing branch by capturing the Supreme Court (& other Courts) and using it to over-ride the Democratically elected government and wishes of the majority of the People of the USA.

    SCOTUS is acting illegitimately outdside of its jurisdiction here like an executive branch of govt imposing “conservative” (regressive) idelogy not following proper law which is based on precedent.

    Unable to take power and impose their radical regressive agenda by physically capturing Congress (& lynching Trump’s VP) they have done a Palpatine and used stealth to hijack and take over SCOTUS in what should be illegal and certainly unjust and against the wishes of the People and by decieving Congress and treating it with contempt by lying to it in cases of the conservative “Justices” rendering their offices illegitimate.

    I believe this should be viewed as a form of coup and tretaed accordingly with the Justices involved in opposed the established and popular legal precedent of Roe Vs Wade arrested as traitors and those who conspired to put them there – the Federalist society ( ) and many Republicans arrested and jailed for treason against the United States as domestic enemies of the state. As is Trump & Moscow Mitch & Alito & co. Coup plotters and domestic traitors the lot of them.

    Laws should then be changed to prevent this sort of thing ever happening again with politicians losing the power to appoint Justices at all and SCOTUS Justices being appointed by other lawyers and Judges only.

    The EC and the mid-term elections* should also be scrapped among other legaland political reforms. Maybe this will be a catalyst to finally trigger that? The ultimate Repug overreach that brings them all down? Is it that scenario or does this finally trigger the resumed / new American Civil War that so many fools seem to want over there? It now seems disturbingly, tragically plausible a set of scenarios. Hopefully still avoidable but close. Not having such a war but instead falling to theocratic fascism through this judicial coup against the will of the People (which favours women’s bodily autonomy being retained 70% to 30% roughly from news coverage just seen & saw the Republcians / Trump cult fail to win a presidential election on the numbers the last X times even when stealing that office through the EC) instead don’t look much more appealing either. Not the only choices? Hope not.

    Yes, I am serious here.

    .* As an Aussie I find the whole mid-term election thing really baffling. It doesn’t seem like a necessary or good idea and I don’t get why you have it or allow it to make so much of the terms of government effectively impossible. Have an election, have a set term of office then have another election for everything. Why have an election, have half a term or so, then have a partial election that makes the life of those you elected last time impossible and wait another half a term before having the real election? Amercian political institutuions are .. seriously messed up and nonsensical.

  54. StevoR says

    @49. Intransitive : “Those who want to criminalize abortion also want to legalize the rape and violent assault of women.”

    Yes – and also Queer people, People of Colour, basically anyone who disagrees with them and is outside their White Supremacist, heteronormative fascist Christian Supremacist mentality. This won’t stop at stripping women of the right to control their own bodies. Given power they will do much worse and more than just that as horrible as it is on its own.

  55. lochaber says

    dianne @61

    I don’t know if that’s their end goal, but I think it’s absolutely foolish to think this chain won’t lead there…

    bigots and fascists don’t just settle down and drop their weapons and go back to farming or whatever when their immediate target is defeated. There is always another target, another winnowing, etc. this shit never ends peacefully (which is part of why I’ll never get why people like Andy Ngo, Ben Shapiro, Milo Yiannopoulos, and countless others, go all in for the side that’s going to happily shove them into an oven as soon as possible…)

    An acquantaince casually asked why left-leaning folk don’t use (attempt to use?) assassination as much as right-leaning folk, and, I honestly had no answer, not even presentable speculation outside of maybe the left might be more “reality-based” and less likely to be prone to delusions of grandeur, persecution, etc.

    I don’t fucking know, but at this point, I personally consider an actual physical attack against anti-choice people an act of self defense. Bodily autonomy rates pretty high on my absolutist stances…

  56. says

    The Senate can be fixed. Statehood for DC, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, and every last rock in the Pacific that has warm bodies on it. And then expand the SC to 13.

    Yes this needs an actual Senate majority (not the fake one we have now). We had one in 2009; just need to fukn use it.

  57. houseplant says

    Well PZ, I am impressed that you can remember so much about Gor after 40 years. This clearly made a strong impression on you.

    I am not sure about the supreme court. It is now making reactionary rulings. In the past though it has made very progressive decisions. At the moment it is in opposition to a progressive elements in the American congress. A change of electoral results could mean a congress that is more reactionary. How much independence from the legislative branch should the supreme court have ?

    Full disclosure. I am not American. Not sure of the answer and as a foreigner not really my business.

    I suspect though that this decision will help the Democrats. Most (but not all) women will be horrified by the Supreme Courts antiabortion stance and will be more likely to support the Democrats is the upcoming elections.

    Downside, a lot of back alley abortions, destroyed lives and associated deaths. A cruel arithmetic.

  58. F.O. says

    This is the best take I’ve heard on the whole thing:

    Beau of the Fifth Column: “Let’s talk about Republican reaction to the SCOTUS leak….”

    TL;DW: Why aren’t Republicans owning it?

  59. unclefrogy says

    stevor the midterm in the midterm elections refers to the Presidential term of office,which is 4 years, the election is for the House of Representatives which has a 2 year term of office.
    it is how it was set up I think it must be part of the kind of keeping everyone less entrenched or something but that is the way it has been organized checks and balances and all.

  60. wzrd1 says

    Well, that’s the start. See, women being different in rights is the start to bringing back segregation and its separate but equal schools, with one school class not having books, but totally equal.
    Next, they’ll declare men citizens, per the Constitution and women aren’t, therefor, the 19th amendment doesn’t apply to them.
    Maybe Dante was right, this is hell, nor am I out of it.

  61. dianne says

    lochaber@64: Maybe “end goal” was the wrong phrase. Brown v Board of Education is probably just another stop on their way to reversing the 13th-15th amendments and probably the 19th as well. (Yes, I know, the USSC can’t undo amendments, but they can “interpret” them into non-existence and their funders are packing state legislatures as well.)

  62. logicalcat says


    During 2016 ive said that the only people who support Trump are either dumb or racist. I still believe that. But of the former doesnt mean there arent good people who deluded themselves to thinking Trump was a good idea. Anyone who thinks a Trump voter is universaly a bad person is clearly privileged sheltered idiot who lives on the internet. These are the same virtue signaling assholes who used to do the “but voting for the lesser evil is still evil” during 2016 even when we were constantly reminded them what was at risk including Roe v Wade.

    If anyone here didnt vote in 2016, you never cared about this issue then and I doubt you really care about it now. But go ahead with your righteous anger. Its very believable im sure.

  63. rpjohnston says

    @ 62 That’s not how federal elections work in America. The president serves a 4 year term, Representatives are 2 year terms, and Senators are 6 year terms, but staggered so that 1/3 of them are elected every 2 years. So every 2 years the House and 1/3 of the Senate are up for votes, and every other one of those the President is too. States and locals do their own thing – my state has elections every year for something or other.

    The rest of what you wrote is mostly a matter of Democrats are too wussy and too committed to The Rule Of Law(tm) to do what’s necessary in the short term to save it in the long term. That and categorically incapable of conceiving that other people have different intrinsic values than them and can’t be brought over to The Good Side by just the right unicorn argument. Of course this Neville Chamberlain shit only serves to stir the pot and feed the beast and make the eventual war that much more gruesome.

  64. PaulBC says

    logicalcat@72 There are surely “good people I disagree with” in nearly any election you can name. I think it’s beside the point for me to judge their character, their ethics, or whether I consider them well informed. The only important thing is to avoid a catastrophic outcome such as happened in 2016 and continues to reverberate (against the catastrophe of 2000 that continues to reverberate only somewhat attenuated, against the catastrophe of 1994, against the catastrophe of 1980, against the catastrophe of 1972, against the catastrophe of 1968, all ripples in the cesspool of American “democracy”).

    We’re basically fucked, and I don’t care who’s doing it or their reasons. I don’t think it’s important for me to excuse them out of “bipartisanship” nor is it useful to demonize them. What does work? Heh, beats me. I think most Trumpies aren’t going to change and it is the job of the candidates I support to generate more enthusiasm, respond in kind to the onslaught of attacks against them, and actually appear to stand for something, which shouldn’t be too hard, but really isn’t a strong point for Democrats. I will vote for them but I can’t rely on others to.

  65. Akira MacKenzie says

    Rhat and categorically incapable of conceiving that other people have different intrinsic values than them and can’t be brought over to The Good Side by just the right unicorn argument.

    Ah yes, “The West Wing” fallacy. Aaron Sorkin has A LOT to answer for in his role for making liberals stupid, feckless, and ineffectual.

  66. Akira MacKenzie says

    Edit @ 76

    Whoops! Sorry, I should credit rpjohnston at #74 for that comment and that should read:

    That and…

  67. PaulBC says


    Akira MacKenzie@76

    Aaron Sorkin has A LOT to answer for in his role for making liberals stupid, feckless, and ineffectual.

    I see. I dodged that bullet. Never watched an episode in my life. Maybe some day. I am unusual in believing that a TV series must first age like a fine wine. (E.g. I am just now catching up on Mad Men.)

    It’s too bad that we no longer have realistic shows like Gilligan’s Island which did not fool anyone into thinking they were ever going to be rescued.

  68. tuatara says

    Samuel Alito cringes at typo in leaked draft accidentally referring to women as “people”

    WASHINGTON D.C. – Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has expressed frustration at an error in his leaked opinion on a pivotal abortion rights case in which he erroneously referred to women as “people”.

    “How could such a humiliating mistake happen? ” the Justice reportedly yelled at a nearby clerk. “I will never hear the end of this at the next Federalist Society dinner.”

    While reasons for the typo are unclear, it appears that the word was a placeholder intended to be filled in later with more legally appropriate language, such as “embryo steward”, “incubation chamber”, “female assistant”, “partially sentient womb”, or “MOTHER” (but in all caps to clarify that her parenthood is the only salient aspect of her humanity).

    While pro-choice advocates are outraged by the decision, which if it goes into effect could legalize abortion bans in many Republican-controlled states, anti-abortion advocates are equally concerned by the precedent Alito’s language might set.

    “Think of a woman as a noble husk of corn – when you take the husk away, the beautiful corn is revealed, just like the baby is revealed when you strip the woman away, “ Norbert Grimce of the evangelical anti-abortion group “Rights for Children Until they are Born and Not a Minute Longer” told reporters. “Do you let the husk decide if it wants to grow the baby-corn? Now we’re calling the baby-husk “people”? Is that what you want? Corn being allowed to be a person?”

    Other groups express concern that referring to women as “people” could undo years of hard work to protect Americans from the rights of trans, gay, and other disenfranchised population.

    Justice Alito was quick to clarify that the language of the decision will be corrected before it is officially announced. “If we allow women to run-roughshod over their bodies, we cannot protect ourselves from others doing the same. From things as disgusting as choosing not to have children, to as heinous as having sex with the same gender, to as abhorrent as voting, this could leave Americans at the mercy of other people having the authority to do things with their bodies that we don’t like.”

    “Dammit! I said it again – I meant ‘unbelievers’, not people. Somebody get me a pen!”

  69. StevoR says

    @ 69. unclefrogy : Thanks but the mid terms seems like a really bad idea & needless to me. Not that our system here in Oz is perfect but I do wish the US system could be reformed and improved in many ways and scrapping the mid terms would be one of many suggestions I’d make for it – starting with abolishing the Electoral College, gerrymandering and voter suppression plus making it preferential voting.

  70. says

    Everyone complaining that the other side has more guns there’s an easy fix to that. Go buy a gun n yourself.

    Civil disorder on a massive scale is unavoidable. Best to prepare for it.

  71. says

    Trumpists allowed a virus en masse to kill them because they so hate liberals and the other that prolonging a pandemic was a great bit of realpolitik for their aims. there’s no way to reason out of this place.