We Shall Overcome

voters by party

The above data relate to the state of Georgia and were published by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on June 29.

And let me take this occasion to offer heartiest congratulations to the stout-hearted progressives here at Happy Acres who hosted an extraordinarily informative session on how to register voters. We will be working to offer voter registration opportunities not only to our residents but also to our several dozen employees, and we’ll be volunteering at other locations as well.

We hope that the moral arc of the universe bends toward justice. But, just to be sure, we’ll give it a shove in that direction.

Onward Christian Soldiers

Antonin Scalia died on February 13, 2016, eight months before the November election. But Mitch McConnell said it was vital to wait for the next election to select his successor. Anthony Kennedy announced his resignation on June 27, 2018, four months before the election. But Mitch McConnell announced it was vital not to wait for the next election to pick his successor. Do these two positions reflect shameless intellectual dishonesty and blatant hypocrisy?

No, they do not. They are perfectly consistent.

How is that?

The golden threat that runs through McConnell’s reasoning is that only Republicans get to pick Supreme Court justices. Democratic presidents and Senates have no say in the matter.

Why is that?

Because

  • once the sperm fertilizes the egg, God immediately supplies a soul to the zygote, and anyone who harms the zygote is guilty of an abominable crime and must be severely punished, and because
  • God hates gay people, and because
  • God is none too thrilled about affirmative action, and because
  • in consequence of the foregoing, God hates Anthony Kennedy and all his works, and demands that we will supply Him with a justice who will ensure that young women are back to aborting themselves with coat hangers, that gays are put back in their place, and that rights of persons of western European descent are jealously protected.

So this means that a good portion of the American public are in a state of orgasmic ecstasy over Kennedy’s replacement, and that they will all be sure to turn out and vote for Trump-supporting congressmen and senators?

Most probably.

Will that be a disaster?

No, it will not, because there are more of us than there are of them, and we are mad as hell, and we are all going to vote in 2018 and 2020.

There are lots of headlines saying Kennedy’s successor will change the court for a generation to come. Is that right?

Kennedy is mostly conservative. The other night I heard a talking head say—and therefore I know it is true—that on the fifteen 5-4, liberal-conservative decisions this term, Kennedy voted with the conservative majority every single time. But on abortion, gay rights, and affirmative action, it will make a difference. Jeffrey Toobin says that abortion will be illegal in 20 states by 18 months from now. Sounds about right to me.

So we should all go bang our heads against the wall, right?

No, that is not right. We have to win the 2020 election and pack the court. Republicans have violated norm after norm. We have no choice but to react in kind, taking advantage of the Constitution’s black letter law:

The size of the Supreme Court is not fixed by the Constitution. It is determined by Congress.

The original Judiciary Act of 1789 set the number of justices at six. When the Federalists were defeated in 1800, the lame-duck Congress reduced the size of the court to five — hoping to deprive President Jefferson of an appointment. The incoming Democratic Congress repealed the Federalist measure (leaving the number at six), and then in 1807 increased the size of the court to seven, giving Jefferson an additional appointment.

In 1837, the number was increased to nine, affording the Democrat Andrew Jackson two additional appointments. During the Civil War, to insure an anti-slavery, pro-Union majority on the bench, the court was increased to 10. When a Democrat, Andrew Johnson, became president upon Lincoln’s death, a Republican Congress voted to reduce the size to seven (achieved by attrition) to guarantee Johnson would have no appointments.

After Ulysses S. Grant was elected in 1868, Congress restored the court to nine. That gave Grant two new appointments. The court had just declared unconstitutional the government’s authority to issue paper currency (greenbacks). Grant took the opportunity to appoint two justices sympathetic to the administration. When the reconstituted court convened, it reheard the legal tender cases and reversed its decision (5-4).

Trump Weeps Crocodile Tears over Murder of Five Hardened Enemies of the People

crocodile

Surviving enemy of the people to Trump: “I couldn’t give a fuck about your prayers.

Actually, the Trumpster was scared shitless that next time the shooter might be wearing a MAGA hat—and the Trumpster might get blamed.

And, yes, that might very well happen.

That’s why I chose to publish under a pseudonym. If you think that’s cowardly, then you are entitled to your opinion. I think it’s prudent.

Civility

civility

I do not advocate yelling at people at restaurants.

But I reject the argument that yelling at restaurants is bad for progressives, because it just heats up the Republican Base.

The Republican Base is as het up as it could be. As is our side.

Fortunately, there are more of us than there are of them.

So let’s all go to the polls and vote.

After which, Sarah Huckabee Sanders can slink back into that obscurity which she so richly merits.

Anthony Kennedy’s Retirement

packing

Yes, it’s really, really bad.

But here are a couple of thoughts.

First of all, it’s Congress that determines the number of justices on the Supreme Court. Roosevelt’s attempt to “pack” the Court in 1937 failed politically. But things are different now. With the Republicans having violated every norm, and having stolen the seat Gorsuch now occupies, it will be up to us in 2021 to do some norm violatin’ of our own. Too bad, but that’s how it is.

In the meantime, Trump will try, and will presumably succeed, in replacing Kennedy with a wingnut.

This will give Republicans of a certain stripe one less reason to show up and vote. (They may show up and vote anyway, but at least there will be one less reason to motivate them.)

And it will righteously piss off the progressives. We were going to turn out in droves anyway. Now, you bet we’re going to turn out in droves.