Fascists like to broadcast their intentions; it’s part of their “thing.”
So I’m disappointed (but far from shocked) that the smirking stealth christian dominionists that got stacked into the supreme court, are doing exactly what they were put there to do. Amazingly, the democrats, acting in their self-appointed role of “the good people everywhere” (I’ll get to that) pretended to accept the candidates’ pretend answers, in some utterly pointless performance of “Confirmation Hearings” that convinced absolutely nobody. And then there’s Mitch McConnell, who played his role of evil robot, doing exactly what he said he’d do, and was put there to do: exploit the rules ruthlessly, in order to stack the deck. I’m offended that the democrats think I’m so stupid that I can summon up shock (and donations) because of this.
And I’m disgusted that they’re already trying to pump the handle and “energize their base” with this social tragedy that they saw coming at least a decade ago – and they were careful not to do jack shit. Because a) they care about energizing their base and b) abortion? We’re all menopausal dotards and we don’t give a shit about abortion because we can always fly to some clinic someplace away from the rules, as politicians always do. They may as well just scream in our faces, “hey, we think you’re a bunch of gomers!” I mean, the republicans hate us but the democrats are just a bunch of ruthless, disorganized opportunists who can’t opportunist to save their lives. More precisely, they’re levels of competing opportunists who can’t resist taking the chance to cross eachothers’ sails, while the republicans – their base unified by hatred – damn the torpedoes full speed ahead.
The republicans had to do this because they’ve been collecting huge amounts of money from their donors, on the premise that they will. Their next cash cow will be anti gay marriage and trying to eradicate transpeople from the public square, just watch and see where that will take them. The children have gotten a taste of what it feels like to drive the bulldozer so shit’s gonna get bulldozed.
Back in 2002 I was at a conference and wound up in a limo back to the airport with a few of the other invited speakers. One of the others was a mature woman, a political hack who professed a deep belief in the republican platform and a lot of confidence that the democrats were going to lose the next election. She rattled on a bit and when there was some silence I asked her, in my best dead-flat voice, “how can you be a woman and a republican?” Stony silence does not bother me, as long as it’s silence. But the question still stands. The metricians keep saying “most americans support abortion” – oh, yeah, really? Well, a lot of them still vote republican in spite of the fact that the republicans have been flying big banners for a decade saying “we’re gonna kill Roe V Wade!” I’m shocked that you’re shocked; you must think I’m as stupid as a planarian.
Before anyone accuses me (fairly) of cynicism, here’s the thing I want you to consider: If the democrats actually gave a shit about the issue, they would have written abortion rights into law everywhere at the federal and state level, when they had the chance. They could have done it under Clinton, easily. They could have done it under Obama, probably. They could have told Ruth Bader Ginsburg to get the fuck off the bench, already, at the beginning of Obama’s reign – that’s what the republicans would have done, and will do, to maintain their lock on the court. The democrats were just too enamored of the pretend la-la land where the republicans play fair, and the supreme court is not a political football. But they hung onto that issue so they had something that they could flog their base with.
And you know what sucks? It’s going to work. Flog, flog, flog. Because the republicans are in fact stomping over the will of the majority, in a pretty huge way. They’re all in – they know that this will all be dismantled if the republican grip on power slips, and they’re going to make sure it doesn’t.
A plague on both your houses.
Of all the takes I expected to find here, “the Democrats believed them during their confirmation hearings” is one of the most revisionist.
Since you’re someone who seems to have a particular distaste for revisionism, I find that concerning.
The Democrats didn’t vote for these judges. It didn’t matter, because the Democrats didn’t get enough votes to have a say.
Reading this after coming off Crip Dyke’s post is… pretty gross.
Marcus Ranum says
“the Democrats believed them during their confirmation hearings”
How you turned:
pretended to accept the candidates’ pretend answers, in some utterly pointless performance of “Confirmation Hearings” that convinced absolutely nobody.
“the democrats believed them during their confirmation hearings”
shows true skill at ‘revisionism’ – or just outright bullshit. Actually, it doesn’t show skill because what I actually said is right up there in the posting and what you said I said is not anywhere in it. You didn’t even remotely come close to the sense of what I said, either. Deliberate or just clueless? I can’t tell.
Reading this after coming off Crip Dyke’s post is… pretty gross.
Looks to me like you didn’t actually read it. So I’m sorry your misinterpretation of what I said grosses you out; maybe you’d be happier if you read for comprehension.
Besides the decision itself, the really sad thing is the way this “debate” has been covered over the last few decades, whether or not Dems or Repubs are in power, by major media. It usually starts off with a bunch of polling numbers, and then some history, and some guesses on what happens next. Invariably, when a restrictive law is proposed, there will be shouts of “But, there isn’t even an exclusion for cases of rape or incest!”. To that last bit, I say STFU. You’re going about this the wrong way. It makes it sound like that’s all you want, an exclusion for rape and incest. The “isn’t EVEN” part gets lost. Many USAians have a hard enough time with words beyond two syllables, so using a literally device to illustrate the extreme nature of the bill isn’t particularly effective.
What I wish the media would point out is that, fundamentally, this is a religious argument. The anti-abortion argument hinges on two bits of religious dogma: First, that there is such a thing as a “soul”; an ethereal, non-corporeal, supernatural bit of something or other that no one seems able to identify or pin down with any accuracy, and which makes people “people”. Second, that this soul becomes manifest at the instant a sperm cell fertilizes an egg cell (humans only, of course). Given that premise, the line of their argument follows naturally.
But that’s the rub: Not all religions believe that, not all cultures believe that, not all people believe that. There are no objective, independently verifiable data to support it, nor any experiments that could be performed to detect it. Thus, it is purely a matter of faith, which quite literally implies a belief in something for which you have no proof. It is nothing more than rank religious dogma.
So what’s really going on is that a group of particularly vocal people who comprise a minority of the country are trying to establish the consequences of their religious dogma as the law of the land. In a society purportedly based on secular law, that is first order ridiculous. Every member of the media would be screaming their heads off if some group tried to outlaw the consumption of beef or pork because their religion tells them eating it is bad. BUT, abortion? Oh no, that gets special treatment. Can’t talk about the religious aspects and how this is a direct attack on every person in the country who does not buy into that particular bit of religious dogma. Somehow, their beliefs are “special” and they are not to be criticized when they try to erect them into the public square.
If you ever hear someone mention “the sanctity of life” as part of their argument, just remember that “sanctity” is a religious term, meaning something that is holy or sacred. They’ve just admitted that their argument is religious in nature. And while such folks often opine about how their faith “informs and guides them”, it doesn’t give them the right to force those guidelines on anyone else.
And one last thing, I am tired as all get-out of hearing about how the Dems can’t get all members of their caucus to pass a certain bit of legislation, as if they are the ones screwing up everything. Sure, Manchin and Sinema can be complete tools, but what about those other 49 Republican senators? Why do they get off blameless? It’s always “The Dems failed to do this and the Dems failed to do that”, and never “All Republicans failed to support X”. There is a narrative being repeated on virtually all major media channels. Chomsky called it manufacturing consent.
Sorry for the length and the typos (like literally -> literary)
Marcus Ranum @2:
You didn’t HAVE to be an asshole to me. That’s your choice. But if you’re gonna be that way, then fine. I’ll stop trying to be polite, too.
Democrats did not pretend to believe any of Trump’s appointed judges on their Roe v. Wade commentary. That’s why they almost universally voted against their confirmations. These things are a matter of record. It’s trivial to look them up. You could have done so but I guess chose not to.
I’m sick of the armchair quarterbacking of “Democrats decided not to do anything,” (sorry, your exact words were “they were careful not to do jack shit”) as if they can just pass any legislation they want at any time. Do y’all not understand that Republicans have effective veto power over anything Democrats try to do? Even in the rare instance where Democrats actually have a majority in the House and Senate, Republicans still have veto power through filibuster. So exactly what were Democrats supposed to do in the last 30 years?
You don’t sound cynical. You just sound ignorant.
Old man yells at cloud.
This makes as much sense as blaming the Southern Strategy on Democrats.
How is it the fault of anyone other than old white Xtian men that American women are NOT automatically given equal rights!?
Despite being ‘menopausal’ my Senators are both incensed at the leaked info that the >b/b< on SCOTUS plan to infringe on the constitutional rights of 50% of the population.
That should read Republican members of SCOTUS.
@3 jimf: Another thing that often plays into it is the attitude towards medical procedures. When there is a problem with the fetus and either the mother or the fetus must take great risk or be sacrificed it varies widely. Some take the view that if there is any chance of birth then the mother must put her life at risk. A few take the reverse, the mother is a breeder that has multiple uses so it’s better to sacrifice a single potential child. Put in much more polite terms but that is what it amounts to. A handful are suspicious of medical procedures in general and would rather put both at risk then visit a hospital.
It’s nice they managed to shoot themselves in the foot well ahead of midterms though. If you want voter engagement, the asshats just guaranteed the women are going to be out en masse voting against any candidate who thinks we are merely incubators.
Ketil Tveiten says
It’s striking how different polls are for «the current policy of the Democrats» compared to [insert description of what that policy is without mentioning names]. The Dems are underpolling their own policies by up to 40% on some issues, it’s really impressive.
So what’s going on here? One thing is that the D’s suck at their jobs and are bad at communicating their policies to the voters, vigorously aided by misinformation from the very competent right-wing propaganda machines. Another is that the voters (rightly for the most part) perceive them as a bunch of out-of-touch old rich people. I’ll venture that the most significant factor is the first, that many people simply don’t know what the D policy is on any given issue.
How about putting Republicans under surveillance? Find out what nasty shit they’re doing (because they are) and nail them for it. On the rare occasion where you can’t find anything, plant it. Check up on their donors and do the same. Systematically root out their supporters and wreck their lives. Force them to spend all their time on damage control, so they can’t plan the next way to fuck us all over.
That’s what Democrats should do. They have the money and the connections, so why not? No Republican should be allowed to run without a story about how they raped a minor, engaged in a drug orgy, or embezzled millions.
Also, there’s a lot of internal division in the Republicans. The religious ones all hate each other for being of the wrong sect and the money guys never really trusted each other to begin with. That sounds like an opportunity, to me. Angle your attack on the divisions. Find out where their interest diverge and then propose legislation that splits them down the middle. Never mind what, the point is to get them fighting each other. It doesn’t even have to be too dramatic; just get them to disagree with each other. They’re evil fucks, so the resentment will breed and eventually blow up.
Essentially, treat Republicans like what they are: Enemies. Stop pretending you’re going to win by the power of the people. Elections aren’t how you win; they’re proof of the fact that you already won. You win by being clever, ruthless, and well-prepared.
I think that there’s more to it than that, though.
In addition to the above, there is also the belief that the class of persons that this event occurs inside of (usually women) are totally responsible for the incubation of the newly ensouled person, and are potentially liable for any medical complications that might lead even to a natural termination of the pregnancy (miscarriages are potentially manslaughter).
Come to think of it, that’s also usually a religion-based belief. Misogyny doesn’t require religion, nor does religion require misogyny, but all too often, misogyny is justified by religion.
There’s also a bit of the Just World Fallacy in the belief that coerced sex cannot lead to pregnancy, so if someone becomes pregnant, the act that lead to it was not rape.
Voting working? Might not.
For the last forty years whenever there’s been a recess in Congress, the criminal authoritarians rammed their own choices through, and then when Congress was in session the ‘democratic’ *snerk* opposition did nothing and pretended nothing was going on and were all sweet and ‘non political’ and nominated on their own behalf bipartisan seeming folks in. It wasn’t just at the top as Marcus says here. This means lower courts were primed with partisan folks that could be relied upon to send stuff to the SCOTUS to rule on that would normally not ever get there.
Nowadays the Voting Rights Act has been gutted, and SCOTUS has ruled that gerrymandering is AOK! This is the first year after the census, which Trump deliberatly cut off early, so there is and will be massively unfair redistricting. Not all of it will be due to legislative interference. They know that voting will not work. They planned it that way.
Reginald Selkirk says
OT: This is what happens when police rough up a white person.
Ex-officer jailed after rough arrest of woman with dementia
She’s still alive, both arresting officers resigned, the officer who injured her apologized to her family and pleaded guilty, and she got a $3M settlement from the city.
Marcus Ranum says
I think I figured out a way to illustrate how I get my opinion on this matter.
1) We are in the star wars universe.
2) There is the evil empire and darth vader and the clone army and the nazgul and the death star.
3) It is a given that the evil empire does not play fair and is completely ruthless. That’s why they’re evil, really; they just never got very good at seeking a happy balance because they never had to and they don’t have any practice.
4) There is the good guy alliance, which includes some lost jedi, an ewok or two, chewbacca, and a number of disposable X-wing pilots.
5) There is one clique in the good guy alliance that insists that they are the lesser of two evils (they manifestly are) but they also occupy all the meetings, discourage suggestions from outside their clique, and constantly and repeatedly take all the X-wings out on missions that turn out to be suicidal. Then, they complain a lot and say “think how much worse it would have been had we not sacrificed our X-wings so nobly?” and they yell at everyone who complains that their strategy is basically suicidal. But the clique hogs the stage and won’t let go of the mic, and they get to indoctrinate new recruits (always need new X-wing pilots!) and nobody is able to get a word in edgewise.
Notice I am not saying “the evil empire is a good alternative.” I am not saying “the rebel clique is as bad as the evil empire.” I am saying that they are stupid, and they ought to stop hogging the mic, and I refuse to accept them blaming me for their failure, i.e.: constantly asking me if I want to fly a nice new X-wing or donate more money.
To stick with that analogy, “they came on the same old way, and we drove them back the same old way” except in this case it’s the evil empire saying that. It’s retrospective analysis, but against a populist with an unknown closet full of unknown skeletons, who is getting wide support for bucking the system, maybe running the system’s candidate is a bad idea. Biden did really well in terms of votes, but Trump lost that election more than Biden won it. So we all acknowledged that Trump was loathsome, but a husk of dried fish is “more of the same”. I think that the democrats should have gone “all in” with some inspirational leadership literally from out of left field – why not? They knew that the republicans were going to grind Biden’s agenda to dust, because he was going to be completely predictable.
Of course, at this point, the democrats, having argued about bernie bros and influence and how to pacify the mighty Manchin, are left with the death star bearing down on them and they’d going, “fuck! now what do we do!?” Attack it before it was fully operational, seems a good idea. I’m not sympathetic; “We’re the lesser of two evils” doesn’t mean they don’t suck. Do they deserve my money and my vote? They’ll get my vote, grudgingly, because they’ve arranged it so there’s no alternative but whatever garbage they’re serving. Wanna see the fur fly? They should run AOC. She’s the republicans biggest nightmare – a real fucking populist with mass appeal to women, hispanics, and holy shit the democrats were more worried about how to get her to toe the party line than anything else. The fascists aren’t subtle – they project their plans and their fears – what they’re afraid of is a solid populist progressive who comes all Roosevelt with a new deal and is not going to come on the same old way and be defeated the same old way.
All that’s too late, now. It turns out that being the “lesser of two evils” is a strategy that encourages minimal effectiveness.
I saw some discussion about whether or not the democrats coulda/shoulda codified abortion rights back when they had a chance. Wow, that would have been a great idea. It was probably obvious at the time, just like getting RBG off the bench was obvious. (“no, let’s not politicize the supreme court” the dems whined…) you know what, it turns out there are a lot of things that might have been feasible. That’s not 20/20 hindsight, that’s “outright failure.” Its what comes from political strategists saying “equal rights amendment is a non-starter, let’s not try that, god forbid.” Well the republicans are about to win their equivalent victory and it’s because they’re sneaky bastards who never sat back or played fair.
Trumpism (I think this is true of fascism in general) feeds off of popular disaffection with the political process. Trump’s whole message was that he was an outsider, not beholden to the party machine. In fact, he originally claimed the republican party machine was trying to steal the nomination from him (and they’d have been crazy not to) he was, overtly, the worse of two evils and his fanbase loved it. It looks to me like the democrats need someone who is young, smart, and willing to own a completely maverick strategy. If we’re all going down in front of the death star (looks like that’s what’s going to happen) ah, fuck it, it’s too late now. Hey lets all go back to hoping
MuellerMerrick Garland comes charging in to save democracy.
Pierce R. Butler says
Marcus Ranum @ # 15: … being the “lesser of two evils” is a strategy that encourages minimal effectiveness.
Sometimes I want to make the case the Dem leadership deliberately contrives minimal effectiveness, for the simple reason that they now get most of their funding from the same people who fund the Republicans and their agenda. The pattern fits the available evidence fairly tightly, if one allows for a few exceptions for the sake of distraction.
I would as often make the case that individual persons make a major difference at this level. Take Pelosi (- please! [rimshot]) – no doubt the only Speaker in House history to block two well-deserved presidential impeachments to protect her nominal opponents.
Every major party truly needs someone in the upper levels always on the lookout for opportunities to poach a member or a seat from the other side – but that person should never get the very top position. For decades the (House) Dems have had leadership dedicated to co-opting the Republicans with only-tool-is-a-hammer blinders; that’s undermined everything else they’ve done and become. With different butts in the chairs, the Dems would at least have rotted in other, maybe less pernicious, ways.
Whenever the time comes to replace Pelosi, progressives in the party will have their best shot at saving it, but that will require having ducks in rows and other maneuvers in which the Pelositas have built-in advantages. May the showdown come soon.
I’ve always thought that political parties should be retired as an outmoded and pointless method of voter representation. It’s a government, not a football match.
Shitting on Dems because of the actions of fully corrupt R’s is simply victim blaming.
Just as Putin overplayed his strategy, the unintended consequences of authoritarian overreach really energize the non-fascist sector of the people.
Two months later and the entire planet hates Putin, NATO is doing its thing, and a resistance movement seems to be rising in Russia. There is a long comment over on TET that mentions 22 groups, but few details.
( it has a long list of all the infrastructure that keeps mysteriously exploding, or getting set on fire)
The news that Putin has cancer and needs surgery is a whole new grade of Schadenfreude.
Attacking Dems because they have integrity and operate in accord with democratic ideas; rather than act like patriarchal fascists is simply bullshit though.
The trollification of a loud minority of Usanians has emboldened the cockroaches to make their grab for power.
The fact that a clerk has leaked that shit should be a factor in your analysis. The 70% of the US that decisively voted the Russian simp out of office is in full support of women’s reproductive rights and autonomy. The women will have another march and shut down DC if they have to.
You might be surprised how many women who identify as R are all about equal rights and also hate the current crop of rapists/insurrection loving/conspiracy fueled dotards. They are all voting for Dems, just like they voted last time.
We all remember those congress members taking trips to Russia and Cheetos open crush on it’s fascist dictator. I wonder what will happen if Putin doesn’t survive surgery, and the Compromat that he holds mysteriously gets published to the internet.
In both the invasion of Ukraine and the planned invasion of constitutional rights, the aggressor is making a Hail Mary maneuver and it is in process of backfiring on them.
*Argh do I hate trying to write with my phone. Sorry for the somewhat disjointed line of reasoning but I can only see one paragraph of my comment at a time, and editing is a nightmare.
Pierce R. Butler says
Tethys @ # 17: … many women who identify as R are all about equal rights and … are all voting for Dems, just like they voted last time.
So Congress will remain split down the middle, and paralyzed? Sounds like we all still have plenty of work to do: “just like … last time” is not enough.
We worked hard to get multiple women elected to office in 2018, and 2020. MN has two Dem woman senators, and also sent Ilyan Omar to congress, in addition to working hard to get women ( and especially WOC) elected at the state and local level.
Getting involved in your local Dem political party is a very effective way to drive policy to the left. We leveraged the outrage of the woman’s march into getting a more inclusive set of government representatives , but we are just one state out of 50.
Raging Bee says
…the democrats are just a bunch of ruthless, disorganized opportunists who can’t opportunist to save their lives.
“The Democrats?” That’s a pretty broad generalization you got there. Are you including Democratic women here? If so, you’re dead flat wrong. Here’s a little perspective you might want to check out:
Raging Bee says
I’ve always thought that political parties should be retired as an outmoded and pointless method of voter representation.
What on God’s earth ever made you think that?
Marcus wrote @15,
The difference that would make would be …. none.
If there was a federal law in place codifying abortion rights, The USSC would strike that down at the same time. Using the same process and the same logic. It would have simply been another line in the ruling saying that Congress does not have the authority to write such laws. There would have been no difference in the outcome.
How about a more radical idea… All government workers must retire at age 65. Including all congress-critters and supreme court justices, everyone. You can be assured these days of reasonable health up to that age. Mental decline may have set in, but it’s not necessarily too bad yet. Things like USSC appointments could be known in advance, rather than waiting for one to drop dead. And the idiots who are two to three generations removed from the problems of the current working population would not be running the show.
@21. Raging Bee : I can’t speak for whoever typed that but have you seen the state of the USA and for that matter Oz lately?
Or wathced Congress or parlt question time here?
Really think its working now?
I wish people would start seriously talking about and working towards some really significantand major political reforms – starting with scrapping the Electoral Collge, capping amounts that can be spent in political campaigns, banning political donations altogether, truth in political advertising laws including party names, penalties for politicians and parties that cheat and lie – including outright disqualification and bans on them participating again for at leats many years – after all cheats insports get disqualificationand lif ebans why do we demand less whenit coems to thepolitical “arena”, etc ..
Maybe try selectinga t leats aproportionof Congresscritetrs / MPs using the jury duty techniqy=ue and expecting allpoliticians to pass a basic science test an dtehics test before allowing them toserve. having oaths of offic emade legal contracts with penalties for breaching incl immediate dismissal et cetera..
Wish people would show some more imagination and desire and organisation in changing our systems of governance where they are clearly badly broken as they are in so many ways here and abroad.
It occurred to me the other day that the USA broke the USSR economically with military spending and the Space Race and the Russians have now broken the USA culturally with social media, Murdoch and a bad reality TV “star” turned into POTUS…
It may be worth noting that while the GQP is rather a political monoculture, the Democratic Party includes a fairly wide range of people, from bought-and-paid-for corpocrats to the likes of Bernie Sanders and AOC. One expects that the Democrats will be inherently less single-minded in their policies than the GQP is.