Saturday, October 06, 2018

The coming defeat

Tomorrow, unless a miracle happens, the United States and its democracy will suffer a huge defeat when the most UN-qualified Supreme Court nominee in US history is approved by the narrowest possible margin. It will take generations to undo the damage the Republicans are about to do to the Republic—if it can ever be fixed. But if democracy in the United States is to survive, it will require a massive victory by Democratic candidates at the federal, state, and local levels. That alone will save the USA.

The victory of extremist Republican Brett Kavanaugh was assured when Maine’s Republican Senator, Susan Collins, indicated she’d vote for the Republican Supreme Court nominee, as everyone knew all along she would. Collins has often claimed that upholding Rove v. Wade was non-negotiable for her, but if she was ever telling the truth about that, she was certainly lying this time: It is an absolute certainty that Kavanaugh will vote to overturn Roe as soon as possible. And it will be her fault—some legacy!

Collins’ betrayal was so keenly felt that a site set up to collect pledges of money for a primary challenger to Collins in 2020 crashed within minutes of her announcement. Hopefully, she won’t run again in 2020.

Meanwhile, Act Blue is already raising money for the eventual Democratic challenger to Collins in 2020. Americans of conscience need to give generously to that campaign, because getting a Democrat in that seat is more important than defeating her in a primary.

“Democratic” US Senator from West Virginia, Joe Manchin, also announced he’d vote for the Republican Supreme Court nominee. A conservative, Manchin was always assumed to be voting for the Republican, but it was thought that if Collins, Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski and Arizona’s Jeff Flake, all Republicans, had voted against Kavanaugh, Manchin might join them and the Republican might lose. Murkowski voted “No” on cloture, but has since said she’ll vote “Present” on the actual vote, effectively a “yes” in this case.

Flake is the real odd one in this group. Swayed by protesters, he backed an FBI investigation, but what eventuated was set up by Republicans to ensure that the truth would never be found out—until after Kavanaugh is on the bench. Numerous private individuals have come forward to say publicly that Kavanaugh lied under oath in his testimony, but the FBI didn’t talk with any of them—because Republicans wouldn’t let them.

Even so, Flake is leaving the Senate, and the current occupant of the White House has relentlessly bullied him. He has absolutely NO reason to remain loyal to the Trumpublican Party, so why not go out with an act of defiance? I won’t say why I think it is he’s folding because it’s a harsh judgement of his character, which I suspect is missing.

So, that appears to be that. Republicans will get a hard-right extremist majority on the Supreme Court for many, many years to come. If Republicans retain the US Senate in the midterm elections, the party will order Clarence Thomas to retire from the Court so they can replace him with an even more hard-right extremist justice. If any of the four remaining moderate justices retire or die with Republicans in control of the Senate, It would lock-in radical rightwing control of the Court for more than a generation, and that could utterly destroy democracy in the USA.

However, if Democrats regain control of the Senate and any justice retires or dies, then they should use the Mitch McConnell rule and hold any seat open until after the next presidential election. The precedent has been set, and Democrats must use it.

The most important thing of all is also the hardest: Defeat Republicans at every election possible. It’s not just the US House and Senate, but also state legislatures and governorships. The more Democrats are elected, the harder it will be for Republicans to force their extremist agenda on ordinary Americans, even with the Republican-controlled Supreme Court trying to do so.

This is the last chance to save America, and the slogan is now a simple one: Save America—Vote for Democrats.

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