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Somewhat Brief Reflections

Just various thoughts about how things look right now. They all interrelate at some level, of course.

Completely predictably, the Supreme Court took power away from the Environmental Protection Agency, which was created in the Nixon Administration, when Republicans were very bad, but not as awful as they are now. This will be one in a series of decisions where the Court will remove most or all of the power of the government to do anything about pollution or climate change. It was the major goal of the Kochs, and it will overjoy corporate polluters and depredators of the land, who will be free to drill and frack and burn and emit, as much as they want, with no governmental power to stop them.

This of course was another of the many completely predictable things that this Court would do. This is what the media had no interest in discussing in 2016, because for them it was all about emails, their ratings, and the enjoyment of mocking Hillary and liberals in general. How many times did she say that the Supreme Court was at stake? How many times did we say it? How many people willfully refused to listen or care, so much fun were they having at the personality carnival?

All you have to do is see which cases the Court will accept, and you will know why they are, and how they will decide on them They don’t take cases because it would be fun, or they enjoy legal analysis, they take them because they intend to use them to rewrite more laws; as they are, in a bitterly ironic way, the most radical Supreme Court in United States history, and the justices who are actually”making laws, not interpreting them,” as they and their backers loved to say to credulous voters that the liberal justices were doing.

This Court cannot be allowed to completely destroy the country, the world, 250 years of halting but noticeable progress. And I don’t care how bad it will look to the media, and how much Republicans will scream about it, the power of this Court has to be diminished.

The only feasible way to do that is to add Court seats. The only possible way to do that is to win enough Congressional seats to make such a change. Lose one chamber of Congress, and we are powerless to do it for at least another two years. It is not inevitable that we will lose either chamber, though it is more likely than not. Voting in record numbers is imperative.

We do see that the Court is now going to decide in their next term that a state legislature has complete power over its election system, as the slave states argued in the 1840’s. The goal is to make sure that Republicans win in every currently red state, they cannot be defeated. It would also mean that these current justices will never risk any threat to their power.

I would strongly recommend that blue states like California and New York rewrite their rules on districting, and take them out of the bipartisan commissions that they felt noble in entrusting them to. They should radically gerrymander their states, to get every single Democratic district they can out of them. This is what they do in Texas, Florida, and all the rest of the red states. Not doing it ourselves is suicidal

Things look more promising in regard to Trump. I would be very surprised if he ever held office again. I don’t know if he will just not run, or run and lose in the primaries, but he will not be elected President. Republicans are nothing if not resourceful and adaptable, and they will have no problem pivoting from Trump to DeSantis. Rupert Murdoch has already made it clear in his publications, and even a few Fox personalities are carefully trying it out.

DeSantis is a more dangerous version of Trump. Just as fascistic, relentless, and he is not a buffoon like Trump. I would expect him to get the nomination. As to DeSantis winning in a national election, it is not inevitable. He is clearly on the wrong side of abortion rights, and that could be decisive, unless of course the voting systems are by then so rigged that he would win enough states even without the votes.

It’s gratifying to see Trump be taken apart in the January 6 Committee hearings, and those hearings are being very well run. But we cannot ignore the fact that even now, Republican overlords such as the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society are figuring out how to jettison Trump, appear noble in doing so, and then be free to get DeSantis elected. Nothing they do is with the good of the country or its people in mind. It is all about their power, money, and Christo-Fascist ideology, which they intend to be the ruling paradigm forever.

Democratic leaders, whoever they are, should be strategizing with that in mind. That is why, while I do enjoy seeing Trump being figuratively eviscerated, I keep thinking that to the extent that some people, including many media, might like to see this as, “Yes Trump was a threat to democracy, but there are many good Republicans who are standing up to him,” it is like wanting to imagine that eliminating one powerful general does not mean that most of his army is not still ready to fight, and that there are not others ready to take command and wage the battle.

The goal must be to tie Trump to the Trumpists, which is really 90% of the Republican Party. None of this is just about Trump, though he is the key figure in the story being told now. Republicans wanted him, they followed him, all the way through his hatred and lies; and they are still on board with almost all of it, they just want another face.

For good news, the generic ballot polls look better, but some may be a transitory result of the Dobbs decision. Democrats MUST link the entire Republican Party, and its ideology and actions, to Trump. This is not a party of mostly good people who were led astray or who will learn from their mistakes, as Susan Collins likes to pretend. It is what Hillary Clinton said at the outset, and of course was assaulted by the media for saying: It is a vast right-wing conspiracy. It is funded by trillions of dollars, it owns most of the media, it never stops trying to frame every single story and event in they way that benefits them.

There is a saying, I don’t like the images it connotes, but it is very meaningful. “May as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb.” That refers to the days when the people who ran villages and owned farms, passed laws decreeing capital punishment for the stealing of livestock. You were hanged whether you stole something big, or something smaller, whether a sheep or a lamb. So if you are going to be hanged, or at least risk it, you might as well go for the bigger prize.

If Democrats are going to lose, if the party and the country is going to be destroyed as any kind of democratic state, then you might as well go down fighting, telling as many people as possible, in as vivid terms as you can, how evil the Republicans are, and what they will do next. And if you need to put some graphic pictures in your commercials, of the lands burning and the rivers drying up; of gun violence; statistics of women dying from forced births, or just losing their jobs because of pregnancy, then do it.

It is really something to see people who probably mean well, writing on social media to the effect that, “Hillary warned us,” or, “I didn’t think the Supreme Court would do all this.” She did, over and over, and she was not the only one who warned us. And anyone who had any idea of what the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation and the Kochs wanted to do to the Supreme Court, should surely have known all of this, as surely as Cassandra could see the future that she was doomed to tell, with no one believing her.

Finally, for now, I do not want to see this wearying refrain of “Biden is not doing what we elected him to do,” “DOJ is awful, Garland is in cahoots with them.” Biden is not Bill Clinton or JFK or even Johnson, certainly not FDR. He is what he is, a decent person trying to do good things. He is the only chance we have going into the midterms. If we lose those, perhaps we would want to look at another Presidential candidate, but it would probably be academic, because how would she or he beat the stacked electoral and voting rights deck? Democrats must win the midterms, and they have the issues to do it, if they use them correctly.

I won’t go on about the Left here, but I can predict with almost certainty that whatever the merits of AOC, if she becomes a major symbol of the Democratic Party, someone going around campaigning against incumbent Democrats, we will never win. There was a place for that kind of thing in the ’50’s and ’60’s, the costs of losing a few races, or even a Presidency, were perhaps affordable. Not now. We need votes, we need seats, and we need people with the intelligence and will to parlay them into effective power.

I always want there to be more liberals in Congress, but if the Republicans control it, what would it matter if we had five more liberals on it? What could they do? I remember other sites counting up each off-year race, cheering even in the midst of overall defeat or status quo, that this person here or there beat someone they didn’t like. As if it were this hundred-year board game. Actually, I always thought that it was more of a pleasant indulgence of feeling important,, or an anodyne. No time for that now, it all has truly become a zero-sum game, one that we have to win, and keep winning.

Today’s bright spot

It’s a beautiful thing.

Congratulations Justice Ketanji Brown-Jackson.