Today, President Biden chastised the Supreme Court for “outrageous behavior” and said he would support an exception to the Senate’s filibuster rules to make it easier to write abortion protections into law. Biden, speaking on the world stage in Madrid, called the court’s decision last week to overturn Roe v. Wade “destabilizing” and said an exception should be made to a Senate rule that requires 60 votes for most bills to advance.
Thursday Reads: SCOTUS NewsPosted: June 30, 2022 Filed under: Climate change, Congress, just because, morning reads, SCOTUS | Tags: abortion, anti-choice violence, Environmental Protection Agency, filibuster rules, Health care, immigration, Joe Biden, Ketanji Brown Jackson, Remain in Mexico, Roe v. Wade, Supreme Court decisions 20 Comments
I feel emotionally wrung out this morning. We are living through important events that will reverberate down through history, and we still don’t know which side will control how future generations see these events. Will we succeed in rescuing U.S. democracy, or will the forces of fascism win in the end? Will we survive the stunning series of decisions the reactionary Supreme Court has inflicted on us in the past couple of weeks? With the societal divisions being sown by the GOP and the Court lead to a new civil war? Today I’m going to focus on the latest decisions from the Trumpist SCOTUS decisions.
Nina Totenberg at NPR: Supreme Court restricts the EPA’s authority to mandate carbon emissions reductions.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday dealt a major blow to the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to regulate carbon emissions that cause climate change. The decision by the conservative court majority sets the stage for further limitations on the regulatory power of other agencies as well.
By a vote of 6 to 3, the court said that any time an agency does something big and new – in this case addressing climate change – the regulation is presumptively invalid, unless Congress has specifically authorized regulating in this sphere.
At issue in the case were rules adopted by the Trump and Obama administrations and aimed at addressing the country’s single-largest carbon emissions problem – from coal-fired power plants. The Obama plan was broad, the Trump plan narrow. The Obama plan didn’t regulate only coal-fired plants. Instead, it set strict carbon limits for each state and encouraged the states to meet those limits by relying less on coal-fired power plants and more on alternative sources of energy – wind, solar, hydro-electric and natural gas. The goal of the plan was to produce enough electricity to satisfy U.S. demand in a way that lowered greenhouse emissions.
The concept worked so well that even after Obama’s Clean Power Plan was temporarily blocked by the Supreme Court and then repealed by the Trump administration, most utilities continued to abandon coal because it was just too expensive, compared to other energy producing methods. In fact, even without the regulation in place, the reduction targets for carbon emissions were met 11 years ahead of schedule.
Fearing the Obama approach might someday be revived, the coal industry, joined by West Virginia and 16 other states, went to court in support of the Trump plan and its more restrictive interpretation of the Clean Air Act. A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., ruled against them in 2021.
But on Thursday, the Supreme Court sided with the coal industry, ruling that the Clean Air Act does not authorize anything other than direct regulation of coal-fired plants….
The decision appears to enact major new limits on agency regulations across the economy, limits of a kind not imposed by the court for 75 years or more. The decision, for instance, casts a cloud of doubt over a proposed Securities and Exchange Commission rule that would require companies offering securities to the public to disclose climate-related risks – like severe weather events that have or likely will affect their business models. Also in jeopardy is a new interim rule adopted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission “aimed at treating greenhouse gas emissions and their contribution to climate change the same as all other environmental impacts [the Commission] considers.”
The Supreme Court deigned to give Biden one win, on immigration. The Washington Post: Supreme Court clears Biden to end Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy.
The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled for the Biden administration on a controversial immigration policy, saying it had the authority to reverse a Trump-era policy that requires asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while their cases are reviewed in U.S. courts.
The vote was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. writing for himself and Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, and the court’s three liberals, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
Roberts said federal immigration law gives the executive discretion: He may return asylum seekers to Mexico, but is not required to do so.
Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr., Neil M. Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett dissented.
Barrett said that she agreed with the majority on the merits of the decision but that the court should not have decided the case and should have remanded it to lower courts.
Alito, writing for himself, Thomas and Gorsuch, said the Department of Homeland Security should not be free to “simply release into this country untold numbers of aliens who are very likely to be removed if they show up for their removal hearings. This practice violates the clear terms of the law, but the Court looks the other way.”
From NPR, another bit of good SCOTUS news: Ketanji Brown Jackson to be sworn in as first Black woman on the Supreme Court.
Ketanji Brown Jackson will be sworn in Thursday at noon as the 116th Supreme Court justice and the first Black woman to serve on the high court.
Biden nominated Jackson in February, fulfilling a campaign promise to nominate the first Black woman to the Supreme Court.
“It has taken 232 years and 115 prior appointments for a Black woman to be selected to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States, but we’ve made it! We’ve made it — all of us,” Jackson said in remarks at a White House event the day after the Senate vote.
“I have dedicated my career to public service because I love this country and our Constitution and the rights that make us free,” Jackson also said.
Jackson, 51, has been confirmed since April, when the Senate voted 53 to 47 on her nomination. It was expected she would replace 83-year-old Justice Stephen Breyer — whom she clerked for after shed graduated from Harvard Law School in 1996 — when he stepped down. His retirement will be effective Thursday.
Jackson will take two oaths during the livestreamed event: a constitutional oath, administered by Chief Justice John Roberts, and a judicial oath, administered by Breyer.
Biden and Congressional Democrats are still struggling to deal with the Court’s decision to take away American women’s control over their own bodies and turn women in their childbearing years into broodmares.
The Washington Post: Democrats call on Biden to declare abortion national health emergency.
Lawmakers and advocates are pushing President Biden to declare a national health emergency to increase financial resources and flexibility in states that continue to allow abortion access following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
The Congressional Black Caucus made the initial request the morning of the court’s ruling, and the House Pro-Choice Caucus is privately urging the administration to act swiftly.
“The fundamental right to control your body and future has been ripped away from American women,” Assistant Speaker of the HouseRep. Katherine M. Clark (D-Mass.) told The Early. “Declaring an emergency is an immediate step to help patients access the care they need.”
Supporters say time is critical because the remaining abortion clinics are seeing a massive increase in demand that is going to be difficult to meet.
“They are doing everything they can,” Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) said of an abortion clinic treating women in the northern parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. “But they are severely resource constrained in terms of the providers that they have, in terms of the physical facilities that they have, in terms of the financial resources they need to try to expand access to care, which they desperately want to do.”
“This would be another way for the full legal authority of the federal government to be brought into play as we try to protect women’s health,” Smith said in an interview on Washington Post Live this week.
Another suggestion is to change the filibuster rules for abortion laws. The Washington Post: Biden endorses scrapping Senate filibuster to codify abortion, privacy rights.
Politico: Biden says he supports a filibuster carveout to restore abortion rights.
“I believe we have to codify Roe v. Wade in the law and the way to do that is to make sure that Congress votes to do that, and if the filibuster gets in the way, it’s like voting rights, it should be ‘we provide an exception for this’ — require an exception to the filibuster for this action to deal with the Supreme Court decision,” Biden said during a press conference at the NATO summit.
Biden’s comments come on the heels of the consequential Supreme Court decision last Friday to overturn the landmark 1973 decision and deny a constitutional right to abortion. The president has previously been opposed to getting rid of the filibuster — which establishes a 60-vote threshold to move most bills through the Senate — but said Thursday he would do “everything in my power” to protect the right to choose .
The president added he’d be in favor of changing filibuster rules to not only guarantee abortion rights but also a constitutional right to privacy — which he said the Supreme Court “wiped” out with its decision on Roe. He said codifying privacy rights would protect access to abortion as well as a “whole range of issues,” including same-sex marriage….
Biden’s support for ending the filibuster is his most concrete call for legislative action yet on preserving abortion rights. With the filibuster as it stands, Democrats almost certainly lack the 60 votes they would need to codify Roe in a 50-50 Senate.
So far, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema haven’t agreed to go along with this strategy.
Republicans have been hoping that violent demonstrations would follow the SCOTUS decision on Roe v. Wade, but their wishes haven’t come true so far. Kathryn Joyce at Salon: Did violence follow Roe decision? Yes — almost all of it against pro-choice protesters.
Before the Supreme Court even announced its decision overturning Roe v. Wade last Friday, right-wing politicians and media had begun warning of a wave of violent demonstrations or riots by pro-choice protesters. Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., called on “all patriots” to defend local churches and crisis pregnancy centers, while Fox News hyped warnings about a “night” or “summer of rage” and various far-right activists — from the America First/groyper movement to the Proud Boys to a staffer for Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake — issued threats against leftists they claimed were about to become violent.
But it appears that most of the violence that occurred in response to the Roe decision this past weekend was directed at pro-choice demonstrators, not caused by them.
On Friday night, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a man drove his pickup truck into a group of women protesters, hitting several and driving over the ankle of one woman. Iowa journalist Lyz Lenz, who was covering the protest, noted on Twitter that the attack came at the end of a peaceful event, as demonstrators were crossing the road at a crosswalk while the man had a red light. “The truck drove around other cars in order to hit protesters,” Lenz wrote, adding that the driver “was screaming” while a woman in the truck with him begged him to stop….
That same night, at a pro-choice protest in Providence, Rhode Island, an off-duty police officer named Jeann Lugo — who, until this weekend, was a Republican candidate for state Senate — punched his Democratic opponent, reproductive rights organizer Jennifer Rourke, in the face.
Providence police arrested Lugo and charged him with assault and disorderly conduct, placing him on administrative leave. On Saturday, Lugo dropped out of the Senate race and announced he would not be seeking any political office before apparently deactivating his Twitter account.
In Atlanta, photographer Matthew Pearson documented a group of more than a dozen Proud Boys coming to counterprotest a pro-choice demonstration, while an Atlanta antifascist group posted photos of the group boarding a Humvee painted with the Proud Boys’ logo.
In several other states, police responded to demonstrations against the SCOTUS ruling with heavy-handed tactics and violence.
Read about more of these events at the Salon link.
Wednesday Reads: Rise Up RevComsPosted: June 29, 2022 Filed under: 2022 Primaries, abortion rights, birth control, Human Rights, Insurection, January 6 Committee Public Hearings, LGBTQ, morning reads, open thread, PLUB Pro-Life-Until-Birth, Political and Editorial Cartoons, Reproductive Health, Reproductive Justice, Reproductive Rights, the GOP, Trump, War on Women, white nationalists, Women's Healthcare, Women's Rights | Tags: #revcoms, #riseup4abortion, Bob Avakian, Donald Trump, Sunsara Taylor 42 Comments
Watch the video from the hearing below:
Cartoons via Cagle:
So…earlier this week I got this tweet sent to me when I retweeted something from Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights:
So, I looked into it.
Then last night I found this video:
Here are some more things I found:
Some of the responses from Rise Up and RevComs:
As you can see, RevComs is using the Rise Up hashtag:
I find it interesting that they are highlighting this:
As well as this tweet from RevComs:
In other news:
Geez…this is an open thread.
All this pleading the Fifth has me thinking of this skit:
Tuesday Reads: Jan. 6 Committee Surprise HearingPosted: June 28, 2022 Filed under: 2020 Elections, 2021 Insurrection | Tags: Cassidy Hutchinson, Donald Trump, January 6 Committee hearings, Jeffrey Clark, John Eastman, Mark Meadows 46 Comments
Yesterday, after the January 6 Committee announced a surprise hearing for today at 1PM, I was glued to Twitter trying to get clues to what could be coming. By late last night, news had leaked that the surprise witness is Cassidy Hutchinson, a top aide to Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows. Dakinikat stayed up later than I did, and she texted me a more detailed account of what the committee may be planning to reveal by Hugo Lowell of The Guardian (more below).
Background info on Hutchinson from The Washington Post: Who is Cassidy Hutchinson?
Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, has become one of the most useful witnesses for the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob determined to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s win.
She has spoken to investigators on the committee multiple times behind closed doors. In the absence of testimony from Meadows himself — he refused to appear, and the committee held him in contempt — Hutchinson seems to be key to understanding the scope of his actions….
Hutchinson was by Meadows’s side leading up to and during the Capitol attack and has told the committee of strategy sessions held between the White House and President Donald Trump’s allies in Congress about whether they should encourage “Stop the Steal” participants to march to the Capitol, and how to set up alternative slates of electors.
The Washington Post reported that she confirmed to the committee that at one point Meadows said Trump had indicated support for protesters who were shouting, “Hang Mike Pence!”
Videotaped testimony from Hutchinson was also central to allegations of pardon-hunting by Republican House members. The allegations were aired by the committee at Thursday’s hearing.
Hutchinson testified that she was involved with conversations about requests from Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and Scott Perry (R-Pa.), all of whom she said had sought a promise from the White House to be cleared in advance of any crimes they might be charged with. Perry had previously denied seeking a pardon, but Hutchinson insisted in her deposition that he had spoken to her directly about it….
According to a court filing in April, Hutchinson told congressional investigators that Meadows was warned before Jan. 6 about the threat of violence that day as supporters of Trump planned to mass at the U.S. Capitol.
Hutchinson recalled that Anthony Ornato, a senior Secret Service official who also held the role of a political adviser at the White House, “coming in and saying that we had intel reports saying that there could potentially be violence on the 6th. And Mr. Meadows said: All right. Let’s talk about it.”
Hutchinson added, “I’m not sure if he — what he did with that information internally.”
Read more about her at the WaPo. We don’t know what further information Hutchinson plans to share with the committee, but the reason they want her to testify ASAP is because she has faced threats and perhaps could be subject to witness tampering.
Dakinikat sent me this article late last night:
From the Guardian:
The House select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol attack is closely focused on phone calls and conversations among Donald Trump’s children and top aides captured by a documentary film-maker weeks before the 2020 election, say sources familiar with the matter.
The calls among Trump’s children and top aides took place at an invitation-only event at the Trump International hotel in Washington that took place the night of the first presidential debate on 29 September 2020, the sources said.
The select committee is interested in the calls, the sources said, since the footage is understood to show the former president’s children, including Donald Jr and Eric Trump, privately discussing strategies about the election at a crucial time in the presidential campaign.
House investigators first learned about the event, hosted by the Trump campaign, and the existence of the footage through British film-maker Alex Holder, who testified about what he and his crew recorded during a two-hour interview last week, the sources said….
The select committee is closely focused on the footage of the event – in addition to the content of the one-on-one interviews with Trump and Ivanka – because the discussions about strategies mirror similar conversations at that time by top Trump advisors.
On the night of the first presidential debate, Trump’s top former strategist Steve Bannon said in an interview with The Circus on Showtime that the outcome of the election would be decided at the state level and eventually at the congressional certification on January 6.
“They’re going to try and overturn this election with uncertified votes,” Bannon said. Asked how he expects the election to end, Bannon said: “Right before noon on the 20th, in a vote in the House, Trump will win the presidency.”
The select committee believes that ideas such as Bannon’s were communicated to advisers to Donald Jr and his fiancee, Kimberly Guilfoyle, even before the 2020 election had taken place, the sources said – leading House investigators to want to review the Trump hotel footage.
What appears to interest the panel is whether Trump and his children had planned to somehow stop the certification of the election on January 6 – a potential violation of federal law – and to force a contingent election if Trump lost as early as September.
Before the news about the surprise committee hearing broke yesterday, the big story was that John Eastman’s phone was seized by federal agents on the same day that federal agents searched Jeffrey Clark’s home last week.
John Eastman, the attorney who developed Donald Trump’s last-ditch strategy to seize a second term, said in court Monday that he had his phone seized by federal agents last week.
In a court filing in federal court in New Mexico, Eastman indicated he was confronted by agentswhen leaving a restaurant. He’s moving for a judge to order his phone returned.
“The federal agents identified themselves as FBI agents, but they appeared to be executing a warrant issued at the behest of the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General,” Eastman’s lawyer, Charles Burnham, wrote in the 13-page filing.
Eastman accompanied the filing with a copy of the search warrant, authorized by a federal magistrate judge in Albuquerque.
A legal adviser to Trump’s campaign, Eastman has been a central figure in the Capitol riot committee’s case that the former president attempted to block the peaceful transfer of power on Jan. 6, 2021. A federal judge in California has previously ruled that Eastman and Trump “likely” entered a criminal conspiracy to obstruct the counting of electoral votes on Jan. 6.
The search of Eastman’s phone appears to have come amid a flurry of activity by federal prosecutors probing the Jan. 6 attack and efforts by Trump allies to authorize false slates of electors as part of a plan to overturn the 2020 election.
Last week, subpoenas were served on a slew of those false electors, including at least three state Republican Party chairs. Investigators also searched the Lorton, Va., home of former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, another critical player in Trump’s efforts.
As a number of legal experts have pointed out, in order to get a search warrant for Eastman’s phone, the government would have to convince a judge that there is probable cause to believe the device contains evidence of a crime. Since the search was initiated by the DOJ Inspector General, the information likely relates to the case against Jeffrey Clark, a former DOJ employee.
I’m going to end there for now. I will post any further news I find in the comment thread. We’ll soon know what the committee believes is so important they are holding an unscheduled meeting three days before the Fourth of July break.
Monday Reads: Theocratic Supreme Court Suppresses Religious Freedom and democracyPosted: June 27, 2022 Filed under: A thread for Ranting, religious extremists, Reproductive Health, Reproductive Justice, Reproductive Rights | Tags: Forced Birth, Forced Prayer 30 Comments
It’s Monday Sky Dancers! Hide your wives and daughters!
The Supreme Inquisitors of the United States have released more decisions that allow their religion to have an outsized role in our supposedly secular democracy founded solidly on the separation of church and state. They’re doing that by dissolving the state and its protection of minorities.
Now, we all have to endure egoistic displays of piety in schools from public servants. Gorsuch wrote this abomination of a decision. From The New York Times: “Supreme Court Sides With Coach Over Prayers on 50-Yard Line.” As the great-grandaughter of a Methodist Circuit rider in Kansas, and a former nice little Methodist choir director and Sunday School Teacher, I’d just like to know why they don’t read their Bibles? This is straight from Matthew 6:5-6.
5“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
This isn’t even something like an outdoor wedding, blessing some building or a group of pets, or even doing an outside service. This is fucking football. What perfect being wouldn’t find that laughable? How is causing bodily harm to another person and running around with a ball anything a deity would be concerned about?
Joseph Kennedy, a former high school football coach in Bremerton, Wash., had a constitutional right to pray on the field after his team’s games, the justices ruled.
The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that a high school football coach had a constitutional right to pray at the 50-yard line after his team’s games.
The vote was 6 to 3, with the court’s three liberal members in dissent.
The case pitted the rights of government workers to free speech and the free exercise of their faith against the Constitution’s prohibition of government endorsement of religion and the ability of public employers to regulate speech in the workplace. The decision was in tension with decades of Supreme Court precedents that forbade pressuring students to participate in religious activities.
The case concerned Joseph Kennedy, an assistant coach at a public high school in Bremerton, Wash., near Seattle. For eight years, Mr. Kennedy routinely offered prayers after games, with students often joining him. He also led and participated in prayers in the locker room, a practice he later abandoned and did not defend in the Supreme Court.
Just so you remember the stare decisis this over turns:
Over the last 60 years, the Supreme Court has rejected prayer in public schools, at least when it was officially required or part of a formal ceremony like a high school graduation. As recently as 2000, the court ruled that organized prayers led by students at high school football games violated the First Amendment’s prohibition of government establishment of religion.
“The delivery of a pregame prayer has the improper effect of coercing those present to participate in an act of religious worship,” Justice John Paul Stevens wrote for the majority.
These six inquisitors have no shame.
And the facts about Abortion from the New England Journal of Medicine.
Experience around the world has demonstrated that restricting access to legal abortion care does not substantially reduce the number of procedures, but it dramatically reduces the number of safe procedures, resulting in increased morbidity and mortality. Millions of persons in states lacking protections for abortion care are also likely to be denied access to medication-induced abortions. It may be difficult for many Americans in 2022 to fully appreciate how complicated, stressful, and expensive, if even attainable, their most private and intimate decisions will become, now that Roe has been struck down. A recent New York Times article recounted the experiences of women, now in their 60s and 70s, who sought abortions before Roe.5 They described humiliating circumstances, unsafe procedures literally performed in back alleys, and the deep shame and stigma they endured. Common complications of illegal procedures included injury to the reproductive tract requiring surgical repair, induction of infections resulting in infertility, systemic infections, organ failure, and death.6 We now seem destined to relearn those lessons at the expense of human lives.
Without federal protection, recent state laws curtailing or eliminating the right to abortion care will deny Americans’ reproductive autonomy and create an Orwellian dystopia. Examples are the Oklahoma law enacted on May 25, 2022, that declares life to begin at fertilization and the Texas bill that went into effect on September 1, 2021, which empowers third parties to bring civil suits and collect damages against persons who perform, aid, or abet abortions. Defendants in such suits will bear their legal costs, while plaintiffs are indemnified against countersuits for bringing groundless actions. Use of postcoital contraception, either hormonal contraception or placement of an intrauterine device, could be equated with abortion and prosecuted; some jurisdictions (e.g., Mississippi) are already considering such actions. A single act of coitus not timed with respect to the menstrual cycle has a 3% probability of causing conception.7 After conception, approximately 14 days elapse before chorionic gonadotropin reaches detectable levels in maternal blood. Approximately 30% of recognized pregnancies result in miscarriages. Thus, in some jurisdictions, people could be prosecuted for aborting a pregnancy by using postcoital contraception, despite a 98% probability that their actions did not cause an abortion, but there is no way to prove or disprove that they were pregnant.
The Supreme Inquisitors will kill women and more. Every Governor who lets these laws go through has blood on their hands. But hey, isn’t that what their practice of Christianity is all about? Controlling others and not themselves?
NPR has the results of a poll today: “Poll: Majorities oppose Supreme Court’s abortion ruling and worry about other rights.” The analysis is by Domenico Montanaro.
By a 56%-to-40% margin, respondents oppose the court’s decision, including 45% who strongly oppose it.
Almost 9-in-10 Democrats and a slim majority of independents (53%) are against the decision. Three-quarters of Republicans, on the other hand, support it.
There is a massive split by education – 69% of college graduates oppose the decision while those without degrees are split. Half of whites without degrees support the decision, while two-thirds of whites with college degrees oppose it.
A majority of men and women are against the decision, though a slightly higher percentage of women oppose it (59% vs. 54%).
Along racial lines, 60% of non-whites and 54% of whites oppose the decision. (There were too few people surveyed to break out individual racial groups any further without margins of error getting too high.)
By a 57%-to-36% margin, respondents said the decision was mostly based on politics as opposed to the law. And by a 56%-to-41% margin are concerned that the overturning of Roe will be used by the Supreme Court to reconsider past rulings that protect contraception, same-sex relationships, and same-sex marriage.
Just 39% said they have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the Supreme Court; 58% said they have not very much or no confidence at all in the institution. That’s a low in the poll
My friends in Europe keep telling me we have to get it into law like they did. I’m beginning to think that this is our only route but just consider how long it will take to get rid of those state-level Republicans as well as those in safe, federal gerrymandered districts.
Here’s a take from The Guardian and Stephan Marche: “With the end of Roe, the US edges closer and closer to civil war. The question is no longer whether there will be a civil conflict in America. The question is how the sides will divide, and who will prevail.”
The cracks in the foundations of the United States are widening, rapidly and on several fronts. The overturning of Roe v Wade has provoked a legitimacy crisis no matter what your politics.
For the right, the leaking of the draft memo last month revealed the breakdown of bipartisanship and common purpose within the institution. For the left, it demonstrated the will of dubiously selected Republican justices to overturn established rights that have somewhere near 70% to 80% political support.
Accelerating political violence, like the attack in Buffalo, increasingly blurs the line between the mainstream political conservative movement and outright murderous insanity. The question is no longer whether there will be a civil conflict in the United States. The question is how the sides will divide, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and how those strengths and weaknesses will determine the outcome.
The right wing has been imagining a civil war, publicly, since at least the Obama administration. Back in 2016, when it looked like Hillary Clinton would win the election, then Kentucky governor Matt Bevin described the possibility in apocalyptic terms: “The roots of the tree of liberty are watered by what? The blood. Of who? The tyrants, to be sure. But who else? The patriots. Whose blood will be shed? It may be that of those in this room. It might be that of our children and grandchildren,” he told supporters at the Values Voter Summit.
The possibility of civil war has long been a mainstay of rightwing talk radio. Needless to say, when the right conjures these fantasies of cleansing violence, they tend to fantasize their own victory. Steve King, while still a congressman from Iowa, tweeted an image of red and blue America at war, with the line: “Folks keep talking about another civil war. One side has about 8tn bullets, while the other side doesn’t know which bathroom to use.”
Any time anyone acts on their violent rhetoric, the rightwing politicians and media elites are appalled that anyone would connect what they say to what others do. “We need to understand we’re under attack, and we need to understand this is 21st-century warfare and get on a war footing,” Alex Jones said in the lead-up to the Capitol riot.
According to a New York Times series, Tucker Carlson has articulated the theory of white replacement more than 400 times on his show. Calls to violence are normal in rightwing media. Calls to resist white replacement are normal in rightwing media. The inevitable result is the violent promotion of resistance to white replacement. Republican politicians like Arizona state senator Wendy Rogers and New York congresswoman Elise Stefanik are outraged when their one plus one turns out to equal two, but their outrage is increasingly unbelievable, even to themselves. America is witnessing a technique used in political struggles all over the world. Movements devoted to the overthrow of elected governments tend to divide into armed and political wings, which gives multiple avenues to approach their goals as well as the cover of plausible deniability for their violence.
The leftwing American political class, incredibly, continues to cling to its defunct institutional ideals. Democrats under Biden have wasted the past two years on fictions of bipartisanship and forlorn hopes of some kind of restoration of American trust. When violence like Buffalo hits, they can do little more than plead with the other side to reconsider the horror they’re unleashing, and offer obvious lectures about the poison of white supremacy. Since January 6 didn’t wake them up to exactly what they’re facing, it’s unclear what might ever wake them up. The left has not made the psychological adjustment to a conflict situation yet. But it won’t be able to maintain the fantasy of normalcy for much longer.
This is from Politico: “European leaders decry US restriction of abortion rights. US Supreme Court ruling adds to sense that America is out of step with other modern democracies.”
European leaders are voicing dismay and outrage about the U.S. Supreme Court decision stripping the legal right for women to obtain an abortion.
“Making abortions illegal isn’t pro-life. It’s anti-choice,” Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel tweeted. “It’s a social & economic injustice. And just so, so wrong. Reproductive rights are not just women’s rights. They are human rights. So let’s all stand up for them.”
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson told POLITICO: “I’ve got to tell you, I think it’s a big step backwards.”
Speaking at a news conference in Rwanda, where he was attending a Commonwealth meeting, Johnson said: “I’ve always believed in a woman’s right to choose and I stick to that view and that is why the U.K. has the laws that it does.”
The U.S. court ruling overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade precedent, which had protected a woman’s right to obtain an abortion, is just the latest development that has left Europeans bewildered about the deep political polarization in the U.S.
“There is still a long way to go for gender justice,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in a tweet. “Women’s rights are threatened. We must defend them resolutely.”
Along with years of inaction in Washington in response to an epidemic of mass shootings, endemic racism, the exorbitant costs and limited access to medical care, and meager government-protected maternity benefits, the abortion decision has reinforced a sense in Europe that the U.S. is oddly out of sync with most modern, civilized democracies.
Despite this sense that the U.S. is negligent when it comes to basic social protections for its citizens, the country remains a global political and cultural touchstone, and its domestic political perturbations still reverberate across the two oceans that often keep U.S. citizens relatively distant and disconnected from tribulations elsewhere.
“Very concerned about implications of @USSupremeCourt decision on #RoeVWade and the signal it sends to the world,” Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo tweeted. “Banning abortion never leads to fewer abortions, only to more unsafe abortions. Belgium will continue to work with other countries to advance #SRHR everywhere,” he wrote, using the hashtag for “sexual and reproductive health rights.”
At least BOJO knows how to read a room or a country in this case.
The more I read, the more disgusted I become. I’m not sure what President Biden has up his sleeve other than a few panaceas that have to do with the availability of pharmaceutical birth control and abortion. He needs to start thinking out of the box or else women will find more radical ways to solve the problems. He also has some interest in seeing that women can get to safe-haven states.
However, since many women needing abortions are poor, I’m not sure he needs to address just availability. Louisiana women will need to travel 600 miles. This is why I’ve been tweeting to every public official I know to consider a Fleet of Women’s health clinics where women in the south–a terribly underserved group–can get access to ALL the healthcare they need. We need to fund these women.
We haven’t heard from Speaker Pelosi for several days. Congress is on vacation and I certainly hope it’s a working one. Congresswoman Ocasio has been out on the press circuit. I’m with AOC on this one.
Now is the time for all of us to come to the aid of our country. Our democracy is sinking fast.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
Sunday Reads: This county is no longer safe for women.Posted: June 26, 2022 Filed under: 2022 Elections, A thread for Ranting, abortion rights, birth control, Civil Rights, court rulings, Discrimination against women, fetus fetishists, morning reads, open thread, PLUB Pro-Life-Until-Birth, Political and Editorial Cartoons, Reproductive Health, Reproductive Justice, Reproductive Rights, SCOTUS, the GOP, Violence against women, War on Women, Women's Healthcare, Women's Rights 24 Comments
It is all too upsetting…
Repost from @nationalwomensliberation
The final decision is out. SCOTUS has overturned Roe against the will of the people. This is a country with a growing maternal mortality and morbidity rate, no paid parental leave or public universal childcare, and no universal healthcare. An unelected, undemocratic government body that has also gutted voting rights and eliminated the right to live freely without gun violence is now going to force people to carry children against their will. The freedom to marry and access to birth control are next.
So will you FIGHT for abortion and DEMAND Reproductive Justice? We will NOT back down!
Will you Pledge to #AidAndAbetAbortion no matter what it takes? LINK TO SIGN IN BIO!
Will you study the history of how we won abortion and fight to expand reproductive freedom? Buy and read Without Apology
Will you study the root of why this country pursues abortion and birth control bans instead of improving our material conditions? Buy and read Birth Strike.
Will you learn about reproductive justice and all that it encompasses to FIGHT for a society and build communities that value families and supports the health, safety and dignity of everyone?
Will you consider engaging in civil disobedience to help someone get an abortion?
Build the Women’s Liberation Movement. Find a protest or gathering and let it be a start to the long term real freedom we all need to win.
This is an open thread.