February 14, 2016

What now?

Sam Smith

Scalia’s death – The Supreme Court has become a major matter. The Republicans will use it to try to scare voters with Trump perhaps suggesting that a more liberal court will legalize communism and pedophilia. On the other hand, the Democrats might rediscover that presidential elections are about key issues and not an American Idol contest between Bernie Bieber and Hillary Kardashian. At the top of the list: who will pick the Supreme Court majority? Whatever Clinton’s lies, email contents, and payoffs from Wall Street may be, having a Democrat in the White House the next four years will be critical in preserving what’s left of our republic.

Meanwhile, the GOP new justice blockade will at least temporarily sanction most lower court decisions now before it.  As  NBC notes:

The court has heard or has agreed to hear cases involving the constitutionality of considering race in college admissions; how far states can go in restricting abortion; the viability of public sector unions; whether President Obama could defer deportations of unauthorized immigrants; and the tension between claims of religious freedom and women's access to contraception.

And what happens to new cases below the Supremes? My guess is that both liberal and conservative courts will be betting on the probability of the higher court’s rulings to decide whether to even hear cases. It could be a bit of legal chaos.

The GOP disaster – Between the robotic Rubio, chronically cruel Cruz and Trump the terrible, there has never been such an incompetent, mean, corrupt and/or mentally unstable bunch of presidential candidates in a major party. The good news is that this is another sign that the American right is in a state of collapse; the bad news is the American left is years behind in coming up with something to replace it.  That’s obviously changing but we can’t tell whether it’s happening too late.

It is true that the young are politically alive for the first time in decades. Change can take years to start to happen but once it does, things can move pretty fast.  Major movers now include the Sanders crowd and Black Lives Matter.

But there’s still a lot missing. Like a non-political counterculture, collaboration rather than awkwardness between various ethnic and cultural constituencies, as well as music and other arts boosting the cause. There’s too much anger substituting for effective activism – which would includes minorities leading the majority as MLK and other blacks have done in the past.  A real explosion, for example, would be a coalition of blacks, latinos and labor unions. And real Christian churches openly taking on the evangelical blasphemers.

Real change also requires a vision of the future that can be shared by many, not merely a recounting of the sins of the past and present. One of the problems we have now are an excess of well educated liberals who can endlessly recite the crimes of history and its symbolism but are weak at building a new union.

The Democrats are currently divided in their own split world of past and present. What does this mean? For example, will Hillary wither as the campaign goes on, either because of mounting ethical problems or because of a failure to excite? Are there other candidates waiting in the wings like Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren?  Whoever wins, will advocates of the losing stay home or realize that the real struggle is between a destructive GOP (no longer even republican) and the Democratic programs that built this country over the last eight decades?

Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...


As is evidenced, the idea has been knocking around well before the news this past weekend. Now there's change to for, right? Barry on SCOTUS.
Are you kidding, Sam, about believing somehow Madam Slick would somehow stop following form and do the right thing? It ain't going to happen.
Fuck the Supreme Court, even now it amounts to a distraction. Instead, think about the prospects of World War III. Of all the candidates running, uber-hawk Hils ought raise some of the greatest concerns. Her record at State offers little comfort. Defense Secretary Ash Carter is already doing his best to set the stage. stoking unrest everywhere from the Ukraine, to Africa, the Balkans, to the China Sea. We hear little to nothing about this in the 'debates'. The presidency under Madam Slick is likely to be nothing more than an extensions of Barry's, but on over-drive.

LJansen said...

"Democratic programs that built this country over the last eight decades?"

What the hell are you smoking? Bill Clinton tore down the New Deal, including wrecking welfare and handing our economy over to Wall Street and you are stating here that they have been "building the country"?

I'm sorry Sam. You are a part of the problem. Bernie's new sail will not keep this ship from sinking.