“It is wrong to encourage a man or a people in evil-doing; it is wrong to aid and abet a national crime simply because it is unpopular not to do so.” W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk
The GOP strikes again, this time voting in lockstep against the Freedom to Vote Act. The minority party isn’t in favor of expanding our democracy, it wants to limit the franchise as much as it can get away with. Free and fair national elections in America? Only in the realm of fantasy. And to think that in the not-too-distant past we were the Gold Standard, the country that monitored elections in other nations and schooled them about democracy! How fast and far the indispensable nation has fallen. Now a twice-impeached, disgraced former president can gin up a completely false campaign about election fraud, force his party to back it, and keep it running for nearly a year. Tarnished doesn’t begin to describe what has become of us.
I wasn’t surprised that the Freedom to Vote Act went down; nothing the Democrats propose will have an easy path through the obstructionist wing of the Senate, save for increases in military spending or expanding tax loopholes for wealthy individuals or corporations. What surprised me was the absence of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Both were AWOL. Leading Democratic Party insiders and strategists must be able to read the writing on the wall, they must see that their window of opportunity is closing. And yet, they won’t take on the perverted filibuster or seek to expand the Supreme Court. The Democrats always remind me of a soccer team that plays without a sense of urgency when on the losing end of a 2–1 scoreline with five minutes left to play; they are content to pass the ball sideways and backwards as the clock ticks away.
Speaking of the unaccountable Supreme Court, six of whom are political operatives masquerading as impartial justices, this term will likely see Roe v. Wade struck down and abortion made illegal. After winning that long-coveted victory for the warriors of the Christian Right, the justices will take up the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, a case which purports to claim that licensing requirements are a violation of the Second Amendment. The absurdity of this case led The Nation’s Elie Mystal to write: “The suggestion that a state government, which requires a person to get a license to do everything from drive a car to sell beer, cannot license deadly weapons is bonkers.” But there we stand. The Supreme Court can’t be bothered with civil or voting rights, but it will work like mad to ensure that citizens can arm themselves to the teeth with deadly firearms. To put it another way, the reactionary members of the high court will protect the unborn and kill the living.
It’s enough to make one’s head spin, like Linda Blair in The Exorcist.