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The Democrats Have Failed Us
On abortion and everything else, they are unable and unwilling to protect the marginalized.
Well, Conservatives caught their white whale. Roe v. Wade has been overturned by the Supreme Court, stripping Americans of their Constitutional right to an abortion, a right they’ve relied upon since the Vietnam War.
But while Republicans celebrate, women will die. They’ll die trying to perform at-home abortions with bleach and coathangers. They’ll die from untreated endoscopic pregnancies. They’ll die at the hands of the men who impregnated them. (Homicide is the leading cause of death for pregnant women.) If National Review gets its way, they’ll be hung for having abortions. Or, they’ll try to kill themselves. And if they fail, they’ll be charged with the murder of their fetus, just as Bei Bei Shuai was after attempting to take her own life.
No one is surprised Conservatives lied, cheated, and stole their way into theocracy. The Right has spent the last four decades filling the judiciary with The Federalist Society’s cookie-cutter Scalia knockoffs who launder right-wing policies under the fraudulence of “originalism.”
Leading the charge is the movement’s vanguard, the Republican Party, which has laid the groundwork for these judges through faux espousals of “limited government,” “individual responsibility,” and “Judeo-Christian values.” But that messaging has fallen flat recently, so they’ve changed their tune to whining about Critical Race Theory and transgender swimmers. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court erases the Establishment Clause (Kennedy v. Bremerton School District) and executes a potentially innocent man for the crime of having a shitty lawyer (Shinn v. Ramirez).
But what makes American politics feel so hopeless is that the Democratic Party, the apparatus that is supposed to protect marginalized Americans from Republicans’ unabashed fascism, doesn’t seem to care. At best, the Democrats are ineffective and out of touch. At worst, they’re enabling our abusers.
In response to the overturning of Roe, the Biden administration reiterated it has no desire to expand the Supreme Court. Joe Manchin released a statement saying he was “misled” by the Conservative justices who pinky promised not to overturn Roe. Nancy Pelosi read a poem. A. Fucking. Poem.
Meanwhile, AOC has been the only Democrat offering political counters to the ruling, advocating for the elimination of judicial review, opening red state abortion clinics on tribal land, and expanding the Supreme Court. But as the party’s leaders have spent the last four years sidelining her for fear of losing their own power, she’s able to do little more than drop Post-It notes in America’s online complaint box (Twitter).
If it weren’t clear already, the Democrat’s lack of response to the crisis shows they are a failed party. If the DNC was serious about protecting a woman’s right to choose, it would have spent the past decades meticulously refining an emergency response plan to help every American get the healthcare they need. They could have pushed for Medicare for All, bypassing state restrictions by ensuring healthcare was provided by the federal government. They could have instituted a federal travel plan to transport women to abortion haven states. Or, after the Dobbs ruling leaked in May, they could have stated — and still could — that the party would do as the Constitution stipulates and ignore the Supreme Court.
They did none of this. Now the emergency is here and there’s no glass to break.
What’s most harrowing about Democrats’ ineptitude is that the Right isn’t stopping at abortion. Clarence Thomas’s opinion opened the door to overturning past rulings protecting marriage equality and contraception. Meanwhile, lost under the Dobbs decision is the Court’s move to gut New York’s restriction of public firearms carry, a stunning development considering the Court created the individual “right” to a firearm just 14 years ago (D.C. v. Heller).
Federalism (n.) — Rooted in 13th century English law, “Federalism” is when the states get to do things Clarence Thomas likes, such as executing children and banning Disney movies that show women kissing.
And yet again, the Democrats have no response. The best they can do is cave to watered-down gun legislation that will do little, except allow them to feel good for being “bipartisan.”
To say the least, Democratic leadership must resign. Pelosi, Schumer, and Clyburn have proven themselves unfit for the task at hand. Now is the time for the grassroots movement to oust any Democrat who recalls a non-existent past where they worked with “the reasonable Republicans.”
That time never existed, and even if it did, the priority should be protecting the marginalized, not being cordial with fascists at the Congressional Christmas party.
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Things I Care About (And You Should Too)
I’m psyched to share the cover of my debut novel, Imperial Sundown. (The artist absolutely killed it!!) It’ll be available soon, and I’ll let you know where and how you can purchase it.
Five-Four podcast covers the absurdity of the Supreme Court, case-by-case. Here’s their latest episode on Shinn v. Ramirez, the death penalty case I referenced above.
Jacobin writer Ben Beckett details what the Democrats could (but probably won’t) do to curb the Supreme Court’s abusive and undemocratic influence.
Ever since moving to Colorado, I’ve been spending more time outdoors, specifically at national parks. Check out some of the photos I’ve taken during my travels below. (I’m not a great photographer, but I’m getting better.)