Saturday, October 6, 2018

Lat Call For Institutes Of Destruction

As Steve M. reminds us, Republicans won on Kavanaugh because there is nothing they wouldn't have destroyed in order to win, and winning is all that matters now.

No, there won't be hell to pay. Republicans have demonstrated that they see public confidence in institutions as an expendable luxury. Americans will now lose confidence in the Supreme Court as they've lost confidence in Congress, the presidency, and our electoral system. Republicans don't care. They control all these institutions, which do what they want done. That's all that matters to them.

What's the approval rating of Congress? It's 19%, according to Gallup.Gallup polls this question monthly, and the number has been 20% or less every month since Republicans took over the House in January 2011.

And that's working out just fine for them. They got their tax cut this year. The Republican Senate has put dozens of far-right judges on the courts, including two on the Supreme Court. Obamacare repeal could happen in the lame-duck session. Who needs public respect for the institution?

Republicans have persuaded much of the country that our electoral system is corrupted by massive amounts of voter fraud, even as they do nothing to prevent Russian interference in elections -- but elections have been going Republicans' way for years, so it's all good. (If elections don't go Republicans' way this year, they can yell and scream about a corrupted system.)

Republicans elected a president who dishonors the presidency at every opportunity. So what? He's signing the bills they want and appointing the judges they want.

So we should all stop saying that institutions are being damaged as if we expect anyone in power to care. The people who run the government have calculated that respected institutions simply aren't necessary.

The only thing that matters is winning, and they have won.  We have a chance to win in November.  If we don't, well, your prepper friends are probably right that there will be a nasty little war in our future.  Hell, even if we do win the House back, it's going to be a street brawl until Trump is gone.

Everything is a fight now that must be won, and they are willing to sacrifice everything to win.

Our side is not.

It won't be pretty.

The Plan From Here

The Senate confirmed Brett Kavanaugh as Supreme Court Justice 50-48 (Manchin's vote wouldn't have made a difference either way) and while we're basically in the full nightmare scenario of 2016-2018, things are just getting started.

Mitch McConnell isn’t done with his “project” to revamp the nation’s courts.

Hours before the Senate was set to approve Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, the Senate majority leader said in an interview Saturday that he plans confirmations of more lifetime justices before the November election. The Kentucky Republican plans to meet with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) about a package of nominees — and Schumer's response could determine when or whether Schumer’s vulnerable members will be able to go home and campaign for their seats.

“There are still tools that I have available, that’s why I canceled the August recess. And that’s something I’ll discuss with Sen. Schumer before we leave for the election,” McConnell said in a telephone interview, as he began an extended victory lap on Kavanaugh’s confirmation. He said “of course” more judges will be confirmed before Nov. 6, though Democrats may now be under enormous pressure to block as many judges as they can after the deflating loss on Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh's ascension to the high court marks the 69th judicial confirmation of Donald Trump’s presidency under McConnell stewardship of the Senate. There are more than 30 lifetime District and Circuit court nominees ready for floor action in the Senate that McConnell could try to confirm before the election, though under Senate rules Democrats could delay them and would likely be able to narrow that list if the two parties try to strike a confirmation deal.

McConnell can tie up Senate Democrats through the rest of October if he wants to, and probably will.  They'll get no chance to campaign at home for the last month before the Midterms, and that's exactly how he wants it.

The goal at this point is whether Democratic anger materializes at the polls or not.

Democrats doubt the GOP can sustain the energy and ride it to a decisive election win. They say after the furor over Kavanaugh dies down, the election will still turn on issues like health care premiums and protections for preexisting conditions, and McConnell may actually suffer blowback to his hardball confirmation tactics.

“Undermining the integrity of the Supreme Court and undermining the integrity of the Senate is never a good idea. And I think the American public will see that,” said Sen. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, who heads the Senate Democrats’ campaign arm. “What you’re going to see are people that think this is travesty and a sham are going to be very fired up.”

Regardless of the electoral consequences, the payoff of Kavanaugh’s confirmation for conservatives will be enormous. After taking the majority in 2015, McConnell blocked many of President Barack Obama’s judicial nominees, including Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court — before confirming Neil Gorsuch in 2017 and now Kavanaugh.

McConnell declined to say whether he anticipated another Supreme Court vacancy as majority leader. But his work to cement a conservative majority on the court will resonate long past McConnell’s tenure as majority leader and the senior senator from Kentucky.

“This project ... is the most important thing that the Senate and an administration of like mind — which we ended up having — could do for the country,” McConnell said. “Putting strict constructionists, relatively young, on the courts for lifetime appointments is the best way to have a long-term positive impact on America. And today is a seminal moment in that effort.”

Clawing back our democracy will be the work of the rest of my lifetime.  Trump judges will be taking civil rights and ruling in favor of Christian and corporate ownership for decades.  They will be dismantling classic liberalism all the back to the New Deal, if not Reconstruction.

The next several decades will be of darkness.

It's up to us to light the way through it.

Supreme Misgivings, Con't

The "Democrats have failed us!" people are outside on Kavanaugh, and they'd like to speak with you.

Let’s be clear: Republicans are to blame for the fact that Brett Kavanaugh is about to become the next justice of the Supreme Court. But that doesn’t mean that Democrats don’t have anything to apologize for.

Kavanaugh has been accused of sexual assault by a string of women. The evidence of his excessive drinking, his temper, his elitism and snobbery, and his sheer personal repulsiveness grows by the day. He also displayed most of these tendencies on television, in front of the entire world, in a hearing in which he demonstrably lied, repeatedly. And, oh yes, he is an extremist, obviously partisan person who is about to pull the Supreme Court far to the right, possibly for decades to come. What I’m saying is, there’s a lot to work with here if you want to make a strong case against him.

Instead, Democrats put all their chips on an investigation by the FBI—an inherently evil organization which they have no control over. They could have gone right after Kavanaugh during his hearing. They could have questioned him, over and over again, about his drinking. They could have questioned him, over and over again, about the many allegations against him, or the many dubious characters swirling around him. They could have forcefully campaigned against him in public. But they decided to spend what felt like an eternity asking him why he didn’t want the FBI to investigate his case.

Well, they got what they wanted—and now Kavanaugh is going to the Supreme Court.


Or, hear me out now, Jack, a smarter individual would have surmised that two years ago, millions of us failed the Democrats by voting for two third-party clowns who were specifically in the race to siphon Clinton votes away in battleground states and put Trump in office.

Kavanaugh should have never been nominated, because Trump never should have won.  You can scream at all the Democrats you want to, but giving Donald Trump a GOP Congress, and specifically a GOP Senate, because we couldn't be arsed enough to vote, is precisely why this happened.


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