This Radical Supreme Court Majority Is Killing US: A Call to Action

I’ve been working on this post on and off for weeks, trying to decide if advocating for court reform sounds too pie-in-the-sky. Since the overturn of Roe, which for the first time ever removed a Constitutionally protected right from Americans—with promises of more such decimation of established rights to follow—I’ve been eager to complete it.

This week, the radical court majority’s beyond the beyond rulings moved my thinking from “too pie-in-the-sky” to “Do or die.”

Sadly, I am in the company of some of our nation’s most highly respected thinkers. Historian Heather Cox Richardson’s tweet says it all. This court has gone rogue, and Congress must stop it before it destroys our country. See her Letters From an American, June 30, for an excellent, detailed analysis.

Democrats have long been shy about court reform—ever since President Franklin D. Roosevelt tried to expand the Supreme Court to ensure his programs would get through. He suffered a setback, and Roosevelt’s attempt was historically marked as a radical move. “Packing the Court” has lingered as a political no-no.

But he did win over two justices, thus making the idea unnecessary.

No chance of that happening with this bunch!

While the Democrats have been shy, the Republicans have been active, with an effort that began in earnest in 1971. Alarmed by regulations to protect consumers and by the growth of the labor movement—and their impact on businesses’ bottom line, Lewis Powell wrote a confidential memo urging a vast, coordinated, well-funded effort involving the cultivation of political power that “must be used aggressively and with determination—without embarrassment and without the reluctance which has been so characteristic of American business.” Embarrassment? Reluctance? Quaint to conjure that as the captains of industry’s approach to life.

Powell was appointed a Supreme Court justice by President Richard Nixon shortly thereafter.

The effort Powell called for has been playing out for decades. Earlier this week, I reblogged one of my posts from two years ago that contains a terrific video in which Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (Dem-RI) takes us through the making of today’s court by dark money interests. Whitehouse is consistently strong on these court issues; on this occasion, he was addressing Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett at her confirmation hearings.

In the Twitterverse, which is home to a number of serious legal scholars and historians, the hashtags “Expand the Court” and “Unpack the Court” are gaining steam. Why “Unpack”? Because this court is the result of a metaphorical suitcase filled with laundered dirty money that has already been packed by wily ole Mitch McConnell: first by denying President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, a Senate hearing 11 months before the election (‘’too close,” McConnell said); then by rushing through Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination just weeks before the 2020 election. Impervious to the hypocrisy he demonstrated, McConnell simply did it because he could.

That’s also the explanation for the Supreme Court’s brazen rulings.

After this week’s ignominious exhibition of judicial hubris and made-up-out-of-whole-cloth judicial theorizing, the calls are growing to “do something” about a Supreme Court majority that’s “gone rogue.” Its decisions are, literally, dangerous to our health—as individuals and as a nation.

Consider just this session’s closing salvos:

—Struck down Roe v Wade, removing a Constitutional right that has protected women for nearly 50 years, ostensibly passing the decision to the states, while Republican state legislatures fall all over themselves to make it more difficult for women to even go out of state, and the national Republican leaders promise a federal law.

Post-Roe America promises to be an even more savage place than pre-Roe America, with criminalization of both physicians and patients, and women dying not only of botched abortions, but also of ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages that physicians will be afraid to treat for fear of jail time.

We are already hearing of 12-year-old girls, raped by their fathers or uncles, who are being forced to bear their rapists’ babies. This is not hyperbole. Here is a New Yorker essay that details what is already happening and will get worse.

—Expanded access to guns, just as the public’s fear and anger about our gun safety crisis had even persuaded wily ole Mitch to go along with the Democratic majority on modest gun safety legislation.

—Further eroded the separation of church and state with rulings that support prayer in public schools and force a state—Maine—to fund religious education for two schools that were overtly discriminatory.

These theocratic rulings would surely horrify the Constitution’s founders, who were rather fond of the separation of church and state. Justice Breyer warned that the ruling would heighten the “religious strife” that the Constitution’s religious clauses “were designed to prevent.”

—Endangers the future of our planet by limiting the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions; this ruling will form the basis for additional anti-regulation cases in an ongoing assault on the “Administrative State”—that is, the federal government’s ability to function to protect the safety of its citizens.

The court took the case even though they knew the EPA had abandoned the rules that were challenged in the lawsuit. Justice Roberts wrote about a “major questions” doctrine that puzzles both court watchers and his fellow jurists in the minority.

For the dissent, Justice Elena Kagan concluded:

“The Court appoints itself—instead of Congress or the expert agency—the decision-maker on climate policy. I cannot think of many things more frightening.”

Not incidentally, Kagan also noted that for people who consider themselves “originalists” adhering to the Constitution, they’re playing fast and loose with any standard.

“The current Court is textualist only when being so suits it. When that method would frustrate broader goals, special canons like the ‘major questions’ doctrine magically appear as get-out-of-text free cards. Today, one of those broader goals makes itself clear: Prevent agencies from doing important work, even though that is what Congress directed.”

There were also bad rulings that will overcome protections of tribal sovereignty from state intrusions, the protections afforded the accused via Miranda rights, and the ability to sue border agents for violent acts. For details, see Today’s Edition Newsletter, July 1, 2022, and its links.

And the worst is yet to come. On the docket for the next term is democracy itself, in a case that would give state legislatures complete authority to decide elections—even if the Courts ruled their actions unconstitutional. The Independent State Legislature (ISL) is the discredited Constitutional theory being pushed by John Eastman to justify the fake electors scheme to invalidate President Biden’s 2020 win. It’s based on a misreading of a minority opinion in Bush v. Gore, the case that gave the presidency to George Bush in 2000.

It strikes me that just as Donald Trump’s Big Lie was and is deliberately designed to weaken Americans’ beliefs in the sanctity of our electoral system, the radical Supreme Court majority is rapidly succeeding in doing the same to our judicial system.

Clarence Thomas’s wife Ginni was an Insurrectionist, and he and his colleagues seem have have bought into the Big Lie—or at least they find it a convenient way to shape the country they want.

And the term “willful ignorance”—often suggested to describe Trump’s knowledge that his claims of fraud are themselves fraudulent—applies to the Court as well.

Dahlia Lithwick, a journalist who’s long monitored the court, with humor tempered by reverence for the institution, showed neither humor nor reverence in writing about how serious all this is when she wrote in Slate:

“Those arguing that the brand-new jurisprudence emerging this week is markedly more cruel, more overtly theological, and more contemptuous of the regulatory state are all correct.

“But it also reflects a new kind of lawlessness that is frighteningly untethered from fact, science, and objectivity—untethered in ways that should frighten anyone who depends on the court for truth above all things.”

This radical Court majority, appointed by presidents who won a minority of the popular vote, has been making rulings that are in opposition to the vast majority of Americans’ wishes and beliefs.

So it’s time to reform/re-form the Court.

There is actually a good-government reason to expand the Court.

The Constitution—that document so revered by the current majority that they want to take us back 230 years when it suits their purposes—gives Congress the power to determine how many justices sit on the Supreme Court. Over time, the number has varied from a low of five to a high of ten. The current number of nine justices has held steady since 1869, when there were nine circuits funneling cases to the Court.

All the federal courts are widely regarded as overburdened. There have been bipartisan discussions about adding judges to the district courts. The nine current Supreme Court Justices handle cases funneled to them from 13 circuit courts, including the DC Appellate Court.

Thus, the case can—and I believe should—be made that we need four additional Justices to efficiently do the nation’s judicial work.

Obviously, such a move would have to be made only if we have a Democratic president and firm majorities in Congress. President Biden’s call for bypassing the filibuster to secure reproductive rights holds promise. We must give him solid majorities in the House and Senate.

Heather Cox Richardson and others are contemplating additional moves that we, the public, can make. I’ll be following them closely.

It’ll be quite the fight, as the battle to make the Supreme Court an arm of the American oligarchs has been long and meticulous. But it is every bit as important to our struggling democracy as anything else I can imagine.


58 thoughts on “This Radical Supreme Court Majority Is Killing US: A Call to Action

  1. I believe the solution to the problem presented is for the people to elect Presidents who will appoint responsible Justices and Senators who will confirm them. If we don’t do that, we must suffer the consequences.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. whungerford: kindly elaborate a bit. Are you suggesting that since we didn’t elect enough Senators in 2020, we should do nothing now—despite the recklessness of this court?


      1. I don’t see a structural problem with the Court–Constitutional “checks and balances” have worked for better or worse–but with the political climate of the day. Some pushback may be possible, but I see no easy solution. The makeup of the Court is the result of decisions voters made in the past; it will change for the better when future voters make better decisions. I second Abigail Johnston’s suggestion for “voting, marching, donating, engaging” with the goal of electing responsible representatives.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ok. But “voting, marching, donating, engaging” requires an awakened citizenry that recognizes that there has just been an enormous disruption in our checks and balances: this court’s rulings are usurping both executive and legislative powers. They must be put on notice that they can’t rule in support of the ISL doctrine next term—or they’ll have made the Big Lie’s phase two the law of the land.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I’ve been dragging my butt down to the poll every 4 yrs since 1972. I don’t think your solution solves the problem. I like Jesus a lot but I’m fairly certain that no H, sapiens outside of myself is going to Save me. Seems rather rude to me that anyone expects that of another mortal. The “problem” is not those who vote, it is those that could but don’t.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I keep hoping for a vast wellspring of those who are energized by this Court’s far-outside-the-mainstream rulings, now on a plethora of topics. A ray of hope: 120,000 people have signed up with Run for Something, an org. that encourages young people to run for local, county, state offices. This sorry week, 1400 people signed up. The youth vote is critical, and this kind of energy at a time our country needs it most is very encouraging.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. It is true that the ultimate responsibility rests with the voters. If those voters in 2016 who found Hillary Clinton too flawed for whatever reason and voted for Jill Stein, had instead voted for Clinton — even just those in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — then she would have had those three Supreme Court picks instead of Trump, the Court would now be 6-3 the other way, and nobody would even be talking about Roe v Wade being in danger. Small marginal events can have very large consequences. However, that doesn’t help much in our present situation. Ordinary responsible voting in 2016 would have prevented this mess; now, only radical action will fix it.

      Constitutional “checks and balances” have worked for better or worse

      It is worth noting that judicial review — the Supreme Court’s power to strike down laws it deems unconstitutional — is not in the Constitution. The Court just started asserting that power in the early nineteenth century and got away with it, and it is now an entrenched tradition, but it is not part of the system of checks and balances the founders established. Nor, of course, is the filibuster, currently the largest obstacle to the functioning of Congress.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. While I’m no fan of those who cast self-indulgent votes regardless of the consequences, my understanding since 2016 has been that Hillary’s loss had less to do with Jill Stein than with James Comey’s Oct 28 letter to Congress. But it’s indisputable that Ralph Nader’s Florida vote cost Gore the election. If we run our what ifs back to 2000, they’re even more heartbreaking. Your points are well taken, Infidel.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I’m sure the Comey letter had an impact, as did Russian disinformation and various other factors. Nevertheless, the fact remains that in those three states, the vote for Stein was substantially larger than the margin by which Trump won each state — and if Clinton had won those three states, she would have carried the Electoral College and become president. Regardless of why those voters went for Stein (due to Comey or Clinton’s Iraq-war vote or some other reason), if they had voted for Clinton instead, she would have won and the country would now be in a totally different situation. It’s just math.

        It is the candidate’s and party’s job to educate voters, but it is also the voter’s job to cast an informed and rational vote. And the voters of 2016 did, as you say, have 2000 in living memory as a warning of what wasting votes on a third party can do.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’d point out again that we the voters DID our jobs, turned out in record numbers, got Biden elected, gave the Dems the admittedly narrow majority (counting Harris’ vote, natch). What have the people we elected done? Not a damn thing, besides beg for more money and blame US. We gave you the seats, we gave you the power, don’t dare blame us for your inaction.
        And no, don’t throw “But Manchin and Sinema” in my face. It’s on those people we elected to rein those two idiots in, and they won’t.

        You wonder why voters lose faith? The lack of action and whinging for more money is why.


      4. I have the same question that Infidel has posed, cthulhu: how, specifically? I, for one, don’t feel that because I voted in 2020, I have no more work to do as an engaged citizen.

        As for “whining” ( I assume that’s what you meant), your ire should be directed to the Supreme Court, doing their oligarchs’ bidding.

        As to your claim that the Biden administration has not done a “damn thing,” that is manifestly untrue. The list is long and impressive—despite a hostile Republican Party including many who believe and/or mouth the Big Lie, the aforementioned (respecting your directive) M/S, and a press that is more interested when he falls off his bike than when he revitalizes NATO and helps the brave Ukrainians fight to save democracy while revealing the weaknesses in Putin’s military capabilities.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with your concerns and appreciate your analysis. As a lawyer with a healthy respect for our system, I’ve been truly astonished at the recent decisions. Yes, these developments are the end result of some very very dedicated people over a long period of time and they aren’t done. When I think of how the recent and likely coming decisions will disproportionately affect the least able to handle such issues, I am aghast. The cancer community will be hit especially hard and deaths will occur. I do think that it is incumbent upon everyone to engage at this point by voting, marching, donating, ENGAGING, in our system. It is truly when good men (and women) do nothing that evil is able to prevail.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Abigail. I’m grateful that you stressed that these decisions will inevitably hit hardest the most vulnerable among us, specifically underscoring the cancer community. That is, tragically, always the case, but the devolution of rights/responsibilities to the states will accelerate this horror. We’ve seen that as the right to abortion has been eroded in states over the years, poor women of color, who already suffer far higher deaths from childbirth, have been disproportionately harmed. Vote, march, donate, ENGAGE is such a fine mantra!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Well said Annie. It seems like every day when I wake up there’s another horrible backwards decision by the Supreme Court. Although the court always said they worked together well in RG’s day despite their differing opinions, that can’t possibly be the case now. I can’t imagine how frustrated those three dissenting judges must feel, as the decisions defy description, and they are so smug about it too, smug in their power balance. It must be like beating your head against a brick wall.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Joni. It was customary for the justices in the minority to end their opinions by writing “We respectfully dissent.” Things have gotten so bad—and the contempt in the majority opinions so obvious, that the dissenters are expressing their frustration overtly. The “respectfully” is gone.
      I’ve been thinking a lot about our brand-new justice, a remarkable woman and brilliant scholar who’s known as a mediator. How cruel for Justice Jackson to be appointed to the highest court in the land—and be surrounded by these dishonest, nasty political hacks. I’m looking forward to some dazzling dissents from her before long.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. You are right on the money. Did you know they’ve also taken away tribal rights? This Supreme Court has set the nation back 100 years or more. NY rep AOC was on TV and said the President and congress and wrest power away, the way the founding fathers intended. So Biden needs to step up to the plate and start swinging!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, LA. Yes, I mentioned the tribal sovereignty ruling. The link to Hubbell’s Today’s Edition Newsletter leads to more info about it.
      We must press the President and our legislators in both Houses to act. This is a clarion call to redress an abuse of the checks and balances that the framers put in place.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think we all agree that expanding the Supreme Court is necessary. However, since Biden has already affirmed that he opposes doing this, what can we vote for to bring this about? We would need (a) a Senate majority expanded to at least 52 to defang Manchin and Sinema, (b) to keep the House majority, and (c) a president who would sign legislation to expand the Court. Right now, (a) is quite possible, and (b) may be becoming feasible given the generic-ballot poll swing toward the Democrats since Roe was overturned, but (c) is apparently off the table until January 2025 at the earliest, unless Biden can be persuaded.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Infidel. Biden also said he opposed sidestepping the filibuster, but he’s changed his mind. He came of age when Republicans could be trusted allies and bipartisanship was feasible, and it’s tough for him to accept 2022 Republicana. I am convinced that he can be convinced to change his mind.
      As I noted, my own opinion about the feasibility of trying to move the conversation toward the necessity to expand the court has changed dramatically as the Court’s dropped all pretense. I’ve been writing about the “radical Supreme Court majority” for quite a while, but this past week showed the urgency of the need for action.
      I am grateful for your comment.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Excellent post, Annie. It’s distressing when commentators refer to today’s Supreme Court majority as “conservatives.” They’re not conserving anything, especially our democracy. A key move toward the current leap backward was the Bush v. Gore decision, which essentially handed the 2000 election to George W. Bush by a 5-4 vote (and gave Bush the opportunity to put Alito and Roberts on the court). The recent rulings against women’s rights, gun control, and environmental protections by the Supreme Court’s reactionary (like I said, not conservative) majority are turning the US into a minority-ruled oligarchy. So, yes, the President and Congress need to take action—more justices, no filibuster—before Thomas et al. put the kibosh on LGBTQ rights, gay marriage, and so much more.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Gail. I emphatically agree, and I’m glad you added that Bush v Gore, in addition to spawning the nutty theory Eastman espouses that the Court will take up next term (shiver), gave us Alito and Roberts.
      I keep saying, writing, and tweeting that the word “conservative” is clearly wrong—in referring to the radical Supreme Court majority and nearly all Republicans. They conserve nothing. They are destroyers.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, hope and make our feelings known: ENGAGE in all the ways Abigail notes in her comment.

      We’ve always had around 30% of these characters in the US, and some sorry episodes have been the result. Of course the Electoral College and filibuster have skewed power toward the minority. Enter Trump as the weapon who solidifies and validates the anger—and a Republican Party that has itself gone rogue in seeking power for power’s sake—and bam: an unholy mess threatening decades of progress.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. It is a mathematical fact that half of the “people” are dumber than average. Throw in Dunning-Kruger where we line walkers lurk and misunderstand our place. Then add in “school in America” where only cherries are picked. What is surprising is how few “real jerks” there are considering the mass production.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It’s critically important not to fall into the error of elitist contempt for the masses. That’s electoral doom. People don’t take kindly to being disrespected. A huge part of the key to Trump’s success was his ability to tap into that resentment and mobilize it.

        In reality, the politically-engaged, high-information, activist-fringe element is stupider than the disengaged, low-information masses watching baseball on TV and following Taylor Swift on Instagram — not smarter, as they believe themselves to be. Most of the people who voted for Nader in 2000 and for Stein in 2016, thus handing the country over to Bush and Trump respectively, were engaged, high-information, strongly-opinionated, politics-junkie….. idiots. They betrayed and cheated the vast mass of ordinary people, who gave Gore and Clinton solid popular-vote majorities.

        I understand the temptation to think of oneself as the rare self-aware person surrounded by herds of “sheeple”. I’ve been there. Boy oh boy, have I been there. But it’s not true. That’s not reality. The broad masses aren’t dumber just because they have different interests.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Thanks, Annie! I’ve come to agree that what seemed before to be radical solutions, such as “packing the court”, terms of service for the justices, and ending the Senate filibuster need to be done. I think the first step will need to be voting out the reactionary Senators and congress members in November, which’ll require maintaining the anger in the public about the loss of women’s reproductive rights, the separation of church and state, and protection from gun violence that the Supreme Court has fostered.

        Liked by 2 people

    3. Where do all the suppressive jerks come from?

      For a variety of reasons, during the 18th and 19th centuries, it was the most religious people from Britain (and to some extent the rest of Europe) who tended to migrate to what is now the US. This left Europe with an unusually secular population, and the US with an unusually religious one. Until the 1960s, hard-core fundamentalists tended to avoid politics, preferring to feel aloof from the “fallen” world. Then the sexual revolution, gay liberation, and women’s liberation alarmed them into becoming politically mobilized, starting with the Moral Majority and similar groups. They had certain advantages — unity, determination to win power and re-impose the taboos of their own religion, and an understanding that such struggles take decades, not just one or two election cycles. They worked first to take over the Republican party, then use it for their aims. They are a shrinking minority now, but with those advantages, they’ve managed to win disproportionate power within the government, notably the Supreme Court. In the long run declining numbers will doom them, but in the meantime, they can do a lot of damage because they hold such “high ground” of political power, from which it will be difficult to dislodge them.

      This is not about normal politics. This is the end result of a sixty-year campaign by a minority group to seize power and impose their will on the country.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Annie, I think you are unfair to Justice Powell. A moderate then, he would be considered a liberal today. The impact of the memo you mentioned is disputed. See “The Myth of the Powell Memo” by Mark Schmitt August 29, 2016 which appeared in the “Washington Monthly.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Whungerford: I was simply citing the memo as the opening salvo—not discussing his overall career. I read the “Washington Monthly” piece and a number of others, including a subsequent piece in the same publication. Though some say the impact has been disputed, the remedies he called for—most significantly, to use the courts for economic, political, and social change—did form the basis of the efforts undertaken by conservative think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation that have had a vast influence on our current situation.

      I would not put Powell in the same category as the current majority; many justices have grown and changed with their tenure, but he wrote what he wrote—and others took up his call.

      Here’s a NY Times article from 1972.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for suggesting “The New York Times” article, Annie. I found it very interesting. Powell’s suggestions seem prophetic in the light of today and understandable in 1971 when antiwar sentiment, justly or not, blamed wars on capitalism. Fred Graham wrote: “Those views could prove crucial during the coming Court term, as Justice Powell appeared to exert unusual influence last year as a freshman Justice, …” Powell was influential as he was often the “swing vote,” taking a neutral position on many issues. In “The Brethren (1979) Woodward and Anderson wrote: “From (Justice) Brennan’s perspective, the initial impact of Nixon’s new appointees was not as bad as he had feared. Rehnquist was a rigid ideologue willing, even anxious, to overturn the work of the Warren Court. Yet no major ‘Warren Court precedent had been overruled that term (1971), and Powell was the main reason.”

        Powell’s memo is very interesting to read. It reminds me of the excitement of the 1970’s, when the conformity of the 1950’s was succeeded by a flowering of freedom of expression that prompted Powell’s concern. Powell’s view of a conspiracy of educators and media outlets was common then as it is today.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. From the Other Side of The Pond, I am worried, fearfully worried for the USA’s social infrastructure, because of the large numbers who still see the attraction of a vote for Trump and those easing him behind him waiting for him to stumble, and the subsequent environment which in turn makes such actions as the overturning of Roe vs Wade.
    There have been several minor fault lines development ever since Obama’s election. 6th January and the reversal of Roe vs Wade have now made the antagonistic regionalisation of the USA a possibility.
    Considering the sizes and resources of the states it is not inconceivable that states with a more ‘liberal’ outlook will consider flexing their local political muscles, even to the extent of finding ways around a Supreme Court decision, or in the case of the return of a Republican President barely noticing Washington. Since Cruz has been playing this card in Texas for years and now Florida has followed a counter-reaction by Liberals is to be expected.
    In less febrile times and on issues not directly affecting individuals this would be entertainment value on talk shows and media columns. Now that hostile divisiveness is at the public level, this is no longer to be taken lightly, and assuming all will work out in some constitutional compromise.
    The Right have released a proverbial genie out of a bottle and not one which will be willing to grant the proverbial three wishes, but demand obedience. This is the genie of nascent sectarian violence. Once it starts, like a forest fire it feeds.
    This possibility is nothing new in the History of Humanity; it’s only that the USA suffered it but once, and then in something of a comparatively contained way. Your true comparison would be in the years of Bloody Kansas.
    Rather than alarmist clarion calls, serious concerned discussion of this possibility needs to be addressed. Maybe then the majorities will realise putting their futures in the hands of extremists of all stripes is not a wise Invesment.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Roger, for these insightful comments. We are already seeing some of the “muscle flexing” you portend: President Biden met with Democratic governors to consider ways they can counterbalance the Court’s Roe decision, and Democratic prosecutors in red states are declaring they will not charge women who violate the repressive state laws. Blue states such as NY are passing more restrictive gun safety legislation in response to the Court’s ruling.

      I am puzzled about your reference to “alarmist clarion calls.” I feel both my call to action and your comment are “clarion calls” that are justified by events, and are therefore not unduly alarmist. Am I missing something?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Please note: I respectfully request that we refrain from comments casting aspersions on the “stupidity” of groups of voters. If we could all put ourselves in the shoes—or minds—of people with whom we disagree, we’d be in much better shape as a nation. As that’s admittedly a tough task, let’s at least try to restrain our judgmental rhetoric. Thanks!


      2. It is encouraging to see Blue States moving against this red tide (For folk like me born in the early 1950s and Cold War outlook there is a great irony in the threat coming from the Republican Right to be called a ‘red tide’).
        That comment ‘alarmist clarion call’ is a bit of Brit caution and self-effacing. We have a knack of raising warnings and then adding on a rider that we don’t wish to appear ‘alarmist’ and so pre-empt any accusation…It’s a Brit-thing 😀.
        It tends to kick in whenever I am new to a site and raising the issue of communal violence such as happened in Northern Ireland….. Jill is used to me. (I went into this issue in some depth in one post on my political site)
        Thus I am fully on board with you on raising this issue. Folk who are trying to avoid the subject will have to face up to the fact this is credible threat and there are dangerous people out there with all the mentality of drunken kids playing with matches in a forest in high summer.
        Take care Annie.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes; “red tide” is among the many ironies, which also include Republicans’ bizarre attachment to Putin and their leaders’ willingness to go along with the Big Lie but unwillingness to condemn the assault on the Capitol police on Jan 6.

        Thanks for clarifying the “alarmist” comment. I do share it, and quite recently have literally written: “I am not writing this to scare anyone.”

        But before the election, I also wrote about why people shouldn’t worry that trump will stage a coup to remain in power…hmmm.

        Kind regards.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. The idea that Trump might try again is not inconceivable Annie.
        Whether he or his masters (ie the mob) will gain control of anything but a building or two in Washington is another matter.
        There is a scenario which is out there in the public domain and needs to be discussed more so that folk can step back:
        (This a link to my post on the matter)

        VIEW POST in a new tab)

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Cthulhu: There has been no better example of the power of voters than the passage of gun safety legislation—modest though it was. Moms Demand Action contacted more than one million legislators in a matter of weeks. It is easy to blame the Democrats broadly, but with a 50-50 Senate tie and Sinema refusing to consider bypassing the filibuster even as she fundraises over her support for reproductive rights, it seems clear to me that WE the people have to work harder to make sure we have wider Democratic majorities in November. The President has said he supports sidestepping the filibuster for Roe, voting rights, and other Constitutional issues. That’s a big step forward for him. Together, we can make this happen. I think it’s counterproductive to raise expectations that can’t be met because there’s immutable Republican opposition plus two self-serving Democrats. People have short memories, but the contents of Build Back Better and voting rights bills—even after they were negotiated downward to win over Manchin—could have been gamechangers. That’s what we can get with larger Democratic majorities.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Apologies for any inadvertent dispersion towards the audience Ms Annie.
    Infidel, I agree one hundred percent. Ignorance is far less harmful then knowledge of a subject that is simply not true.
    I know not the boundless depths of stupidity but once at 18 years of age I found myself suspended above a moving train after having blown by seven stationary automobiles at 80 mph with one thought in my head. “Why are all of these idiots in my way?” It is impossible to know how dumb one can be when none know the point nor the direction of the dumb in the original.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your comment. I read right-wing (and other non-committed-leftist) blogs a lot, and one of the commonest sources of resentment against the Democrats is that they’re elitist and think the masses are stupid. This is probably a product of so much of the left’s bizarre insistence on making a virtue out of not reading any source of information with a viewpoint that differs from their own. They remain determinedly ignorant of the real reasons why much of the electorate disagrees with them — and then can’t think of any basis for the disagreement except that those voters are all stupid or brainwashed or something similar. It’s a huge vote-loser for several reasons.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I start at the Chimp everyday, bounce to C&L and end with Digby by which time I have completed therapy and take the Master for his daily sojourn into the woods. My knowledge is as a drop forming yet still to small to attract gravity’s attention. There is no discovered place in the entire Universe where Cold exists. No amount of innate intelligence nor acquired knowledge is strong enough to confront stupidity head on. It is best approached from the rear. I believe that “stupidity” is like “cold” is perceived as a real thing but is really just an absence of what we are looking for. I used to be conceited but now I am perfect.


  11. Annie, on the topic of de-radicalizing the Supreme Court, you might be interested in this post by Alara Rogers, a blogger who I’ve found sometimes has good insights. She suggests a financial audit of the members of the Court. At least two (Thomas and Kavanaugh) can reasonably suspected of substantial impropriety. If that were provable by hard evidence, they probably still couldn’t be removed by impeachment, because there still wouldn’t be 67 Senate votes for removal — but they could presumably be criminally charged, or induced to step down to avoid the embarrassment of prosecution or having their dealings publicly revealed. I don’t know who has the authority to carry out such an audit, but hopefully it would be some relatively independent agency that couldn’t be pulled back by politicians getting cold feet.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Auditing the courts is an interesting approach; I’m going to see if I can get some legal folks on Twitter to weigh in. Another is suggested by Hubbell in Today’s Edition Newsletter but would require legislation: restrict the SC’s Appellate jurisdiction review and disposition to cases in which Justices have signed affidavits that they have no conflicts of interest. Conflicted Justices would have to recuse themselves before the court takes on a case.


      1. Strategy and tactics. I want everyone to know that I am the stupid one. TFG whose name is like vomit in my mouth may not be the buffoon we think. Napoleon did not do siege warfare. Towns that did not capitulate were isolated and encapsulated and the army moved on. Five rulings overriding the majority opinion, five things broken and need of some serious sandbagging to stop a flood. I’ve been a thief for a very long time and distraction has never been an enemy. I was very little but I was going to catch that duck. I learned that day that catching is not an end. His minions are deploying chaff & flare because the dog is being cornered. Maybe I was 4. I learned that success and regret are not uncommon companions. There should be a hard plan for “safely” removing him from the corner, then we go back.


  12. As you can tell, Annie, from the vigorous response here, your compelling piece has hit a nerve. I love auditing the Court, as a first instance. How we got here is a sad tale. Time to dig out, shovel by shovel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Denise. The audit does sound interesting. The other idea, from Robert Hubbell, was countered by none other than Lawrence Tribe—as Hubbell himself noted today.


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