Rep. Mary Miller (R-Ill.) said the quiet part out loud Saturday when she thanked former President Donald Trump at an Illinois rally for his role in overturning Roe v. Wade by packing the U.S. Supreme Court with radical Republican justices. GOP lawmaker calls Roe ruling ‘victory for white life’ as Trump rally cheers:
“President Trump, on behalf of all the MAGA patriots in America, I want to thank you for the historic victory for white life in the Supreme Court yesterday,” Rep. Mary E. Miller (R) said at the rally Saturday night in Mendon, Ill., referring to Trump’s former campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
She began clapping her hands as spectators, some clutching red “Save America” placards, also began to applaud.
Republican Congresswoman Mary Miller, to Trump: “I want to thank you for the historic victory for white life in the Supreme Court yesterday.”
Make sure everyone sees this.
— Really American 🇺🇸 (@ReallyAmerican1) June 26, 2022
Her remark drew widespread condemnation on social media, and Miller’s team swiftly issued an explanation for what it deemed to be “a mix-up of words.”
Miller’s spokesman, Isaiah Wartman, told the Associated Press that the Illinois Republican misread her prepared speech and was supposed to declare the divisive court ruling a victory for the “right to life.”
Yeah, sure. “A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth – some obvious truth he isn’t supposed to say.”
[O]thers pointed out that many in the crowd seemed unfazed by Miller’s comment. “Whether it was a slip or not, the audience heard ‘white life’ and didn’t flinch. They applauded,” tweeted columnist Ahmed Baba, who writes for the Independent.
On Friday, Miller hailed the high court’s decision as “a joyous victory.” She said Roe v. Wade had “done untold damage to our country,” and she accused the “cruel abortion industry” of deceiving Americans. She thanked Trump for helping to overturn Roe by “appointing Supreme Court justices who value life.”
Trump — who has endorsed Miller against GOP Rep. Rodney Davis after Democrats redistricted them into competing for a single seat — was hosting the rally ahead of the state’s hotly contested primary on Tuesday.
This is the same White Christian Natonalist who prasised Adolph Hitler
This is not the first time Miller has been scrutinized for comments in her speeches. Last year, she was forced to apologize after quoting Adolf Hitler at a “Moms for America” event in Washington.
“Hitler was right on one thing, She said, ‘Whoever has the youth has the future,’” Miller said during the rally. Her remark, just two days after she was sworn in as a House member, led to calls for her resignation on social media and from Democrats.
Miller later issued a statement expressing remorse for quoting the Nazi leader.
“I sincerely apologize for any harm my words caused and regret using a reference to one of the most evil dictators in history to illustrate the dangers that outside influences can have on our youth,” she said.
Eva Braun’s “gaffe” is entertainment value for the media.
But on a more serious note, as I have explained before, the seeds to the destruction of our democracy are sown in our Constitution, i.e., the slavery preserving compromises which led to the anti-democratic U.S. Senate and the Electoral College. White Christian Nationalist Republicans are fully exploiting these seeds of destruction to destroy our democracy for their theocratic authoritarian tyranny of the minority. They are the American Taliban.
Ron Brownstein warns, America Is Growing Apart, Possibly for Good (excerpt):
[Michael Podhorzer is a longtime political strategist for labor unions and the chair of the Analyst Institute, a collaborative of progressive groups that studies elections.]
To Podhorzer, the growing divisions between red and blue states represent a reversion to the lines of separation through much of the nation’s history. The differences among states in the Donald Trump era, he writes, are “very similar, both geographically and culturally, to the divides between the Union and the Confederacy. And those dividing lines were largely set at the nation’s founding, when slave states and free states forged an uneasy alliance to become ‘one nation.’”
Podhorzer isn’t predicting another civil war, exactly. But he’s warning that the pressure on the country’s fundamental cohesion is likely to continue ratcheting up in the 2020s. Like other analysts who study democracy, he views the Trump faction that now dominates the Republican Party—what he terms the “MAGA movement”—as the U.S. equivalent to the authoritarian parties in places such as Hungary and Venezuela. It is a multipronged, fundamentally antidemocratic movement that has built a solidifying base of institutional support through conservative media networks, evangelical churches, wealthy Republican donors, GOP elected officials, paramilitary white-nationalist groups, and a mass public following. And it is determined to impose its policy and social vision on the entire country—with or without majority support. “The structural attacks on our institutions that paved the way for Trump’s candidacy will continue to progress,” Podhorzer argues, “with or without him at the helm.”
All of this is fueling what I’ve called “the great divergence” now under way between red and blue states. This divergence itself creates enormous strain on the country’s cohesion, but more and more even that looks like only a way station. What’s becoming clearer over time is that the Trump-era GOP is hoping to use its electoral dominance of the red states, the small-state bias in the Electoral College and the Senate, and the GOP-appointed majority on the Supreme Court to impose its economic and social model on the entire nation—with or without majority public support. As measured on fronts including the January 6 insurrection, the procession of Republican 2020 election deniers running for offices that would provide them with control over the 2024 electoral machinery, and the systematic advance of a Republican agenda by the Supreme Court, the underlying political question of the 2020s remains whether majority rule—and democracy as we’ve known it—can survive this offensive.
[To] Podhorzer, the growing separation means that after the period of fading distinctions, bedrock differences dating back to the country’s founding are resurfacing. And one crucial element of that, he argues, is the return of what he calls “one-party rule in the red nation.”
With some complex but telling statistical calculations, he documents a return to historical patterns from the Jim Crow era in which the dominant party (segregationist Democrats then, conservative Republicans now) has skewed the playing field to achieve a level of political dominance in the red nation far beyond its level of popular support. Undergirding that advantage, he argues, are laws that make registering or voting in many of the red states more difficult, and severe gerrymanders that have allowed Republicans to virtually lock in indefinite control of many state legislatures. Grumbach reached a similar conclusion in a recent paper analyzing trends in small-d democracy across the states. “It’s a really stacked deck in these states because of this democratic backsliding,” Grumbach said.
The core question that Podhorzer’s analysis raises is how the United States will function with two sections that are moving so far apart. History, in my view, offers two models.
[It] seems unlikely that the Trump-era Republicans installing the policy priorities of their preponderantly white and Christian coalition across the red states will be satisfied just setting the rules in the places now under their control. Podhorzer, like Mason and Grumbach, believes that the MAGA movement’s long-term goal is to tilt the electoral rules in enough states to make winning Congress or the White House almost impossible for Democrats. Then, with support from the GOP-appointed majority on the Supreme Court, Republicans could impose red-state values and programs nationwide, even if most Americans oppose them. The “MAGA movement is not stopping at the borders of the states it already controls,” Podhorzer writes. “It seeks to conquer as much territory as possible by any means possible.”
The Trump model, in other words, is more the South in 1850 than the South in 1950, more John Calhoun than Richard Russell. (Some red-state Republicans are even distantly echoing Calhoun in promising to nullify—that is, defy—federal laws with which they disagree.) That doesn’t mean that Americans are condemned to fight one another again as they did after the 1850s. But it does mean that the 2020s may bring the greatest threats to the country’s basic stability since those dark and tumultuous years.
Insurrectionist MAGA Sen. Josh Hawley echoed this analysis. Josh Hawley says abortion ruling will push people to move states, strengthening the GOP (excerpt):
Sen. Hawley said he welcomes the debate among states as some, like California, immediately moved to embrace abortion rights and others, like Missouri, immediately moved to restrict it.
He predicted that people will base where they live on whether abortion is allowed and that the decision will end up redrawing demographic lines across the country.
“I would predict that the effect is going to be that more and more red states are going to become more red, purple states are going to become red and the blue states are going to get a lot bluer,” Hawley said. “And I would look for Republicans as a result of this to extend their strength in the Electoral College. And that’s very good news.”
He said the political realignment would mean that social conservatives would no longer have to work with fiscal conservatives in politics, resulting in a more populist,
conservative [fascist] Republican Party — which is also the lane of the Republican Party he currently occupies.
While Hawley said he welcomed the state-level debate about abortion rights, Kansas will be the first state that officially puts voter opinion to the test. In August, Kansans will vote on whether to add language to the Kansas Constitution that says abortion is not a constitutional right.
As I have said before, we need a revised Constituion for a modern era. But it is virtually impossible to revise the Constitution when Republicans are relying on the anti-democratic Senate and antiquated Electoral College – which no other modern democracy in the world uses because it is so anti-democratic – for the ability to impose their theocratic White Christian Nationalist tyranny of the minority on America. They are not going to agree to change constitutional provisions which are the source of their power.
If Republicans believe that the majority of Americans who oppose their tyranny of the minority will accept it like docile sheep, they are deeply delusional. History shows that the majority will rise up and resist a tyranny of the minority. The question then becomes, can the Republic survive? What comes next if it fails?
The Washingtn Post reports, “Emboldened Supreme Court majority shows it’s eager for change”, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/25/supreme-court-trump-justices/
A Supreme Court conservative majority remaking the court’s jurisprudence on a number of fronts showed that it is willing to defy public opinion, demonstrations and even death threats in the boldest manner possible: declaring that decision granting a constitutional right to abortion relied on by generations of American women was “egregiously wrong from the start.”
Breyer, now at the end of his nearly 30-year career on the court, remarked on the acceleration of change at the end of a dissent Friday he wrote with his liberal colleagues.
“A new and bare majority of this Court — acting at practically the first moment possible — overrules Roe and Casey,” Breyer and Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan wrote, referring to Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 case that affirmed the right to abortion. “It converts a series of dissenting opinions expressing antipathy toward Roe and Casey into a decision greenlighting even total abortion bans.”
It removes a right nearly 50 years old and returns the issue for state legislatures to decide, and is at odds with polls that show consistent public support of Roe.
But more, the dissenting justices said, the opinion “breaches a core rule-of-law principle, designed to promote constancy in the law. … It places in jeopardy other rights, from contraception to same-sex intimacy and marriage. And finally, it undermines the Court’s legitimacy.”
The Washington Post reports, “Roe’s gone. Now antiabortion lawmakers want more.”, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/25/roe-antiabortion-lawmakers-restrictions-state-legislatures/
On the heels of their greatest victory, antiabortion activists are eager to capitalize on their momentum by enshrining constitutional abortion bans, pushing Congress to pass a national prohibition, blocking abortion pills, and limiting people’s ability to get abortions across state lines.
At the National Association of Christian Lawmakers conference in Branson, Mo., on Friday several dozen state legislators from across the country brainstormed ideas — all in agreement that their wildly successful movement would not end with Roe v. Wade.
“It’s not over,” said Oklahoma state Rep. Todd Russ (R), who attended the conference. At this point, Russ said, the ideas are like “popcorn in a popcorn popper.”
“There are all kinds going around.”
-There is nothing more dangerous than religious zealots.
Te Brennan Center for Justice posts, “Supreme Court’s Abortion Ruling Shows What Happens When Democracy Is Thwarted”, https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/analysis-opinion/supreme-courts-abortion-ruling-shows-what-happens-when-democracy-thwarted
There is a straight line from America’s broken systems of democracy to the Supreme Court’s catastrophic majority ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. That’s because both abortion access and systems of civic participation and representation are essential for autonomy and equality.
Abortion enables people to exercise self-determination over their bodies and their family lives so that they are not rendered second-class citizens by the unique burdens of pregnancy and childbearing. A functioning democracy protects these very same values: political self-determination requires voters to be able to effectively choose who governs, and the ballot lets voters defend themselves against policies that threaten their rights.
Below, Brennan Center experts examine these failings and what lies ahead.
Fair Elections and Reproductive Freedom Go Hand in Hand
By Ian Vandewalker
The movements to eliminate abortion and restrict the vote are both undergirded by many of the same powerful forces. Before it overturned Roe v. Wade, the conservative majority on the Supreme Court spent the past decade slashing campaign finance laws, hobbling the Voting Rights Act, and allowing partisan gerrymandering.
Today, many states that have enacted restrictive voting laws, like Arizona, Georgia, and Texas, have also pushed constraints on abortion access. And major corporations like AT&T and Coca-Cola have made donations to state lawmakers who advance both voter suppression and abortion restrictions.
Anti-abortion rhetoric is even showing up in campaigns for secretary of state, a position that has no role in the regulation of health care. In Arizona and Michigan, election denial candidates running on lies about the 2020 race being “stolen” from Trump have also weighed in on the abortion debate.
In our post-Roe, post-Dobbs future, protecting and expanding access to abortion necessarily entails participating in the fight for fair elections. Everyone who values autonomy and equality must redouble their commitment to both.
In Many States, Gerrymandering Blocks the Abortion Policy the Public Wants
By Sonali Seth and Michael Li
The majority opinion in Dobbs asserts that women need not worry about the impact of the decision on reproductive autonomy because they can turn to the political process and vote out lawmakers who pass abortion restrictions and bans. But the reality is that by failing to rein in partisan gerrymandering and consistently gutting voting rights protections, the Supreme Court has rendered that impossible.
Consider Texas, home to one of the nation’s most restrictive and controversial abortion laws. Partisans there aggressively redrew legislative maps during last year’s redistricting to transform a once competitive state legislature into a safely Republican one. Before, Democrats only needed to win a little more than half the vote to be favored to win control of the Texas House. After brazen redrawing of the maps, they now need to win more than 56.2 percent of the vote to be favored to win even a bare majority. Meanwhile, Republicans only need 43.9 percent for a majority.
Such game rigging to create unaccountable enduring partisan majorities — greenlit by the Supreme Court in 2019 in Rucho v. Common Cause — stands in stark contrast with maps drawn by more neutral bodies.
For instance, in Michigan, the independent commission created by voters converted maps that had been biased in favor of Republicans into ones where both major parties have a reasonable chance to win control. Likewise, in North Carolina, state courts relying on the state constitution threw out maps designed to guarantee Republicans a supermajority and put in place a balanced alternative, making it much less likely that Republicans will be able to override a gubernatorial veto.
Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has abdicated responsibility for making sure that the checks and balances in our democratic system work. It is now up to voters to fight for reforms — at both the state and federal level — to ensure voters can, in fact, make their voices heard when politicians get it wrong.
The Supreme Court Has Undermined the Tools It Says Can Be Used to Protect Abortion Rights
By Madiba Dennie
The Supreme Court has dealt a critical blow to both bodily and political autonomy. Recognizing the overwhelming popularity of abortion rights and public support for the precedent of Roe v. Wade, the Court’s majority offers the franchise as a rotten olive branch of sorts: the opinion paradoxically suggests citizens in each state can vote about the legality of abortion while simultaneously ignoring the Court’s own role in dismantling crucial voting protections and making people’s full citizenship conditional on their reproductive status.
Among a host of damaging decisions, two stand out. In Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court hollowed out Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, dramatically weakening the federal government’s ability to prevent discriminatory laws from going into effect. Then in Brnovich v. DNC, the Court gutted Section 2, hindering voters from challenging these laws in court after enactment.
The Supreme Court’s open hostility toward voting rights and abortion rights has enabled a surge of laws undermining both. Last year, for instance, 18 states passed 34 laws making it harder to vote, accounting for over one-third of all restrictive voting laws passed in more than a decade. These state laws are curtailing the political participation of people of color. And at least 16 states have passed laws banning abortion before viability, intentionally defying the constitutional standard espoused in Roe.
Perversely, communities of color are disproportionately harmed by both forms of restrictions. And the consequences are troublingly connected. As the Supreme Court once recognized — and as data has since borne out — abortion is essential to “the ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the nation.” Voting, too, is critical for people’s ability to participate in their sociopolitical community and exercise some say over the governance of their lives. Voter suppression and state reproductive control are, therefore, mutually reinforcing, working in tandem to curb civic and political participation, especially for women of color.
For a deep dive report on the Christian Right and their dystopian vision for America, see Kathryn Stewart at The Guardian, ”
How the Christian right took over the judiciary and changed America”, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/25/roe-v-wade-abortion-christian-right-america
Max Boot writes, “The Supreme Court rulings represent the tyranny of the minority”, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/06/25/supreme-court-rulings-abortion-roe-guns-represent-minority-tyranny/
Everyone knows that the Founders were afraid of the tyranny of the majority. That’s why they built so many checks and balances into the Constitution. What’s less well known is that they were also afraid of the tyranny of the minority. That’s why they scrapped the Articles of Confederation, which required agreement from 9 of 13 states to pass any laws, and enacted a Constitution with much stronger executive authority.
In Federalist No. 22, Alexander Hamilton warned that giving small states like Rhode Island or Delaware “equal weight in the scale of power” with large states like “Massachusetts, or Connecticut, or New York” violated the precepts of “justice” and “common-sense.” “The larger States would after a while revolt from the idea of receiving the law from the smaller,” he predicted, arguing that such a system contradicts “the fundamental maxim of republican government, which requires that the sense of the majority should prevail.”
Hamilton’s nightmare has become the reality of 21st-century America. We are living under minoritarian tyranny, with smaller states imposing their views on the larger through their disproportionate sway in the Senate and the electoral college — and therefore on the Supreme Court. To take but one example: Twenty-one states with fewer total people than California have 42 Senate seats. This undemocratic, unjust system has produced the new Supreme Court rulings on gun control and abortion.
[Now], the Supreme Court has no obligation to follow the popular will. It is charged with safeguarding the Constitution. But it is hard for any disinterested observer to have any faith in what the right-wing justices are doing. They are not acting very conservatively in overturning an abortion ruling (Roe v. Wade) that is 49 years old and a New York state gun-control statute that is 109 years old. In both cases, the justices rely on dubious readings of legal history that have been challenged by many scholars to overturn what had been settled law.
Conservatives can plausibly argue that liberal justices invented a constitutional right to abortion, but how is that different from what conservative justices have done in inventing an individual right to carry guns that is also nowhere to be found in the Constitution? The Supreme Court did not recognize an individual right to bear arms until 2008 — 217 years after the Second Amendment was enacted expressly to protect “well-regulated” state militia. The Second Amendment hasn’t changed over the centuries, but the composition of the court has.
The majority conveniently favors state’s rights on abortion but not on guns. It is obvious that the conservative justices (who are presumably antiabortion rights and pro-gun rights) are simply enacting their personal preferences, just as liberal justices (who are presumably pro-choice and pro-gun control) do.
So, if the Supreme Court is going to be a forum for legislating, shouldn’t it respect the views of two-thirds of the country? But our perverse political system has allowed a militant, right-wing minority to hijack the law. As an Economist correspondent points out, “5 of the 6 conservative Supreme Court justices were appointed by a Republican Senate majority that won fewer votes than the Democrats” and “3 of the 6 were nominated by a president who also won a minority of the popular vote.”
[P]ublic faith in the Supreme Court is down to a historic low of 25 percent, and there’s a good reason why it keeps eroding. We are experiencing what the Founders feared: a crisis of governmental legitimacy brought about by minoritarian tyranny. And it could soon get a whole lot worse. In his concurring opinion in the abortion case, Justice Clarence Thomas called on the court to overturn popular precedents upholding a right to contraception, same-sex relationships and marriage equality. So much for Hamilton’s hope that “the sense of the majority should prevail.”
Michael Scherer Reports, “Conservatives on the march: GOP gains ground despite Democratic control”, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/26/conservatives-culture-wars-abortion/
President Biden quoted liberal icon Franklin Delano Roosevelt when he first addressed Congress last year, laying out a policy plan with New Deal-sized ambition: curb climate change, reduce college and drug costs, raise corporate taxes, subsidize child care and continue tax rebates for parents, among other initiatives.
Fourteen months later — despite unified Democratic control of the House, Senate and White House — none of that has passed into law. At the same time, the conservative rebellion birthed in response to Roosevelt’s legacy notched major public policy victories in the courts and in states across the country.
The conservative Supreme Court’s landmark victories this week on abortion and guns capped a year-long string of victories on the right, especially in 23 states, including giants like Texas and Florida, where conservatives control all branches of elected government. Republicans have expanded school choice, reshaped school curriculums, curbed voting access, lowered taxes and launched a new wave of culture wars against gay, lesbian and transgender Americans.
With the court overturning Roe v. Wade and the constitutional right to an abortion on Friday and curtailing restrictions on gun ownership on Thursday, conservative activists have had reasons to celebrate amid growing hopes for retaking the House and Senate this fall.
“You don’t plant and reap at the same time. And this has been a long process. The fruit of yesterday has been a long time coming,” Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a Christian conservative group, said Saturday. “There were times that I didn’t even think we would get to this point.”
Liberals, meanwhile, have grown increasingly concerned that they will lose their chance to fully capitalize on control of both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.
For the conservative movement, the liberal frustration is its own victory. [“Owning hte Libs.”]
[At] the root of the Democratic struggles is the tenuous nature of Biden’s victory in the 2020 election cycle. Although he beat President Donald Trump, Republicans nonetheless picked up a net gain of 14 seats in the House and flipped the New Hampshire state legislature. Republicans now control both the House and Senate in 30 states, compared with 17 states in Democratic control, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Since Biden’s inauguration, the 50 senators who caucus with Democrats have struggled to unite around his agenda.
The lack of progress by Democrats has resulted in pleas for Senate action over the next several months, before the midterms give Republicans a chance to shape Biden’s agenda. But a specific agenda, as negotiations continue with holdout senators like Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), remains elusive.
[E]ven if Democrats overperform expectations this fall, there is little expectation that they can do much to expand their elected power. Arizona and Georgia are the only states with Republican control of the legislature where the GOP is at serious risk of losing gubernatorial elections in November. At the same time, Republicans have a path to winning control of governor’s mansions and legislatures in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
That will set up another presidential election in 2024, where the country is once again narrowly divided. Even if Democrats win, they are likely to find themselves in a similar predicament, with a conservative majority on the Supreme Court and Republican domination in many states. Democrats have been left looking for new strategies to change the country’s political dynamics, including possible structural changes to the Supreme Court, an approach that Biden has so far ruled out.