Posted by Thomas Nephew on 12th January 2012
gets you arrested within minutes.
“Occupy Wall Street Protesters shout warnings of a creeping police state in Grand Central terminal and are
themselves quickly arrested for speaking in public.” — OccupyTVNY.org
It’s an even numbered year, so it’s time again for leftish pundits of every shade — from Democratic blue to radical red — to warn their angrier, more fed-up friends that we must choose the lesser evil within this political system, or bear the blame for the results. Thus we have digby writing in her blog “Hullabaloo”:
Unless you believe, as some do, that we must get on with our impending dystopian nightmare so that we can rebuild from the rubble (sometimes known as destroying the village in order to save it) this is probably a useful group of articles.
The articles are from a Washington Monthly issue on the topic “What if Obama Loses?”, and they complete the arc of the argument: you just don’t get how really bad a Republican win would be. Either that or, to paraphrase digby’s charge, you must be some kind of irresponsible nihilist itching to zippo-raid the hooches of the American political system — probably just because you like to see stuff burn.
Now it is undoubtedly true that Republican candidates up and down the 2012 ballot will generally be a bunch of pinch-souled corporate lick-spittles, pious frauds, and incoherent cranks. In a sane world — and judging mainly by their presidential candidates — they’d be fit at most to write daily letters to the editor or mutter about the slow service at McDonald’s. In our world, however, their political prospects are good, “thanks” in part to the diarrheal eruption of campaign cash unleashed by the Citizens United ruling.
The life cycle of the Democratic base
But “thanks” — regrets really — are also in order about the quality of their opposition. And what’s remarkable is that if you read some of the “What if Obama Loses?” articles, that comes through just about as clearly as the intended “barbarians at the gates” message.
In what seems the most widely linked (hence presumably most persuasive) of the Washington Monthly articles, Dahlia Lithwick (whose coverage of the Supreme Court and civil liberties issues I truly admire) warns that Justice Ginsburg is 79 years old, ergo it had better be Obama who nominates her successor and not Romney. So far, so unremarkable — but then she starts to discuss who’s manning the castle walls, as it were:
Imagine a Democratic presidential nominee running on promises to reshape, remake, make over, hog-tie, or even just refinish the federal bench. It doesn’t happen. And so, even though the most conservative Supreme Court in decades sits poised to decide cases ranging from the constitutionality of President Obama’s health care legislation to the future of affirmative action in schools, the rights to gay marriage, and the fate of the voting rights act, Republicans portray both the Supreme Court and the lower courts as a collective of lefty hippies. And Democrats mainly just look at their fingernails. If you care about the future of abortion rights, stem cell research, worker protections, the death penalty, environmental regulation, torture, presidential power, warrantless surveillance, or any number of other issues, it’s worth recalling that the last stop on the answer to each of those matters will probably be before someone in a black robe. Republicans have understood that for decades now, and that’s why the federal bench—including the Supreme Court—is almost unrecognizable to Democrats today. (emphases added)