Sunday, November 13, 2022

In News: Democrats Retain Senate Control, Twitter's Apocalypse, Supremes' Savage Credibility Problem, Trump's Racist Attack on Youngkin

Photo of stack of newspapers by Daniel R. Blume, Wikimedia Commons

Kristin Kobes du Mez's tribute to Twitter as the band keeps playing while the ship begins sinking is moving and also sad: such good destroyed by an ill-intentioned egomaniac with way, way too much power solely because he has money. She writes, 

Long story short, an evil (pseudo)genius who was mad about Twitter enforcing certain norms of truth and decency (see: the canceling of Babylon Bee) rashly decided to purchase Twitter for the tune of $44 billion, only to get cold feet, only to have to go through with the purchase (because lawyers). Since he took things over a few days back, things have gotten wild…blue checks sold for $8, fake accounts proliferating, and Eli Lilly’s profits plummeting some $17 billion in light of a fake tweet.

Her assessment of why it's so tragic that this one man is allowed to do this to a valuable online community for productive discourse, information sharing, and connecting to like-minded people reflects my experience with Twitter, too, and why I grieve at losing it:

If Twitter does go dark, this is what I’ll miss the most: the incisive, wise, and deeply good people I’ve met here. 

And check out, too, Jonathan V. Last's "Crypto and Twitter Are Imploding at the Same Time and It Is Glorious." 

Something has just happened in Nevada (with national and international ramifications) and here's Lucian K. Truscott IV's statment in "Dems hold Senate!": 

It’s still unclear which way control of the House will go, but seismometers were said have detected signs of exploding heads in the states of Kentucky and Florida, where Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump respectively reside.

As Heather Cox Richardson notes in her letter from an American this morning, 

As of late October, NPR reported that outside groups had spent almost a billion dollars on the campaigns of Republican Senate candidates, hoping to take control of that body. Key to that desire for control was control of the judiciary, where the right wing has entrenched itself as it has become increasingly extreme and unpopular.

The NPR report to which Richardson is referring is Domenico Montanaro's "Outside groups have spent nearly $1 billion so far to boost GOP Senate candidates."

And even as this election shows Americans in red and blue states alike repudiating the radical turn the Supreme Court took with Dobbs (see Lauren Gambino, "How the fall of Roe shattered Republicans’ midterm dreams" on that point), as Charles Pierce notes, the Supremes remain bloodied but unbowed, the court's reputation in tatters and the right-wing cabal of justices defiantly and arrogantly proud of what they're doing to the nation: Pierce writes in "The Federalist Society's Lackeys on the Supreme Court Aren't Hiding their Stripes" about a recent Federalist Society gala fêting Alito and Barrett

It was a celebration of conservative partisanship by the coddled products of a lushly financed campaign to render the federal judiciary a weapon with several purposes: to roll back the legal gains made by minorities; to enforce a plutocratic and theocratic order in the law; and frankly—mainly—to Own The Libs. ...

The Supreme Court has a savage credibility problem right now. Its approval rating never has been lower, and its trustworthiness is scraping bottom as well. (There is lively talk about expanding its membership, though there’s no credible path to do so at the moment.) And the conservative majority on the court could care less about whether people approve of it or even trust it very much.

The Constitution may follow the flag—to paraphrase Mr. Dooley— but the Supreme Court follows the money.

Not to mention, a very sizable majority of Americans do not welcome the decision of a cabal of right-wing Catholic* to rip long-accorded rights from half the nation's citizens, and that cabal's placing of right-wing white evangelicals, Catholics, and others in the driver's seat of our democracy, when these "pro-life" folks are clearly intent on subverting our democracy and imposing the views of the minority on the majority by force of law. This is now how democracy is supposed to work.

About the midterm elections Christian Vanderbrouk asks, "Was It Really All Just Trump’s Fault?" that Republicans did so poorly? He writes,

Blaming Trump is easy. Organizing a realignment of the GOP coalition to improve its standing with younger voters—by purging the party of its openly racist and seditionist elements, for example—is more of a challenge.

Finally, what in God's name is wrong with Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams, that it has taken Trump's ugly racist attack on Glenn Youngkin to make Adams break with Trump? — see Zachary Petrizzo, "Conservatives Turn On Trump Over Racist Attack on Gov. Glenn Youngkin."

*And, in the case of Gorsuch, now Episcopalian, though raised Catholic….

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