When I first learned of RBG's death, my first instinct was to write a post. Good thing I didn't follow that instinct, because in that moment, nobody wanted to hear from the old Doomsayer. And doom was all I had to say.
Suffice it to say that this household grieved. Is still grieving.
Don't hate yourself (or me) for reacting purely in political terms, for thinking about the grim future we face, instead of celebrating the woman's life and accomplishments. Ruth Bader Ginsberg herself was worried about the future. Our Republic depended on that slight, cancer-ridden body.
Despite her age and health issues, she seemed unconquerable. I really thought she'd live long enough to see January 20.
Optimism. It's a killer.
Josh Marshall sized up the situation rapidly and with cool calculation. The Republicans don't care about hypocrisy; they care only about power. Although Yertle the Turtle may choose to put off the confirmation vote until after the election, nothing can stop the Republicans from putting through Trump's choice before January 20. If Biden wins -- and I'm not betting on it -- his only choice is to increase the number of justices.
Thirteen justices. That's a good number. We began with thirteen colonies, didn't we?
But Biden should not announce that he will pack the court, as a few left-wing idiots have demanded. Progs are so damned short-sighted..!
The point is to win. Biden cannot do anything unless he wins. In order to have any chance of winning, we don't want the nation to spend the next weeks debating the strategy of packing the court. We want people to talk about all the crap that Trump has done wrong, like his Covid response and his attacks on Social Security.
The idea of increasing the number of justices has wider appeal than I thought. Thirty-four percent of Republicans like the notion, as do 41% of Independents and 61% of Democrats. I think we can increase the latter two numbers substantially.
Even though attempts to delay the confirmation will almost certainly prove fruitless, we should try to delay the vote nonetheless. Because I am a pessimist, people misunderstand my attitude: When I say "Doom is nigh," I do not mean that we should accept doom without fighting back. Similarly, when I predict a Trump victory, I do not mean that you should not vote. This generation has a lot to learn about stoicism.
Louise Mensch, of all people, has come up with of a superb delaying tactic.
You're about to piss on Louise Mensch right now, aren't you? Jeez. This generation also has a lot to learn about the logical fallacy called argumentum ad hominem. A good idea is a good idea, no matter who offers it. And here it is:
If the House impeaches Bill Barr, that business is privileged over everything else in the Senate. Including confirming judges. I didn’t think there was a ton of point to it before but I have changed my mind.— Louise Mensch (@LouiseMensch) September 19, 2020
Unlike Louise, I do think there is a ton of point to impeaching Barr, even without the Supreme Court angle. Impeaching Barr is right. The evil bastard deserves it -- a permanent black mark on his record. Successor generations, if any, must know that we tried to do something.
Who will Trump pick? I'm not going to get into the details on this one, but there is a good reason to suspect that Trump will not choose Amy Coney Barrett. She's a Catholic -- one of those gonzo right-wing Catholics beloved of the Federalist Society.
Heretofore, Trump has let the Federalist Society choose his nominees. It's a private group, yet it has taken control of the third branch of our government.
The Sociey is funded by very mysterious sources, which are obscured by a hopelessly intertwined web of organizations and sub-groups. If you fancy yourself a conspiracy theorist, forget the Illuminati: They are a myth. Research something real. Research the Federalists.
To repeat points made in a previous post:
The Federalist Society is run by a fanatical daily-Mass Catholic named Leonard Leo. Don't like Kavanaugh? Say "Thank you, Leo!"
Leo also belongs to Opus Dei and the Knights of Malta (a.k.a. The Sovereign Military Order of Malta or SMOM). Historically, both organizations have been strongly associated with fascism.
If you want to know more about SMOM's connections to post-war fascism, check out my very brief summary by hitting the link above.
Fascinatingly, Michael Wolff's Seige indicates that Trump never liked Brett Kavanuagh, the last Federalist Society pick for the Supreme Court. You may recall that, when Kavanaugh's nomination was in serious trouble,
Dubya went to bat for him. The former president's involvement seemed
inexplicable, since Bush and Trump clearly despise each other. Trump felt no gratitude whatsoever.
“The drunks stick together,” said Trump. “If he’s a Bush guy, he’s not a Trump guy. It’s bull that we can depend on him. Virgin-man will sell me out.”
Moreover, Trump has noticed that the Federalist Society has packed the Supreme Court with Catholics. From Seige's chapter on Kavanaugh:
But toward the end of the summer he began to express reservations in some of his after-dinner calls. Here was one more instance of a president who often seemed to feel that his own White House was working against him. Somebody was feeding him doubts. One friend speculated that it might be his sister Maryanne Trump Barry, a now-inactive federal judge, even though she and her brother were not particularly close. But the message, wherever it came from, became a sudden irritant for Trump: there were no Protestants on the Supreme Court. “Did you know this?” he demanded of one friend.
Of the eight justices currently serving, all were either Jews or Catholics. Kavanaugh was also a Catholic, as was the runner-up choice, Amy Coney Barrett. There was some confusion about Neil Gorsuch, and Trump was offered conflicting views. But Gorsuch was certainly raised a Catholic and had even gone to the same Catholic school that Brett Kavanaugh had attended. Can’t we find lawyers who aren’t Catholics or Jews? Trump wondered. Weren’t there any WASP lawyers anymore? (Yes, he was told—Bob Mueller.)
It seemed confounding to Trump that he hadn’t been aware of this new and remarkable fact about the Supreme Court. Inexplicably, the tide of history had turned, yet no one had noticed—or informed him.
“You had all Protestants and then in a few years none. Doesn’t that seem strange?” he ruminated. “None at all.” The nominally Presbyterian Trump went on: “But I can’t say, ‘I want to put a Protestant on the Court for better representation.’ No, you can’t say that. But I should be able to. You should be able to have the main religion in this country represented on the Supreme Court.”
Was this McGahn’s doing? Trump wondered, now deeply suspicious of the White House counsel. He was the White House point person on Supreme Court nominations; he was also a Catholic. Was McGahn packing the Court? Kavanaugh, like Gorsuch, had been preapproved by the Federalist Society, and Leonard Leo, the society’s key man, was (reportedly) a member of Opus Dei, the secretive, far-right Catholic organization. Trump said he had been told that Leo was in bed with the Vatican.
Trump doesn't want to pick Barrett. He doesn't want to pick a Catholic. He wants this choice to be his choice. This is his "Let Trump be Trump" moment.
(So predicts Cannon, knowing full well that he could be proven wrong within the hour.)
The Alex Jonesians love to trade scare stories about the Vatican. Always have, always will. Liberals should exploit and deepen this split within the paranoid class. Please note that I said exploit, not emulate.
Money is blue. I'd like bring a tweet to your attention. It's about the horrible current situation in Belarus:
Economic protest seems to be the most efficient: boycotting state companies, selling our rubles, delaying paying taxes, utilities. People don't want to resist with arms; non-violence is the main principle. Army and riot police will remain loyal to Luka so long as he can pay them.
We can apply this lesson to our own country.
I've said it before and I'll keep saying it until the idea catches on: Money is blue. Red states are leech states, taking more from the system than they put in. The blue states fund this government. A blue-state taxpayer revolt can stop fascism.
The evil bastards may be able to take over the country, but the prize is worthless without us and our ability to make money. The fascists cannot fund their schemes using only the few spare coins they can squeeze out of the paranoid hillbillies who take Q seriously.
Positivity. Caissie St. Onge is a writer who has summed up one of my personal beliefs in three magnificent words:
Toxic positivity sucks. https://t.co/TMq3JKlHUW— 🗽 Caissie “Pretty Scared, You?” St.Onge (@Caissie) September 19, 2020
The replies are pretty hip:
It’s a great way to make certain nothing changes and to police people’s emotions.
The cousin of, “It’s part of god’s plan”.
That kind of positivity in the face of terrible events is generally self-serving and weaponized.
It's about time the proselytizing positive-thinkers understood one basic point: The emotions generally labeled "negative" -- guilt, shame, rage, fear, even despair -- can be just as valid, just as human, and just as helpful as any other. Even though positive thinkers continually try to force us to pretend not to feel these negative emotions, we feel them nonetheless. Feigned happiness is an ulcer; it chews up our insides.
You know who literally went to the church of positive thinking? Donald Trump. You wanna end up like him?
Imagine how much better off we'd be if Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham were capable of guilt and shame.