The Slough of Despond


This afternoon Dr. Aardvark was down in slough of despond, she was down inthe inner city, registering  voters. That’s what we need to be doing.

At dinner, she and I ate with a couple of progressives suffering from deep despair. I do not share that despair, not only because despair is not an emotion in which we have the luxury to indulge, but also, I think, for logical reasons as well.

Progressives Need to Place More Reliance on Political Activism, Less Reliance on Judges

For many of us, when we think of the Court, the first thing that probably comes to mind is Roe v. Wade, and the second thing that probably comes to mind is gay marriage. Obviously, very important stuff. But Matthew Yglesias gives enormously important perspective in a post this evening titled Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation will delegitimize the Supreme Court — and that’s good: It’s time America woke up to the radical right that’s run the Court for years.

I don’t have the mental energy this evening to summarize it or selectively quote from it. But I highly recommend it.

There are other reasons not to wallow in the slough of despond this evening, but I’ll close with one of them.

They Didn’t Remember the Ladies

Abagail Adams

If you energize the most extreme elements of your tribe, you risk splitting the tribe by alienating the ones with good sense. The Democratic tribe is quite a bit larger than the Republican tribe. We could alienate some of our ilk and still be larger in numbers than the Republicans. But when Republicans practice the politics of subtraction on their own tribe, they risk shrinking themselves right into political irrelevance.

Except, of course, in deep red states where Republican tribal feeling runs high. There are Senate races this year in several such states.

That is presumably why Machiavelli McConnell and Doofus Donald didn’t just pull Kavanaugh and insert an equally conservative, less inclined to commit assault before he drinks himself under the table.

But, in their machinations, they forgot the Republican ladies.

We must make sure that the Republican ladies never forget them.