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It is Time for Drastic Action

What we are seeing are the forces which have been set up and implemented by the Far Right for decades, now playing out in full force. We know the history of this, and we know that the Democrats did not do enough to realize the threat, and to do something about it, when it was easier.

I think back to highly respected former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell being interviewed a few years ago, and saying how proud he was that even though his Democratic caucus wanted to filibuster the nomination of Clarence Thomas, he did not think that should be done; and that he was proud that he and Bob Dole worked together for a smooth process, which of course led to the confirmation of perhaps the worst Justice in Supreme Court history, though the recent ones will give him a run for his money.

Democrats trying to “do things the right way,” always extending offers of friendship to a party which has no scruples, no wish to compromise, and which always intended to bludgeon its way to absolute power, was a terrible misperception and mistake. But going over all of it, while it has some necessity, at this point is mostly a distraction from the imperatives of the present.

The decision yesterday by the Killer Court to stay the vaccine-or-test mandates for businesses of over a hundred employees, was as dreadful as it was absolutely predictable. Again, Democrats mostly tried to take the high road, with the Labor Secretary using words like “unfortunate” about the decision. But it was not a matter of fortune, it is exactly what the majority of this court is about.

There are essentially three basic principles that they stand for: 1) The federal government has no right to override any of the laws passed by states, about such matters as abortion, or what is taught in schools (DeSantis now talks about putting microphones in classrooms in Florida, to monitor what the teachers are saying to their students), or how voting is to be done, and which people are to be suppressed. 2) Religion is very important, so that anyone who voices a religious objection to anything, must be protected from it. 3) The government has no right to issue rules about anything businesses do; whether they must mandate compliance with vaccination; or regarding any attempt to constrain their right to pollute the planet into destruction.

These are all relics of a very bad era in American history, but they are far worse now, because we have many more people, and there is no frontier to escape to. Somehow the Republicans have managed to find so-called judges who are so biased, so social darwinist, so contemptuous of “the little people,” that they are actually trying to revive the Gilded Age along with Jim Crow.

And because of a terribly flawed constitutional voting system, a distinct minority of people in the South and Rocky Mountains are controlling the lives of the majority, through the power of the ludicrous Electoral College, and a Supreme Court which reflects it. As we’ve noted before, Democrats won the popular vote for President (meaning, obviously, that their candidate got more votes from American people) in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020–and yet the Far Right completely controls the Supreme Court, and may well do so for another 40 years, by which time America will be completely unrecognizable to anyone who grew up before this coup began.

So there we are. We can just shrug and accept it; we can declaim about it; we can look for other countries to move to. If we do not want to do that, we are in a position where we must fight like hell, to use a familiar phrase. Not with guns (though some fairly respected people have run prediction models which predict a fairly high chance of a Civil War in six years or so). But with every nonviolent method we have at our disposal.

There are old English sayings like, “In for a penny, in for a pound,” and “May as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb” (I never liked that image, but it does sum up a situation). Also, “Play big, or go home.” When you can see the inevitable result of doing nothing, or not enough, then the only feasible choice for things that matter, is to do something drastic.

Now, that’s the easy part, realizing that. The much harder part is figuring out what it is that must be done. And we have little time to do that figuring. So here are some suggestions which one might think about (but not too long), as to how to combat the relentless force and almost impenetrable wall that the Far Right Republican Would-Be Fascist Totalitarian Party has created.

We have to add seats to the Court. We cannot wait forty years for these partisan hacks to retire. I know that adding seats seems almost impossible. But we have to make the voters understand what they are facing with this court, which surely will take away all sorts of rights which we previously had, because that is their point of view. And it is not “unfortunate,” or “well, let’s see what they do this time,” it is pre-determined by their natures, their enablers, and the dark forces which want that dark version of America to control things forever.

So we have to make adding Justices a major rallying cry. Of course the largely corrupt and compliant media will act outraged, how dare the Democrats try to change the makeup of the court, which Americans had chosen? Well, they didn’t choose it, as noted above Did giving Bill Clinton and Gore and Obama and Hillary and Biden popular vote victories show that the people wanted this Radical Right Court? The will of the people is being subverted by an electoral system which does not represent the democratic will of the voters. So adding court seats, far from being “an attempt to rig the system,” would be an effort to have the system reflect the will of American voters.

That is the argument, and we had better make it, over and over. It is just possible that we can get through to enough people that we can win some crucial elections. If we don’t, at least we fought for it, and did not shrink back out of inappropriate caution. Make adding seats to the Supreme Court a cornerstone of campaigns, because if we don’t, representative democracy and individual rights are lost. Make the case that strongly. Even with it, gaining enough of Congressional majorities to actually implement adding seats, is a major longshot, but you can’t win on a longshot unless you bet on it. The major theme here ,and with all of these suggestions, is “exigency” and “necessity.”

Get rid of the filibuster. We need as few as 50 actual Democrats (that does not include Manchin and Sinema) in the Senate, to change the rule. It is doable. It should be a major campaign issue, not just a vague wish.

Biden and his cabinet should start issuing all sorts of executive orders on important matters like climate, natural resources, protection of lands. Force the Supreme Court to keep blocking them. At the least, that will show people what we are up against, and how necessary it is to give Democrats the majorities they need to overcome it.

Start calling Republicans what they are, every hour of every day. Stop trying to be nice to them, and imagining that we can all work together. Because we can’t. Not one single Republican will vote for the Voting Rights Act! Not one of them voted for the BBB. They are a totalitarian force akin to a cult which has only one goal, to hold power.

Compromising with them is actually an impossibility, like compromising with Al Capone. So at least take the time to keep reminding voters what a dreadful force that Republicans are, and the threat to democracy they pose. Maybe the populace won’t care, is disinterested. Or the media will spin everything in their favor. All we can do is try. Skirting around it, trying to act as if it is still the 1950’s or 1970’s, is both fruitless and very damaging.

Republicans now indicate that they will refuse to participate in any election debates. That is an easy one for our side, it shows how totalitarian they are. They do not want to debate issues, they do not even want to discuss issues, because for them there are no issues, there is just brute power. We should start running ads about this right now, not wait until the elections. Again, the theme is the totalitarianism of the Republicans, and how they want to eliminate democracy. Absurdly, we sort of let them pretend that they are defending democracy against us, against socialism. Debating the definition of socialism is fun, but completely wrong here; we need to be on the attack, and we need to use the word “fascism” to describe Republicans.

Boycotts. Actually try to punish those states filled with people who hate Democrats, and who want to impose laws and restrictions upon everyone in the country. Florida is a good choice. Stop going to Florida for vacations. Stop buying their products. Stop watching sports events where their teams participate. And be visible about it. After all, it is the American Way, nonviolent protest.

That also leads me to wonder why more Black athletes who care about issues, do not stop going to schools in those states to play sports. Just a thought.

There are more such ideas, feel free to suggest. The important thing is that we are the ones who have to fight for the democracy, not those band of marauders whom Trump unleashed on the Capitol. We are not violent, we are not stupid and ignorant. But analyzing, and writing papers in journals ultimately has a limited effect. We are losing ground–not in all areas (we have just won some Special Elections)– but in many. And the cumulative force of Republican lawlessness, hypocrisy, and a Supreme Court handpicked by literal billionares like Betsy Devos, will swamp us, unless we fight with everything we’ve got. And if we lose, at least we fought as hard as we could, realizing what the other side is, and how necessary it is to combat them at all levels. Give it our best shot, figuratively of course. In for a penny, in for our democracy and planet.

3 Responses

  1. GQP wanting to control the country and steal taxpayers money .

  2. Somehow the Republicans have managed to find so-called judges who are so biased, so social darwinist, so contemptuous of “the little people,” that they are actually trying to revive the Gilded Age along with Jim Crow.

    I don’t feel the HOW of it is in any doubt, the Federalist Society was founded in 1982 to do exactly what you are saying… protect the rich and their corporate vehicles.

    This court is a bunch of political hacks, and we know this because of their vehement denials of it. You don’t go out and make a speech about it if you are not trying to cover it up.

    I think all of your ideas are good, and though I agree with them completely, the Democrats do not have the power to do any of them. Primarily because of a the wolves in sheep’s clothing hiding in their midst… perhaps we should hang a few of those.

  3. If we can’t pass a voter rights bill or even change Senate rules, we can’t expand the Court. That’s reality. We don’t have the votes and we’ll probably lose control of both Houses this year anyway.

    Look on the bright side: Gorsuch’s refusal to mask up may create some vacancies, if we can manage to fill them.

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