Abortion rights under imminent threat?
May 2, 2022 6:20 PM   Subscribe

The Supreme Court has voted to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, according to an initial draft majority opinion (pdf) written by Justice Samuel Alito circulated inside the court and obtained by POLITICO. No draft decision in the modern history of the court has been disclosed publicly while a case was still pending.
posted by tiny frying pan (748 comments total) 52 users marked this as a favorite
 
Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
posted by nestor_makhno at 6:23 PM on May 2 [34 favorites]


I am angry and sad but not surprised. Griswold vs. Connecticut will be next. If you have the ability to bear children, now would be a good time to get an IUD or a tubal ligation. I hate that something that would have been wild talk five years ago is now likely to happen.
posted by rednikki at 6:26 PM on May 2 [30 favorites]


The only part of this that I find even remotely surprising is that they appear to be moving to decapitate Roe v Wade entirely rather than being content to let it die the death of a thousand decline-to-intervenes.

Next up, Obergefell v Hodges, Lawrence v Texas. Probably even Loving v Virginia.
posted by tclark at 6:26 PM on May 2 [38 favorites]


Well, I feel like that was a pretty big goal of appointing Justice Beer and Justice Handmaid to the court.
posted by which_chick at 6:27 PM on May 2 [117 favorites]


So who is the genius liberal clerk that got pissed off and leaked this?

This lays bare SCOTUS as an unabashed, nakedly partisan political institution.
posted by geoff. at 6:28 PM on May 2 [60 favorites]


But her email….
posted by interogative mood at 6:31 PM on May 2 [51 favorites]


Que lastima!
posted by ahimsakid at 6:34 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]


Barriers already up. Within minutes of it leaking. Which is certainly adding ironic insult to injury. They can move fast when they want to.
posted by bleep at 6:35 PM on May 2 [40 favorites]




Imagine all the Dem elected representatives all over the country standing up from their chairs, assuming a furrowed brow and steely glare and unleashing their most effective and devastating fundraising emails.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 6:40 PM on May 2 [135 favorites]


so help me god if the media discourse focuses more on the leak rather than the substance of the opinion
posted by mhum at 6:47 PM on May 2 [104 favorites]


This is one reason I have chosen to not have children. Any children I chose to birth would not have access to basic health care and reproductive rights.

It's been painfully obvious that this was coming but that doesn't make it any less EGREGIOUSLY WRONG.
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 6:47 PM on May 2 [42 favorites]


In a sane world, Merrick Garland would have been sitting on the court.

I could only get through the first ten pages of the draft. Classic Alito. All the nuance of a five-year-old.

It is vital to take state houses and preserve women’s access to reproductive health. Whether this becomes the actual opinion or not.
posted by Room 101 at 6:47 PM on May 2 [22 favorites]


The song of the summer for yet another absolutely accursed year: Don't Get Lemon's D.I.E.I.N.T.H.E.U.S.A. Perfect soundtrack for your racking sobs.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:47 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]


My current paranoid fear is that this was leaked by someone on the right in anticipation of a majority decision that guts Roe without actually overturning it, so that the left uses up their outrage on this early draft and then when the still-vile-but-less-vile real majority comes out, there's no momentum to do what might otherwise be done.
posted by prefpara at 6:48 PM on May 2 [48 favorites]


This fucking sucks, so help me god, if anyone says decorum or unprecedented leak one more time this old peace loving hippy is going to get seriously violent.
posted by Jeff_Larson at 6:49 PM on May 2 [12 favorites]


Period, not a question mark
posted by Ahmad Khani at 6:51 PM on May 2 [3 favorites]



It’s impossible to overstate the earthquake this will cause inside the Court, in terms of the destruction of trust among the Justices and staff. This leak is the gravest, most unforgivable sin.


I’m sure is true. Just more concerned with the impact this ruling has on women’s reproductive rights both in the US and in other countries where this will embolden anti-choice activism to really give a fuck about the Court and its level of internal function.
posted by nubs at 6:51 PM on May 2 [38 favorites]


This leak is the gravest, most unforgivable sin.

Pretty sure the decision itself is less forgivable and a graver sin.
posted by Dysk at 6:51 PM on May 2 [136 favorites]


Have a drink. Mourn.

Then start planning to fix this.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:52 PM on May 2 [33 favorites]


if anyone says decorum or leak one more time


It isn't just a matter of decorum. This is extremely destructive to the functioning of the Supreme Court. If you find yourself sympathetic to it based on the fact you don't like the outcome here, remember that this kind of thing would also be harmful in cases where you like the majority outcome (Obergefell, Brown v Board, etc.).
posted by mikeand1 at 6:53 PM on May 2 [7 favorites]


It isn't just a matter of decorum. This is extremely destructive to the functioning of the Supreme Court. If you find yourself sympathetic to it based on the fact you don't like the outcome here, remember that this kind of thing would also be harmful in cases where you like the majority outcome (Obergefell, Brown v Board, etc.).

Values-neutral governance will be the funeral pyre that liberal democracy will eventually burn upon.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 6:56 PM on May 2 [194 favorites]


This is extremely destructive to the functioning of the Supreme Court.

rofl
posted by thatwhichfalls at 6:56 PM on May 2 [86 favorites]


What is extremely destructive to the functioning of the Supreme Court is blatant partisan hackery that cares nothing for precedent or principle.
posted by solotoro at 6:58 PM on May 2 [197 favorites]


If you find yourself sympathetic to it based on the fact you don't like the outcome here, remember that this kind of thing would also be harmful in cases where you like the majority outcome (Obergefell, Brown v Board, etc.).

Go ahead. Wag your finger harder. I'm sure it'll help. Yell "COMITY" louder. That'll definitely save the lives of scared young women. Tut-tut your way to saving all the gay, GNC, nonwhite kids who are going to fucking die because of the next horseshit that you claim is the fault of some goddamn slippery slope.
posted by Etrigan at 7:00 PM on May 2 [135 favorites]


shit shit shit shit shit
shit shit shit shit shit shit shit
expected, but shit
posted by Going To Maine at 7:00 PM on May 2 [8 favorites]


If you find yourself sympathetic to it based on the fact you don't like the outcome here

I think that a secret society of robed people lost their right to privacy the moment they decided to impact the lives of millions of women unilaterally. I think all aspects of a democratic government should be transparent. And, also, what everyone else is saying.
posted by Jeff_Larson at 7:00 PM on May 2 [106 favorites]


The legitimacy of the court has been increasingly questionable for a while now, why should we *now* be concerned with its smooth-functioning towards illegitimate tasks?
posted by CrystalDave at 7:01 PM on May 2 [42 favorites]


Values-neutral governance will be the funeral pyre that liberal democracy will eventually burn upon.


It's a court; it's supposed to be values-neutral. Here it's the majority imposing its anti-abortion values notwithstanding the values-neutral principles of stare decisis.
posted by mikeand1 at 7:02 PM on May 2 [9 favorites]


It isn't just a matter of decorum. This is extremely destructive to the functioning of the Supreme Court. If you find yourself sympathetic to it based on the fact you don't like the outcome here, remember that this kind of thing would also be harmful in cases where you like the majority outcome (Obergefell, Brown v Board, etc.).

No, this is a fucking load of bullshit sir, and as the adopted geological specimen pointed out, it's bullshit that's killing our society. The omerta of the judiciary needs to die, and the members of the judiciary branch need to be reminded that they ultimately derive their power from The People - and as such we have the right to revoke it when it's abused.
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:05 PM on May 2 [78 favorites]


Maybe I'm just having the moment where I split with reality, but ... some of it is so parody-ish that it's almost obviously a deep fake?

.... but this is actually reality?

I can't even tell anymore
posted by Dashy at 7:05 PM on May 2 [9 favorites]


Here it's the majority imposing its anti-abortion values notwithstanding the values-neutral principles of stare decisis.

Hence why the leak is not the thing to focus on. They've lost their leak protection here when they ignored precedent, and lost their claim of legitimacy.
posted by Jeff_Larson at 7:05 PM on May 2 [28 favorites]


Two women in a offshore garage are already building a website to sell abortion pills through the mail. Another two are planning to do Uber for IUDs. Technology and the invisible hand will find a way around this bullshit.
posted by jasondigitized at 7:06 PM on May 2 [11 favorites]


Well, I feel like that was a pretty big goal of appointing Justice Beer and Justice Handmaid to the court.

Justice Beer was also put on there as a big F.U. to the MeToo movement. As soon as the allegations against Beer Boy surfaced, the would-be justice could have been replaced with an equally anti-choice back-up candidate, but instead they doubled down.
posted by jonp72 at 7:07 PM on May 2 [22 favorites]


It's a court; it's supposed to be values-neutral. Here it's the majority imposing its anti-abortion values notwithstanding the values-neutral principles of stare decisis.

What good is the rule of law if the law is just complete fucking ass.

Two women in a offshore garage are already building a website to sell abortion pills through the mail. Another two are planning to do Uber for IUDs. Technology and the invisible hand will find a way around this bullshit.

It. Shouldn't. Fucking. Have. To.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 7:07 PM on May 2 [93 favorites]


Obergefell, Brown v Board, etc

Good decisions can withstand the light of day. Bad decisions have to be summoned in darkness.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 7:08 PM on May 2 [27 favorites]


Having access to techno-utopian coat-hangers is not a solution.
posted by NoThisIsPatrick at 7:08 PM on May 2 [120 favorites]


It's a court; it's supposed to be values-neutral. Here it's the majority imposing its anti-abortion values notwithstanding the values-neutral principles of stare decisis.

Stare decisis is by its very nature non-neutral - it is literally arguing that the status quo should get the benefit of the doubt. And our courts are also not values-neutral, as the laws they enforce are how our society encodes its values in part.
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:08 PM on May 2 [21 favorites]


It isn't just a matter of decorum. This is extremely destructive to the functioning of the Supreme Court. If you find yourself sympathetic to it based on the fact you don't like the outcome here, remember that this kind of thing would also be harmful in cases where you like the majority outcome (Obergefell, Brown v Board, etc.).

OK. Another interpretation: if this is a real leak, it means that the court is so utterly fucked and broken that none of its low-level functionaries feel the need to maintain a centuries-old sense of decorum. In much the same way that the Trump White House couldn't stop information from hemorrhaging, so too has the court been compromised by a bureaucracy who feel the need to do something, ANYTHING, to throw a spanner in the works of the evil motherfuckers running the place.
posted by Mayor West at 7:11 PM on May 2 [189 favorites]


I would have thought illusions of the US Supreme Court's value-neutrality, w/r/t its position in that country's political process, disappeared in the 1860s? It's a part of the Government, which means it's part of politics, and the American tradition is existential contest about who gets to be ruled by law, and who gets to make laws by rule
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 7:11 PM on May 2 [13 favorites]


It. Shouldn't. Fucking. Have. To.

Agreed. But here we fucking are. There are steps that can and should be taken to fight the longer war as well as solve for the interim predicaments that will be presented very soon.
posted by jasondigitized at 7:11 PM on May 2 [14 favorites]


Could the US federal government pass a law explicitly making abortion legal or decriminalizing it? I get it wouldn't be easy to pass, but is it even possible? Or is it one of those things that would be the exclusive jurisdiction of individual states regardless?
posted by Rumple at 7:11 PM on May 2 [6 favorites]


So what good will come of it?

Well, for one, it's a blow against the Federal judiciary's code of omerta, which as we have seen enabled abusers like Alex Kozinski to harm people. That's a good thing.
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:12 PM on May 2 [5 favorites]


A leak from the left is hard to explain. I guess it could be outrage, though it's hard to believe that, and it wouldn't explain why a February draft is leaked in May. My best hypothesis is that someone hoped that public outcry would sway a wavering fifth vote. But hard to figure out who that could be.
posted by prefpara at 7:13 PM on May 2 [8 favorites]


Please don't turn on your friends because they are too angry or not angry enough or angry at something slightly to the side of what you are angry at. People need each other more than ever now. You focus on the thing you're focused on, the thing they're focused on is important too. It all has to work, it all has to hang together, to make the world work well. We need anger and coolness both. And those that focus on the complexities of the system, on the balance and underpinnings and stability that makes it possible to listen and to react and to even have places to demonstrate or principles that make people feel empowered to speak at all, that make people want to support any kind of system, they appreciate and need those who can only rage.
posted by amtho at 7:15 PM on May 2 [64 favorites]


I derailed the thread and y'all are trying to bring it back, thank you! whispers: fuck decorum. So here's my plea, does anyone have resources or organizations that can fight back on all this? My wallet is open, what do I -- a dad with a daughter, and a wife -- do? Who can I give to? What's next?
posted by Jeff_Larson at 7:15 PM on May 2 [9 favorites]


Could the US federal government pass a law explicitly making abortion legal or decriminalizing it?

Yup, and it looks like the leaked decision argues that Roe goes too far in the direction of acting like legislation. So one outcome of this could be that the US Congress passes legislation around abortion one way or the other. In the meantime, the states will enact their own patchwork of abortion laws. So, (more) chaos ensues.
posted by swift at 7:16 PM on May 2 [8 favorites]


Donate to your local abortion fund - the National Network of Abortion Funds has a directory on their website.
posted by marvelousmellitus at 7:16 PM on May 2 [33 favorites]


On a super-tangential note, the news seems to have severely wounded Facebook's servers.
posted by Slothrup at 7:17 PM on May 2


Just to make it really clear how much elections matter: Assuming SCOTUS completely overturns Roe, the law of the land will essentially be that the states get to decide, unless and until Congress passes a law prohibiting the states from regulating abortion. The right to abortion can be guaranteed by the legislature at both the state and federal level.
posted by skewed at 7:18 PM on May 2 [17 favorites]


So as a woman in the U.S. who has no actual ties here, where can I go on this Earth that 1) is less fucked than the U.S. and 2) doesn't hate Jewish people?

just kidding I know the answer is 'nowhere'
posted by tzikeh at 7:19 PM on May 2 [21 favorites]


A leak from the left is hard to explain. I guess it could be outrage, though it's hard to believe that, and it wouldn't explain why a February draft is leaked in May.

In a former life, I was an investigative journalist, and let me tell you, two months to verify what you have, on this magnitude, is lickety split. Also, I think it's important not to over index on motivation or strategic thinking, all whistleblowers I've known leak things because of one reason: this is fucked up.
posted by Jeff_Larson at 7:19 PM on May 2 [87 favorites]


The right to privacy established by Roe is erased. You no longer have the right to control your own body.
posted by interogative mood at 7:20 PM on May 2 [10 favorites]


ha ha this fuckin sucks dude
posted by DoctorFedora at 7:22 PM on May 2 [15 favorites]


It’s impossible to overstate the earthquake this will cause inside the Court, in terms of the destruction of trust among the Justices and staff. This leak is the gravest, most unforgivable sin.

You want trust? Be worthy of honesty and respect. It's that simple.

All these new justices got grilled about their abortion views. They lied about them and we knew they were lying at the time. Why would they think they could ever trust anyone after conducting themselves they way they have?

You can have decorum when you're worthy of it, not before.
posted by VTX at 7:23 PM on May 2 [89 favorites]


On a super-tangential note, the news seems to have severely wounded Facebook's servers.

Facebook is nice and zippy for me. Modern websites (especially those as huge as Facebook) don't really run on a finite number of servers these days – computing power is a fungible resource, which scales automatically to meet demand.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 7:23 PM on May 2


McConnell already destroyed the court. At this point anything we can do to further destroy it is a good thing, such that Congress can reasonably reform it.

This is a very bad day in American politics, but it may be the best day we have in a long while, because it's going to get worse and worse.
posted by rikschell at 7:24 PM on May 2 [16 favorites]


It’s impossible to overstate the earthquake this will cause inside the Court, in terms of the destruction of trust among the Justices and staff. This leak is the gravest, most unforgivable sin.
Awwwww, poor Justices and staff. Poor, poor fuckin' Justices and staff.
posted by Flunkie at 7:24 PM on May 2 [25 favorites]


What good is the rule of law if the law is just complete fucking ass.

Law isn't real, power is real, this is an exercise in power.
posted by Artw at 7:25 PM on May 2 [40 favorites]


All these new justices got grilled about their abortion views. They lied about them and we knew they were lying at the time.

Susan Collins must be so surprised.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:25 PM on May 2 [71 favorites]


This sickens and horrifies me but, very sadly, doesn't surprise me. I'm old and tired of this battle. I only hope to have the energy and time left to march and demonstrate side by side with the majority of human beings in this country who also know that women have a right to reproductive choice. (Also, frankly I don't give a shit about the leaking part.)
posted by Scout405 at 7:25 PM on May 2 [13 favorites]


Advice from those closer to the states (aafront.org):
  • Find a local fund in an affected state - funds directly fund travel to safe states and pill-by-mail, and are closest to the problem - you can filter an ActBlue donation here

  • https://midwestaccesscoalition.org/ is well positioned for all the Midwest.

  • Literally any fund in Texas is a good place to put money, it's a big state

  • posted by abulafa at 7:25 PM on May 2 [21 favorites]


    Yeah, Facebook is doing pretty good tonight. Demand spikes equal dollars.
    posted by swift at 7:25 PM on May 2


    now, of course, if it turns out that this is somehow inaccurate and it's not going to be overturned at all, the right wing can claim the outrage and reaction to this leak corrupted the court and intimidated someone to change their mind

    i'm getting to the point where i don't trust questionably sourced anything or the motives involved in putting it out there
    posted by pyramid termite at 7:26 PM on May 2 [8 favorites]


    Everyone who told me that it was fine to never ever vote for HRC no matter what because the GOP was just posturing and would never follow through and Trump would never really be allowed to hurt anything and anyway you're just an identity obsessed hysterical feminist owes me a thousand dollars and a visa to the country of my choice.
    posted by a power-tie-wearing she-capitalist at 7:28 PM on May 2 [149 favorites]


    At this point anything we can do to further destroy it is a good thing, such that Congress can reasonably reform it.


    So, destroying the Judiciary is a good thing? Because we'd definitely want to give more power to a Republican-controlled Congress and Presidency? Stop and think it through. As much as you dislike Republican-appointed judges, they are still a lot more restrained than Republicans in the political branches. Did any federal judge even remotely give the time of day to any one of Trump's fraudulent election lawsuits? Do you really want to give more power to people like Trump and McConnell and take it away from those judges?

    Get the Senate and Presidency firmly in Democratic hands, and the judiciary will eventually be dominated by their judges. Will it happen soon? No, of course not, but it's short-sighted to say "destroy the Judiciary" at this point.
    posted by mikeand1 at 7:30 PM on May 2 [9 favorites]


    there is one important aspect to it being leaked - it's an attempt to delegitimize the court although i don't understand why they thought it needed help in that direction
    posted by pyramid termite at 7:30 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]


    I really wonder what kind of outcome this is going to produce. Fresh off a round of gerrymandering, it’s going to render turnout almost totally unpredictable. Wave elections can flip gerrymanders the opposite direction from their design.
    posted by feloniousmonk at 7:31 PM on May 2 [12 favorites]


    Not that this is the important thing here, but I really don't even get the "A leak like this is the gravest sin and utterly destructive to the Court, and would have been even if the leaked information were exactly the opposite of this leaked information" thing on its face. What horrible, horrible consequences are there supposedly going to be to SCOTUS as an institution?

    And to try to be totally, utterly clear: I don't mean consequences based on the decision. I frankly hope there to be serious consequences to SCOTUS based on the decision. What I mean, rather, are consequences based on the decision having come out today instead of coming out next month or whatever.
    posted by Flunkie at 7:37 PM on May 2 [10 favorites]


    We'll certainly be getting a million dull op-eds arguing their legitimacy against all evidence.
    posted by Artw at 7:38 PM on May 2 [4 favorites]


    There's been some confusion and bad information upthread about the legal result of Roe being struck down.

    The Constitution is structured such that state legislatures can do anything that the Constitution doesn't (i) specifically forbid them; or (ii) grants to the federal government. If Roe is gone, and there is no Constitutional right to an abortion, then state legislatures are free to pass any kind of legislation they want regarding abortion.

    But the opposite is true of the federal government. Under the Constitution, it only has those powers specifically granted to it. If abortion was no longer held to be a Constitutionally-protected right, then Congress could not prohibit the states from regulating abortion. It could make it legal at the federal level, but otherwise could not stop a state from outlawing it. Not through direct legislation, at least, that's not how it works.
    posted by star gentle uterus at 7:39 PM on May 2 [19 favorites]


    So, destroying the Judiciary is a good thing?

    This is a conversation about the Supreme Court of the United States. If you want a pumpkin spice latte, that's Starbucks down the street on the left.
    posted by Jeff_Larson at 7:40 PM on May 2 [14 favorites]


    I'm sad and afraid.
    posted by Kwine at 7:43 PM on May 2 [41 favorites]


    Republican women sowing: Haha fuck yeah!!! Yes!!

    Republican women reaping: Well this fucking sucks. What the fuck.
    posted by schoolgirl report at 7:45 PM on May 2 [22 favorites]


    I'd rub this travesty in the faces of everyone who ever told me they wouldn't be "held hostage" by the Supreme Court seat in 2016, but then again did they ever give a shit about reproductive rights in the first place?
    posted by Rhaomi at 7:45 PM on May 2 [25 favorites]


    If abortion was no longer held to be a Constitutionally-protected right, then Congress could not prohibit the states from regulating abortion.

    Until the GOP gets a majority in the congress and the White House. Then Congress will prohibit abortion nationwide, and the same five SCOTUS justices will uphold it. People who don't believe this will happen either haven't been watching what the GOP is doing for the last.... at minimum 14 years, or are stunningly naive.
    posted by tclark at 7:47 PM on May 2 [91 favorites]


    You know it's not really possible to ban abortion, abortion is a function of mammal bodies. Pregnancies end when they have to end and every other childbearing creature on earth decides when the time is right or wrong to reproduce. The only thing you can ban is medical care for a pregnancy that ends without a baby.
    posted by bleep at 7:51 PM on May 2 [9 favorites]


    My current paranoid fear is that this was leaked by someone on the right in anticipation of a majority decision that guts Roe without actually overturning it, so that the left uses up their outrage on this early draft and then when the still-vile-but-less-vile real majority comes out, there's no momentum to do what might otherwise be done.

    Leaking the draft also allows editing. I saw the phrase: "crowd sourced" legal minds doing the editing work that the conservative justices themselves can't.

    Which ultimately makes it a better written and more solid opinion.
    posted by beaning at 7:51 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]


    So, destroying the Judiciary is a good thing?

    When the judiciary is this out of step with society - yes, it very much is a good thing to tear it down so it can be rebuilt. And it's worth remembering that this is just the latest step on a long road by that very judiciary to push back against society with things like qualified immunity, the slow dismantling of the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments, the use of the Free Exercise Clause to declare the Establishment Clause unconstitutional - I could go on, but I think the point has been made.

    For decades, the courts have been hiding behind institutionalism to justify their nonsensical rulings. So if they are going to use those institutions as shields, then the only option is to tear them down.
    posted by NoxAeternum at 7:52 PM on May 2 [30 favorites]


    Griswold v. Connecticut is next.
    posted by your postings may, in fact, be signed at 7:53 PM on May 2 [10 favorites]


    Fair enough whispers: fuck decorum. Can we turn this into a thread on what we can do? What do we do? Where do we go? What resources do we all have to fight back?
    posted by Jeff_Larson at 7:53 PM on May 2 [3 favorites]


    This was inevitable after the 2016 election. I'm actually surprised it's taken this long.
    posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:01 PM on May 2 [16 favorites]


    So as a woman in the U.S. who has no actual ties here, where can I go on this Earth that 1) is less fucked than the U.S. and 2) doesn't hate Jewish people?

    Arguably, anti-abortion laws are anti-Semitic in that (1) they deny Jewish women their sincere religious belief that ensoulment does not happen at conception and (2) denies them their right to an abortion on demand at any time prior to ensoulment.
    posted by mikelieman at 8:03 PM on May 2 [54 favorites]


    The court lost legitimacy in 2016. They may regain it at some point, but that point will either be after reform, or after a long time. The Republicans have poisoned the courts the way they poisoned the media: constantly messaging that the institutions were biased against them while actively working to bias them. I don't think either institution can recover legitimacy while the modern Republican party exists.
    posted by Nothing at 8:04 PM on May 2 [22 favorites]


    Can we turn this into a thread on what we can do? What do we do? Where do we go? What resources do we all have to fight back?

    Vote; primaries are still being held in many states.

    Speak up to your friends, family and colleagues on this issue. Abortion is healthcare. So is birth control.

    Donate to your local agencies working to actually provide abortions/abortion transport.

    Stock up on Plan B and let it be known that you know where to get it. So many don't think they will ever need it.
    posted by beaning at 8:08 PM on May 2 [7 favorites]


    What makes this extra disturbing is that the Christofascist forced birth laws that have been passed of late often have no exceptions for rape or health of the mother. Not that that would be enough to make them acceptable, but it would make them less blatantly cruel.

    Sadly, it's not just about abortion, either. There's a good whack of modern case law that depends on Roe.

    I'll give it a fight, but I'm going to be making solid plans to leave after the next election. I'm not willing to put my SO at risk because doctors are scared to provide necessary medical care if something were to happen. Maybe a less insane state, maybe another country, on that we'll have to wait and see.

    I feel bad for people who don't have spouses with multiple citizenships. Maybe I can agitate for allowing women coming from the US to claim refugee status wherever we end up landing. People will be having their lives put at serious risk due to political persecution, after all.
    posted by wierdo at 8:11 PM on May 2 [7 favorites]


    My question is: will this be enough to get people to vote? This whole last 6 years (longer really) is the consequence of an almost nihilistically apathetic democratic voting base. Conservatives want nothing good and bring little of value, so we should vote them out.
    posted by elwoodwiles at 8:15 PM on May 2 [20 favorites]


    Can we turn this into a thread on what we can do? What do we do? Where do we go? What resources do we all have to fight back?

    Fucking vote. I'm going to spend the next few weeks listening to people scream bloody murder over this, online and off, who I've spent the past two decades listening to declare that voting is pointless, the parties are the same, "oh, but this candidate just doesn't excite me...", "institutions won't save us", etc.

    A gun won't save you if you don't fucking pick it up. An institution can save you if you fill it full of people dedicated to doing that.

    But hey. I'm sure the same people who couldn't possibly get up off their ass once every two-to-four years to prevent this from happening will totally be up to all the dangerous, high-risk radical strategies (violent and otherwise) that will be advocated in its aftermath.

    The one silver lining for me on this thunderhead of acid rain is that it might get asses off of couches and into voting booths this November. Because make no mistake, the Republicans will want to top off this massive judicial victory with a legislative triumphal parade.
    posted by AdamCSnider at 8:16 PM on May 2 [22 favorites]


    Mod note: Several deleted. DO NOT advocate violence against government officials -- we can't mod it except by deleting it -- but if you're one of the three dudes who think it's helpful and/or funny to flag every pro-abortion comment as offensive, I will ban your ass so fast your head will spin, cut it the fuck out.
    posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 8:18 PM on May 2 [201 favorites]


    Maybe people should start weighing in on options (if any) in their state or region. I'll start.

    FOR THOSE IN KANSAS: We still have a choice here. On August 2nd, there's an amendment on the ballot which will ban all forms of abortion. If the amendment is voted down, then abortion will remain legal. The Legislature cannot currently write a law making abortion illegal because the Kansas Supreme Court has established abortion is protected under the Kansas Constitution.

    We have an opportunity to protect choice in this red state. And the election's result is not pre-determined. Normally, amendments show up on the general election ballot. This year, the amendment is showing up on the election ballot for party primaries. This is because the Republicans were scared shitless it would lose badly if presented in a general election.

    I still think this amendment will lose. A majority of Kansans want choice. This will probably be the best attended primary election in Kansas history.
    posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 8:19 PM on May 2 [54 favorites]


    If I were looking for things to do, I would poke around on twitter and follow new people, focusing on local and regional left activists, and start following their follows. If you do this sustainedly and with attention, you will eventually start to plug in to at least some local activism and you'll happen across information about things like abortion pills by mail, menstrual extraction, etc. None of this is magic; it's just useful information to have and useful follows to have so that you're keeping up with what's going on in your area.

    A critical thing - and a lot of my connections have moved away or things have broken down because of the pandemic, so I'm trying to rebuild too - is to try to connect with specific people and projects around you. Even doing this at a state/regional level over the internet if you're living in a sprawl-y area and meeting people in the flesh isn't going to be very possible. A project or a journalist to whom you feel some kind of parasocial or personal connection is going to be more mobilizing than being broadly plugged in and it's more likely to generate practical help should you need it down the road.

    IMO this is a good moment to game out what is likely to happen when the Democrats lose the midterms and then the presidency. Those are not really happy thoughts and I personally would rather not think them, but it is probably better to be real about what is going to happen in the next four or five years and how it is likely to impact the safety, employability and access to medical care of you and those around you. Who and what would it be useful to know as things get worse? What are you willing to do? What options do you have? Is it going to be better for you to keep your head well down and just try to get by or will that be impossible? Don't get all virtuous or kid yourself; you know who you are by this point and if quietism is going to be your bag, make it the best and most effective quietism you can and really keep yourself and your family safe.
    posted by Frowner at 8:22 PM on May 2 [34 favorites]




    but if you're one of the three dudes who think it's helpful and/or funny to flag every pro-abortion comment as offensive

    Name and shame.
    posted by dobbs at 8:25 PM on May 2 [37 favorites]


    I'm loving the thread turn here. Do we have a rundown (read: links) of resources or guides to send our loved ones? Lets put it on the main page!
    posted by Jeff_Larson at 8:25 PM on May 2 [2 favorites]


    15 states + DC have laws that explicitly protect abortion rights if Roe is overturned: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

    Illinois, seeing the direction of the Supreme Court, got rid of parental notification last year, and has been working to provide at least some state funding for women from Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, Wisconsin, and Iowa who already come to Illinois for abortions, but now will have no choice but to do so.
    posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:27 PM on May 2 [70 favorites]


    Sorry for the Canada-centric question, but:
    For those who know Canadian politics better than I do, does it seem at all possible that we would accept asylum seekers from the US based on... all of this?
    I'll write my MP to say I support the idea regardless.
    posted by Acari at 8:30 PM on May 2 [12 favorites]


    That'll definitely save the lives of scared young women. Tut-tut your way to saving all the gay, GNC, nonwhite kids

    look, I am with you, I know what you mean and what you mean is not wrong, but the lives under direct attack from abortion restrictions and bans are those of women and others from puberty through FIFTY. fifty-ish, give or take. older pregnant women may have, what, more manual dexterity with their coathangers? a very lucky few will have more money of their own to fly to civilization? but adulthood and middle age don't give you immunity to any of this. this isn't "young women" and "kids" this is everybody of childbearing capabilities, and one of the enemy's great strengths is in degrading everyone they define as a fertile woman out of adulthood and down to little children acting out of fear and wilfulness and lack of guidance. Adults need abortions and will die right alongside teenage girls if they can't get them. fight for the pregnant teens, yeah; fight for the pregnant grandmothers in late middle age too. it's life and death for all of us, there's no escape hatch for when we're not kids anymore.
    posted by queenofbithynia at 8:31 PM on May 2 [88 favorites]


    WHAT
    THE
    FUCK
    SCOTUS
    posted by loquacious at 8:35 PM on May 2 [14 favorites]


    Montana's constitution doesn't have explicit protections for abortion, but it does have an explicit right to privacy (another thing the Alito opinion disparages). That privacy right is what supports current protections in the state. It should be noted that the current batch of politicians are trying to destroy that right, however.
    posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:36 PM on May 2 [13 favorites]


    The way things are going, one day this decision may be viewed in the same sort of context as Dred Scott v. Sandford.

    It would be ironic; this decision, at its core, is as much about white supremacy as it is about religion. The only way, absent mass immigration from Europe, to maintain or increase the white population of the USA is to eliminate access to contraception and abortion*; the total fertility rate of the US white population is below replacement, and has been for a while. On current trajectories whites will cease to be a majority around 2040 (they'll remain a plurality of the population for some time after, though). The Republican Party has been completely captured by a white nationalist ideology seeking to reverse that trajectory. If there is a hell, I hope Richard Nixon is happy with the fruits of his Southern Strategy.


    *This was an argument used in calling for laws banning abortion in the 19th century: that "the refuse of Southern Europe...debase the sturdy Anglo-Saxon pioneer stock"; they were a lot less subtle about it, back then.
    posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 8:36 PM on May 2 [28 favorites]


    Huh. Coulda sworn I read something once about poor tired huddled masses, wretched refuse of teeming shores.
    posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:40 PM on May 2 [7 favorites]


    My heart goes out to the many women in certain Southern states who will find themselves impregnated without their consent, and will be told that they have no choice regarding the "blessing" they are carrying.

    But it won't just be in the South.

    Also, lawyers who will represent women who knock the teeth out of people who call it a "blessing" should volunteer to work pro bono. That, my friends, is doing God's work.
    posted by delfin at 8:42 PM on May 2 [12 favorites]


    Coulda sworn I read something once about poor tired huddled masses, wretched refuse of teeming shores

    Sure, that's the rose-coloured glasses view of American history, at a remove of a century and a half; meanwhile, here's Thomas Nast (the guy who gave us the Democratic donkey and Republican elephant), with a charming depiction of Irish immigrants from 1871.
    posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 8:43 PM on May 2 [4 favorites]


    For those who know Canadian politics better than I do, does it seem at all possible that we would accept asylum seekers from the US based on... all of this?

    No. Abortion is illegal in many countries already and Canada definitely doesn't allow asylum claims on that basis from any of those countries.
    posted by ssg at 8:44 PM on May 2 [6 favorites]


    Aside from being racist, is also unmathematical. There are about 630k abortions per year, but 1.1m new immigrants. And no matter how Catholic SCOTUS gets, they'll never get rid of contraception.
    posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:45 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]


    no matter how Catholic SCOTUS gets, they'll never get rid of contraception

    Wasn't that long ago people were saying that about Roe.
    posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 8:48 PM on May 2 [88 favorites]


    How strange is it that this happens less than a year after Mexico's Supreme Court issues basically the opposite ruling — that their constitution protects the right to abortion (though this is not implemented everywhere in Mexico yet).
    posted by ssg at 8:49 PM on May 2 [14 favorites]



    no matter how Catholic SCOTUS gets, they'll never get rid of contraception


    Get rid of? Nah. They'll just try to declare it Constitutional for states to do that for them.
    posted by delfin at 8:51 PM on May 2 [7 favorites]


    I would just like to say that with Roberts apparently not yet signing on this opinion, I look like a fucking psychic with this comment from THREE DAYS AGO:
    I am aware Roberts is Catholic but all I can ever read in his opinions are his desperate attempts to cloak the obviously-GOP court in some kind of vestige of legitimacy (that his right-wing colleagues have totally abandoned, to his obvious irritation), without recognizing that he's sliding merrily down the slippery slope and if he ever decides to make a stand he will discover to his horror that it's far too late and he presided over the destruction of the legitimacy of the Supreme Court for a generation at least.
    Golf clap, Roberts. Golf. Fucking. Clap. Great work. Way to destroy the judiciary. FUCK.

    Fucking congrats to me on being amazing at dissecting revanchist Catholic thinking, yay.
    posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:53 PM on May 2 [74 favorites]


    It is deeply ironic that this is all taking place the same night as the Met Gala, who've chosen an homage to the fucking Gilded Age as this year's theme.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:56 PM on May 2 [38 favorites]


    I was literally joking about the Met Gala theme being the Gilded Age with friends like five minutes before this news dropped.
    posted by a power-tie-wearing she-capitalist at 9:00 PM on May 2 [5 favorites]


    What makes this extra disturbing is that the Christofascist forced birth laws that have been passed of late often have no exceptions for rape or health of the mother. Not that that would be enough to make them acceptable, but it would make them less blatantly cruel.

    No. this is sick shit. that would be more cruel, unspeakably more cruel. that is the only thing that would be worse, is instituting a legal system of tiers, of pure women, innocent women, who get special dispensations (not rights; privileges), and all other women, the guilty and the stained, down at the bottom. if you think that the trauma of nine months' forced gestation and forced labor is not just as unspeakably cruel when done to one woman or girl as it is when done to any other woman or girl, you are not thinking about this safely or rationally.

    american women do not suffer from too much political unity. we do not need another sliver of allies carved off the top and told with threats that as long as they were not sinfully complicit in conception and can prove it in a court of law*, well, then, they don't have to bear the burden their nasty sisters do. we do not need it, we would not benefit from it, we do not want it, and we must not accept it. what a horrible horrible horrible proposal that would be.

    and how morally bankrupt, for anyone who actually pretended to believe that abortion is wrong! the only utility of floating a rape-and-health exception is to prove that those people are liars; and it isn't even useful for that, because we already all know that they're liars. everyone understands that you don't get to do a murder just because you suffered or because you might die if you're not allowed to. it doesn't make sense. nobody who thinks a woman aborting a pregnancy is committing a crime can make a legitimate case for "except if you feel sorry for her".

    *which they can't. you see that, yes? a "rape exception" means nothing. it means less than nothing. you don't get to go to the doctor and explain that you didn't consent and therefore you would like One Abortion, Please, and then get it. they don't take your word for it. any proposal of a rape exception is the opposite of a move towards human sympathy. it's an empty gesture full of hate.
    posted by queenofbithynia at 9:00 PM on May 2 [88 favorites]


    I’m not too worried about things here in New York; abortion was legal here before Roe. But if there’s one thing living in this century has taught me, it’s that you can’t be complacent about anything.
    posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:06 PM on May 2 [11 favorites]


    And no matter how Catholic SCOTUS gets, they'll never get rid of contraception.

    Thinking like this is part of how we got to where we are tonight.

    Page 31 of the draft goes to a lot of effort to cite every "progressive" (read: basic human right) win. The language is difficult to parse; it seems to talk about how "oh, those decisions were based on something else, this one is different!" but then shifts into "correcting past mistakes of the Court". It specifically says, "Oh, you can say and think these things! But you don't get to act on them." You know, act on things like marrying someone with a different skin color, or having sex with a consenting adult who is maybe the same gender you are.

    This is not the first step on this path - certainly a lot of states have been doing that work recently - but it's a big one. These are steps that are once again taking away your bodily autonomy, and then making who you are illegal.

    For fuck's sake, Florida just passed a "Don't Say Gay" bill and then tried to take away Disney's special tax status for daring to say, "Woah, hey, that seems a bit much."

    We've been on the bad timeline for a while and it is steadily getting worse.
    posted by curious nu at 9:13 PM on May 2 [63 favorites]


    And no matter how Catholic SCOTUS gets, they'll never get rid of contraception.

    The leaked draft already mentions Griswold in its litany of unconstitutional abridgements of state rights. That is to say, contraception and prophylactics are explicitly on the target list.
    posted by your postings may, in fact, be signed at 9:22 PM on May 2 [72 favorites]


    We've been on the bad timeline for a while

    Since before I was born. This runs all the way back to the founding of the United States and the ultimate idea of what sort of country, in the end, this is going to be. Ethnically-diverse, pluralistic secular democracy, or white supremacist Christian minority rule.
    posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 9:25 PM on May 2 [5 favorites]


    If you've never read The Brethren by Bob Woodward, now would be a good moment to do so. Its 40 years old, but I doubt much has changed about the process inside the court of workshopping opinions in that time. Also, crucially, it talks in great detail about the negotiations within the court that got us Roe in the first place.

    I absolutely believe this is a real leak of a real opinion, but I'd be interested to know if there is another competing opinion also being circulated within the court.

    Regardless, this is as big a warning as we're ever going to get. A clear ringing bell, and I'm grateful to the person ringing it. Now, hopefully, we can get people to listen.
    posted by anastasiav at 9:26 PM on May 2 [12 favorites]


    Christofascism.
    posted by Theta States at 9:31 PM on May 2 [14 favorites]


    Did Robert Bork write this draft?
    posted by geoff. at 9:41 PM on May 2 [3 favorites]


    Since all the old laws are out, can we vote to ban churches? They are clearly detrimental to society. And boy howdy, talk about groomers.
    posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 9:42 PM on May 2 [13 favorites]


    Abortion won't be made illegal everywhere, not yet. That means those with privilege can get it by leaving the state, or even the country, at least for now. If you lack papers, or money, or aren't an adult, it's going to be a lot harder.

    The people who will be hit worst by this will be those who can't easily leave for a place where abortion is legal, or who get discovered as pregnant before they can.
    posted by Chrysopoeia at 9:43 PM on May 2 [10 favorites]


    I wonder what the strict originalists think of the framers’ ideas about Catholics holding high office?
    posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 9:46 PM on May 2 [7 favorites]


    The leaked draft already mentions Griswold in its litany of unconstitutional abridgements of state rights.

    It cites Griswold, and I don't trust Alito et al. to preserve a right to to contraception, but the opinion doesn't describe Griswold as an unconstitutional abridgement. There's enough to worry about in what this draft opinion says; let's not add things that it doesn't say.
    posted by mabelstreet at 9:52 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]


    "And no matter how Catholic SCOTUS gets, they'll never get rid of contraception."

    Thomas, Alito, and ACB absolutely would (I say as the reluctant Revanchist Catholic Whisperer). Give Kavanaugh the right case, or the right political incentive, and he'll get on board. I don't believe Kavanaugh is a true believer in right-wing dominionist Christian thought like Thomas and Alito are, or ultra-right-wing Catholic "pro-life" thought the way ACB is, but he's absolutely beholden to the political Christian right for his position the Supreme Court, and for his continued reputation as a jurist and as a human being.

    Do you think if Kavanaugh rules to protect contraception, he'll suddenly be rehabilitated on the Left for all the sexual assaulting? If the Christian Right gives Kavanaugh a "good" case, and he rules to protect contraception, he'll be a pariah on the Left for his rapist ways and on the Right for his abandonment of the cause. Kavanaugh is absolutely not the dude who's excited to be the contrarian standing against everybody. He is not going to trash his reputation with the right wing unless he's absolutely guaranteed a warm reception somewhere ... which in the present partisan environment means the left. In another era, he might be able to drift away from the right to the center and be celebrated for it, but his history of publicized sexual violence rules that out.

    In a way, this is the dictatorial genius of not just Trump but of Hastert and all their ilk. In 2003, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert said that we need "to put repeat child molesters into jail for the rest of their lives." In 2016, Repeat Child Molester Hastert said he shouldn't serve any jail time because just getting caught had been embarrassing enough to serve as punishment. AND THAT'S HOW IT WORKS, you get these guys who've committed actual crimes -- Trump, Hastert, Falwell Jr, Josh Duggar, Clarence Thomas, Brent Kavanaugh, Matt Gaetz -- ideally embarrassing crimes (sex crimes are usually best) -- and you put them in positions of power, and you back them up. If they get caught, you back them up MORE. Two things can happen -- they can go to prison (and a few eventually do!), but most are protected by their fellow elite criminals. And all those guys become reliant on that network of fellow crime-doers to protect them and keep them from some seriously dire consequences. It's why sexual assault in Trump world is not just forgiven, but almost a prerequisite. Other sexual assaulters GET IT, they understand why you all have to pee facing out.

    "Well, all these guys use contraception with their wives, mistresses, and victims." OF COURSE THEY DO. They're not going to lose access to contraception if it becomes illegal! They never lost access to abortion! I had an ethics professor when I was in seminary who got interested in theology because her father was a a fundamentalist evangelical minister who was huge in the early fundagelical pro-life movement. She had sex with her boyfriend. She thought she was pregnant. She went to her mother. Her mother told her, Don't you DARE tell your father; we are going to the next state over to take care of it. And she protested that her father was pro-life and constantly preached about teenaged girls who got pregnant having their babies for Jesus! And her mother said, "Yes, but he doesn't mean you, it would ruin his career." And she said, "But a baby is more important than a career or social status, that's what he says!" and her mother said, "BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT HE REALLY MEANS." Anyway, she was not pregnant, but she became a prominent theologian as a result of her parents' hypocrisy. But the point of the story is, both her father and her mother were extremely prominent pro-life evangelical leaders whose entire public life was preaching against abortion, but they never had any concern that they themselves would not be able to access abortion if they wanted to, because they had money, power, connections, and the ability to travel.

    These justices don't care if you have access to birth control, because they will still have access when they want it. Their daughters, their granddaughters -- they'll have access. Just like they'll still have access to abortion. Because they are wealthy and powerful and important. The rules aren't for them, so they don't really have to care how they apply to the rest of us. They can engage in culture wars fully and freely, because they have no skin in the game. Not because they are men, but because they are wealthy and powerful, and they will access abortion, and contraception, and health care, and food, and college education, and everything else the rest of us have to fight for without having to turn to the government to protect them or fund them.

    Anyway, my husband and I are both lawyers, and we looked at Scotus under Trump, knowing that I will literally die if I get pregnant again (my uterus ruptured with my last one and I cannot safely be pregnant again), and we hurried to get my husband a vasectomy before it became impossible or too expensive to access, even though I am close to menopause probably. Make of that what you will, but we absolutely saw this coming and we made irreversible surgical decisions about it. I am not surprised by this. I am SO not surprised by it that we sought permanent birth control four years ago about it -- not an option everyone has. But we looked at the Court, and even living in a state that protects reproductive rights, we judged that we couldn't be sure that we would have continuing access to birth control until I reached menopause, and we would prefer I NOT DIE.
    posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:52 PM on May 2 [172 favorites]


    Quick reminder that not all people who can get pregnant are women, and that trans people are at high risk for sexual assault and are already enduring massively outsized political ire. It’s not just women that this will outright kill.
    posted by Mizu at 9:54 PM on May 2 [66 favorites]


    I am from California and donate money to reproductive rights groups in Mississippi, Arkansas and a group in Atlanta that does outreach to the rest of the South I told them that I am doubling my amount, to inform me of state trigger laws, and if they have action plans for when the repeal takes effect.

    On January 22, 1974, I was with 2 families protesting in front of the state capitol in California. My mom led the pro-life movement in our area. I made some sort of presentation in the church which include a poster that had a black and white image (popular among pro-lifers at that time) of several dead babies in a black plastic lined garbage can. We picketed Planned Parenthood events telling members that they would burn in hell. Had booths at county and town fairs. Papered cars in church parking lots slipping flyers under windshield wipers. It all seemed so hopeless in the 70's

    My mom is now 103. I honestly wanted her to not be here when this day came.

    You want to do something now? Support the grass-roots providers in the states that have been and will be hit the hardest. Support them financially and with tech and IT support as this is support is hard to come by. Pro-lifers are in the position they are now as they were always grass roots and networked. Keep your money and support close to the ground and directed to where it is necessary.

    Show up...

    I'm pissed and angry. I was on the other side. As a man, I have no clue as to what a woman must be feeling now. I only know that it is ineffable and unable to be put into words.

    And to those who continue to harp on how everything is getting worse and worse, dig your own grave...not mine.

    (mods, delete anything that you deem inappropriate)
    posted by goalyeehah at 9:54 PM on May 2 [14 favorites]


    I think what really forced their hand here was Thomas.

    They think what he and Ginni did is a big deal, and they know they must distract attention from it — plus they’re not sure Thomas will survive it.

    It’s a huge gamble, and I think a strategic blunder.
    posted by jamjam at 9:57 PM on May 2 [7 favorites]


    This was ineluctable from the moment Trump became president. That people, in here of all places, seem surprised that we're in this mess is in some respects just as disappointing as the draft decision itself. The bad guys have no shame, no line in the sand they won't cross, no respect for precedent, no sense of fairness, no personal integrity. Just a dark empty maw, a consuming hunger that can only be briefly sated by power and cruelty. If there is a good thing in your life, a refuge, an island of stability, they're coming for it. They want to ruin you and then blame you for being ruined.

    Appealing to logic, to mercy, to even-handedness, to the gods of snark, to Twitter, none of that shit's gonna work. Evil's wearing its blood-red dancing shoes, and is just itching to show off all its moves, the bolder the better.

    The only way to win this is by winning. Winning school board seats. Winning the hearts and minds of neighbors. Winning state legislatures. Winning in the press. Winning judgeships. Winning presidencies. Small, loud wins that give us a taste for victory. Large, quiet wins that overwhelm them before they've finished gloating. But just like climate change, a lot of the damage is already done and no matter what happens now, it's going to get worse before it gets better. So even when we turn things around, it's going to look like failure for a little while, maybe for a long while. Yet we will turn this around.
    posted by xigxag at 9:58 PM on May 2 [45 favorites]


    The Women's March is calling for protests at your closest courthouse tomorrow at 5pm.

    https://act.womensmarch.com/sign/roe-rally-pledge/?source=tw20220502
    posted by pelvicsorcery at 9:59 PM on May 2 [8 favorites]


    I can't even feel any shock right now. Just like "Oh. Yeah. Guess that anvil finally dropped. Huh."

    I am, however, counting my blessings as a childfree woman that (a) I'm nearly too old to reproduce, (b) my gynecologist said she will keep me on my period-eliminating birth control until menopause if I so desire, (c) living in CA, (d) and no guy will ever want to fuck me again anyway. So there's that...for the moment, at least.
    posted by jenfullmoon at 10:00 PM on May 2 [5 favorites]


    Enraged. Disappointed. Horrified. Not even slightly surprised.

    Frankly I'm amazed it took this long after the seating of Justice Rapist and Justice Handmaid to get to overturning Roe. This was inevitable.

    Not that the inevitability makes it any less enraging.

    Fuck decorum. This is time to hit the streets in a general strike, and to never let Manchin or Sinema sit in a restaurant without told to leave. Now is the time for escrache against every Republican, elected or simply voting, and any traitor DINO who is letting them win.

    Reminder: the Democrats have had total control of Congress and the White House and in that time chose not to pass a federal law protecting abortion rights. It's time to name and shame, emphasis on shame, the DINO scum who kept it from happening.
    posted by sotonohito at 10:05 PM on May 2 [21 favorites]


    if you think that the trauma of nine months' forced gestation and forced labor is not just as unspeakably cruel when done to one woman or girl as it is when done to any other woman or girl, you are not thinking about this safely or rationally.

    I was more thinking of a health exception, the lack of which I do consider more cruel, since the state is explicitly saying that pregnant people must die for their fetus. Regardless, we're on the same side here. Arguing about degrees when the entire right is about to be taken away is counterproductive at best.
    posted by wierdo at 10:16 PM on May 2 [5 favorites]


    I wonder what the strict originalists think of the framers’ ideas about Catholics holding high office?

    Can we not make this incredibly terrifying thing a vehicle for introducing more anti-Catholic prejudice? Sotomayor is a Catholic and she’s not doing this shit. Justice Brennan, with the majority in Roe v Wade, was a Catholic.

    This is more about Federalist Society-approved judges - which would be literally all of the members potentially voting yes on this - than about the religion they happen to hold.
    posted by corb at 10:18 PM on May 2 [54 favorites]


    Utah here - one of the day zero abortion ban states. I’m told that our town (Park City - a ski town) has a huge issue with unplanned pregnancies - especially towards the end of the ski season, and often involving the large number of folks employed in the ski industry including unfortunately foreign J1 employees who have super shitty if any medical insurance and often don't have their own transport etc. The nearest abortion clinic will be 235 miles away in Colorado (Glenwood Springs). Good little drive down there - just going on the record that I’ll be happy to make that drive on weekends - you know…purely for the skiing….and if anyone has some sort of appointment down there (whatever that may be) and wants to keep me company on the trip then hey that’s cool!
    posted by inflatablekiwi at 10:20 PM on May 2 [26 favorites]


    The point of this draft is that only those rights that are “firmly rooted in our traditions” count. The entire concept of substantive due process, the idea that there are family decisions that the government cannot regulate — that idea is vulnerable. The right to have an abortion *and* the right to have a child. The constitution says nothing about a right to have a baby, or a right to adopt. Alito explicitly says interracial marriage isn’t a firmly rooted right. This is very bad. I am so angry and I despair.

    My state constitution has a right to privacy. That could be something to push for in your state.
    posted by kerf at 10:26 PM on May 2 [28 favorites]


    IMO this is a good moment to game out what is likely to happen when the Democrats lose the midterms and then the presidency

    Isn't overturning Roe v. Wade a nuclear option sort of move? This might actually lead to enough liberal outrage to affect the previously-foregone midterms. And this is Republicans getting rid of their most powerful, most galvanizing, wedge issue. Sure there's more where that came from, but none as polarizing as this one. Really wonder what their party leadership intends to do after this.
    posted by Apocryphon at 10:40 PM on May 2 [6 favorites]


    These justices don't care if you have access to birth control, because they will still have access when they want it. Their daughters, their granddaughters -- they'll have access. Just like they'll still have access to abortion. Because they are wealthy and powerful and important. The rules aren't for them, so they don't really have to care how they apply to the rest of us.

    Reminds me of the classic "The Only Moral Abortion is My Abortion."
    posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:42 PM on May 2 [29 favorites]


    It cites Griswold, and I don't trust Alito et al. to preserve a right to to contraception, but the opinion doesn't describe Griswold as an unconstitutional abridgement. There's enough to worry about in what this draft opinion says; let's not add things that it doesn't say.

    The draft cites Griswold in the context of a list of decisions that Alito has appeared on record disputing before, and his comment on that today is only that overturning Roe does not intrinsically "undermine" other "found" rights

    (This is not very consistent with the broader argument made in the decision, but consistency is not exactly the man's strong suit as a jurist)

    If you really read those 98 pages and came away thinking Griswold isn't on the chopping block you might make a great Senator from Maine
    posted by your postings may, in fact, be signed at 10:43 PM on May 2 [37 favorites]


    What makes this extra disturbing is that the Christofascist forced birth laws that have been passed of late often have no exceptions for rape or health of the mother. Not that that would be enough to make them acceptable, but it would make them less blatantly cruel.

    once more for the people who are apparently in the back: THE CRUELTY IS THE FUCKING POINT.
    posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 10:44 PM on May 2 [53 favorites]


    I'm trying to figure out (and so far failing) to figure out from that protest link ("local federal courthouse, federal building, town hall, or town square.") if it'd be reasonable to attempt to gather in my town or not. I could get over to our town hall pretty quickly after 5 when I get out of work, but if I have to slog to another town/the nearest city for it, not sure if that's doable in the time frame, darn it, and you want to go where the masses are heading. If anyone sees more on protests tomorrow (esp. finding out where they are), please post?
    posted by jenfullmoon at 10:46 PM on May 2


    I wonder what the strict originalists think of the framers’ ideas about Catholics holding high office?

    The Framers' ideas on Catholics holding high office were probably more liberal than you'd expect: there was at least one Catholic delegate to the Constitutional convention (his brother was the first Roman Catholic bishop in the United States, and his first cousin signed the Declaration of Independence and served as one of Maryland's first United States Senators). Thousands of English Catholics were among those who fled religious persecution and came to America in the seventeenth century; Maryland was effectively a Catholic colony under the Lords Baltimore, until the "Protestant Revolution" of 1689 ended religious toleration and established the Anglican church. Catholics were effectively deprived of the right to worship, serve on juries, etc, until the 1776 Declaration of Rights abolished the established church and granted to all the freedom to worship according to their conscience.
    posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 10:59 PM on May 2 [10 favorites]


    r/auntienetwork on reddit is a resource for people who need help accessing abortions (and an opportunity for others to offer help). I’m not affiliated with it so can’t vouch for details, but I think our thread could use more pointers for directly supporting the people who need it most right now, so I hope this is helpful.
    posted by chaiyai at 12:18 AM on May 3 [10 favorites]


    It’s not just a Catholic thing else Ireland would never have belatedly legalised it.

    And there are plenty of Catholics who support a woman’s right to choose.

    Focus on what’s really driving this. The GOP.
    posted by fallingbadgers at 12:43 AM on May 3 [27 favorites]


    AidAccess provides abortion pills by mail worldwide. I set up a monthly donation.
    posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:00 AM on May 3 [18 favorites]


    Will this, or anything else, move Biden to start appointing more justices/ court pack? I doubt it. He seems legalist to a fault, even if it destroys the nation. He may well prove the Hindenburg of our faltering Weimar republic.
    posted by LeRoienJaune at 1:08 AM on May 3 [11 favorites]


    More shotgunning of the boat of America. God help us all.

    Culture war means war, and they aim to win.
    posted by Jacen at 2:34 AM on May 3 [1 favorite]


    So apparently the barricades have been up since April 20th when a scientist, Wynn Bruce, self-immolated in front of the courthouse to draw awareness to climate change. If anyone was wondering.

    I hate this time line.
    posted by ananci at 2:38 AM on May 3 [14 favorites]


    I have nothing valuable to say other than I am so sorry, America. This is some evil shit.
    posted by mrjohnmuller at 3:32 AM on May 3 [6 favorites]


    Instead of linking to the Twitter thread I just read, I'm going to transcribe every damn word.
    Roe v. Wade is based on "the right to privacy". If the majority opinion by SCOTUS suggests that the Constitution does not protect a right to privacy...that affects a whole lot of other decisions. Buckle up.

    Lawrence v. Texas: Decided in 2003, the court used the Right to Privacy to determine that it's unconstitutional to punish people for committing sodomy. The Roe ruling could open the door for recriminalizing homosexuality.

    Griswold v Connecticut: Decided in 1965, this case protects the ability of married people to buy contraceptives without government intervention.

    Loving v. Virginia: this 1968 case, which threw out laws banning interracial marriages, was decided based on the right to privacy. If a state wanted to prohibit who people could marry - there is no protection from that without a right to privacy.

    Stanley v. Georgia: This 1969 case found that there was a right to privacy around possession of pornography. If a state wants to outlaw pornography or certain forms of adult pornography, it could do that without the right to privacy.

    Obergefell v. Hedges: The 2015 ruling that legalized same sex marriage used the right to privacy and equal protection clause to do so. This could open the door for a state to try to test same sex marriage laws.

    Meyer v. Nebraska: This 1923 ruling allows families to decide for themselves if they want their children to learn a language other than English. This could open the door for racist states to try to outlaw learning their families' languages.

    Skinner v. Oklahoma: This 1942 ruling found that it's unconstitutional to forcibly sterilize people. The Roe ruling could open the door for criminals, disabled people or BIPOC folks to be forcibly sterilized.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:59 AM on May 3 [70 favorites]


    Please link to the Twitter thread
    posted by computech_apolloniajames at 4:02 AM on May 3 [11 favorites]


    “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”

    Justice Samuel Alito in an initial draft majority opinion, per Politico. Yet another example of the right wing creating controversy and then pointing to that manufactured controversy as a reason to be fascist. Why shouldn't they ban abortion if it inflames debate and causes division? 🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄
    posted by Jacen at 4:07 AM on May 3 [6 favorites]


    Please link to the Twitter thread

    here it is
    posted by emmling at 4:21 AM on May 3 [13 favorites]


    Abortionfunds.org has a state-by-state list of groups that help folks pay for abortions, with some multi-state and national funds as well. Via @prisonculture on Twitter, who's an excellent follow right now.
    posted by mediareport at 4:22 AM on May 3 [4 favorites]


    Alito explicitly says interracial marriage isn’t a firmly rooted right. This is very bad.
    posted by kerf


    Yeah, that sent shivers down my spine. :-(
    posted by Pouteria at 4:34 AM on May 3 [14 favorites]


    The only way to win this is by winning. Winning school board seats. Winning the hearts and minds of neighbors. Winning state legislatures. Winning in the press. Winning judgeships. Winning presidencies.

    Or, winning wars. I'm not advocating violence, but I increasingly think that's where this is headed. Civil war. I think it's too late to hope we can just vote the bastards out. The fascists are going to take over the government and install themselves for life. We'll all know the elections were totally rigged, and as our rights get taken away and more and more people suffer because of the actions of cruel idiots, there's going to be hideous, bloody conflict.

    Ten years ago I would have called you a lunatic for saying the US was headed for civil war. Now I'm the lunatic.
    posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:56 AM on May 3 [30 favorites]


    This judgment seems like the most enticing target for legal fisking (definition for the younguns) ever presented. It's not yet the law, and while that's a rather ephemeral status, it's not irrelevant to how criticisms of the judgment are perceived by lawyers and the public. It feels to me like a really nitpicking, legitimacy-questioning approach would be one useful way to demonstrate the bad faith of the judgment and dysfunction of the Court as currently constituted.
    posted by howfar at 4:59 AM on May 3 [3 favorites]


    curious nu: Page 31 of the draft goes to a lot of effort to cite every "progressive" (read: basic human right) win.

    For those of us who are lazy, which rights exactly are they listing out?

    And am I offbase to assume that this list would act as a "please bring a case about this because we want to overturn it" signal?
    posted by clawsoon at 5:01 AM on May 3 [2 favorites]


    in an initial draft majority opinion

    Do any SCOTUS watchers know what these usually look like and how they usually go? Is this by any chance Alito just trying to pitch an opinion he's trying to get people to sign onto but doesn't have the votes for yet? I know I'm grasping at straws, but this is just so extreme.
    posted by corb at 5:16 AM on May 3 [1 favorite]


    so help me god if the media discourse focuses more on the leak rather than the substance of the opinion

    Cue Nina Totenberg on NPR this morning...
    posted by Gelatin at 5:20 AM on May 3


    This might actually lead to enough liberal outrage to affect the previously-foregone midterms. And this is Republicans getting rid of their most powerful, most galvanizing, wedge issue. Sure there's more where that came from, but none as polarizing as this one.

    I don't know what this will do to the midterms, but I'd urge caution around the hopeful idea that conservatives will lose their appetites and walk away satisfied as soon as they get this. A win like this could whip up even more fervor and zealotry just as easily as it could placate the victors.
    posted by cubeb at 5:34 AM on May 3 [20 favorites]


    The court lost legitimacy in 2016.

    The Court lost legitimacy in 2000, when it installed George W. Bush as President.
    posted by Gelatin at 5:34 AM on May 3 [121 favorites]


    And am I offbase to assume that this list would act as a "please bring a case about this because we want to overturn it" signal?

    See EmpressCallipygos' comment (and emmling's linked tweet)
    posted by curious nu at 5:43 AM on May 3 [4 favorites]


    Montana's constitution doesn't have explicit protections for abortion, but it does have an explicit right to privacy (another thing the Alito opinion disparages).

    See EmpressCallipygos' comment (and emmling's linked tweet)

    The Ninth Amendment specifically says that the people of the United States enjoy rights that are not enumerated in the Constitution. For too long those who oppose the right to privacy have gotten away with pretending their argument has Constitutional merit, despite the plain text reading of the Ninth Amendment, and for too long their political opposition and the so-called "liberal media" have given undue credit to this obviously bad faith argument,

    This decision is not, as Alito would have it, about the Constitution, but rather about power. As such, it is illegitimate.
    posted by Gelatin at 5:48 AM on May 3 [28 favorites]


    curious nu: Page 31 of the draft goes to a lot of effort to cite every "progressive" (read: basic human right) win.

    For those of us who are lazy, which rights exactly are they listing out?

    And am I offbase to assume that this list would act as a "please bring a case about this because we want to overturn it" signal?


    My reading of that section is that Alito is trying to establish that the right to an abortion must be specific and particular. Casey cited all of those cases improperly, says Alito, because it used them in order to falsely create a general principle of "a broader right to autonomy." This would in his opinion create a "license to fundamental rights to illicit drug use, prostitution, and the like."

    The strategy of this is basically to say: Roe and Casey fail to establish anything beyond possibly a general right to autonomy, but a general right to autonomy is unacceptably permissive, and therefore can't be the basis for protecting abortion. He can then go on to claim that the other more tailored rights (e.g. right to privacy) are wrong.
    posted by Room 101 at 5:56 AM on May 3 [3 favorites]


    Alito: "The 9th amendment? Never heard of it."
    posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 5:58 AM on May 3 [9 favorites]


    a general right to autonomy

    I think that the opposite of a "general right to autonomy" is "slavery". Which -- given the desire to roll back America to the '50's. -- the EIGHTEEN FIFTIES! -- is right on-message.
    posted by mikelieman at 6:03 AM on May 3 [11 favorites]


    I’m not too worried about things here in New York; abortion was legal here before Roe. But if there’s one thing living in this century has taught me, it’s that you can’t be complacent about anything.

    Just to be clear, the Republican endgame here is, and always has been, a nationwide abortion ban likely based on the idea of "fetal personhood" which the draft opinion endorses. Once the Republicans retake the House and Senate, they have amply demonstrated their intent to abolish the filibuster (which Democrats cling to for . . . reasons?) and pass laws like this. We are not safe in New York or anywhere else.
    posted by The Bellman at 6:03 AM on May 3 [31 favorites]


    star gentle uterus:
    Under the Constitution, it only has those powers specifically granted to it. If abortion was no longer held to be a Constitutionally-protected right, then Congress could not prohibit the states from regulating abortion.
    While the idea that Congress can't do that is absolutely something the Court could (and probably would) still "find", in a hypothetical world where the Freedom of Choice Act passed (I personally think there was never going to be a Senate majority for it, and is unlikely to even be), I'm pretty sure acts of Congress absolutely can limit all sorts of state laws and regulations, barring Constitutional limits on this such as freedom of interstate commerce or whatever. Otherwise the federal government wouldn't work as a thing even to the small degree it does now.

    corb:
    Do any SCOTUS watchers know what these usually look like and how they usually go? Is this by any chance Alito just trying to pitch an opinion he's trying to get people to sign onto but doesn't have the votes for yet? I know I'm grasping at straws, but this is just so extreme.
    The opinion already has five names attached to it, so unless something about it outright fakes, this is an explicit showing that the votes are there. And there's no "usually" to the scenario of a draft opinion being public before the actual one, since this is completely unprecedented; as far as I know we only have access to drafts in the archival sense, and the only place they "go" is subsequent drafts as with any other writing.

    If a liberal leaked this, it was of course from the natural desire to expose something horrendous. If a conservative did -- and I'm feeling cynical enough to think that's extremely possible -- then it was to get the anger to peak as early as possible before November. There's a minute chance the actual final opinion will look different, and that specifically it will "preserve" Roe while still gutting it as fundamentally as possible; that way all the liberals can be painted as Chicken Littles who fell for Fake News, and the opinion gets to parade around as Reasonable Moderation. But I don't think the 4d chess is that complex here.
    posted by InTheYear2017 at 6:06 AM on May 3 [12 favorites]


    I know this may be unpopular but after a layman’s read of the leaked opinion, Alito’s reasoning is absolutely flawed constitutionally due to ignoring the Ninth Amendment, which directly addresses his concerns. (James Madison was wise.)

    Of course, they probably hope everyone continues to ignore the 9th…
    posted by mephron at 6:08 AM on May 3 [7 favorites]


    Laws matter little if there is no consequences for flaunting them. Or twisting them beyond recognition to get them to say what you want.
    posted by Jacen at 6:26 AM on May 3 [4 favorites]


    building a website to sell abortion pills through the mail

    These are not guaranteed to work, sometimes they just don't.
    posted by rozcakj at 6:29 AM on May 3


    Something I just saw in my Facebook feed may provide some much-needed levity.

    Someone in my Facebook friends circle works for the ACLU and just said the following -

    "Understatement of the year: it is about to be quite a day at work."
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:37 AM on May 3 [19 favorites]


    Twitter is fun today.

    Where "fun" includes people declaring that the leaker should face the death penalty, that the crowds protesting outside SCOTUS are "the REAL insurrection" and that 1/6 was "a stroll in the park" compared to this leak and protests, and that the Tenth Amendment gives every state the complete and inviolable right to turn itself into Jesusland if its legislature so desires.
    posted by delfin at 6:45 AM on May 3 [2 favorites]


    As for the fallout once this passes and the culture war flares up anew, this is a periodic reminder that we do not have Red States and Blue States, lined up against each other like so many sports franchises.

    There are humorless, Christofascist prigs in every major city and every deep blue state. There are good, moral, free-thinking people living in every Trumpoid state. Yes, even Oklahoma. We're headed for a fresh round of Good State - Bad State in the near future, legally speaking, but spare a thought for the people who can't just pack up and move out -- and shouldn't have to.
    posted by delfin at 6:51 AM on May 3 [75 favorites]


    From historian Heather Cox Richardson:

    And so here we are. A minority, placed in control of the U.S. Supreme Court by a president who received a minority of the popular vote and then, when he lost reelection, tried to overturn our democracy, is explicitly taking away a constitutional right that has been protected for fifty years. Its attack on federal protection of civil rights applies not just to abortion, but to all the protections put in place since World War II: the right to use birth control, marry whomever you wish, live in desegregated spaces, and so on.

    [...]

    Tonight's news is an alarm like the 1857 Dred Scott decision, which gave a few white men who controlled state legislatures power over the American majority.
    posted by swift at 6:56 AM on May 3 [45 favorites]


    Donate to an Abortion Fund Right Now

    There is a list here. These should probably be the highest priority donations-wise, a lot of National orgs can look out for themselves for funding.
    posted by Artw at 6:57 AM on May 3 [7 favorites]


    Y'all haven't been paying attention, states have already started drafting laws that allow anyone in that stare to sue anyone who did anything that might have contributed to an abortion. Even in another state. They're coming for your nonprofits and helplines, fam. And YOU if you donate. The bounty hunter approach is the way they are going and when SCOTUS failed to do anything about Texas using it, that encouraged them.

    It's gonna be a real shitshow. I think my one hope is that it will become so absurd that it becomes unsustainable in terms of chaos caused.
    posted by emjaybee at 6:57 AM on May 3 [18 favorites]


    I'd like to agree emjaybee, but I think there's no real chaos involved. They have an agenda, they're firm on their agenda, and they won't let things distract from their agenda.

    And the Republican SCOTUS will casually strike down any attempt to introduce chaos, or to use this ruling against Republican causes.
    posted by sotonohito at 7:04 AM on May 3 [5 favorites]


    it is equally plausible that a brief period of chaos is the whole point

    then we'll get to see what the "party of law and order" can really do
    posted by elkevelvet at 7:14 AM on May 3 [3 favorites]


    There are things one can't do as a journalist, such as protest in the streets, picket at the courthouse, etc.

    *job hunt intensifies*
    posted by Occula at 7:19 AM on May 3 [3 favorites]


    I know there's a sizable New England contingent here on MeFi. New Hampshire is the only state in New England that doesn't have statutory or state constitutional protections for abortion rights. As such, I would recommend my fellow New Englanders make a donation to The Reproductive Fund of New Hampshire.
    posted by pxe2000 at 7:27 AM on May 3 [7 favorites]


    There are things one can't do as a journalist, such as protest in the streets, picket at the courthouse, etc.

    ...describe, in plain language, what Republicans do and say...
    posted by Gelatin at 7:44 AM on May 3 [28 favorites]


    Maybe some feminist groups need to take notes from the black panthers and other civil rights groups like the deacons and start publicly arming themselves and meet the law and order party with an image they understand.
    posted by WeekendJen at 7:50 AM on May 3 [10 favorites]


    Can sitting members of the Supreme Court be disbarred for ignoring Stare Decisis based on religious reasoning?
    posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 7:54 AM on May 3 [1 favorite]


    Susan Collins must be so surprised.

    Ooh, so close! Susan Collins Dismayed Supreme Court Justices Misled Her On Abortion
    posted by kirkaracha at 7:59 AM on May 3 [23 favorites]


    Biden issues a written statement.

    tl;dr, his administration is pro-Roe (deeds not words, my dude), he will be ready if it's overturned (why not before?), and voters need to elect pro-choice officials (uhhh, I've voted for you three times now, and reproductive rights are in a worse place now than they were in 2008).
    posted by box at 8:09 AM on May 3 [28 favorites]


    I doubt the democrats would be gutsy enough to go for it, but hypothetically can judges be unseated or disbarred for perjury? Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett all testified that Roe v Wade was "settled law" during their confirmation hearings.
    posted by ook at 8:10 AM on May 3 [13 favorites]


    But the opposite is true of the federal government. Under the Constitution, it only has those powers specifically granted to it. If abortion was no longer held to be a Constitutionally-protected right, then Congress could not prohibit the states from regulating abortion. It could make it legal at the federal level, but otherwise could not stop a state from outlawing it. Not through direct legislation, at least, that's not how it works.

    Not quite. Roe held that abortion (privacy) was a Constitutionally-protected right whether there was federal legislation or not. Absent such a right, Congress is still free to legislate based on its Constitutional authority. For example, Congress could decide that nationwide access to abortion is necessary to promote the general welfare, or for purposes of interstate commerce, and pass a law to that effect. (Such a law has already passed the House, but only has support of 48 Senators.) Congress has used similar justifications for seatbelt laws, national drinking age, etc.

    It would of course fall to the Supreme Court to decide whether Congress oversteps its bounds by enacting such legislation, but while we're in the fantasy land of imagining Congress actually acting on this, this is at least a possible route to nationwide access to abortion.
    posted by Ben Trismegistus at 8:14 AM on May 3 [2 favorites]


    and voters need to elect pro-choice officials

    who will act on those beliefs and on the supermajority opinions of their constituents.

    We hoped that we had.

    Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett all testified that Roe v Wade was "settled law" during their confirmation hearings.

    And they lied, and we knew that they lied, and they knew that they lied, and we knew that they knew that they lied, and they knew that we knew that they lied.

    Even if some sort of quixotic disbarment attempt was viable, all you would hear from them is "we were not lying at the time; rather, the sound reasoning of Justice Alito persuaded us that our previous opinions were in error." And that would be that.
    posted by delfin at 8:15 AM on May 3 [28 favorites]


    Just passing a law codifying Roe would be much easier than impeaching a justice, which is the only constitutional method for unseating one.

    Besides, "it's settled law" or "it's established precedent" was true at the time; it was also true that they intended to unsettle and disestablish it, but that's not what they said.
    posted by BungaDunga at 8:16 AM on May 3 [7 favorites]


    Long term, a reversal of Roe is not the political victory reversal advocates think. Too many Americans simply believe that, on its moral merits, abortion should be legal and generally available on a limited basis. Over time, legislative processes produce clear losers, and the extreme anti-abortion movement will lose legislatively, pretty much across the board. Ironically the final dagger in the heart of the extreme anti-abortionist movement will consist of Roe's reversal.
    posted by robbyrobs at 8:16 AM on May 3 [2 favorites]


    Reminder that, for now, Plan B is available over-the-counter in the US. It is very safe, but not always effective. It has an "official" shelf life of four years. However, if Plan B becomes unavailable and/or illegal in the near future, it is important to know that the manufacturer's expiration date is only a date before which they guarantee its potency. Potency declines smoothly throughout the lifetime of a drug, and physicians and researchers in developing nations, who often have to rely on expired drugs, have found that 90% of drugs remain potent up to 15 years past the expiration date, if stored properly. This means that with proper storage, a cache of Plan B purchased today could remain potent for up to 20 years. For Plan B, "proper storage" is at room temperature, in dry conditions in the dark. Although many people store their medications in their bathrooms, this is not actually an ideal location, as it tends to get humid, which can significantly impact drug shelf life. A better location is a hall linen closet. In general, but particularly if you don't have access to a good dry space, humidity can be controlled by storing drugs in a container with a few silica gel packs (the sort that come with food and electronics and say "do not eat" on them). If humidity is a real problem, these packs may need to be changed out occasionally.

    If you are someone who may become pregnant or who may be in a position to help someone who may become pregnant unintentionally, a cache of Plan B purchased today could mean continued access to at least a limited form of reproductive choice for the next 20 years, in the event (as seems likely without the protections of Roe) that states and/or the federal government pass laws that classify contraceptives that prevent implantation as "abortions" and make them illegal. Hopefully that will be enough time for us to fix this fucking mess.
    posted by biogeo at 8:17 AM on May 3 [37 favorites]


    I doubt the democrats would be gutsy enough to go for it, but hypothetically can judges be unseated or disbarred for perjury? Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett all testified that Roe v Wade was "settled law" during their confirmation hearings.

    Impeachment requires a 2/3 majority in the Senate to convict, so Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett have the same impunity Trump did, in that the Republicans will never remove them.

    tl;dr, his administration is pro-Roe (deeds not words, my dude), he will be ready if it's overturned (why not before?), and voters need to elect pro-choice officials (uhhh, I've voted for you three times now, and reproductive rights are in a worse place now than they were in 2008)

    Let's be clear here that the fact that reproductive rights are in a worse place now is due entirely to Republicans -- Republican state legislators (such as the one in Kentucky that overrode the Democratic governor's veto), Republican SCOTUS justices, the two Republican presidents who appointed them after achieving office with a minority of the popular vote, and the Republican Senators who blocked Merritt Garland's appointment (and who will refuse to impeach Republican justices no matter how blatantly they lied under oath).

    Biden did what "deed" he could do by appointing a young liberal Justice to the Court, but against a 6-3 Republican (not "conservative") majority, this decision has been inevitable since 2016 at least.
    posted by Gelatin at 8:18 AM on May 3 [25 favorites]


    Could the five person cabal have intentionally leaked the draft as an attempt to defuse the outrage when the ruling actually comes down?
    posted by sammyo at 8:18 AM on May 3 [7 favorites]


    who will act on those beliefs and on the supermajority opinions of their constituents.

    Manchin's constituents know he's anti-abortion, and he thinks he's representing their views.

    Over time, legislative processes produce clear losers, and the extreme anti-abortion movement will lose legislatively, pretty much across the board.

    Maybe Republicans are wrong, but they have reason to believe they are insulated from any electoral backlash, eg In Wisconsin, "For Democratic candidates, the party would have to secure a 12.4-point statewide victory, or 56.2% of the vote, to have a shot at winning the 50 Assembly seats needed to hold a simple majority in the chamber, Johnson said. Democrats would need a 10.6-point statewide victory to secure a majority in the Senate."
    posted by BungaDunga at 8:24 AM on May 3 [4 favorites]


    Can sitting members of the Supreme Court be disbarred for ignoring Stare Decisis based on religious reasoning?
    There are pretty much no requirements for being a Supreme Court Justice, other than "become a Supreme Court Justice", "don't resign", "don't die", and "don't piss off a supermajority of Congress enough that they'll impeach you". That's really it. In particular, you don't have to be a lawyer, let alone a lawyer in good standing.
    posted by Flunkie at 8:25 AM on May 3 [12 favorites]


    My spouse works in a role marching surrogates with folks wanting to have children. They had been assessing likely impact of this (carrying someone else's child is enough of a risk without an inability to terminate if the pregnancy becomes life threatening or there are serious medical issues with the fetus, or potential legal issues if you have / assist the surrogate to get an abortion out of state etc.) , but to see it raw like this and to go as far as overturning had my spouse just enraged.

    Surrogates in the remaining free states will be able to name their fee (and fees have already gone *way* up recently) and it will push surrogacy options even further out of the reach of many people who are hoping to have children. My spouse regularly meets with folks who have been living in parent’s basements for many years trying to save enough to have a surrogate, and this will end a lot of people’s dreams. I just hope they vote.
    posted by inflatablekiwi at 8:25 AM on May 3 [4 favorites]


    Get the Senate and Presidency firmly in Democratic hands, and the judiciary will eventually be dominated by their judges. Will it happen soon? No, of course not, but it's short-sighted to say "destroy the Judiciary" at this point.

    I've lived, shit, I don't even know, but at least half of my life, I'm guessing (born in 76, if anyone wants to do the math) under democratic majorities of the house and/or senate, and presidency. I've also heard that the solution to nearly every significant problem is to vote, which I've done, along side millions doing likewise. I guess I missed where the government, when controlled by the Democrats, managed to pass comprehensive legislation enshrining Roe into law when the chance presented itself.

    Shouting at people that they should wait their turn and vote after they've spent the last two decades of their lives seeing the popular vote fail repeatedly (due to gerrymandering/electoral college/asssholes in Brooks Brothers/whathaveyou) seems strikingly tonedeaf. "Now now, just wait your turn. Sure, people have pushed you aside and jumped in front of you every single time it's supposed to be your turn, but wait until the next go round, surely it won't happen again!"

    People got off their asses and voted two years ago. Historic fucking levels. This still happened. And yes, I get it, the response there is "they needed to have voted in the election before that, and before that, and before that" and at what point, how far back do we have to go before any voting that we do actually matters? And, until that question can be reasonably answered, and answered in a way that doesn't make people throw their hands up because the answer shows voting won't ever matter, maybe don't shit on people who call bullshit on the "don't like it? Vote!" response.

    I didn't like it. Neither did an overwhelming majority of Americans. Meanwhile, we still ended up with three hardcore right wing judges that shouldn't, according to the rules of the game, be there. Now tsk tsk and tell us all to play by the rules again.
    posted by Ghidorah at 8:26 AM on May 3 [96 favorites]


    > and voters need to elect pro-choice officials

    who will act on those beliefs and on the supermajority opinions of their constituents.


    I've been on a bit of a self-imposed Twitter ban, but broke that last night to clap back at AOC - she tweeted that "People elected Democrats precisely so we could lead in perilous moments like these- to codify Roe, hold corruption accountable, & have a President who uses his legal authority to break through Congressional gridlock on items from student debt to climate. It’s high time we do it."

    My response was: "Don't tell US that. TELL YOUR FELLOW HOUSE REPS that."
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:27 AM on May 3 [40 favorites]


    Long term, a reversal of Roe is not the political victory reversal advocates think. Too many Americans simply believe that, on its moral merits, abortion should be legal and generally available on a limited basis. Over time, legislative processes produce clear losers, and the extreme anti-abortion movement will lose legislatively, pretty much across the board. Ironically the final dagger in the heart of the extreme anti-abortionist movement will consist of Roe's reversal.

    ...I don't even know what to say to this other than read the room?
    posted by lazaruslong at 8:28 AM on May 3 [16 favorites]


    My response was: "Don't tell US that. TELL YOUR FELLOW HOUSE REPS that."

    The House already passed a bill, "with only one Democrat, Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas, voting against it".
    posted by BungaDunga at 8:30 AM on May 3 [14 favorites]


    I have a vision of Revolutionary War battles in my head, with conservatives firing from cover and using any tactic imaginable to win, and Democratic Bluecoats marching across the field in unison in a proper and dignified line.

    And when they keep falling over, the remaining Bluecoats are told that they simply need to march more precisely in line with the drumbeat of Decorum.
    posted by delfin at 8:31 AM on May 3 [23 favorites]


    My response was: "Don't tell US that. TELL YOUR FELLOW HOUSE REPS that."

    AOC's standing with her peers is much lower than her social media presence and savvy. Pelosi et al have looked down at her since day one for having the temerity to call to action.

    Don't think for a second that AOC isn't making impassioned speeches and working behind the scenes as well.

    But she has outsized social media reach and can get constituents of other districts to contact their Reps and Senators. This is a public reminder that the Dems can and will be primaried if they fail to act.
    posted by explosion at 8:39 AM on May 3 [19 favorites]


    People got off their asses and voted two years ago. Historic fucking levels. This still happened. And yes, I get it, the response there is "they needed to have voted in the election before that, and before that, and before that" and at what point, how far back do we have to go before any voting that we do actually matters?
    In this particular case, you only have to go back to the 2016 elections.
    posted by Flunkie at 8:41 AM on May 3 [13 favorites]


    People got off their asses and voted two years ago. Historic fucking levels. This still happened. And yes, I get it, the response there is "they needed to have voted in the election before that, and before that, and before that" and at what point, how far back do we have to go before any voting that we do actually matters? And, until that question can be reasonably answered, and answered in a way that doesn't make people throw their hands up because the answer shows voting won't ever matter, maybe don't shit on people who call bullshit on the "don't like it? Vote!" response.

    What's your suggestion for an alternative?

    It's bullshit to say "voting doesn't matter because I voted the right way and bad things still happened." We have to vote the right AND encourage more and more people to vote the right way. Every time we take our eye off the ball, bad shit happens. We drop the 50-state solution and the Tea Party kicks our asses in 2010. Some people decide they dislike Hillary and we get four years of Trump and the three justices necessary to overturn Roe.

    No amount of marching or organizing is going to convince Joe Manchin or Susan Collins to do the right thing. We need to start at the bottom and elect pro-choice candidates in every county council, state legislature, and Congressional seat. We need to fight gerrymandering so that Democrats don't need a 12-point lead just to have a majority in a state legislature. We need to strongly encourage the bottleneck of 70+ Democrats to elevate young voices in their own party (Pelosi, Hoyer, Clyburn, and Leahy are all over 80; Schumer is 71 and Durbin is 77). We need to build a strong bench of Democrats throughout the country so that we aren't reliant on the whims of a Manchin or a Sinema to get anything done.

    It's easy to feel cynical. I feel it too. But the most important power in our arsenal is voting and we need to continue to exercise it and do whatever we can to make sure others do too.
    posted by Ben Trismegistus at 8:44 AM on May 3 [36 favorites]


    Too many Americans simply believe that, on its moral merits, abortion should be legal and generally available on a limited basis.

    Reminder: Public opinion on abortion is much more divided than you'd guess from, say, reading this site. Only about a quarter to a third of Americans think that abortion should be legal under any circumstance, and only about half think abortion is "morally acceptable."

    But it's much less divided than much of the "both sides" news coverage suggests: Only about a third of Americans think Roe should be overturned.

    Link above goes to Gallup's page, which includes many historical trends; see also this Pew article, which goes into more detail, including breakdowns by various subgroups.
    posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 8:47 AM on May 3 [11 favorites]


    My response was: "Don't tell US that. TELL YOUR FELLOW HOUSE REPS that."

    The House already passed a bill, "with only one Democrat, Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas, voting against it".


    The problem is the Senate (and also the overrepresentation of Republicans in the House due to gerrymandering, but mostly the Senate).
    posted by Gelatin at 8:50 AM on May 3 [4 favorites]


    Thanks, Justice Ginsburg

    Two of the other non-Ginsburg justices have credible allegations of sexual assault against them, who are presumably voting in favor of taking away established legal rights from women. If you want to give ironic thanks, you might give it to those two fuckers, particularly.
    posted by They sucked his brains out! at 8:59 AM on May 3 [33 favorites]


    We need to start at the bottom and elect pro-choice candidates in every county council, state legislature, and Congressional seat.

    The thing is, there are people in this thread who have done just that, going back years. For all of the very sensible, very correct urging in your comment, you neglect one thing: everything you said should have been in past tense because for all of the people who did just those things you are suggesting, throwing their votes into an increasingly more and more rigged ballot box (gerrymandering, etc) each time, this is where we still are, with a SCOTUS that is going to upend Roe v Wade while merrily setting precedent for upending pretty much all civil rights legislation.

    People should, you say, and they do. Should have, you say, when they did. And yet, here we are, and pointing that out is a bullshit complaint? "It's easy to feel cynical" you say, yet what's the solution? Give it our all and hope *this* time Lucy doesn't yank the football away? Or that the suckers we've sent up to kick the ball will actually do what we've elected them (time and again) to do?

    And you're right, I don't have a better solution. I've literally tried the way you suggest, the way that's been suggested all my life, to vote, and vote some more, and vote again, and we're still heading towards a nation where Roe is overturned. How is this the right or just thing? And if it isn't and following the right and just path still gets us to this point, well then what the hell do we do now, because more of the same just brings us back to having this discussion when states start outlawing birth control, or recriminalizing interracial marriage.
    posted by Ghidorah at 9:00 AM on May 3 [25 favorites]


    I didn’t know Roe vs. Wade was based on the right to privacy. So does that mean we need a specific constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to privacy?
    posted by gt2 at 9:01 AM on May 3 [1 favorite]


    we have one already
    posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 9:02 AM on May 3 [5 favorites]


    Thanks, Justice Ginsburg

    What's this for?

    Are you suggesting that....she shouldn't have died? Everyone dies.

    Are you suggesting she should have died during Biden's tenure? She didn't have any say in the matter.

    Are you suggesting that she should have retired during Obama's administration so he could have appointed another judge? He did have a shot to appoint a judge, and Mitch McConnell blocked it. So instead this should be "thanks, Mitch McConnell".
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:03 AM on May 3 [62 favorites]


    Thanks, Justice Ginsburg

    Do. Fucking. Not. Even.
    posted by The Bellman at 9:04 AM on May 3 [52 favorites]


    I seriously wonder if we can split the country up between the coastal states vs. the red states in the middle.

    In which case you consign myself and my family, and countless others, to live in a fascist theocracy. No, thanks.
    posted by Gelatin at 9:06 AM on May 3 [28 favorites]


    People should, you say, and they do. Should have, you say, when they did. And yet, here we are, and pointing that out is a bullshit complaint? "It's easy to feel cynical" you say, yet what's the solution? Give it our all and hope *this* time Lucy doesn't yank the football away? Or that the suckers we've sent up to kick the ball will actually do what we've elected them (time and again) to do?

    You're right, of course. We can't change the past, but all we can do is continue to do the right thing for the future. The only way to win is one person at a time.
    posted by Ben Trismegistus at 9:09 AM on May 3 [2 favorites]


    "Originalists" want antebellum governance. They want a return to that place. Every bit of it.
    posted by zerobyproxy at 9:09 AM on May 3 [6 favorites]


    Thanks, Justice Ginsburg
    posted by banshee


    Do not do this woman-blaming shit, here, today. She protected ours rights as long as she was able, and she is a goddamn hero.
    posted by tiny frying pan at 9:11 AM on May 3 [47 favorites]


    I've literally tried the way you suggest, the way that's been suggested all my life, to vote, and vote some more, and vote again, and we're still heading towards a nation where Roe is overturned. How is this the right or just thing? And if it isn't and following the right and just path still gets us to this point, well then what the hell do we do now, because more of the same just brings us back to having this discussion when states start outlawing birth control, or recriminalizing interracial marriage.

    Here's the thing: there are plenty of us in here saying that "but I do vote and I have voted all the time". Nevertheless - this country as a whole has a piss-poor voter turnout record. The 2020 turnout has been acknowledged as a "record high turnout" - but that "record high" is only 67%. That's only like a "D+".

    Also, that's for a general election. For the smaller local races it's even worse - only one year after this general election, New York City had a mayoral race, and it had a record low turnout, with only 23% of eligible voters turning up. The primary races were just as low.

    So that ire you're feeling about being told "people need to vote" again? Direct it at the people who aren't doing what you're doing. It's like they're part of our team project from 7th grade where we were assigned to a team of popular kids who slacked off and made us do all the work. The shit grade isn't because we did a bad job, the shit grade is because the popular kids slacked off and THEY should start chipping in.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:12 AM on May 3 [24 favorites]


    Really, the Democrats need to play as dirty and united as the Republicans do. That is why they win. Going high has categorically not worked and here we are.
    posted by jenfullmoon at 9:13 AM on May 3 [16 favorites]


    In which case you consign myself and my family, and countless others, to live in a fascist theocracy. No, thanks.

    Not to mention there are plenty of "coastal states" that are actually red (the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida, for a start) but which that person would probably imagines should be excluded.

    As a lefty southerner, you'd think I'd be over being shocked by now at how many supposed progressives have as provincial of attitudes about the south as they believe the south does about everywhere else, but somehow it continues to surprise.
    posted by zztzed at 9:13 AM on May 3 [28 favorites]


    Are you suggesting that she should have retired during Obama's administration so he could have appointed another judge? He did have a shot to appoint a judge, and Mitch McConnell blocked it.

    Democrats held the Senate for six years of Obama's presidency, McConnell didn't have the ability to simply veto a replacement until the Republicans won a Senate majority.
    posted by BungaDunga at 9:14 AM on May 3 [18 favorites]


    I seriously wonder if we can split the country up between the coastal states vs. the red states in the middle. At this point I honestly feel like we all need to divorce each other because live and let live is not going to happen.

    Regular reminder - that has already happened at least once in this thread already - that there is far more of an urban/rural divide than red state vs blue state divide. Georgia has turned purple-ish because of Atlanta, Virginia the same because of the growing sprawl of DC, the "liberal sinful decaying corrupt California" that conservatives like to threaten people with has more Republican voters than many reliably red states, they're just overwhelmed by the LA & SF & other cities' voters. On and on and on and on.
    posted by soundguy99 at 9:16 AM on May 3 [21 favorites]


    "Originalists" want antebellum governance. They want a return to that place. Every bit of it.

    To quote famed emotional support lawyer Mike Dunford:

    The most pernicious thing in the entire leaked Alito opinion is that rights are only protected if they are "deeply rooted."

    The only deeply rooted rights in America are those designed to protect cis [heterosexual] white men.

    Brown v Board was less than 20 years before Roe.

    Loving v Virginia was 6 years before Roe.

    They are - compared with the rest of our history - at most marginally more deeply rooted than Roe.

    posted by delfin at 9:17 AM on May 3 [37 favorites]


    So in the world where a state outlaws abortion under all circumstances, what happens to women with ectopic pregnancies? Are they allowed to get the fertility-damaging not-an-abortion abortions that Catholics with ectopic pregnancies are supposed to get or are they supposed to just die?
    posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:18 AM on May 3 [2 favorites]


    If there's been as many decades of voter turnout issues as there have been (and vote suppression throughout, not to lose that point), I don't think "just vote harder" is going to be *useful*, even if it's technically correct. If protecting rights is balanced on repeatedly delivering record-high turnout, then alternatives need to be in the mix.

    There's people that've been working in these spaces for years & decades, I'd rather listen to them than try and reinvent things myself. And I'm not saying to abandon electoralism either, it's a tool that sometimes slows the onrush. But the only viable option can't be "just keep overwhelming increasing structural barricades through sheer numbers".
    posted by CrystalDave at 9:20 AM on May 3 [10 favorites]


    The Republican logic about dangerous pregnancies: if they're poor or non-white, dying is okay. If they're rich and white, they'll get an abortion from an undocumented clinic.
    posted by seanmpuckett at 9:21 AM on May 3 [10 favorites]


    If there's been as many decades of voter turnout issues as there have been (and vote suppression throughout, not to lose that point), I don't think "just vote harder" is going to be *useful*, even if it's technically correct.

    Maybe the "just vote" messages actually aren't for the people who vote already.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:21 AM on May 3 [15 favorites]


    And when they keep falling over, the remaining Bluecoats are told that they simply need to march more precisely in line with the drumbeat of Decorum.

    And as the smoke settled and the battlefield was littered with the Legion of Democrats one could almost hear their battle cry whisper on the winds:

    her emails !
    posted by NoThisIsPatrick at 9:21 AM on May 3 [7 favorites]


    Reminds me of the classic "The Only Moral Abortion is My Abortion."

    - The Underpants Monster*

    I had an ethics professor when I was in seminary who got interested in theology because her father was a a fundamentalist evangelical minister who was huge in the early fundagelical pro-life movement. She had sex with her boyfriend. She thought she was pregnant. She went to her mother. Her mother told her, Don't you DARE tell your father; we are going to the next state over to take care of it. And she protested that her father was pro-life and constantly preached about teenaged girls who got pregnant having their babies for Jesus! And her mother said, "Yes, but he doesn't mean you, it would ruin his career." And she said, "But a baby is more important than a career or social status, that's what he says!" and her mother said, "BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT HE REALLY MEANS." Anyway, she was not pregnant, but she became a prominent theologian as a result of her parents' hypocrisy. But the point of the story is, both her father and her mother were extremely prominent pro-life evangelical leaders whose entire public life was preaching against abortion, but they never had any concern that they themselves would not be able to access abortion if they wanted to, because they had money, power, connections, and the ability to travel.
    - Eyebrows McGee

    I worked at a clinic in the 1970s, was an active member of our local ProChoice Network and clinic escort in the 1980s and 90s, and participated in countless clinic defense efforts. For decades I've told everyone I know that anti-choicers support abortion only in their own special circumstances. The hypocrisy is absolutely stunning.

    The people who will be hit worst by this will be those who can't easily leave for a place where abortion is legal, or who get discovered as pregnant before they can.
    - Chrysopoeia

    SO much this. It has always been a class and racial issue. As a clinic escort, I witnessed anti-choice people specifically targeting white women as they entered while ignoring Black women.

    *My favorite user name I've ever seen.
    posted by Scout405 at 9:23 AM on May 3 [23 favorites]


    The House already passed a bill, "with only one Democrat, Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas, voting against it".

    Pelosi, Clyburn, and the rest of the House Democratic leadership are actively campaigning for and devoting resources in support of Cuellar, an anti-choice Democrat under FBI investigation, over his progressive, pro-choice primary opponent, btw.

    Absolute garbage they are.
    posted by Gadarene at 9:24 AM on May 3 [25 favorites]


    Maybe the "just vote" messages actually aren't for the people who vote already.

    And maybe the "just vote" messages should take into account and acknowledge the stunning level of voter suppression being implemented in so many states. Maybe the people who exhort everyone to "just vote" would better serve their goals by devoting energy to combating that instead.

    Biden said today that it falls on the voters to do something about this. Fuck that. The voters have done what they can do in the face of a rigged system. Do something about the fucking system.
    posted by Gadarene at 9:27 AM on May 3 [46 favorites]


    I know people are scared with good reason, but the reason we're in this thread now, instead of somewhere else, is that we basically trust and (to the extent we know each other and the community) care about each other. Our similarities are much greater than our differences, and we can best help each other by discussing the actions we can agree on, rather than those we can't.
    posted by howfar at 9:28 AM on May 3 [13 favorites]


    I seriously wonder if we can split the country up between the coastal states vs. the red states in the middle. At this point I honestly feel like we all need to divorce each other because live and let live is not going to happen.

    As someone in a red state, what I really want to say to this would get my comment deleted, so instead I'll say this:

    I really "enjoy" it when people's fantasies of creating a better political reality for themselves involve writing me off as a sacrifice.

    I absolutely "love" it when people who rely the most on federal law to protect their rights are the first to be told that their protection isn't important.

    I totally "agree" that dividing the country into two - one nation where important rights are protected and one nation where they aren't - is a desirable solution, and I don't remember anyone ever trying that before.

    (rage keysmash feelings go here)
    posted by Kutsuwamushi at 9:29 AM on May 3 [81 favorites]


    In this thread, I've seen a couple references to "Justice Handmaid". I don't think that's a good nickname for her. It seems to me that a more appropriate nickname from the same original context would be "Aunt Justice".

    The handmaids were not the oppressors.
    posted by Flunkie at 9:33 AM on May 3 [21 favorites]


    (I'm totally down for the also-from-this-thread nickname "Justice Beer", though)
    posted by Flunkie at 9:34 AM on May 3 [14 favorites]


    Really, the Democrats need to play as dirty and united as the Republicans do.

    This will never, ever happen. This country needs to develop a genuine, fighting, red-in-tooth-and-claw left again, but that's a multi-generational project that it will take a lot more pain to even start.

    In the meantime, we'll get patronizing, no-skin-in-the-game weakness and accommodation from rich ghouls like Pelosi and Schumer.
    posted by ryanshepard at 9:36 AM on May 3 [19 favorites]


    Voter turnout kinda sucks everywhere that voting isn't
    1) Easily available, with mail in and days off for voting
    and
    2) Mandatory, like it is most places where they developed electoral democracy more recently than 250 years ago/ are more open to alteration of their system to meet the actual needs of a functional voting system.

    Arguing about "just vote more" is exactly like the comparison to a group project--you can call or email the slackers in the group all you want, begging them for the sake of your grade, but if they cared you wouldn't have to beg them in the first place.
    posted by Grim Fridge at 9:37 AM on May 3 [11 favorites]


    this is a periodic reminder that we do not have Red States and Blue States, lined up against each other like so many sports franchises.

    I increasingly think that's where this is headed. Civil war.

    I have been fretting about the seemingly inevitable downfall of the republic as we know it since Citizens United, and the rise of christofascism in America since at least 2016.

    We're going to end up with our version of The Troubles.

    What a time to be alive.

    I am so, so tired.
    posted by rustybullrake at 9:38 AM on May 3 [12 favorites]


    The problem with dividing the nation, if it were even feasible (it's not) is that the conservative powers are absolutely not going to be content with half the pie, any more than the South was. They will sooner or later commit violence to take the whole damn thing.

    As I said upthread, they are already taking action to prevent other states from allowing or supporting abortion. They have no intention of stopping at their borders.

    And talking about what we should or can do when voting and protesting fails? Well it would probably get us in trouble.
    posted by emjaybee at 9:39 AM on May 3 [14 favorites]


    Really, the Democrats need to play as dirty and united as the Republicans do

    That involves death threats and kompromat. I prefer the left to fight like Ukraine, not Russia.
    posted by Ansible at 9:42 AM on May 3 [9 favorites]


    Interesting Twitter thread from Amy Kapczynski, a Yale Law professor and former Supreme Court clerk, on why the leak may have come from **conservative** side of the clerk. (She's thinking a clerk, while some colleagues think it's a justice.)
    TL; DR: They leaked it because they think Roberts was wobbling and pushing for weaker language, and this forces them to be in lockstep.
    posted by martin q blank at 9:44 AM on May 3 [11 favorites]


    I apologize for what I said. I was absolutely wrong and deserve all the Internet smackings for that. Mods, please delete my comment. I should not be implying that it's okay to sacrifice all the people living in the middle.
    posted by jenfullmoon at 9:44 AM on May 3 [18 favorites]


    That involves death threats and kompromat. I prefer the left to fight like Ukraine, not Russia.

    i'm all for supporting ukraine, but it's not like they're using polite words to blow up tanks and destroy convoys?
    posted by i used to be someone else at 9:49 AM on May 3 [12 favorites]


    Lady Justice holds a frigging sword, people.
    posted by seanmpuckett at 9:51 AM on May 3 [13 favorites]


    I absolutely "love" it when people who rely the most on federal law to protect their rights are the first to be told that their protection isn't important.

    With yet another gentle reminder that those protections via federal law are recent. Not ancient American history, but within the lifetimes of some who are reading this post.

    Sixty-odd years ago, there were bloody battles over African-American civil rights across America. Women were fighting -- and still are -- for equal rights under the law and in the workplace. LGBT folks were considered criminals and sometimes mentally ill. A Catholic candidate for the Presidency was controversial. I have a TV show on in the background that is older than all of that. And when federal law started to come around and declare "Blacks are full citizens, too, and we mean it this time," a chunk of the Democratic Party responded with "we won't be part of a party that endorses that" and defected to the other side.

    Millions of Americans feel that their caste (white cis hetero conservative Christians) are real, authentic Americans and that no one else is, and that no outsiders can tell them how they have to treat inferiors and savages and godless heathens. We had a Civil War in the 1800s over the sentiment. The belief has never faded. Trump's rise was because he openly pandered to it -- that he would help those people reclaim control over America's caste system. Alito's openly-stated goal here is to do precisely that -- to reverse federal protections and allow states to be as bigoted and religiously-driven and oppressive towards The Other as they choose to be.

    Our battles never end. Only the frontlines' location changes.
    posted by delfin at 9:53 AM on May 3 [43 favorites]


    Lady Justice holds a frigging sword, people.

    Lady Justice knows that love without power is sentimental and anemic at best. Justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.
    posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:54 AM on May 3 [8 favorites]


    I have never been more glad that I chose to be permanently sterilized.

    In this thread, I've seen a couple references to "Justice Handmaid". I don't think that's a good nickname for her. It seems to me that a more appropriate nickname from the same original context would be "Aunt Justice".

    The handmaids were not the oppressors.


    Yes, it's incorrect to call her a Handmaid. She's not even an Aunt, because even though they were collaborators to some extent, and possibly even true believers, it was the only position of any power available to women who were not or could not become Wives of powerful men in that regime. She's Justice Serena Joy, a free woman who purposely and consciously chose to remove the rights of all women to suit her political, religious and personal agenda.

    But unlike Serena Joy, she will not chafe against the restrictions of the world she has created. She will not suffer the loss of her rights. Her whiteness, wealth and political affiliation will allow her to step on and over the women she has condemned to lives of misery. She will not be affected when this decision dominoes into overturning other landmark cases and strips away even more civil rights.
    posted by i feel possessed at 9:57 AM on May 3 [15 favorites]


    Y'all are right, of course, that ousting the justices who lied their way into the court isn't a realistic possibility. I shouldn't have even brought it up; it' just I keep falling back into the illusion that both parties think words mean things and that consequences exist
    posted by ook at 10:01 AM on May 3 [7 favorites]


    Are you suggesting that she should have retired during Obama's administration so he could have appointed another judge?

    Yep; she should've retired when she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2009 and Democrats held both houses of Congress. We're here now in part because she didn't. At least as much as we are because of McConnell and his fuckery.
    posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 10:01 AM on May 3 [31 favorites]


    A Catholic candidate for the Presidency was controversial

    A Catholic President was shot dead in the South.
    posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 10:01 AM on May 3 [17 favorites]


    a couple references to "Justice Handmaid". I don't think that's a good nickname for her. It seems to me that a more appropriate nickname from the same original context would be "Aunt Justice"

    i think of her as the honorable justice ofJesse, though that is not quite right, too.
    posted by 20 year lurk at 10:03 AM on May 3 [1 favorite]


    One thing I've not seen in this thread so far is the critical importance of expanding SCOTUS if there's any hope of any law legalizing abortion nationwide is ever going to actually stay on the books. The christofascist wing has made it perfectly clear they will rule as they see fit with no regard for precedent or any reasonable interpretation of the Constitution. Believe them.

    (Impeaching at least Thomas & Kavanaugh would also work in theory, but in practice the consensus seems to be that would be even more difficult than expanding the court.)

    I fear that even if a huge amount of protesting/backchannel leverage/whatever it takes gets the Women's Health Protection Act through the senate that it would only end up gutted by the current SCOTUS and that would be even more demoralizing. Fixing the court has to happen first.
    posted by bcd at 10:03 AM on May 3 [4 favorites]


    I have three granddaughters and it's hard for me to believe that nearly 50 years after Roe v. Wade that they have to deal with this bullshit. Sorry girls, we tried, but 45 was elected and got 3 justices on the SC and here we are. Gods help us all.
    posted by Lynsey at 10:08 AM on May 3 [6 favorites]


    On the subject of 'words no longer mean things', the prepared right wing talking point about this is that it's a literal "insurrection". Not the decision, of course. The leak about it.
    posted by ook at 10:10 AM on May 3 [2 favorites]


    I fear that even if a huge amount of protesting/backchannel leverage/whatever it takes gets the Women's Health Protection Act through the senate that it would only end up gutted by the current SCOTUS and that would be even more demoralizing. Fixing the court has to happen first.

    imho SCOTUS striking down such a law would be one of the few things that could galvanize expanding the court.

    The chaos hardball move would be to include a poison pill in the law that expands the court if the rest of the law gets struck down, though obviously the court could just claim that that clause itself must be struck too
    posted by BungaDunga at 10:12 AM on May 3 [1 favorite]


    W/r/t calling the leak an insurrection: There's absolutely nothing the right-wing can get that they can't pretend to be victimized over, huh?
    posted by gee_the_riot at 10:13 AM on May 3 [11 favorites]


    Also, last night I was already seeing the 'argument' that the barricade in front of the SCOTUS building means that leftists are terrorists.
    posted by LindsayIrene at 10:13 AM on May 3 [1 favorite]


    Apparently the barricade went up in front of the Court a few weeks ago, after that climate activist set himself on fire on the steps of the building.
    posted by suelac at 10:18 AM on May 3 [1 favorite]


    We have 9 justices but 13 circuits and the GOP was making noises about splitting the 9th to reduce its influence. How about #OneCircuitOneJustice
    posted by zaixfeep at 10:19 AM on May 3 [22 favorites]


    On the subject of 'words no longer mean things', the prepared right wing talking point about this is that it's a literal "insurrection". Not the decision, of course. The leak about it.

    In addition to the bad faith, which is a given, let's also recognize this tack as an admission that Republicans feel vulnerable about their all too real insurrection, as well they should.
    posted by Gelatin at 10:20 AM on May 3 [10 favorites]


    We have 9 justices but 13 circuits and the GOP was making noises about splitting the 9th to reduce its influence. How about #OneCircuitOneJustice

    This genuinely makes sound logical and historical sense and should be the approach taken, in my opinion.
    posted by Gadarene at 10:35 AM on May 3 [11 favorites]


    Long term, a reversal of Roe is not the political victory reversal advocates think. Too many Americans simply believe that, on its moral merits, abortion should be legal and generally available on a limited basis. Over time, legislative processes produce clear losers, and the extreme anti-abortion movement will lose legislatively, pretty much across the board. Ironically the final dagger in the heart of the extreme anti-abortionist movement will consist of Roe's reversal.

    1) It's a nice thought.

    2) Given the timing, there's going to be an awful lot of women in real trouble until that happens. If it does, it could be decades.

    3) I'm not sure it's even true. Yes, if you elected a unicameral legislature with total legislative power proportionately from the whole country, such a body would probably sufficiently respond to the American majority viewpoint that abortion should (often) be legal. However the US electoral system doesn't work that way. Is it not more likely that the US will revert to something close to the pre-Roe world? Many states will allow it, many others won't. Many other things that would be popular on a strict % basis have not been passed, you know?
    posted by atrazine at 10:40 AM on May 3 [5 favorites]


    The thing that I find infuriating about just vote / well you should have voted / well some people didn't vote for this one candidate is that it reduces political struggle to ticking a box once or twice a year, frequently in uncompetitive elections, as if that's the sum total of what's going on here.

    Those of us who did all of the things that people are citing, and are represented by Democratic candidates at every level of local, state, and federal government, somehow find ourselves in this mess all the same.

    Voting clearly is not enough. It is not enough to have a party that acts passively and as if it is in opposition when it controls the executive branch and both legislative houses, or a party that will come out guns a blazing against its own candidates when they suggest holding corrupt banking institutions accountable or providing people with health care, but that turns into a lapcat the second that Senator Coal Baron conveniently decides to obstruct the fulfillment of the party's supposed platform.

    We need action and organizing. We need community level support, we need organizations that will work to offset the impact of this decision, we need a coordinated push on meaningful legislation at multiple levels of government, and we need to kick politicians to the curb when they fail us. We also need leaders who are committed to stewardship and mentorship rather than clinging to power. We need people to think of this as an ongoing and everyday struggle that requires persistent effort inside and outside of electoral politics and not something they can simply revisit semi-annually at a ballot box.
    posted by evidenceofabsence at 10:43 AM on May 3 [33 favorites]


    We have 9 justices but 13 circuits and the GOP was making noises about splitting the 9th to reduce its influence. How about #OneCircuitOneJustice

    Congress should have acted on this in early 2021. Now it would be even more impossible than it would have been then. We can't even get enough votes in the Senate to protect voting rights.
    posted by Ben Trismegistus at 10:45 AM on May 3 [1 favorite]


    Voting clearly is not enough...We need action and organizing. We need community level support, we need organizations that will work to offset the impact of this decision, we need a coordinated push on meaningful legislation at multiple levels of government

    We need to recognise that American form of government is irrevocably broken and probably beyond salvaging. The minoritarian biases built into the design of the Senate, along with the way the demographic distribution of the population has played out, means that the far-right majority on the Supreme Court is probably durable in the long term regardless of who gets elected in blue states. I'm not sure I see any way forward from here that doesn't end in either overt authoritarian Christian nationalism and a country that looks like a cross between a Christian Iraq and apartheid South Africa, on the one hand, or disunion and potential civil war, on the other hand. That's where we are, as a country; Republicans are absolutely the enemy, they no longer care about winning majorities and plan to govern anyway, and if you oppose that then it's time to wake up and realise that you're at war.
    posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 10:48 AM on May 3 [49 favorites]


    I grew up nondenominational and unchurched so I don’t entirely understand why, but something has been happening over the past few decades with Protestant interpretation of contraception. If we’re smart we will protect the right to access it - a coalition of radicals had been built that interpret it all as abortifacient, not “just” plan B.
    posted by Selena777 at 10:50 AM on May 3 [4 favorites]


    I'm an outsider here, so who am I to opine on how the highest court of another country should work, but I don't think increasing the size of the court can by itself fix the problem. The problem is that the judiciary is supposed to be outside politics and non-partisan, but in the U.S. it no longer is. There should be no such thing as republican or democratic justices.

    So, hire an outside consultant to find a way to restructure (not just expand) the court so it is no longer partisan. Here! I'm an outsider, I'll do it for free! Here's my idea that I've been floating since Trump appointed 3 justices.

    1. Expand or don't expand the number of permanent justices. Doesn't matter for my plan. But let's say there are P permanent Justices (PJs).

    2. Each case is heard by a combination of PJs and RJs (rotating justices). So for example, the rule could be each case will be heard by 4 PJs and 5 RJs. (There needs to be the same fixed number for every case).

    3. OK, so these rotating justices: There is a list of rotating justices who are randomly assigned to cases. Who is on this list? Federal judges who are approved by ALL the permanent justices. So each year, every PJ gets a list of all the federal justices and they yay or nay every judge. Judges who are approved by ALL justices can be on the list of rotating justices who can sit on supreme court cases.

    Of course what this would be mean is that permanent justices would just have to suck it up and get over their partisan leanings to think about who are the best legal scholars and jurists, and federal judges hoping to serve as rotating judges could not be strongly partisan. If there are NO federal judges approved by all PJs then either the president better get on appointing some less partisan judges (both as federal judges and supreme court justices when there are positions to fill there) and the justices themselves better start broadening their minds a little because if the court doesn't sit one year because there are no rotating justices available to sit (because no one was approved) then the justices aren't getting paid for that year.

    Also, I think it goes without saying, but at lower levels in places where judges are elected, judges should not run with party affiliations. They should all run as independents. The judiciary needs to be non-partisan.

    My understanding is that the constitution does not specify the form the court must take, so this change would be entirely within the president's authority to make happen.

    Somebody print this out and put it on Biden's desk.
    posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:51 AM on May 3 [8 favorites]


    I grew up nondenominational and unchurched so I don’t entirely understand why, but something has been happening over the past few decades with Protestant interpretation of contraception. If we’re smart we will protect the right to access it - a coalition of radicals had been built that interpret it all as abortifacient, not “just” plan B.

    We didn't need Alito's garbage opinion to know that the radical right is coming after Griswold next.
    posted by Gelatin at 10:56 AM on May 3 [5 favorites]


    I grew up nondenominational and unchurched so I don’t entirely understand why, but something has been happening over the past few decades with Protestant interpretation of contraception.

    American fascism has always, always, say-it-again-can-I-get-an-amen-always been cloaked in the robes of the (Christian) church. This is another chapter in the same book.
    posted by Etrigan at 10:56 AM on May 3 [22 favorites]


    Also, I think it goes without saying, but at lower levels in places where judges are elected, judges should not run with party affiliations. They should all run as independents. The judiciary needs to be non-partisan.

    Your latter two sentences are not at all related to each other. A lot of places in the US have nonpartisan judge elections. What happens is the local GOP and (to a much lesser extent) the local Democratic Party still endorses, and most of the people who bother voting on those lines vote exactly how you'd predict they would if the candidates were allowed to have R or D next to their names.
    posted by Etrigan at 10:58 AM on May 3 [7 favorites]


    I think it's entirely possible that we can build a better future, I'm just having a hard time seeing that happen prior to really terrible things happening first.. history is full of empires and countries "ending"

    as a northern neighbour who only has to drive 40 minutes to come upon a truck trailer with a big "pro-life" message right on a major highway, I do not feel insulated from this discussion at all. I take no comfort from the "fringe" status of the Christian Heritage Party in my neck of the woods, or the People's Party of Canada for that matter.. the crazies and the bullies are gathering their ranks and they are coming.

    Babylonians, Assyrians, Persians, Romans, English, Americans.. we all have to face the Empire at some point
    posted by elkevelvet at 11:00 AM on May 3 [7 favorites]


    This leak is completely unprecedented and, by that I mean, completely precedented.
    posted by jonp72 at 11:05 AM on May 3 [18 favorites]


    Big FYI for those planning to stockpile Plan B: it has a weight limit of 155 pounds. There are many many people for whom it is ineffective and should not be relied on.
    posted by Bottlecap at 11:13 AM on May 3 [6 favorites]


    Well, Schumer's trying something anyway....
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:15 AM on May 3 [3 favorites]


    This leak is completely unprecedented and, by that I mean, completely precedented.

    Doofenshmirtz, J.
    posted by The Bellman at 11:24 AM on May 3 [2 favorites]


    Only way Schumer's thing works is if the filibuster is put aside, which Manchin and Sinema have both long said that they won't allow to happen without bipartisan support.

    I suppose it's theoretically possible that Collins and/or Murkowski could serve as "bipartisan support" now that Roe's dismantling is all but complete, but I'd place money on them continuing to be concerned. Perhaps even very concerned.
    posted by Flunkie at 11:25 AM on May 3 [12 favorites]


    Not The Onion, and yet news that will surprise no one in this thread:

    In Leaked Abortion Decision, Justice Alito Relies on Jurist Who Supported Marital Rape, Executed 'Witches'
    posted by martin q blank at 11:27 AM on May 3 [27 favorites]


    Big FYI for those planning to stockpile Plan B: it has a weight limit of 155 pounds. There are many many people for whom it is ineffective and should not be relied on.

    The data on the supposed weight limit is inconclusive, at best, and the FDA recommends it for all, "regardless of how much they weigh".
    posted by Ahmad Khani at 11:38 AM on May 3 [5 favorites]


    I hate slippery slope warnings, but this feels like we're on the fascist dictatorship slope and only accelerating. The left has underestimated the power of what the right has been doing since before Reagan. Now it's too late to stop it.
    posted by tommasz at 11:48 AM on May 3 [4 favorites]


    deet da deet deet dat deet! welcome back for another round of recommending robert evans!! I'm your host, snerson!!!

    I grew up nondenominational and unchurched so I don’t entirely understand why, but something has been happening over the past few decades with Protestant interpretation of contraception.

    To answer why this shit is fucked, and why it's christianty's fault*, we're recommending these episodes of Behind the Bastards podcast (with a general content warning):

    Focus on the Family
    How the Rich Ate Christianity
    Josh Duggar (cw for discussions of incest and rape)
    Jim Bakker
    Jerry Falwell
    Phyllis Schlafly

    * no attempts to no true scotsman christianity at me today please and thanks
    posted by snerson at 11:49 AM on May 3 [22 favorites]


    To answer why this shit is fucked, and why it's christianty's fault

    Christianity is just a fig leaf for white supremacy here; this is the outcome of the Republican Party being completely taken over by Dixiecrats in the wake of the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act.
    posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 12:07 PM on May 3 [22 favorites]


    So serously, what's the plan here Democrats?

    Right now I see a lot of hand wrining, a symbolic vote that won't even get 50 votes in the Senate and a lot of Democrats using this for fundraising.

    Is there really no plan? No acton? No nothing? I mean, this has been an anticipated outcome of the Republican theft of the Supreme Court for years now, are you seriously telling me that in all that time and with all the resources at their disposal Pelosi and Schumer didn't do even the tiniest bit of planning on what to do when the Republicans did what theyv'e been saying they'll do for decades?

    I talk a lot of shit about the Democratic establishment, but I'll admit my cynicism seems to be insuffiicient if they really are totally blindsided by this and have nothing planned.

    So we'll go march in our Pink Pussy hats again, and nothing will happen again, and the Republicans will keep winning and we'll just.... let it happen? Is that it?

    Some scolding and finger waving about voting more for the do nothing party and then capitulation to the Republican victory? That's it?
    posted by sotonohito at 12:18 PM on May 3 [38 favorites]


    Roe’s “survey of history ranged from the constitutionally irrelevant to the plainly incorrect,” Alito continues, adding that its reasoning was “exceptionally weak,” and that the original decision has had “damaging consequences.”

    “The inescapable conclusion is that a right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions,” Alito writes.


    Alito's sneering disregard for, uh...everyone...is disgusting, but this bit of hypocrisy made me yelp out loud. Roe's survey of history was incorrect? Oh dear. Professionalized, medical-school trained surgeons are pretty new to abortion, but they didn't invent it, you sexist fuckwit. The use of abortifacients is in fact deeply rooted in the Nation's history and traditions. And ending a pregnancy prior to quickening was legal until roughly the mid-1800s in most of the US.
    posted by desuetude at 12:19 PM on May 3 [27 favorites]


    Christianity is just a fig leaf for white supremacy here; this is the outcome of the Republican Party being completely taken over by Dixiecrats in the wake of the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act.

    Similarly, as the blogger known as slacktivist has pointed out, the religious right took up the issue of abortion to regain the moral high ground after opposing civil rights.
    posted by Gelatin at 12:20 PM on May 3 [20 favorites]


    Is there really no plan? No acton? No nothing? I mean, this has been an anticipated outcome of the Republican theft of the Supreme Court for years now, are you seriously telling me that in all that time and with all the resources at their disposal Pelosi and Schumer didn't do even the tiniest bit of planning on what to do when the Republicans did what theyv'e been saying they'll do for decades?

    Do you have any actionable ideas to share?
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:23 PM on May 3 [12 favorites]


    So we'll go march in our Pink Pussy hats again, and nothing will happen again, and the Republicans will keep winning and we'll just.... let it happen? Is that it?

    If nothing else, the Republicans have handed the Democrats a unifying issue for the 2022 midterms that might keep Congress out of Republican hands, and I don't doubt the Democratic leadership plans to use that advantage, and have a plan for it. I doubt Nancy Pelosi wants to "capitulate" her way into handing McCarthy the Speaker's gavel.
    posted by Gelatin at 12:27 PM on May 3 [6 favorites]


    Is there really no plan? No acton? No nothing? I mean, this has been an anticipated outcome of the Republican theft of the Supreme Court for years now, are you seriously telling me that in all that time and with all the resources at their disposal Pelosi and Schumer didn't do even the tiniest bit of planning on what to do when the Republicans did what theyv'e been saying they'll do for decades?

    Given the evidence we've seen over the last 10 years or so.. no, there is no real plan, beyond pushing it for fundraising. The democratic leadership is far more concerned with personal power than actually doing anything meaningful.
    posted by zug at 12:28 PM on May 3 [10 favorites]


    Do you have any actionable ideas to share?

    Every Democratic politician should be doing what Elizabeth Warren is doing.

    Let's start there.
    posted by Gadarene at 12:31 PM on May 3 [37 favorites]


    desuetude: The use of abortifacients is in fact deeply rooted in the Nation's history and traditions.

    Not to mention the Bible itself, in ye olde Numbers 5.
    posted by clawsoon at 12:33 PM on May 3 [5 favorites]


    They won the 2016 election. Elections have consequences. This is the consequence. If you want to overturn a Supreme Court decision, you have to do what the right wing did. You have to win elections. It took them 50 years, but they eventually won enough to get their way. If we want to get our way, we have to win enough to get that power back. Any other plan is really just kicking and screaming. Win elections.
    posted by OnceUponATime at 12:35 PM on May 3 [20 favorites]


    Christianity is just a fig leaf for white supremacy here
    Push aside the fig leaf, find a fig tree. I can't meaningfully separate christianity from white supremacy from capitalism from imperialism. And I was raised in the church that "predates" all of these concepts (orthodox christianity).

    I have a suggestion, Empress Callipygos. Here's a list of abortion access funds. Perhaps we could all pick a conservative asshole in our locality and set aside a dollar to donate every time they're an asshole, from now until when the ruling comes out? It's not much by itself, but the camaraderie and the focus on local actors is a start.
    posted by snerson at 12:39 PM on May 3 [6 favorites]


    EmpressCallipygos I'm just some random person on the internet. In theory they're supposed to be the 11 dimensional chess master planner political experts who get shit done and know how to get it done.

    That's why I'm asking. WTF is the plan? I'm a nobody, even if I had a plan it wouldn't matter. And I don't. I have no fucking clue what to do.

    The Democratic leadership is supposed to have a clue. That's why they're called "leadership".
    posted by sotonohito at 12:42 PM on May 3 [43 favorites]


    Do you have any actionable ideas to share?

    You're right, the average citizen—who is openly despairing that 1 of 2 political parties available to him seems to be chronically negligent in countering the fascist advances of the other—is equally as culpable as the septuagenarian and octogenarian millionaire career politicians leading the party in this abject failure to act.

    ????

    This kind of clapback deeply saddens me. It's up there with "yet you participate in society."
    posted by rustybullrake at 12:46 PM on May 3 [70 favorites]


    If Dems wanted to do something, they would pass Federal Abortion now, Senate be damned. If they didn't use every threat, blockade, and use of strings to get 50 on board, why should anyone ever trust them again?

    "Vote for us harder next time, really, then we'll put up a strong defense!"

    The only thing that's going to save anyone is mass movement. Like, all labor unions, all professional organizations, all working class people absolutely holding the country hostage until abortion is protected. General strike level of work stoppage, until these feckless cowards and malignant theocrats are brought to their knees.
    posted by Lord Chancellor at 12:46 PM on May 3 [20 favorites]


    In theory they're supposed to be the 11 dimensional chess master planner political experts who get shit done and know how to get it done.

    I disagree. We can't pass Biden's economic agenda because one senator won't agree to any deal (and if he didn't, Kristen Sinema wouldn't either, though she doesn't seem to enjoy attention as much as Manchin does). And we're in that position because the voters of Georgia sent us two Democratic senators.

    The Democratic leadership is supposed to have a clue. That's why they're called "leadership".

    This criticism smacks of the Green Lantern theory of politics, which holds that politicians can do anything if they have enough will, and therefore if they don't achieve a goal, it's because they don't want to.

    Our system is set up to make it actually super hard to get things done, and unfortunately those advantages favor Republicans, who don't want to do anything except cut taxes, outlaw abortion (which doesn't make anyone's life better), and persecute LGTBQ people (which also doesn't make anyone's life better).

    Every Democratic politician should be doing what Elizabeth Warren is doing.

    Much as I love Warren, she's giving a speech. She can't do anything in the Senate so long as Manchin and Sinema oppose removing the filibuster.

    The plan is to vote Republicans out and to vote Democrats in until Republicans wield no appreciable power any more. But that's everyone's responsibility, not just Pelosi's, Schumer's, Warren's, or Biden's.
    posted by Gelatin at 12:54 PM on May 3 [30 favorites]


    The thing about Manchin and Sinema is that they need to be willing to vote with, and support the Democrats at least some of the time, especially on these big issues.

    If they're going to be DINOs, then the Democratic party can, and should, just revoke all support and funding. What's the risk of West Virginia voting a Republican senator into office if Manchin's voting Republican whenever it matters?

    They need to be able to sit Manchin and Sinema down and say, "we need the filibuster gone, and we need some landmark legislation for 2022. You can be the heroes, and we'll make sure some pork comes your way for your voters, or you can be the villains, and we'll make the rest of your political life a nightmare."

    What the hell are they doing if they can't get that done?
    posted by explosion at 12:55 PM on May 3 [35 favorites]


    his might actually lead to enough liberal outrage to affect the previously-foregone midterms.

    Isn't it pretty to think so?
    posted by kirkaracha at 12:56 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]


    If they didn't use every threat, blockade, and use of strings to get 50 on board, why should anyone ever trust them again?

    Exactly what threat can the Democrats use against Joe Manchin, who is popular in West Virginia and could eliminate the Democratic majority in the Senate instantly by caucusing with the Republicans?
    posted by Gelatin at 12:56 PM on May 3 [5 favorites]


    The only possible plan is to somehow gain Senate seats in the midterms and hold the House. That's really the only way, politically, to begin to fix this in the short term.

    If they didn't use every threat, blockade, and use of strings to get 50 on board, why should anyone ever trust them again?

    They couldn't find a way to bribe Joe Manchin into passing even a sliver of a Build Back Better, which was supposed to be Biden's signature legislative project. He is as far as can be discerned an immovable object. I'm honestly not sure what consequences exactly they could threaten Manchin with.
    posted by BungaDunga at 12:57 PM on May 3 [6 favorites]


    What's your suggestion for an alternative?

    The fact of the matter is that the United States is not a functioning representative democracy and urging people to vote over and over and over again while things continue to worsen at a rapidly increasing rate will do nothing except convince larger and larger segments of the citizenry that voting is a meaningless act.
    posted by rhymedirective at 12:57 PM on May 3 [54 favorites]


    If Manchin were replaced by a Republican Mitch McConnell would be majority leader right now. And he'd confirm zero federal judges until a Republican president were back in office to appoint them. And the judiciary would get even more right leaning.
    posted by OnceUponATime at 12:58 PM on May 3 [19 favorites]


    The fact of the matter is that the United States is not a functioning representative democracy and urging people to vote over and over and over again while things continue to worsen at a rapidly increasing rate will do nothing except convince larger and larger segments of the citizenry that voting is a meaningless act.

    Voting in Georgia is why the Senate is in Democratic, not Republican, hands right now. Which for starters is why Joe Biden got any nominee on the Supreme Court at all.
    posted by Gelatin at 12:59 PM on May 3 [43 favorites]


    Do you have any actionable ideas to share?

    I haven't read all the comments yet, but one thing I haven't seen yet (apologies if mentioned already) is the conclusion I'm left with, which is that since the First Amendment prevents the government from enacting religious legislation (simplifying), that seems to have produced a strategy that the federal government can't prevent it either, the anti-choice people necessarily couching their arguments in non-scriptual terms. In short, I see a future where if evangelicals and dominionists can get laws that are congruent with their theological preferences, the courts can't strike them down. They will get everything they want, as I see it.

    So, the actionable idea I'm left with is "what is the counter-argument?" Nothing else matters, because there is currently no defense against the Christian Nationalist agenda.
    posted by rhizome at 12:59 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]


    Much as I love Warren, she's giving a speech. She can't do anything in the Senate so long as Manshin and Sinema oppose removing the filibuster.


    If enough politicians demonstrate that kind of anger, fire, passion, and urgency on this issue, then they can galvanize the public and exert pressure on Manchin and Sinema to revise their views on the filibuster. People's positions are not set in stone. They can be changed and leveraged.

    People take cues from their leaders. SHOW URGENCY AND PEOPLE WILL START TO THINK SOMETHING IS URGENT. Place importance on an issue and they are more likely to think it is more important. Amplify the signal. Make fucking noise. That is what leaders should do.

    Will it work? Who knows. But it's better than telling us to vote harder in November.
    posted by Gadarene at 1:00 PM on May 3 [28 favorites]


    They couldn't find a way to bribe Joe Manchin into passing even a sliver of a Build Back Better, which was supposed to be Biden's signature legislative project. He is as far as can be discerned an immovable object. I'm honestly not sure what consequences exactly they could threaten Manchin with.

    I'd like to see some evidence that they even tried. Same with voting rights.
    posted by Gadarene at 1:01 PM on May 3 [11 favorites]


    Will it work? Who knows. But it's better than telling us to vote harder in November.

    What kind of pressure can the galvanized public exert if not by voting?
    posted by Gelatin at 1:02 PM on May 3 [4 favorites]


    EmpressCallipygos I'm just some random person on the internet. In theory they're supposed to be the 11 dimensional chess master planner political experts who get shit done and know how to get it done. That's why I'm asking.

    My point is that you are not asking the "11 dimensional chess master planner political experts" about "what next" You are asking other "random people on the Internet" about "what next".

    So - if you want to know what they're doing, ask them. Asking other fellow random people, though? That makes you look like Eeyore.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:03 PM on May 3 [6 favorites]


    Rhetoric is not action. Rhetoric might lead to action, but it is not action. If Biden and the others are impotent to stop the one thing that the Democratic Party supposedly cares about, then I suggest new leadership for the government.

    I propose a vote of no confidence in the United State of America's structure.

    Jokes aside, if the Dems can't deliver, we need something more drastic, more direct to protect people from being targeted by these pernicious laws.
    posted by Lord Chancellor at 1:03 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]


    I'm honestly not sure what consequences exactly they could threaten Manchin with.

    They didn't even try. Same with voting rights.


    How do you know that? You have no idea what they tried. All we know is that it didn't work.
    posted by Ben Trismegistus at 1:05 PM on May 3 [8 favorites]


    What kind of pressure can the galvanized public exert if not by voting?

    Remember George Floyd?
    posted by Gadarene at 1:06 PM on May 3 [19 favorites]


    Mass uprisings are probably the only way anything can change. If our systems cannot address this horrorshow, what good are our systems?
    posted by Lord Chancellor at 1:07 PM on May 3 [12 favorites]


    If we can't win elections the alternative is some kind of violent struggle where might makes right. You are confident the good guys will win such a struggle? Because they often don't, historically. When might makes right, it's the btrual and the well armed who win.

    Are all the people advocating for non-electoral strategies here the same people who told us in 2016 that it was okay if they didn't vote for Hillary, because elections don't really matter?
    posted by OnceUponATime at 1:07 PM on May 3 [9 favorites]


    How do you know that? You have no idea what they tried. All we know is that it didn't work.

    Yes, I tried to delete and then edited instead; apologies.

    What evidence do you have that Biden tried particularly hard to get Manchin onboard with BBB?

    There's a difference between saying you support something and fighting as hard as you can to get that thing done.

    Hell, Biden is on record TODAY equivocating about the filibuster in connection with Roe. You really think that he went all-out in an effort to get BBB passed once he had his precious bipartisan achievement?
    posted by Gadarene at 1:09 PM on May 3 [5 favorites]


    So serously, what's the plan here Democrats?

    Could it be voting? Even if the candidate is not perfectly aligned with our constantly shifting wishlist of progressive programs?
    posted by elwoodwiles at 1:12 PM on May 3 [5 favorites]


    Let's take a step back here and recognize that the Republicans are not going full fascist because they are confident they appeal to a majority of voters. They are not gerrymandering and voter-suppressing themselves into power because they think their ideas are popular

    They are doing so because they know they are not.

    Which suggests that yes, voting -- despite all the obstacles Republicans, including Chief Justice John "Vote Suppression" Roberts, throw out -- really is the way to beat them.

    Democrats (and the media, but good luck with that) also need to be more vocal about how extreme the Republicans are. Republicans have gone from calling Democrats Communists to calling them child molesters (which, again, you don't do if you're truly confident in your position). Until the Republicans agree to act in good faith, they don't deserve "civility."
    posted by Gelatin at 1:16 PM on May 3 [20 favorites]


    What evidence do you have that Biden tried particularly hard to get Manchin onboard with BBB?

    There's a difference between saying you support something and fighting as hard as you can to get that thing done.


    A Google search for "Biden meets with Manchin" shows a ton of private meetings. I can't say what Biden did in those private meetings. I agree that it's a fair assumption that he could have done more. We're a long way removed from LBJ physically threatening Congresspeople, for better or worse.

    As I said above, what we need to do is win so much that we don't have to rely on doofuses like Manchin.
    posted by Ben Trismegistus at 1:17 PM on May 3 [5 favorites]


    Voting got us... to this point.

    That doesn't mean STOP voting. It means voting plus something else will be necessary.
    posted by delfin at 1:19 PM on May 3 [19 favorites]


    What kind of pressure can the galvanized public exert if not by voting?

    Peaceful marches inevitably get portrayed by the media as violent riots, but a general, nationwide strike might at least get the equity lords to start paying attention to potential consequences to their bottom lines — perhaps even to their own personal safety, if Christians continue to push the country down the road to Gilead.
    posted by They sucked his brains out! at 1:20 PM on May 3 [6 favorites]


    You are confident the good guys will win such a struggle?

    It's the brutal and the well-armed which are winning right now. I'm hardly confident there, and I'm very mindful about avoiding advocating actions which would be likely to affect others before myself, but I don't read non-electoral options as being *preferred* by advocates as much as being seen as inevitable by this point.

    Each election further locks in the above-mentioned institutional controls favoring the Republicans, between district redrawing, Census manipulation, & general voter suppression. If we currently need a 12-point advantage to get a basic majority in Wisconsin (to borrow an upthread example); do we have a plan for undoing those structural biases if we do manage to get that bare majority? Or is it going to take ever-increasingly-heroic turnout while the tide recedes?

    And on the line of 'voting despite purity policing', should one of those items be abortion? Right now, pro-forced-birth Democrats are actively supported in elections, over other Democrats. Is that a necessary threshold for "vote Blue no matter who"?
    posted by CrystalDave at 1:20 PM on May 3 [5 favorites]


    Two things can be true at the same time, people need to vote democrat, and democrats need to be doing much, much, much, much more than they're doing.
    posted by bleep at 1:20 PM on May 3 [27 favorites]


    Democrats (and the media, but good luck with that) also need to be more vocal about how extreme the Republicans are. Republicans have gone from calling Democrats Communists to calling them child molesters (which, again, you don't do if you're truly confident in your position). Until the Republicans agree to act in good faith, they don't deserve "civility."

    I hate to use a term as crass as "branding," but the fact is that the Republicans have been better than us at messaging for a long time now. We need focused, clear, compelling messaging, to rally the maximum number of people to Democratic issues and candidates. All the GOP has to say is "socialism" and all the crazies rally to their side.

    How do we explain the horror of what is currently happening without simply preaching to the choir?
    posted by Ben Trismegistus at 1:21 PM on May 3 [5 favorites]


    The birth rate bros and theobros are ecstatic. SBC types are already calling women Moloch worshippers. This is basically Ceaucescu's Decree 770.
    posted by fluttering hellfire at 1:21 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]


    Voting.... more. To those who voted: yay! But we need to convince those who don't for all the various reasons we've heard so many times.

    There's a lot of discussion in this thread that needs to happen - people are rightfully angry. But the lever we have to pull in our democracy is democracy. That means voting.
    posted by elwoodwiles at 1:21 PM on May 3 [3 favorites]


    As I said above, what we need to do is win so much that we don't have to rely on doofuses like Manchin.

    With two more Senate seats, no one would care what Manchin or Sinema wanted.

    (But again, refusing to recognize that Manchin holds the greater amount of power in this situation is pure Green Lanternism.)
    posted by Gelatin at 1:23 PM on May 3 [6 favorites]


    We're a long way removed from LBJ physically threatening Congresspeople, for better or worse.

    We're also a long way removed from LBJ's massive majorities in Congress, including a filibuster-proof supermajority in the Senate. (Also, there were conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans, which isn't the case anymore.)
    posted by kirkaracha at 1:23 PM on May 3 [10 favorites]


    In the longer term, I guess the question is how to reduce the influence of Fox News and Focus on the Family and every two-bit fundamentalist yelling at his congregation about purity culture.
    posted by clawsoon at 1:25 PM on May 3 [9 favorites]


    This was the inevitable outcome of Trump winning, and THAT was the outcome of people pro-choice people NOT voting for Clinton in 2016. It's that simple. If you won't vote for the "lesser of two evils" you get the greater evil, and here we are.
    posted by OnceUponATime at 1:25 PM on May 3 [30 favorites]


    Voting got us... to this point.

    Actually, I think that "I'm going to sit this election out because there's no difference between Trump or Hillary" is what got us to this point.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:27 PM on May 3 [44 favorites]


    This is Elizabeth Warren not giving a speech but talking to some reporters. I know those are words and not action but watching it made me feel a little better. Also, I am on my phone and I can’t find it now but there’s video on Twitter of that fucker Alioto lying through his teeth at his confirmation hearing in 2006 explaining how Roe was established law and blah blah blah lies lies lies.
    posted by Bella Donna at 1:27 PM on May 3 [6 favorites]


    Exactly what threat can the Democrats use against Joe Manchin, who is popular in West Virginia and could eliminate the Democratic majority in the Senate instantly by caucusing with the Republicans?

    Threaten to use whatever opposition research you've done against him. Threaten to sideline him. Threaten to withdraw his funding. Threaten to unseat him or primary him. Back baby into a corner.

    Having him caucus with the Democrats is only marginally more useful than having him caucus with the Republicans at this point, and letting him and other Senators do whatever the fuck they want is bad for the party and the American public. You want people to feel like your party is fighting for them? To be excited to vote for you? Cut off the dead wood. Assuming you aren't, for some reason, happier to have it getting in your way.

    That means voting.

    Democracy is so much more than voting. It's running influencing and advocacy campaigns. It's getting people what they need so they can even participate in civic spaces. It's drafting and promoting legislation. It's running for office. It's volunteering. It's protesting. It's fundraising. It's lobbying. It's contacting people and/or exerting pressure on them to sway their actions. It is exerting power. Democracy involves at lot more work than voting, and theocratic extremists have been hard at it.
    posted by evidenceofabsence at 1:28 PM on May 3 [30 favorites]


    The Electoral College, the design of the Senate, and a political system designed to preserve white supremacy by protecting slavery are what got us to this point. Clinton beat Trump by over three million votes.
    posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 1:31 PM on May 3 [43 favorites]


    But if she'd gotten 77,000 more votes, spread over three states, she'd have gotten to appoint 3 Supreme Court justices. That's like... A football stadium's worth of people. If we could have convinced that many more people to vote, the Court could have had liberal 6-3 bias for years to come.
    posted by OnceUponATime at 1:34 PM on May 3 [16 favorites]


    If we could have convinced that many more people to vote

    We did convince that many more people to vote; this outcome is in part the result of Republican voter suppression (which comes back to racism, again).
    posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 1:36 PM on May 3 [8 favorites]


    Lots of votes are suppressed not by Republicans, but by people nominally on our side claiming that voting does not matter. The arguments being made in this thread are vote suppression too.
    posted by OnceUponATime at 1:37 PM on May 3 [15 favorites]


    If we could have convinced that many more people to vote, the Court could have had multiple vacancies for years to come.

    Fixed that for you. Mitch wouldn't have budged an inch.
    posted by delfin at 1:37 PM on May 3 [4 favorites]


    OK, no. I will not be shamed and told I'm a bad person for daring to ask my betters what the plan is after they brought us to a giant loss.

    It is perfectly reasonable, sane, and proper to ask what our leadership plans to do after bringing us to this catastrophy.

    That's not misbehavior. That's not childish. That is not a question that makes me deserve being scolded and told I'm a bad and stupid person.

    If you don't know thats fine, but stop telling me I'm bad for wanting to know what the plan is.
    posted by sotonohito at 1:37 PM on May 3 [55 favorites]


    There have been four elections since both Democrats and Republicans have existed in which the candidate who received second place in voting became president.

    1876 Democrat Tilden beat Republican Hayes in popular vote. The Republican became president.

    1888 Democrat Cleveland beat Republican Harrison in popular vote. The Republican became president.

    2000 Democrat Gore beat Republican Bush Jr. in popular vote. The Republican became president.

    2016 Democrat Clinton beat Republican Trump in popular vote. The Republican became president.
    posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:40 PM on May 3 [21 favorites]


    Came to write mostly what evidenceofabsence just did.

    But, on voting: I hear the concern of tone-deafness in this particular room, but the intent on voting is to become these exact pushy assholes but also the people want to vote like.

    It's been remarkable how many solutions have been thrown out as hot takes on how we should put plan-b on the Blockchain and employ stochastic deniability and build superhighways to momentarily-less-patriarchal states...

    And the answer usually boils down to convince three people to vote the way you suggest - hopefully because they agree and you are simpatico - but in the end just for the right people and things.

    We're mad because we've been voting our faces off but faced so many challenges getting others to vote at all, much less for the right things. Us here on the internet are pretty short on patience for our fellow human when not in tightly defined spaces. Convincing others is in many ways a greater ask than all the other volunteering and researching and supporting.

    With apologies to the actual organizers in the thread, I'm fully aware I'm also on team "how can I help in any way that doesn't make me uncomfortable like talking to people."
    posted by abulafa at 1:41 PM on May 3 [4 favorites]


    Also worth noting that we saw record voting on both sides in the 2020 election. It's fine to say that we need more people to vote, and true that the Republicans have power based on a minority, but there are a huge, huge number of people who voted for exactly this. I'm not sure it's as simple as, "If we just got more people to vote all this Republican bullshit would be put to an end."

    This is not comforting to me.
    posted by dellsolace at 1:52 PM on May 3 [9 favorites]


    With two more Senate seats, no one would care what Manchin or Sinema wanted.

    Well, no, because there are other Democratic senators who are also very resistant to lifting the filibuster* (because norms, and because they ultimately identify more with their Republican counterparts than with the Democratic electorate), so even if we had two more senators, we'd probably be told we need two more. Maybe one day we'll actually be able to exercise some power! Until then, keep on donating.

    (As far as I know and off the top of my head, Coons is pro-filibuster, Warner is, Feinstein is, Hassan is, I think Carper is. Maybe more.)
    posted by Gadarene at 1:53 PM on May 3 [5 favorites]


    OK, no. I will not be shamed and told I'm a bad person for daring to ask my betters what the plan is after they brought us to a giant loss.

    But you didn't ask "your betters". You asked US.

    I WANT you to ask your betters what the plan is. I'm not shaming you for that, I'm encouraging you to do that.

    The thing is, I'm encouraging you to do that instead of asking us, because shit, we don't know what's in their heads either, so why are you asking us?
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:54 PM on May 3 [11 favorites]


    But if she'd gotten 77,000 more votes, spread over three states

    If only the party could do something differently to mobilize and excite voters instead of running on the slogan, "Vote for us no matter what, even though we pander to moneyed interests and have accomplished little to nothing. We may be in power but this is somehow all your fault."

    Surely the party bears at least some blame for its failures, in addition to those 77k hypothetical voters, or the 65% of the US that lives in non-battleground states.
    posted by evidenceofabsence at 1:56 PM on May 3 [23 favorites]


    I can't read sotonohito's mind, but to me their question about "what to do next" read as a rhetorical question about the state of the democratic party and not a personal exhortation to anyone reading this thread to solve the party's ills.
    posted by gee_the_riot at 2:01 PM on May 3 [27 favorites]


    Relitigation of a poorly-run campaign doesn't change the hand we're dealt. Perhaps what is more helpful is figuring out how to make centrist Democrats as uncomfortable as possible, forcing them up or out. This may require the press doing their jobs, for instance, to report where Democrats like Pelosi, Sinema, and Manchin get their money. It will also require us to participate more seriously in meeting our civic responsibilities.
    posted by They sucked his brains out! at 2:02 PM on May 3 [6 favorites]


    def not a personal exhortation to relitigate 2016 either
    posted by fluttering hellfire at 2:03 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]


    Before a flaming comet labeled DO NOT RE-LITIGATE THE 2016 ELECTION HERE crashes down, I will simply say this.

    We need to vote, and politically-aware folks like us... generally, we already do.

    We need to get candidates on ballots for whom other people will WANT to come out and vote. Not as a "voting so the wrong lizard doesn't get in" default, but as someone who actually inspires something in potential voters. Someone who says things and does things while in office. Someone who calls out the other side for the extremists that they are. Someone who gets under the opponents' skin and won't back down.

    If the person who's in there now doesn't inspire anything, they need a clear message that they will either get off their ass or they will be primaried and replaced. Scalps need to be collected to demonstrate this point.

    How we manage all of the above, I have no fucking idea. But a house full of Jamie Raskins and a Senate full of John Fettermans is my goal.
    posted by delfin at 2:05 PM on May 3 [6 favorites]


    anyway, Biden's nomination was Jim Clyburn's fault and JC is going to be hanging out with Henry Cuellar so my faith any of leadership is done.
    posted by fluttering hellfire at 2:06 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]


    Threaten to use whatever opposition research you've done against him. Threaten to sideline him. Threaten to withdraw his funding. Threaten to unseat him or primary him. Back baby into a corner.

    Having him caucus with the Democrats is only marginally more useful than having him caucus with the Republicans at this point


    If Manchin caucuses with the Republicans -- or just withdraws from the Democratic caucus -- Mitch McConnell becomes Majority Leader, and any possibility at all of implementing Biden's agenda, or confirming Biden's judges -- up to and including any future SCOTUS vacancy -- go with it.

    Manchin is popular in West Virginia, and his replacement would not be a Democrat. So I am confident in saying you are flat wrong I saying he is not more useful caucusing with the Democrats in a 50-50 Senate, and in reminding you again that whatever Green Lantern fantasies you hold, the Democratic leadership up to and including Biden himself don't actually have much leverage over him.
    posted by Gelatin at 2:10 PM on May 3 [20 favorites]


    A long game and a long plan is what the Democrats need. The Republicans started thinking and acting on this well before 2016, probably closer to 1980. They began having people elected into beginner-level local positions and then move on up. There were groups working on judgeship lists and funding and rhetoric. As funding and gerrymandering allowed their people to move into position, they had plans and policies and rhetoric in place for quick implementation. 2016 to now is simply the culmination of their very long game plan.

    So add running for office to your "what should we do" list.
    posted by beaning at 2:14 PM on May 3 [15 favorites]


    Essentially the system did not get broken overnight and neither will it get fixed overnight.
    posted by beaning at 2:20 PM on May 3 [11 favorites]


    Biden said today that it falls on the voters to do something about this. Fuck that. The voters have done what they can do in the face of a rigged system. Do something about the fucking system.

    Yah, my response to Biden is "WE DID DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS, WE VOTED FOR YOU MOTHERFUCKERS. PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, TRY TO TAKE CARE OF IT."

    Because otherwise I straight-up don't understand the purpose of representative democracy.
    posted by nushustu at 2:30 PM on May 3 [31 favorites]


    Well, I guess I have a suggestion other than "keep voting" (although I think that's pretty clearly an incredibly important suggestion). I think a lot of people won't like it, and even think it's the opposite of what should be done; of the people who think they like it, I think many or most will like it in theory but get cold feet about implementing it in their actual lives:

    Ostracization. Shaming. Opprobriation.

    I mean for real, not in some half-assed feel-good sense. Like, go so far as divorcing your but-he's-so-nice-to-me-and-such-a-great-daddy-to-the-kids husband. He's so nice to you? Fantastic. Check your fuckin' privilege; he's pretty shitty to humanity as a whole.
    posted by Flunkie at 2:30 PM on May 3 [22 favorites]


    As far as I know and off the top of my head, Coons is pro-filibuster, Warner is, Feinstein is, Hassan is, I think Carper is. Maybe more.

    Yes, but their position starts to get less tenable if there are 50 votes to codify Roe. You get 50 votes to codify Roe on the merits and then their position on the filibuster starts to matter, and there's every reason to think those senators are more bullyable than Manchin is.

    None of these Senators have ever really come under serious pressure to change their minds on the filibuster and they really might fold when it comes down to it. They are subject to pressures that Manchin isn't. And not to be crass but Feinstein will probably vote for whatever her staffers tell her to.

    I'll be the first person screaming angry if there are 50 votes to codify Roe but not to actually kill the filibuster to do it. I absolutely will. Manchin isn't persuadable, but I genuinely believe that the others are and even if I'm wrong, we don't know for sure and should assume they are. If we don't assume they can be persuaded or bullied into it, we'll never find out, because you need those extra senators elected before we can even try.

    You don't have to be optimistic about it. I'm not. But it's "elect Fetterman, oust Ron Johnson and bully Feinstein et al" or nothing (in the national political sphere, anyway), and we should act like it's a possible outcome otherwise it definitely won't happen.
    posted by BungaDunga at 2:38 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]


    What actually is super helpful rn is donating to local abortion funds and also orgs that educate on self managed abortions. thx. can hand wring and cough up money at the same time.
    posted by fluttering hellfire at 2:47 PM on May 3 [5 favorites]


    Well, I guess I have a suggestion other than "keep voting" (although I think that's pretty clearly an incredibly important suggestion). I think a lot of people won't like it, and even think it's the opposite of what should be done; of the people who think they like it, I think many or most will like it in theory but get cold feet about implementing it in their actual lives:

    Ostracization. Shaming. Opprobriation.


    I'm 100% on board with that; we need to start treating Republicans like the fascists they are (don't "well actually" me about the definition of fascism; the post-Trump GOP ticks enough of these boxes; they're a far-right extremist party led by a populist demagogue who sought to overturn the results of an election he lost via coup, and they're absofuckinglutely going to do it again in 2024).
    posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 2:50 PM on May 3 [9 favorites]


    Yes, I agree that getting the ideal candidates to vote for has to be the goal for the long game, and it's something we should start planning for now. But we are absolutely not yet past the point where just getting the people actively destroying the country away from the controls is the single-most important task. I'm not going to ignore the pressing need to turn an extinguisher on the fire raging around me in favor of shopping for and installing a new sprinkler system. This is a very clear sign that we're very much still in fighting-to-survive mode.
    posted by The Underpants Monster at 2:52 PM on May 3 [8 favorites]


    "Get out and vote" would be a lot more appealing if the party we keep voting for would pass meaningful voter legislation.

    They've told us to get out and vote all while their opposition has eroded our ability to vote. How about that.
    posted by explosion at 2:53 PM on May 3 [18 favorites]


    What's so great about calls to action for other people? I would love to hear from someone who's actually divorcing their Republican SO, that would be amazing. People advocating for other people to do it? Not so much. Same thing for the Clytemnestra stuff. Calling for changes to other people's sex life is prima facie weird.
    posted by Wood at 2:58 PM on May 3 [7 favorites]


    Do you have any actionable ideas to share?

    Sorry, but the tone of this isn't encouraging, it comes off as sarcastic to me.

    Also, I suspect I speak for more than one person here when I say that it is frustrating to hear the answer being "vote more, and get more people to vote." It's the political version of "get gud." That doesn't actually help. And frankly, it gets insulting to hear it year after year after year.

    AND FRANKLY, it's also interesting that we can all talk here until we are blue in the face about how we're just watching democracy die about how the Republicans have been working on this for basically ever, how this didn't happen overnight, it happened in 2016, no ACTUALLY in 1980, no ACTUALLY starting in the 1880s, with some really cogent points, and callbacks to other empires, but any time anybody says "welp, as long as we're talking about history, maybe we should talk about what happens when that empire dies, ie violence" they get shut down toot sweet.

    I'm not saying this place needs to be a place where people plan assassinations, but there seems to be some real pearl-clutching and naivete around what certainly looks to be one of the more plausible outcomes of all of this.
    posted by nushustu at 3:04 PM on May 3 [31 favorites]


    But if she'd gotten 77,000 more votes, spread over three states, she'd have gotten to appoint 3 Supreme Court justices. That's like... A football stadium's worth of people. If we could have convinced that many more people to vote, the Court could have had liberal 6-3 bias for years to come.

    While this is true, it's also awfully, awfully damning. I would like my rights to not be subject to the capricious whims of Supreme Court justices appointed by a president chosen by some randos in Ohio.
    posted by rhymedirective at 3:06 PM on May 3 [5 favorites]


    "Get out and vote" would be a lot more appealing if the party we keep voting for would pass meaningful voter legislation.

    They've told us to get out and vote all while their opposition has eroded our ability to vote. How about that.


    Louis DeJoy is still, incredibly, Postmaster General.
    posted by Gadarene at 3:07 PM on May 3 [36 favorites]


    What's so great about calls to action for other people? I would love to hear from someone who's actually divorcing their Republican SO, that would be amazing. People advocating for other people to do it? Not so much. Same thing for the Clytemnestra stuff. Calling for changes to other people's sex life is prima facie weird.
    Jesus Christ, I was using that as a rather extreme example of the degree that I'm talking about. I'm not interested in sharing details about my personal life with you, so I'm afraid you're going to have to just live with the claim that I have done, and continue to do, things along those lines.
    posted by Flunkie at 3:10 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]


    What kind of pressure can the galvanized public exert if not by voting?
    Remember George Floyd?
    i remember how once the pressure tapered the democratic leadership went with the idea of just throwing more money at cops

    as far as voting harder, i mean, sure, i guess, it's just hard to see how that helps for a lot of us who live in deep blue states? if you're asking us to help agitate for voters in purple and red states, sure, fine, whatever, but it'd be a lot easier to do if there was a long track record of something more substantial than "we stand with you during this difficult time"
    posted by i used to be someone else at 3:23 PM on May 3 [8 favorites]


    Through the Trumpian looking glass, forcing women to die from illegal abortions is ‘pro-life’
    Marina Hyde, The Guardian

    Also, some practical information: Plan B is fine, but it can go wrong, and then the patient needs urgent and qualified healthcare. Who might have least access to that? Just to say that while an underground system can be necessary, it is not a solution.
    posted by mumimor at 3:29 PM on May 3 [4 favorites]


    Could it be voting? Even if the candidate is not perfectly aligned with our constantly shifting wishlist of progressive programs?

    With mature and conciliatory responses like this, it's right and proper that the Vote Harder brigade consider themselves the adults in the room!
    posted by ominous_paws at 3:31 PM on May 3 [10 favorites]


    It took less than 24 hours for a thread about one of the most significant rollbacks of human rights in living memory to devolve into recriminations and infighting. I'm not saying the kind of mindless groupthink the Christo-fascist Right uses to stay united is preferable, but maybe if we all could remember that we're actually on the same side in the fight for human rights for like five minutes and that the only people to blame for this is the approximately half the country that has been holding us all hostage to their radical worldview of domination and control for decades, maybe then we'd actually win some fights.
    posted by biogeo at 3:37 PM on May 3 [48 favorites]


    It took less than 24 hours for a thread about one of the most significant rollbacks of human rights in living memory to devolve into recriminations and infighting

    Because most liberals will never attack a Republican if there's a convenient hippie to punch.
    posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 3:50 PM on May 3 [19 favorites]


    So how do we educate that half of the country?
    posted by njohnson23 at 4:02 PM on May 3


    Also, I suspect I speak for more than one person here when I say that it is frustrating to hear the answer being "vote more, and get more people to vote." It's the political version of "get gud." That doesn't actually help. And frankly, it gets insulting to hear it year after year after year.

    In turn, I am similarly frustrated when after years of 2016 relitigating between people who voted and people who didn't "because voting doesn't matter", we now get to the final chapter of the Trump legacy and some of those same people ask "well now what could we have done"?

    Mind you, I'm not saying that anyone here specifically decreed an abstention from voting in 2016 - only that I have seen that sentiment expressed in the blue at various points in the past. It pissed me off then, it still does.

    But that raises a good point - those who say that they have voted "and the people I voted for aren't doing anything" - that's another good thing you can do, is blow up their god-damn phone lines and email inboxes. I know that it doesn't feel like much, but it's a tool that could also get way more use; call Schumer and call Pelosi and tell them to SHIT or get off the damn POT already, and call Susan Collins and demand to know how she could have been so naive as to actually BELIEVE Kavanaugh, and if you're from Kentucky call Mitch McConnell and tell him you are a potential voter but you wouldn't vote for him if he were suddenly to reveal himself as Santa Claus - basically, remind all these guys that "yo, I voted for you to REPRESENT me in Congress, now FUCKING REPRESENT ME, and here is how".

    I know it doesn't feel like much, and I grant that it feels wimpy. But maybe one reason why it feels wimpy is that not enough collective people have been using it.

    A final note to acknowledge that - yes, I know gerrymandering makes the voting "easy for you to say" in several places. But that's when voting for local elections and calling THOSE guys too gets important. I"m not saying those are our only tools, but they are tools EVERYONE is free to use; particularly those who. like me, are middle-aged and tired and with bad knees who really isn't able to do the real on-the-streets activism.

    Basically, let's all become those annoying cranky people who calls our reps every five minutes and turns up at every election and annoy them all into giving us what we want. For those of us who can do that in protests, God bless you - for those of us who can't, there's the calling-our-representative route.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:03 PM on May 3 [15 favorites]


    I'd give a Republican one hell of a rhetorical thrashing if I still associated with any. Sadly my father died a year ago and once he was gone there was no longer any reason for me to associate with people of bad character. And I live in Nebraska. Cutting know-nothing reactionaries out of my social life means basically all my socializing is either with a small circle of close friends, or online.
    posted by Ipsifendus at 4:06 PM on May 3 [5 favorites]




    In turn, I am similarly frustrated when after years of 2016 relitigating between people who voted and people who didn't "because voting doesn't matter", we now get to the final chapter of the Trump legacy and some of those same people ask "well now what could we have done"?

    Who, who didn't vote in 2016, is asking that? Who, who didn't vote in 2016, is asking that HERE? I voted for Sanders in the 2016 primary. I was disappointed that he did not get the nomination. I still voted for Clinton in the general, as did *everyone* I knew personally who supported Sanders, because defeating Trump was much more important than any ideological scruple.
    posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 4:07 PM on May 3 [19 favorites]


    any possibility at all of implementing Biden's agenda, or confirming Biden's judges -- up to and including any future SCOTUS vacancy -- go with it

    What percentage of that agenda is going to get blocked by Manchin either way, while the party continues to slide into irrelevancy and stand for little at all?
    posted by evidenceofabsence at 4:09 PM on May 3 [4 favorites]


    This is terrible in and of itself, but it doesn't end here. Things like Obergfell and Lawrence and Griswold etc are next. State laws and constitutions can offer protections (if you're lucky enough to be in the right state) right?

    Except, religious liberty has been elevated to absurd levels and is still protected under the federal constitution, so nevermind! (Oh, and companies can have religious protections too)
    posted by Garm at 4:10 PM on May 3 [3 favorites]


    Religious liberty for (one brand of) Christians, sure. Meanwhile, in Judaism, abortion is required to protect the life of a pregnant person, but we're not talking about Jewish people's religious liberty.
    posted by hydropsyche at 4:12 PM on May 3 [24 favorites]


    Things like Obergfell and Lawrence and Griswold etc are next.

    The day this decision comes out I expect conservative AGs are going to instruct county clerks not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and dare anybody to sue them.
    posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 4:14 PM on May 3 [14 favorites]


    Now that it's going to have to be codified at the state level, make a unified bodily and informational privacy right a Democratic issue. The potential that Kansas and Montana may preserve choice on that basis is meaningful; and informational privacy is a libertarian wedge.

    Also push for continued work from home and anything else that lets people be more flexible in where they live and work. Both so they are less chained to hostile states; and so to enable a long term program of.....well....colonizing regional cities in low-pop states and getting an enduring hold on the Senate. As well as turning gerrymandering against its authors.

    Less than two million people live in Idaho. Except for the present culture, it's a PNW outdoorsy wonderland and the drift has already been underway for a few years because of the real estate. As has happened with Colorado's drift to the left. Wyoming has potential too. I'm less aware of other parts of the country. Where else have hipsters been going to 'homestead?' Tennessee?
    posted by snuffleupagus at 4:17 PM on May 3 [9 favorites]


    I wonder what the corporate reaction to this ruling will be? Qualified women of reproductive age and their allies are NOT going to want to work in states which have restrictive abortion laws. Having your HQ /offices located in a red state could really make it hard to hire good candidates. (I'm not leaning on "big business will save us" but it will be interesting to see if this talent drain is a real phenomenon and what kind of influence companies have on state legislatures re abortion rights.)
    posted by Larry David Syndrome at 4:20 PM on May 3 [10 favorites]


    Something I thought about: in my family, it is normal to have miscarriages. We get babies, too, but most women in my maternal family including myself have experienced rather dramatic miscarriages. My grandmother and aunt have both described arriving at the hospital and being accused of having attempted an illegal abortion. Will this be a thing again?
    I remember being shamed, even after abortion was legal, when I was struggling with the blood loss.
    posted by mumimor at 4:29 PM on May 3 [20 favorites]


    I will support the underground where it develops. I have family in two states that have auto-trigger laws once Roe goes.
    In addition, if Alito isn't just blowing steam about cases possibly undermined by this yet-to-be-set precedent/ignoring of precedent, I actually see a road to disunion.

    Try to get your families out of the states now.
    posted by shenkerism at 4:32 PM on May 3 [3 favorites]


    So the response has to be voting and. What's the and? Being cranky like empress wrote above? Good start. Also, here used to be a pretty good plan. The best time to reinstate Dean's 50 state strategy was about 15 years ago but as they say the second best time is now. The fact that I can't even remember who the DNC chair is right now is pretty damning. Got to get cranky on the party apparatus.

    What's another and? I want to see a whole lot more social shunning. Remember when one R got publicly shamed and booed in a restaurant? I want to see a whole lot of that on a much grander scale. Oh you're a junior volunteer staffer in a Republican State House rep's office? Sorry no I won't sell you a latte, and get out. I know you are a Republican? No I won't come to your house and fix your toilet, do your taxes, or repair your deck, or whatever. Sure, of course there are alternatives for them, but just cut those people out and shun them. Hard.

    We saw a whole lot of large corporations stop doing business with Russia. I'd like to see even one stop doing business with Republicans. CNBC, "Netflix employees have sent 98% of their political contributions to Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets website." I'd like to see Netflix sanction the shit out of Republicans. Shut off the TV for every elected Republican at the federal state and local level and their families. They want a culture war? Give them a goddamn culture war. They are the party of grievance so they're always going to claim to be the victims anyway, might as well make them actually feel it.
    posted by Gotanda at 4:53 PM on May 3 [29 favorites]


    For those of you unaware, Resistbot makes yelling at your reps pretty easy. It's a tool to use texts to write faxes to your representatives. You can write your own, but what makes it easy is you can piggyback on others' by "signing" theirs, but it sends it as an individual communication to your own reps, not as part of a petition (although they call them petitions).

    Text 50409 to get set up. It's free (they take donations, and I am set up to donate monthly but you don't have to.) You will need to give them information like your name, where you live so it can identify your representatives, your email if your reps require that (my senators do). Once you're set up, it identifies you by cell number and you don't have to do any of that again, at which point it becomes very simple.

    I do this nightly: text "TRENDING" - it replies with three popular messages, then asks if you want to see more. It just gives you the subject of each one, and if you want to read it, text back "SIGN[whatever code it gave you]" and then "SAMPLE" and it shows you the wording as a picture (I am not sure if there is an accessible version) and then you can text "NO" or "YES" to send it to your reps. Then it'll ask if you want to text your friends (I say no, but sometimes I copypaste the "SIGN XXXXXX" and send it as a text a few friends I know are interested in that specific issue) and then it'll ask if you want it tweeted with your first name/city to increase interest. But you can ignore everything after you text YES if you like. It can take as little as two minutes to do.

    You can also look at its twitter timeline or website to see recent/less popular ones. Currently on the abortion issue there's a bunch:

    Codify Roe v. Wade: SIGN PGQOPL or SIGN PDDOZR or SIGN PHMEFP
    Protect a woman's right to choose: SIGN PGZSIN
    And related:
    Codify Obergefell v. Hodges (SIGN PMCXLK)

    In looking for those, I also discovered they are doing a Twitter conversation about "SCOTUS’ draft opinion on Roe, the implications, and what comes next for everyone who needs abortion services and advocates." at 8 Eastern.
    posted by joannemerriam at 4:54 PM on May 3 [24 favorites]


    From that same article. "Adobe: Democrats - $401,937 (93%), Republicans - $28,137 (7%)" Let's get some real cancel culture going. Cancel and refund the subscriptions for Adobe CS for every elected Republican and Republican operative and their families and offices.
    posted by Gotanda at 5:01 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]


    I find it hard to believe that elected officials aren't able to tell how much of the volume of communications they receive are via automated mechanisms; and from there may proceed an unfavorable signal-to-noise analysis. i.e., 'oh look, it's another least-effort retweet click-here groundswell we can completely disregard.'

    Pick up the phone and take up someone's time. Be counted that way instead. The increased effort is minimal (and your substance will still be disregarded so don't sweat that).
    posted by snuffleupagus at 5:01 PM on May 3 [6 favorites]


    What percentage of that agenda is going to get blocked by Manchin either way, while the party continues to slide into irrelevancy and stand for little at all?

    Yeah. The problem here is hippie punching.

    Manchin voted for the first round of stimulus, voted for COVID relief, and perhaps most importantly has been voting for Biden's judges.

    It seems likely that Manchin will vote to block the rest of Biden's economic agenda, for whatever reason, but there really is a difference between getting some of one's agenda enacted and none at all.

    As has been observed upthread, the reason we can't have nice things is the Republicans.
    posted by Gelatin at 5:21 PM on May 3 [23 favorites]


    Find ways to get involved at municipal, county, and state levels. Those folks could be tomorrow’s state and national figures.
    posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:30 PM on May 3 [8 favorites]


    The other thing the Democrats are going to have to do, is get over is the aversion to generational politics. The ability to undermine the right's socioeconomic alliance will be entirely generational, along every potential wedge issue.

    I don't know if that's possible given the Boomer (literal Boomer, statistically and not the ones here specifically, calm down) death grip.

    Ironic, given the old slogans (don't trust anyone over __, etc). To be preserved as souvenirs only, I guess.
    posted by snuffleupagus at 5:31 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]


    I'll never understand why so many immediately blame the democrats for things the republicans did. This is not Biden's fault, or even Manchin's. This is the result of losing elections, like in 2016. If enough people had held their noses and voted for Clinton, we'd not be in this mess (or even close to it.)

    If anyone's plan for the future is to not vote, that's a very bad plan and will result in even worse outcomes.
    posted by elwoodwiles at 5:38 PM on May 3 [13 favorites]


    Things like Obergfell and Lawrence and Griswold etc are next.

    The day this decision comes out I expect conservative AGs are going to instruct county clerks not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and dare anybody to sue them.


    This may become a major national security issue. Fed employees (civilian or military) in red states who aren't open (or are actively closeted) will be blackmail targets. Again.

    My fever dream is that Biden runs an EO of "for Homeland Security Justifications these rights are now national".
    posted by Slackermagee at 5:42 PM on May 3 [5 favorites]


    I'll never understand why so many immediately blame the democrats for things the republicans did.

    Their opposition has been ineffective to prevent this outcome, however that resulted. I'm frustrated with the previous elections, but retreading that ground does nothing.

    Do you have a realistic plan to stop the GOP before it can lay waste to everythingm, outside of the improvement of the Democratic establishment? Thus the urge to discuss reforming it.

    I don't see how "we're stuck with this so long as the Republicans are like this" is particularly helpful.

    Look at what Biden is doing -- or not doing -- on student loan reform. $10K? That's a joke compared to the structural subsidies boomers receive.

    Ask why the votes democrats need aren't there. Ask why it's hard to split off young GOP voters when it should be easy in light of their actual interests.
    posted by snuffleupagus at 5:42 PM on May 3 [9 favorites]


    From Garret Bucks' (writer and founder of the Barnraisers Project) substack: History is written by the losers (who keep organizing).

    Excerpt:
    The abortion opponents who have now successfully executed a patient, fifty-year political project occasionally held marches and rallies. But that wasn’t why they won today. It’s because they organized when nobody else took notice. They met in kitchens and church basements, finding each other in a moment when the world assumed they had lost the culture wars. They sponsored film screenings and built their ranks through direct mail and took over the Republican Party at the precinct level, making Pro-life stances the single litmus test by which candidates were judged.

    The Left generally looks at the birth of the post-Roe pro-life movement only in cynical terms, pointing out in that smarty pants way of ours that many prominent Evangelical leaders first became involved in electoral politics in the 1970s in order to protect the tax-exempt status of racist, private segregation academics like Bob Jones University. That’s not wrong, but what’s lost in that telling is that, unlike their leaders, the White Evangelical base didn’t rally around the issue of religious school tax exemption. They did, however, rally around the issue of abortion, and they did so effectively and patiently. As Lyz Lenz wrote about today in her truly excellent newsletter, they built and sustained a movement with intense discipline, even when they lost Presidential elections, even when the Supreme Court was stacked against them, even when Roe was declared “settled law.”

    [. . .]

    The Left is incredible at experiencing these intense, super-nova hot bursts of anger and emotion and energy and converting them to short-term bursts of action. We are incredible at mobilizing for single-day protests. We are amazing at giving money left and right in the immediate days and weeks when we feel most defeated. But that’s not organizing, that’s not twenty Evangelical women gathering around kitchen tables to lick envelopes in 1977, that’s not spreading the word, from church to church, to vote for Reagan instead of Carter.

    That’s the bad news.

    The good news, though, is that for those of us who love justice for all, we too walk on the shoulders of organizers, of foreparents who recognized that the real work happens when you’re at your lowest, when the world assumes that you’ve lost.
    posted by soundguy99 at 6:11 PM on May 3 [18 favorites]


    Do you have a realistic plan to stop the GOP before it can lay waste to everythingm, outside of the improvement of the Democratic establishment? Thus the urge to discuss reforming it.


    If you want better Democrats, vote for better Democrats.
    posted by elwoodwiles at 6:37 PM on May 3


    Had a previous life as a leftist activist of sorts, and I'm beyond telling people to organize/donate/protest. We're past that. I've decided I'm now telling people it is time to buy guns, start growing your own food, or just go ahead and leave this country before the civil war: round two starts.
    posted by coffeeand at 7:01 PM on May 3 [12 favorites]


    A friend raised an intriguing thought.

    Kavanaugh and Barrett both said under oath, during their nomination hearings, that they believed Roe v. Wade to be the law of the land, period.

    If they sign onto the Majority with Alito on this and it gets published - can we call for impeachment on the grounds of perjury?
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:09 PM on May 3 [7 favorites]


    You can call for impeachment for anything. You could impeach them for putting their names on this draft opinion, if you thought the Senate would vote to convict.
    posted by ryanrs at 7:13 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]


    ....Oooh, maybe THAT'S something Susan Collins' constituents can call her about. "You say you're 'dismayed' that they lied when they told you they believed abortion was settled? PROVE IT, kid."
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:16 PM on May 3 [5 favorites]


    > Kavanaugh and Barrett both said under oath, during their nomination hearings, that they believed Roe v. Wade to be the law of the land, period.
    If they sign onto the Majority with Alito on this and it gets published - can we call for impeachment on the grounds of perjury?


    Look I hate these assholes as much as you but I don't think that's the right way to approach this. That would make changing your mind and impeachable offense
    posted by secretseasons at 7:17 PM on May 3 [5 favorites]


    can we call for impeachment

    Sure can! But we're not impeaching Thomas for imo more serious issues, so I doubt we're gonna see the other two either.
    posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 7:18 PM on May 3 [5 favorites]


    There's already grounds for an impeachment of Thomas, and with only minimal digging, I'm sure they can nail Kavanaugh on perjury completely unrelated to any policy or decisions. The only chance now is to pack the court.
    posted by tclark at 7:21 PM on May 3 [3 favorites]


    Republicans absolutely do not give a shit about being internally consistent when they made their plots to murder us, so that kind of “aha! Got you!” shit pretty much bounces off them.
    posted by Artw at 7:21 PM on May 3 [38 favorites]


    Obama went into the 2008 election promising to codify Roe v Wade into law. Joe Biden went into the 2020 election promising the same thing. Both won all three branches of government. Both didn't do anything about Roe.

    The reason it didn't happen is that the institutional side of democratic party likes being able to scare their base with the prospect of abortion rights being rolled back. It's helpful for both fund-raising and get out the vote efforts.

    If you really want legislative action on Roe, you have to somehow get democrats all three branches of government while also sidelining all the DNC vultures. I can't honestly see how that happens.
    posted by zymil at 7:25 PM on May 3 [20 favorites]


    Obama went into the 2008 election promising to codify Roe v Wade into law.

    It currently requires 60 votes to get something through the Senate. Under Obama, the Senate supermajority only lasted for a period of 72 working days while the Senate was actually in session.

    Obama spent his political capital on healthcare. Maybe he should have prioritized differently, but it was an important fight.

    Arguing that Kavanaugh and Barrett committed perjury is -- from a legal perspective -- silly. It was settled law, they never promised not to change it.
    posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 7:37 PM on May 3 [29 favorites]


    For those in Kansas and for those interested in our fight, here's Kansans for Constitutional Freedom.

    This is a new bipartisan group formed to fight for the repeal of the anti-abortion amendment on Kansas ballots on August 2. It's partnered with PP, ACLU of Kansas, Trust Women, and URGE.

    Here's their brief summary of where we are in Kansas, and the amendment we're trying to defeat.

    I was a little worried with the lack of visible activity from the various local orgs, and from the state Democrats, until recently. But it's kicking into gear now. This is a very winnable fight in this state.
    posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 8:12 PM on May 3 [10 favorites]


    They don't codify Roe - just like they don't do most things to help ordinary people - because most of them have contempt for us. Unlike them, we don't have finer feelings, self discipline, good judgement, etc - otherwise we would be like them. Who cares if we die or suffer? Our suffering is animal suffering, not like the kind they experience.

    I work at a liberal institution. For a long time I had a union gig. Union workers got two weeks of paid parental leave; professional and administrative workers got six. This had always been the way for at least the past thirty years. The union fought it and won. But my point being, all those liberal people who run liberal institutes and talk about diversity, equity and inclusion do not believe that working class people need time to bond with their babies. Working class people are just animals to them; we don't really care about our children and we don't really have anything to give them beyond food and shelter. Upper middle class people, on the other hand, have fine feelings and need to attend carefully to the development of their children.

    Wealthy liberals don't really care if some working class woman gets trapped at nineteen with a baby she doesn't want; after all, that's not as if their own daughter got pregnant before she was established in a career, ruining her prospects. Being stuck, miserable, uneducated - working class people aren't fit for any better.

    Sure, they like to fund raise on Roe, but the real deal is that they actively believe that people like us don't deserve the same secure, comfortable lives that people like them take for granted.
    posted by Frowner at 8:13 PM on May 3 [62 favorites]


    yes, frowner, and i have to wonder - how is it that the supposedly most liberal city in the country, san francisco, has the highest rents, the most homelessness and the worst environment for working people? - how is it that many of the red states are more affordable to live in than the blue states?

    many working people sense the insincerity of many liberals - i just wish to god they'd start noting the insincerity of republicans, too

    i do know this - both sides are now going to have to get a lot more serious about that they're doing
    posted by pyramid termite at 8:31 PM on May 3 [3 favorites]


    And just to put the Kansas fight into perspective, this abortion vote isn't just about us. Kansas is surrounded on 3 sides by states with trigger laws or existing bans: Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri. OKC is about 3 hours away from Wichita. Omaha is about 3.5 hours away from Kansas City.

    Missouri is especially important with the Kansas City metro area split between the two states. If this amendment is rejected, then Kansas City will retain access, via clinics on the Kansas side, and it will be out of the control of the Missouri legislature.
    posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 8:33 PM on May 3 [4 favorites]


    highest rents, the most homelessness and the worst environment for working people? - how is it that many of the red states are more affordable to live in than the blue states?

    Gonna take a wild guess that living in a pleasant/not-snowy climate is not cheap. Sure, you can buy a big ol' house in the middle of nowhere in Ohio for cheap, probably, but you're also probably far away from a lot of useful city amenities and job options. More people want to live/work in SF than Cheap Middle Of Nowhere,. thus it's more expensive. Big blue cities are probably more amenable to weirdos living there rather than more ah, homogenous populations that don't deal well with people who are different from them. Big populations = more expense. Less people wanting to live somewhere = cheaper. Sure, it's a great deal to buy a house up in the mountains far away from everything/body, but when you want to get rid of that house, who wants to buy it when it's cheap but inconvenient?

    So, y'know, usual urban vs. rural stuff there. Now back to your lack of abortion thread....
    posted by jenfullmoon at 9:02 PM on May 3 [9 favorites]


    Two Democrats React to the Supreme Court Overturning Roe v. Wade (Seth Meyers writers freaking out).
    posted by jenfullmoon at 9:19 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]


    I would like my rights to not be subject to the capricious whims of Supreme Court justices appointed by a president chosen by some randos in Ohio.

    Slight derail, but there really is no perfect system. Rights really are a fragile thing.

    Contrast this to Australia - where having "no" Bill of Rights has been linked to them being able to maintain a neutral judiciary in the past 20 years despite the political debate being utterly poisoned the same way the US has. Abortion and gay marriage were never brought before the High Court (equivalent to the US Supreme Court), they were directly legislated in parliament. It would not occur to anyone to even question if a particular judge was more closely aligned to one political party or another - the perception (rightly or wrongly) is that all the judges are truly neutral in respect to politics.

    Because it's so hard to change the constitution in the US, and because the constitution overrides the law, the only way you can effect change is lobby your political party to stack the courts so they interpret the constitution the way you want it, which then turns the judiciary into a political arm, destroying its integrity.

    So Australia gets by with few constitutional protections - one of the reasons they were able to rapidly institute blanket border closures and curfews as part of their Covid response. On the other hand, the parliament with a stroke of a pen could legalize gay marriage, and with the change of government a year later, repeal it, so their rights really are as fragile as that.

    Basically, the founders just said, we're not going to have an immutable bill of rights, let's trust in democracy (legislature) and the courts (judiciary) to maintain those rights and update them over time as societal mores change - there might be some wisdom in recognizing that they - in the late 1800s - shouldn't be immutably defining the morality and rights of Australians for the next 500 years.

    There's also the darker (and more likely) theory that the founders specifically wanted to avoid having a Bill of Rights because it would stop them discriminating against the aboriginals and immigrant Chinese - the Bill of Rights would have given them ironclad rights equal to those of White Australians and they couldn't have that, could they.

    (of course, there are countries which can maintain a Bill of Rights with a neutral judiciary - but just contrasting Australia, which has been thoroughly poisoned by the media with a left wing / right wing divide, where both sides utterly hate each other yet if you asked anyone on either side they would all have to admit that the courts are perceived as immaculately neutral)
    posted by xdvesper at 10:07 PM on May 3 [8 favorites]


    highest rents, the most homelessness and the worst environment for working people? - how is it that many of the red states are more affordable to live in than the blue states?

    There's also a long, long history of coastal port towns and cities being much more diverse, accepting, cultured and libertine with vastly more diverse employment opportunities and wealth due to the cultural and financial wealth of being a port city founded on material trade, informational trade and cultural exchange.

    Port cities in general also trend towards having more moderate year round weather due to less drastic temperature changes due to the warming and cooling benefits of being on the ocean that you don't get from, say, an inland trade navigable river.

    It's not just a political issue for the US. You can look at other high trade port cities from London and Venice to Tokyo and Hong Kong and many, many more examples.

    This is all true before we even start to look at the socio-economic factors involved like having more open land in landlocked districts available for housing or the inherent economic value of economies based around concepts like resource extraction, captive workforces in company mining towns or farmlands or the current economic practices of farming or resource extraction subsidies or racial issues like displacing indigenous populations.

    There are reasons why port/trade regions are both more expensive and more attractive to a wider range of individuals.

    In the case of San Francisco in particular that place was born and built into a world class city on a non-figurative gold rush that consumed much of the available 49 square miles of viable land even before the 1906 quake which was then amplified and compounded by Silicon Valley and later the dot-com era and other economic boom cycles. It was expensive to live there long before the first integrated circuits were shipped out of Silicon Valley.

    All that being said? San Francisco probably isn't the most liberal or progressive city in the entire US. It has been perceived or tagged as such by being a cultural hotspot for the long gone historical Summer of Love and being accepting of LGBTQ people and culture very early on, but by all metrics NYC is less conservative and more progressive than SF. Remember, Stonewall didn't happen in SF. And SF has a conservative streak a mile wide due to its long history with the US Navy and US military and, earlier, Spanish Colonialism.

    SF is a very unique edge case of a city perched precariously on the tip of a peninsula surrounded by water and geography that has had cost of living and housing issues ever since it could be rightly called a city.
    posted by loquacious at 10:10 PM on May 3 [18 favorites]


    Arguing that Kavanaugh and Barrett committed perjury is -- from a legal perspective -- silly. It was settled law, they never promised not to change it.

    Based on testimony from multiple women, Kavanaugh almost certainly lied about assault in the testimony given in front of Congress, which is perjury and also makes overturning Roe even more of a crime against women. But, as noted above, Thomas is also almost certainly implicated in documented acts of sedition by his wife, and he won't get removed and disbarred for participating in or acting as an accomplice to those federal crimes. And that leaves aside allegations of sexual assault against him. While it is unlikely these trash people will be justifiably booted, if it ever does happen, it probably won't be for reasons of jurisprudence or opinions about it.
    posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:30 PM on May 3 [8 favorites]


    It was excruciating to listen to Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutlege on the PBS NewsHour on Tuesday evening. It's always jarring when a lower-profile Republican visits the NewsHour. Rutlege appeared empowered to talk over reporter Amna Nawaz's attempts to ask legitimate questions about child poverty and overwhelmed foster care systems. "How will you take care of them?" "We will love them."

    Rutlege is running for Lieutenant Governor, alongside Sarah Huckabee Sanders. If past performance is any indication, they will both win easily. A truly nightmarish pair of state leaders.

    For balance, the NewsHour also interviewed Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont and Washington Senator Patty Murray.
    posted by JDC8 at 10:46 PM on May 3 [4 favorites]



    Are all the people advocating for non-electoral strategies here the same people who told us in 2016 that it was okay if they didn't vote for Hillary, because elections don't really matter?


    Hillary won in 2016, with >3m votes more than her opponent. My vote, and probably yours, DID NOT MATTER to that outcome. Nothing illegal involved in that, just the Electoral College working as intended.

    Sure, voting "matters." If you can vote, you probably should. You also should not blame people who cannot vote, whether because they had to work that day, were sick, had childcare duties, etc. Do they not matter to you? Do you imagine that they are not affected by this? Do you think they don't matter, or are to blame, because they lack your electoral facility?

    Can you reassure these people that their votes would have been counted? Do you know how many people stood in the rain and cold for 6 hours or more at the polls, only to have their votes thrown out?
    You don't. I don't think anyone does. Voting machines leak, information is lost. If you look up "defcon voting machine village" you'll see that the majority of machines in use can be trivially compromised. The methods are publicized and widely known among folks who care, but that group does not include the vendors nor the customers for these machines.

    Most elections over the last 10 years in the US have been overseen by Republicans. Secretaries of State are usually responsible for elections in the States. Do you know the party affiliation of yours (if you have one)? Do you trust them to be a responsible non-partisan steward of your vote? If so, WHY?!

    Voting, for most of us here, is pretty low-stakes and low-cost. The calculus is different for a great many Americans, and if they were adequately represented, this 'country' would be very different. Better. But no, go ahead and blame them. Go on with your "HRC woulda done made thisn all better!!!" What's she up to these days? Writing another self-congratulatory book? If she was half the activist Jimmy Carter was, maybe she could do some good in the world. Have fun with the lecture tour I guess.

    Voting will not fix this. It's part of the solution but not the whole. Shitting on people who didn't or couldn't helps nothing but the narrative of the [Slightly Less Anti-]Democratic Party. Donate some more why don't you.

    If you want to do something to help, shunning is good. Boycotts work. Direct action gets the goods. If you have a R vendor, ditch em. If you have an R boss, sabotage them, or quit, or get them fired. If you know R parents, talk to their kids- they probably need help.

    Be nasty to the Republicans. It's what they expect, and it's all they respect.

    Support socialists, the DSA and whatever lefty non-tankie wierdos you have around. They are about helping others. That's what socialism is. You probably want some of that to counter this "free market magic" nonsense in the air, even if you hate those weirdos.

    Tankies, on the other hand, are the same as Republicans or any fascist; tell them so, and then shun them too. They will often make entertaining noises when you do so, so enjoy those if that's your thing.
    posted by Rev. Irreverent Revenant at 10:50 PM on May 3 [24 favorites]


    My impression is that Republicans had a pipeline for judges (not sure how they did that) and were planning ahead. Maybe an important question is "What can we do that will pay off in the long run?" to go along with "What can we do right now to make things better soon?"
    posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 3:47 AM on May 4 [6 favorites]


    The Federalist Society started in the early eighties. Here is an article about the dishonesty present in their very name.

    On the side of light, is Lawyers for Good Government. 125k lawyers and activists working to build better government. I’m on their email list (been donating my air miles to their Project Corazon since the Trump admin). Here’s a little from their email about Roe:

    We have already published 3 state-level model policies with more coming soon. This summer, we are launching a remote training program designed to give attorneys and others the skills, tools, and expertise required to engage more actively in state-level legislative advocacy.



    There is good reason to feel angry, sad, scared, or whatever you may be feeling right now. But there is also reason to hope - and perhaps more importantly, reason to fight.


    They build model legislation, send lawyers to the border to support immigration, and are building a training program. Speaking of their email also includes this relevant snippet:

    Text the word “Roe” to 404-382-9644 to sign up for alerts on this issue from L4GG, and to be notified when registration opens for our attorney training program.

    If you have law skills, please consider joining them.
    posted by nat at 5:01 AM on May 4 [14 favorites]


    Maybe an important question is "What can we do that will pay off in the long run?" to go along with "What can we do right now to make things better soon?"

    The solution seems fairly straight forward, though it's a bit of long game aka the Fifty State Strategy. Start small, like with the local school board and growing, building alliances and doing things for everyday people.

    Once the left is in any level of power, start pushing for laws that help people. Democrats (as a party) should have been running on a whole host of issues years ago. Things such as a federal right to privacy, unions, simplified tax code, etc. Pick a list of 5-10 things and keep running on that stuff.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:02 AM on May 4 [7 favorites]


    Amy Kapczynski, former Supreme Court clerk and now of the Law & Political Economy Project posted her theory on Twitter that the leak was from the conservative faction in an effort to rally a wavering justice—Kavenaugh is a possibility—from a potential slightly less drastic draft by Roberts. She also points out that risking your career for a leak is much less of an issue for a conservative clerk when you have the likes of Clarence Thomas flouting bigger norms. A lot of maybes and full acknowledgment that the leak is a distraction from the important story.
    posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:08 AM on May 4 [4 favorites]


    "The other thing the Democrats are going to have to do, is get over is the aversion to generational politics. The ability to undermine the right's socioeconomic alliance will be entirely generational, along every potential wedge issue.

    I don't know if that's possible given the Boomer (literal Boomer, statistically and not the ones here specifically, calm down) death grip."

    Sorry, I don't think you can thread that. Do a generalized attack on Boomers, and you get a generalized attack on Boomers.

    I remember when people were saying "Just wait for the Boomers to die off, and that will solve racism." I was going "Uh huh, uh huh, racism is bad" until I remembered that I was born in 1953.

    You people want me dead. I don't forget. You can't make that better, but an anti-Boomer campaign could make it worse.
    posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 5:28 AM on May 4 [4 favorites]


    "Vote harder!" will not work. Everyone is voting as hard as they can. And let's face it, Democrats haven't delivered.

    The only thing to do now is mass mobilization and mass uprising. We need to clog every economic activity in the cities, districts, and states where pressure can be applied. Boycott, divest, cancel contracts, barricade entrances, refuse to cooperate with law enforcement, shut down factories.

    Because, at the end of the day, men with guns and badges are going to show up and arrest people and try those people for murder. They will hound people to death. They will lock them in cages. That is violence. I'm not saying "get violent," but I am saying the status quo is heading towards a place where violence against uterus-having people and OBGYNs will be normalized and state-sponsored. We should react accordingly.
    posted by Lord Chancellor at 5:37 AM on May 4 [9 favorites]


    If any NY folks are looking for something meaningful to contact their reps about (via Resistbot or directly), this NYMag article discusses NYS bills that need to be passed now to protect abortion providers in New York State: Is New York Really an Abortion Sanctuary State? The legislative session ends on June 2, so time's a-wasting!
    posted by unknowncommand at 5:40 AM on May 4 [4 favorites]


    Wealthy liberals don't really care if some working class woman gets trapped at nineteen with a baby she doesn't want; after all, that's not as if their own daughter got pregnant before she was established in a career, ruining her prospects. Being stuck, miserable, uneducated - working class people aren't fit for any better.


    See also: Failson Hunter Biden selling expensive 'art' instead of living in a halfway house and working at a grocery store.
    posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:42 AM on May 4 [3 favorites]


    Rutledge is running for Lieutenant Governor, alongside Sarah Huckabee Sanders. If past performance is any indication, they will both win easily. A truly nightmarish pair of state leaders.

    Not that anyone asked for a deep dive into Arkansas Republican primary politics, but the alternatives are worse. The person running against Sanders for governor is a former talk-radio host who was fired for refusing to be vaccinated. In the shitshow lieutenant governor race, candidates include a clown who says we need 'DeSantis-style leadership,' a smug preacher who wants to introduce Texas-style abortion legislation, and three other inconsequential and inexperienced people who, when they're not talking about the big things they'll do in a job that literally consists of breaking ties in the state Senate (it's 28-7 R, there won't be any ties) and filling in for an incapacitated governor, spend most of their time calling the other candidates RINOs.
    posted by box at 5:47 AM on May 4 [3 favorites]


    The leaker is already known, or will be within the next day or two, because the leaker will admit to the investigators or take the Fifth. It's a felony to lie to the investigators, and the leaker won't roll those dice.

    The arguments that it was a right wing clerk (or even Justice) are clever, but most informed people's money - and my not-well-informed-at-all-money too -- is on a left-wing clerk -- probably to one of the liberal Justices, but not necessarily (conservative Justices regularly have liberal clerks).

    Simply makes too much sense. They would be the ones holding out hope that social or political pressure might bend Gorsuch or Kavanaugh to change their vote, or failing that persuade the Chief to join the majority in order to assign himself the writing of a (more moderate) opinion, leaving the hardcore anti-Roe arguments to be made in an Alito concurrence. S/he might also think it moves a Senator to support abrogating the filibuster on a court-packing law that much sooner. More generally, such a clerk is drawn from the norm-busting left-wing milieu which is making a lot of noise at elite law schools lately. Those kids cannot don't want Justice Barrett types in places (like elite law schools) where they are a begrudgingly tolerated minority of 3 or 4 on a faculty of 80, so going ballistic in a place where Justice Barrett is in the majority makes sense.
    posted by MattD at 6:02 AM on May 4


    The Republican strategy is hate, bigotry, burning everything down and sowing their dragon teeth on everything they can. They believe that they now have enough power to outright rule the country.

    I will always vote Democrat (Not least because I genuinely believe too many people on the other side literally want me dead) but really, I can't articulate a true Democratic platform. Umbrella policies, generally being On The Best Side of things? That's great, and I value those policies, but we're not giving great reasons to be Democratic. Not talking about new New Deal policies or how the original was massively successful and we need more building, less shotgun flamethrower.

    Obama offered Hope. I believed it, as many of us did. Hillary had great policies, would have been a great president. But when she lost to world class felon and insurrectionist Trump, that's bad. When Not Trump but An Adult almost lost to "hundreds of thousands of unnecessary murderous Covid deaths" Trump, there's something deeply wrong with the party.


    Yeah, the gerrymandering and vote suppression and outright theft and systemic advantages don't help. But..... Why should we vote Democratic? They suck at selling themselves. (Reminder: Republicans are going super far right on minorities and liberty. They must be treated like the metastatic cancer they are and have been for decades. Please continue to vote Democratic.) What does it take to get our shit together as a party and not look like a troupe of kittens?
    posted by Jacen at 6:13 AM on May 4 [4 favorites]


    This essay by Alex Pareene about Democratic institutionalists is very, very good.
    posted by Gadarene at 6:24 AM on May 4 [10 favorites]


    My impression is that Republicans had a pipeline for judges (not sure how they did that) and were planning ahead.

    "How they did that" is very likely the end result of a long game which began with supporting the candidacies of conservative-minded judges in smaller local offices, especially in small towns. Here's what I mean:

    When I went to the polls for the last election in NYC, I wasn't just voting for mayor. There were also several other positions on the ballot - the city comptroller, my borough president, a district attorney and six civil court judges. For the civil court judges ballot, I was allowed to vote for six - but there were only six candidates to begin with. That's actually typical of NYC ballots - you have the big attention-getting races, a couple of local races with some buzz (my own district has heard all about the candidates but another neighborhood wouldn't), and then a couple of more boring civil-court-judge types of races where people are uncontested. And - I actually try to do what I can to learn about some of these candidates in advance, but with the civil court judges I am rarely, if ever, able to learn anything about their records, and so I am faced with the choice of either a) just rubber-stamping all six into their roles, b) picking less than six by flipping a coin, basically, or c) ignoring the ballot in that section altogether. In the extremely rare occasion we have more candidates than positions, I may do something like "make sure all the women get in first" or think about whether I've heard anything at all about a given candidate, and if I have heard their name at all, but don't recall having heard anything negative about them, I vote them in based on "well, at least they've had some experience".

    And that's likely typical of what other voters do in other cities or towns, because the same kinds of ballots show up for them as well. East LeftOvershoe needs 2 new civil court judges, here are the only two candidates we got, vote for any two of the only two people running. When faced with that choice, most people will do as I did and just rubber-stamp everyone in.

    And....back in the 1980s, the religious right noticed that, and started playing a very long game:

    * Since no one pays attention to the smaller local races, and they need six candidates to fill the ballot, let's find a guy sympathetic to the conservative cause and back him to be one of those six candidates.
    * Yay, he got in. Now we wait until he's up for re-election and then do a very small marketing campaign to re-elect him. Just a few flyers, make sure that his name is on people's minds. No one's going to know what his record is anyway.
    * Yay, he got re-elected. Let's do that a few more times, make sure he's got a few terms under his belt.
    * Yay, he's got five terms behind him now. It's time to maybe bump him up to a higher court - and we can use that "he's been re-elected as civil court judge five times" as part of the campaign, that shows he's reliable and got experience.
    * Yay, it worked, and now he's in a higher court. Let's just keep him here a few terms.
    * Uh-oh, we're on his third term and he's got a challenger in the primaries. Let's focus the campaign on the fact that he's got more experience than the challenger, going all the way back to the civil courts.
    * Yay, we won the primary and there's no competition for the seat. He's in again. Now let's wait a couple terms and then see if we can get him into a Federal court role, he'll have 10 terms with the city and that will be enough to sway people....

    The Republican "pipeline for judges" started back in like 1986.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:27 AM on May 4 [28 favorites]


    Gonna take a wild guess that living in a pleasant/not-snowy climate is not cheap.

    This isn't it. San Francisco just hasn't built enough housing. My favorite fact to pull out in discussions around housing affordability is this: if San Francisco had the density of Paris, its population would be 2.5 million. Its actual population? Well under a million.
    posted by rhymedirective at 6:33 AM on May 4 [10 favorites]


    Significant majority support for Supreme Court reforms like imposing age limits or expanding the number of justices is also pretty illuminating (assuming these numbers are accurate), if politicians/activists are looking for something to amplify and build momentum for that could do some genuine structural good.

    Of course, as soon as progressives start championing something, most of the status quo Dems reflexively oppose it no matter how much popular support it has (wealth tax!), so I hold out no real hope.
    posted by Gadarene at 6:41 AM on May 4 [1 favorite]


    I think there's such a visceral reaction to the "just vote", much less the "vote blue no matter who" contengent becuase we DO vote.

    We vote.

    I have voted for every single shitbag spineless pathetic anti-charismatic hateful to me disgusting rapist racist creaking fossil of a coward the Democrats have ever nominated.

    Every. Fucking. Election.

    Every. Fucking. Time.

    I have never, not one single fucking time in my entire adult life, failed to vote for whatever pathetic disgusting loser the Democrats dug up to insult me with. Never once.

    So when I say "gee, it'd sure be nice if we got results instead of empty rhetoric once and a while" and I get back "fuck you hippie, vote harder" I get a mite testy.

    I think the Green Lantern theory of governance gets traction because demonstorably the Democrats **DO** lack the will to do even simple small things.

    I'd be a lot more willing to believe that they're actually incapable of doing important things if they'd do the things that they do have the power to do but have steadfastly refused to.

    Louis DeJoy is still the fucking Postmaster general. Biden could have ousted him on day one. Instead we were told that oh no, we'll have to let him keep wrecking the post office for a year. Well, it's two goddamn years now and DeJoy is still wrecking the post office and the Democratic position has shifted to become one of saying that he's a fine Postmaster General and we should just accept him as Postmaster General for life.

    No will.

    Biden could have changed marijuana's status as a Schedule One drug the first hour he was in office. He did not.

    No will.

    Biden could have fixed at least a portion of the student debt crisis literally the first hour he was in offfice. He did not.

    No will.

    So when we see this huge list of little things that we know the Democrats **COULD** do, but have refused to do, I don't think its really unreasonable for us to ask, of the big things, whether the problem is an inability to fix it, or a lack of will.

    Throw us a fucking bone.

    If the message is "vote blue no matter who for the next 50 years without one single gain of any sort at all and maybe, possibly, if you're good enough and clap loudly enough for all the pathetic miserable fossilized people who hate anyone younger than them we keep making you vote for you might maybe be granted the boon of one tiny symbolic victory" well, I can see why voting isn't all that appealing.

    Agian for the hippie punchers: I've voted straight ticket Democratic in every single election for the past 29 years. You don't need to scold me for not voting, k?

    Look, I'm politiclaly aware, involved, and educated. I know just how fragile the Senate "majority" we have is, I know just how vile Manchin and Sinema are. So I'm partially smpathetic to the people who say it's unreasonable to expect much more from Congress.

    But you know what I don't see?

    I don't see the Democats even expressing a tiny fraction of the outrage at this that I feel, or more important that the Republicans are expressisng over the leak.

    My Senator, Ted fucking Cruz, is on the news in a frothing rage that someone dared to leak this. He's saying its insurrection. He's saying it's part of a long plan by the Democrats to undermine and destroy both America and the Court.

    You know what i haven't seen? The tiniest hint of outrage from Biden that Roe is being overturned. He released a bloodless, passionless, boring, droning, statement that perhaps, on balance, maybe this action could be considered to be sub-optimal.

    If they can't deliver results, couldn't the Democrats at least deliver rhetoric?

    And that too feeds into the Green Lantern feelings. They don't seem to give shit so it seems that maybe, well, perhaps they aren't trying very hard.

    Donald Trump had more outrage and vitriol for someone asking him about his order at McDonalds than all the Democrats combined have managed to muster up at the single greatesst political loss of my lifetime.

    So yeah, to me it looks like mostly they don't care. I am explicitly making a tone argument here.

    And, I think, we're seeing this because the Democratic Big Tent continues to stretch to infinity on the right and as a matter of policy the Democrats as a whole are incapable of really rallying around Roe and being enraged at it's loss because... the Democratic Party is trying to be a welcoming and inclusive space for forced birth advocates

    We were being told as recently as 2020 that it was impossible, and morally wrong, for the Democrats to take a hard line on abortion rights and refuse to endorse anti-choice Democratic candidates.

    Which also feeds into the Green Lantern feelings. Is it so hard to believe they lack the will when they consistently tell us they lack the will?

    It's the second day and so far the Democrats still have no plan, and they have yet again let the Republicans set the terms of discussion so that instead of talking about women's rights we're talking about how horrible the leak was.

    No will.
    posted by sotonohito at 6:48 AM on May 4 [91 favorites]


    Do a generalized attack on Boomers, and you get a generalized attack on Boomers.

    If you insist; although it's more like 'do a generalized attack on every other age cohort at the ballot box for decade after decade and eventually receive a response in kind.' aka, the Vote for Me generation.
    posted by snuffleupagus at 6:52 AM on May 4 [6 favorites]


    EmpressCallipygos, do you think the Republicans who were running for low level offices were making a sacrifice, or was it mostly personally good for them?
    posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 7:07 AM on May 4


    I don't know why you say Democrats have no will, sotonohito.

    After all, it's not like Biden just went out of his way to endorse a guy who's consistently voted against him and helped torpedo his legislative agenda, against a progressive primary challenger, in a safe Democratic district.

    Because that would just be silly, right?
    posted by Gadarene at 7:08 AM on May 4 [9 favorites]


    they have yet again let the Republicans set the terms of discussion so that instead of talking about women's rights we're talking about how horrible the leak was

    That's the fault of the so-called "liberal media" taking its cues, as usual, from bad faith Republican talking points, not because the Democrats think it's a great idea. (See, for example, Nina Totenberg yesterday morning on NPR.) Sheesh.
    posted by Gelatin at 7:09 AM on May 4 [5 favorites]


    Louis DeJoy is still the fucking Postmaster general. Biden could have ousted him on day one.

    No, he couldn't have.

    the Democratic position has shifted to become one of saying that he's a fine Postmaster General and we should just accept him as Postmaster General for life.

    Cite, please.
    posted by Gelatin at 7:22 AM on May 4 [9 favorites]


    No, he couldn't have.

    From that article:

    "Biden can attempt to oust DeJoy indirectly, but that option is fraught with legal uncertainties, and certain to trigger Republican complaints of norm busting."

    Well, we certainly can't have Republican complaints of norm busting, can we? Heaven forfend.

    Jesus.
    posted by Gadarene at 7:25 AM on May 4 [31 favorites]


    >blow up their god-damn phone lines and email inboxes

    >Pick up the phone and take up someone's time.

    An underpaid staffer's time, yes.

    >your substance will still be disregarded

    Right. It doesn't matter whether you send them an automated form email or a handwritten bespoke letter into which you pour your heart and soul. You're going to get a boilerplate reply either way, and your representative will never see it.

    > "yo, I voted for you to REPRESENT me in Congress, now FUCKING REPRESENT ME, and here is how".

    We cast votes for representatives, yes, but these people largely do not represent us.

    Social stratification is a helluva thing. The majority of those in congress are millionaires. The people we elect may as well be living on another planet. They are wholly insulated from the hoi polloi.

    You won't see them at Costco. You're not going to catch them on the links. You're not going to bump into them at church.

    We are not their constituents. Wealthy donors, corporations, and special interest groups (but I repeat myself) are their constituents.

    In 2010 Citizens United decided that money is free speech, and that unlimited money can be spent by these wealthy donors, corporations, and special interest groups on elections.

    Unlimited money. How the fuck are you and I supposed to compete with that extreme concentration of wealth? (That's a rhetorical device, we cannot hope to compete at all).
    ...the biggest money (that can be traced) has come from an elite club of wealthy mega-donors. These individuals — fewer than 200 people and their spouses — have bankrolled nearly 60 percent of all super PAC spend­ing since 2010.
    This is perhaps the most troubling result of Citizens United: in a time of historic wealth inequality, the decision has helped reinforce the growing sense that our democracy primarily serves the interests of the wealthy few, and that democratic participation for the vast majority of citizens is of relatively little value.
    An astounding 80 percent [of Americans] disapproved of Citizens United. So far this disapproval has failed to translate into major reforms, thanks largely to the indifference or outright hostility of many elected leaders.
    Those are excerpts from an article that's five years old. It's only gotten worse since then.

    I'm not saying that voting doesn't matter; it does (for now). Several people in this thread have pointed out the ways in which voting has resulted in better outcomes than we might have encountered otherwise. I don't want perfect to be the enemy of good.

    I'm just sharing my opinion that as things stand our options to sway the course of this country are incredibly limited compared to the abilities of a powerful few; that our representative democracy is not functioning as intended; and that it is increasingly difficult year after year to not feel wholly ineffective and impotent as we inch ever closer to a christofascist corporate dystopia.

    Anywho, make sure you're registered to vote.

    Please feel free to poke holes in my points. I am certainly no expert, I claim no special insight, I am just your average working class citizen. I would unironically love to hear how wrong I am.
    posted by rustybullrake at 7:25 AM on May 4 [23 favorites]


    I find it hard to believe that elected officials aren't able to tell how much of the volume of communications they receive are via automated mechanisms; and from there may proceed an unfavorable signal-to-noise analysis. i.e., 'oh look, it's another least-effort retweet click-here groundswell we can completely disregard.'

    Pick up the phone and take up someone's time. Be counted that way instead. The increased effort is minimal (and your substance will still be disregarded so don't sweat that).
    posted by snuffleupagus at 7:01 PM on May 3


    You're not wrong - phoning is more effective than writing. Showing up in person is more effective than phoning. Etc. But people who feel too intimidated to call or write a personal note (or too busy) can do this in a minute or two and it gets them used to contacting their reps, at which point (if they want) they can graduate to a higher level of engagement. People can also write GOTV postcards through Postcards to Voters or volunteer for a candidate or run for office themselves or march or whatever - I think all of these efforts have value.

    Sometimes I call my useless traitor senators (I live in TN) and play the "how much time can I waste of this staffer's day" game but I don't always have the spoons for that.
    posted by joannemerriam at 7:28 AM on May 4 [3 favorites]


    >Pick up the phone and take up someone's time.

    An underpaid staffer's time, yes.


    I do think there's value in making the unpaid intern failsons in Marsha Blackburn's office hate their jobs and quit so her office has to keep finding people to hire instead of doing evil. I think of it as a DDOS attack on nazis.
    posted by joannemerriam at 7:30 AM on May 4 [22 favorites]


    EmpressCallipygos, do you think the Republicans who were running for low level offices were making a sacrifice, or was it mostly personally good for them?

    I was puzzled by your question, but then I thought it might be due to a lack of clarity on my own part. So let me expand a bit:

    When I mentioned the candidates being backed by the GOP for the podunk races, I did not mean that back in 1986, a bunch of GOP dudes all said "Okay, we need someone to be the grass-roots guy. Sid, you go run for assistant civil court judge in East Podunk, Michigan, and then 20 years from now we'll get you in good."

    What I meant was that something like this happened:

    "Okay, Sid just came back from visiting East Podunk, Michigan and he said he met with a kid named Chuck Smarm who just graduated law school and was in the Young Republicans of East Podunk University. Let's fund Chuck Smarm's campaign. ....Okay - who went to WEST Podunk, Michigan? Frank? Anyone look good there?...."

    Meaning: there wasn't a GOP committee designed to BE the candidates, but rather there was a GOP committee designed to SCOUT OUT candidates and then fund them.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:38 AM on May 4 [10 favorites]


    "Biden can attempt to oust DeJoy indirectly, but that option is fraught with legal uncertainties, and certain to trigger Republican complaints of norm busting."

    Biden is currently "attempting to oust DeJoy indirectly," by replacing two members of the board -- which can fire him -- with Democrats. That process is currently bogged down in the US Senate.

    These facts are in the public domain. But please, don't allow facts to get in the way of your feelings.

    Though I'd prefer to leave that kind of thing to the Republicans.
    posted by Gelatin at 7:40 AM on May 4 [11 favorites]


    Right. It doesn't matter whether you send them an automated form email or a handwritten bespoke letter into which you pour your heart and soul. You're going to get a boilerplate reply either way, and your representative will never see it.

    Who said anything about "pouring out your heart and soul?" The point is emphatically not the reply. (What a bizarrely self-centered notion.) It's how you're measured.

    If you don't think data-based operations look at ResistBot texts differently than people burning up their phone lines, and so are encouraging people to engage in the laziest way possible, you're not helping. It's a half-step above yelling at pols on Twitter. It's a lot closer to voluntary polling than advocacy. 'flames > /dev/null .'

    Great for people who aren't able to do more for various reasons; otherwise it's literally the absolute least you can do, as it is engineered to be; and that is not lost on the people who measure such things.
    posted by snuffleupagus at 7:43 AM on May 4 [2 favorites]


    Biden is currently "attempting to oust DeJoy indirectly," by replacing two members of the board -- which can fire him -- with Democrats. That process is currently bogged down in the US Senate.

    Have there been Republican complaints of norm busting?
    posted by Gadarene at 7:46 AM on May 4


    By the way, leaving aside the goalpost moving, let's look at this: "Biden can attempt to oust DeJoy indirectly, but that option is fraught with legal uncertainties, and certain to trigger Republican complaints of norm busting."

    The fact that Murc's Law exists -- the proposal that only Democrats have political agency and not Republicans -- sucks, but it actually is a constraint, especially given that the media is not at all liberal and willingly takes up bad faith cues from Republican propaganda.

    Being hampered by constraints isn't evidence that one lacks will, but ignoring those constraints in favor of selection bias doesn't do one credit.

    Have there been Republican complaints of norm busting?

    Probably, but the Republicans have been more effective in using the Senate to slow down the process.

    But the reason DeJoy is still postmaster general is not because "Biden lacks the will" but because "the Republicans are leveraging the process to keep him there." It'd be nice if there were some acknowledgment of that fact, even if it does mean slightly less reason to be disappointed in the Democrats. The problem, as I've said before, is the Republicans.
    posted by Gelatin at 7:51 AM on May 4 [8 favorites]


    Who said anything about "pouring out your heart and soul?"

    Me? It's right there in my comment.

    It was a response to
    I find it hard to believe that elected officials aren't able to tell how much of the volume of communications they receive are via automated mechanisms; and from there may proceed an unfavorable signal-to-noise analysis. i.e., 'oh look, it's another least-effort retweet click-here groundswell we can completely disregard.'
    I thought your point was that automated messages are likely filtered out.

    My point was that automated form emails AND handwritten genuine messages from the heart are both noise. Neither matter. Your rep is never going to see either. So what's the point?

    I know this because as a youth I actually wrote my reps genuine messages from the heart, and got the canned responses. I don't understand how it was "self-centered" of me to do so, only naive. I thought that those things mattered or had any measurable effect. They don't.

    I'm going to dip out of this thread now, as the kneejerk infighting portion of the commentary doesn't seem to be the least bit constructive.

    Good luck, all.
    posted by rustybullrake at 7:54 AM on May 4 [3 favorites]




    EmpressCallipygos, what I was imagining is that running for that low-level office has at least a little effort attached to it. Filling out paperwork, if nothing else, though possibly that's done for people.

    The job may not be well-paid, and still involve some work.

    On the other hand, the candidate could feel as though they're doing something useful, and they might actually be doing something useful in their terms. And there might be business contacts.

    What I'm trying to figure out is how the personal plus vs. minus looks for that large number of people the Republicans recruited.
    posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 7:55 AM on May 4


    Biden is currently "attempting to oust DeJoy indirectly," by replacing two members of the board -- which can fire him -- with Democrats. That process is currently bogged down in the US Senate.

    I don't want to stray too far from the topic, but I think this is quite relevant. THEN WHY DOESN'T HE FUCKING TALK ABOUT IT? Why does the democratic caucus not use the tools available to them to announce how they are trying to fix these horrible injustices? You ask a question like this, and the democrats shrug and say "well you should be an informed citizenry" and "wait for the process" or some similar mealy-mouthed bullshit.

    You know who doesn't do that? The GOP. They scream every single thing they are doing at the top of their lungs, over and over and over again. We KNOW what the GOP wants, we know what they are doing, and we don't have to try very hard to know that (in fact, we have to try pretty hard to NOT know that!).

    Why is it that the only democrats that seem to have any talent for communication and messaging in the age of the internet (AOC, Bernie, Warren to a lesser degree) are totally shunned and sidelined within the leadership? The democrats actively shun and sideline people who communicate effectively and simply!

    I am too angry right now to write more eloquently about this. I know there is nuance, but when people say that the democrats don't care, THIS IS WHAT THEY MEAN. One of the most impactful and fucked up domestic situations in my lifetime comes up, and we get a mealy-mouthed "well if it happens the way it looks, we should fix that, I guess" message from the single most powerful politician in America. Un-fucking-real.
    posted by zug at 7:58 AM on May 4 [57 favorites]


    I know this because as a youth I actually wrote my reps genuine messages from the heart, and got the canned responses. I don't understand how it was "self-centered" of me to do so, only naive. I thought that those things mattered or had any measurable effect.

    If you think the lack of a personalized response means your effort was worthless, that would be the self centered part. (To the extent constituent substance does ever show in speeches and such it comes from letters and emails, but the point is not to hope that your words will be cherry-picked and shown to the pol.)

    Who cares? The point, again, is HOW you're counted. Are you someone whose convictions amount to pressing a button to send a form text and posting "SO MUCH THIS" on Twitter? Or, more?

    It doesn't have to be a phone call but the point is to consider how your participation will be analyzed. Be more than a bot with a pulse, when you have the spoons. Things have changed significantly in this regard over the last few election cycles.
    posted by snuffleupagus at 7:59 AM on May 4


    +1000 to everything zug says.
    posted by Gadarene at 8:01 AM on May 4 [6 favorites]


    EmpressCallipygos, what I was imagining is that running for that low-level office has at least a little effort attached to it. Filling out paperwork, if nothing else, though possibly that's done for people. The job may not be well-paid, and still involve some work. On the other hand, the candidate could feel as though they're doing something useful, and they might actually be doing something useful in their terms. And there might be business contacts.

    Bolding the point I nodded and saying "exactly." Look at it from the perspective of Chuck Smarm - he's just out of law school, he wants to get going on a career, he's also long been uneasy about the leftward lean he thinks the courts are taking - and along comes Sid from a GOP committee who says he'll mentor him in his career, help him file the paperwork, help him run a campaign, help him with the campaign fundraising...we're in your corner, Chuck, we like the way you think!

    Civil courts can be the "entry level" to a more prestigious career, no?
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:02 AM on May 4 [6 favorites]


    ...Or wait, are you saying that you don't understand why people would be a civil court judge as a thing?

    Well....we need judges, don't we?
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:04 AM on May 4 [1 favorite]


    I don't want to stray too far from the topic, but I think this is quite relevant. THEN WHY DOESN'T HE FUCKING TALK ABOUT IT? Why does the democratic caucus not use the tools available to them to announce how they are trying to fix these horrible injustices?

    Because the so-called "liberal media" sets the agenda and doesn't care about DeJoy right now, and because Biden apparently thinks the war in Ukraine and the need to pass his economic agenda are more important (and I happen to agree with him).

    You know who doesn't do that? The GOP.

    The Republicans have an in-house propaganda network, and the Democrats have to idea with a media that takes its cues from that propaganda network. The Republicans also have little interest in actually governing, let alone doing so responsibly, which Biden does kinda care about.
    posted by Gelatin at 8:06 AM on May 4 [4 favorites]


    Or wait, are you saying that you don't understand why people would be a civil court judge as a thing?

    I think we're talking about state and local government, not the courts.
    posted by snuffleupagus at 8:06 AM on May 4


    Gelatin - you don't think the ending of abortion rights in America is a fucking showstopper that should cause every single democrat to rethink their immediate priorities around messaging? This is what they have campaigned on MY ENTIRE LIFETIME. If this isn't a showstopper... what is?

    They don't have to stop trying to help Ukraine. They don't have to stop caring about the economy. They just need to act like this is a grave injustice, which should be really easy because it is! And yet here we are.

    And yes, the GOP has a much more effective messaging strategy, including a news network dedicated to their priorities. But that's in large part BECAUSE they know the value of messaging and the democrats obviously, SO OBVIOUSLY, do not. You cannot read that statement by Biden and tell me that it is in ANY way inspiring or reassuring. It is quite literally the opposite! He had a microphone and the attention of America. He could have reacted to this news in any of a thousand ways, and we get the rhetorical equivalent of a shrug. That's not the fault of Fox News. That's not the fault of the GOP. That's the fault of Biden directly and the democrats' unwillingness to take a fucking stand more broadly. That's the democrats shooting themselves in the feet for absolutely no reason.
    posted by zug at 8:16 AM on May 4 [31 favorites]


    Because the so-called "liberal media" sets the agenda and doesn't care about DeJoy right now, and because Biden apparently thinks the war in Ukraine and the need to pass his economic agenda are more important (and I happen to agree with him).

    What's he doing about passing his economic agenda?

    Or, for that matter, how is he expressing the need to do so?
    posted by Gadarene at 8:33 AM on May 4


    Mods, please delete if this doesn’t fit here.

    I run a small art business and am donating all of today’s sales to Indigenous Women Rising and Sister Song.

    “Indigenous Women Rising is committed to honoring Native & Indigenous People’s inherent right to equitable and culturally safe health options through accessible health education, resources and advocacy.”

    “Sister Song’s mission is to strengthen and amplify the collective voices of indigenous women and women of color to achieve reproductive justice by eradicating reproductive oppression and securing human rights.”

    Rare Press is my shop.
    posted by sucre at 8:34 AM on May 4 [7 favorites]


    Gelatin - you don't think the ending of abortion rights in America is a fucking showstopper that should cause every single democrat to rethink their immediate priorities around messaging?

    No Democrat is approving of this decision. Every Democrat I am aware of has spoken out against it. I don't accept the premise that because Biden doesn't rip up the Constitution and abolish SCOTUS or the Senate or whatever, or doesn't wave a magic wand and turn every Republican state legislature into pigs (small of a change as that would be!), it means he doesn't care. Every Democrat is acting like this is a grave injustice.

    I don't accept the premise that anything Biden or whoever does say is just never going to be enough. I don't accept the response to "Why don't they just DO something" being answered by "because of real, actual, existing constraints" should be "No, it means they just don't CARE!"

    And yes, the GOP has a much more effective messaging strategy, including a news network dedicated to their priorities. But that's in large part BECAUSE they know the value of messaging and the democrats obviously, SO OBVIOUSLY, do not.

    And the fact that you claim that the Democrats don't have a dedicated propaganda network is evidence that they don't believe in messaging is one reason why.

    I'm genuinely curious about one thing -- much as I love them, Bernie Sanders, AOC, and Elizabeth Warren have been every bit as ineffective at implementing their agenda as any Democrat -- no, more so, because Biden has at least passed some of his agenda over the objections of Republicans. I know, I know, it's the mean ol' Democrats who are holding them back, but if the Green Lantern theory holds true, that shouldn't matter, should it? They aren't actually accomplishing anything to keep abortion legal either, so why don't they get anger too?
    posted by Gelatin at 8:35 AM on May 4 [11 favorites]


    I literally cannot understand anybody defending the Democratic Party on this right now. Literally the proof is in the pudding. You either deliver the goods or you don't. That's all that matters at the end of the day.. results. They failed. They failed to inspire voters to the polls, they failed to push back hard enough, they failed in messaging, they failed to put systems and organizations in place to counter the Federalist Society and all the rest of them, they failed to do literally whatever it is (bribery, cloak and dagger shit, hearts and mind shit, whatever it is that is literally the jobs of politicians and partisans to do) to prevent this from happening. The Democrats failed, but not just the nebulous "party" but individual identifiable people, the Leadership specifically. I mean, for chrissake this is literally the biggest thing they've all promised to protect since I was a child and they failed at it and have no plan for moving forward, it seems. They are failures. I'm not sure how anybody can say otherwise or look to blame the electorate or the Republicans (uh, the Republicans are the adversaries, blaming them seems absolutely moronic, they are doing what adversaries do), or anyone else. I really don't understand folks reflex to protect the Democrats here, especially the Democratic leadership. They fucking failed at their jobs and have been doing so, more or less, since most middle-aged adults in their 40s have been in preschool.
    posted by flamk at 8:36 AM on May 4 [25 favorites]


    What's he doing about passing his economic agenda?

    Come on. He's negotiating with Senator Manchin, whose vote he must have to implement it. (Whether Manchin is negotiating in good faith is another matter, but it isn't Biden's fault. (See upthread for why Biden and the Democrats don't actually have any leverage on Manchin.)

    Or, for that matter, how is he expressing the need to do so?

    Jen Psaki talks about it at the daily press conference. Biden talks about at press availabilities and in recorded remarks. This information is in the public domain. The so-called "liberal media" might not consider it "news," but it's unbecoming to simply pretend that the things he says don't exist.
    posted by Gelatin at 8:39 AM on May 4 [4 favorites]


    I prefer to focus on the positive. According to Alito and his pals we can finally force parents to send children to liberal secular humanist state run schools and close all the religious and home schools programs. Parents who refuse to comply with this law can be forcibly sterilized and we can put their kids in dorms until they are properly educated in our far left agenda. We can also ban racially homogeneous, straight marriage and only allow inter-racial or lgbt+ marriages.

    They thought this was the moment of our defeat but it is actually our greatest victory!!!!!!
    posted by interogative mood at 8:41 AM on May 4 [2 favorites]


    I'm genuinely curious about one thing -- much as I love them, Bernie Sanders, AOC, and Elizabeth Warren have been every bit as ineffective at implementing their agenda as any Democrat -- no, more so, because Biden has at least passed some of his agenda over the objections of Republicans. I know, I know, it's the mean ol' Democrats who are holding them back, but if the Green Lantern theory holds true, that shouldn't matter, should it? They aren't actually accomplishing anything to keep abortion legal either, so why don't they get anger too?

    If the rest of the party was like them, we'd have a different world.

    Instead, we get Pelosi and Clyburn campaigning for the last anti-choice Congressional Democrat against a progressive WOC challenger in a safe district.

    We have Biden shrugging about whether it would be worthwhile to scrap the filibuster in order to codify Roe.

    We have Sean Patrick Maloney tweeting that it's voters who are the problem.

    Please don't suggest that the politicians who are expressing urgency and passion and leadership on issues that affect the lives of hundreds of millions of Americans are part of the fucking problem.

    Tell it to the donor class and their millionaire representatives among the Democratic leadership.
    posted by Gadarene at 8:42 AM on May 4 [21 favorites]


    You either deliver the goods or you don't. That's literally all that matters at the end of the day.. results. They failed.

    The Republicans didn't fucking roll up and immediately deliver Alito's opinion within a year or two or even an election cycle or two once their base started pushing against abortion as a moral issue. 2023 will be the 50th anniversary of the decision in Roe v. Wade.

    Fifty years to get to this point.

    So we push. We keep pushing. For decades if necessary. Forever if required. And when we don't get the results we want -- not if -- we keep pushing on every lever that we have. It isn't voting OR holding elected Democratic officials accountable. It's both. And more.
    posted by joyceanmachine at 8:46 AM on May 4 [19 favorites]


    He's negotiating with Senator Manchin, whose vote he must have to implement it.

    Genuine question: Biden is currently negotiating with Manchin about Build Back Better? That is news to me; where can I read more about this? Everything I see suggests that negotiations have been dead since early March.

    Jen Psaki talks about it at the daily press conference.

    Another genuine question: when was the last time Jen Psaki mentioned the need to pass Build Back Better (or any of its major constituent parts) at a daily press conference? Is it daily?
    posted by Gadarene at 8:46 AM on May 4 [1 favorite]


    Please don't suggest that the politicians who are expressing urgency and passion and leadership on issues that affect the lives of hundreds of millions of Americans are part of the fucking problem.

    Talk is cheap. If the Democrats failed to protect abortion, so did Sanders, Warren, and AOC. If the proof is in the pudding, none of them did a single thing that protects abortion, either. You can't have it both ways. You don't get to make an exception for your preferred team.

    Talk is cheap, I say? Not always:

    We have Biden shrugging about whether it would be worthwhile to scrap the filibuster in order to codify Roe.

    No matter what Biden says, Sinema will not vote to eliminate the filibuster, so the only consequence to Biden making a big bet on doing so is losing some of his perceived power. If you're going to criticize him for it, fine, but you also have to establish how he's going to change Sinema's vote.

    Or maybe -- just maybe! -- the reason we are where we are is the Republicans, not the Democrats.
    posted by Gelatin at 8:48 AM on May 4 [5 favorites]


    I am fully aware that Biden does not have a Green Lantern ring, and neither do Schumer or Pelosi. Those are pretty hard to come by. I am also aware that Joe Manchin will push back against any attempt to pass meaningful legislation because he's concerned that poor people will somehow benefit from that.

    Maybe this is a hopeless situation at present. Maybe nothing _can_ be done to protect abortion on a national level unless we get ten more Dem Senators and fifty more Dem House reps and aliens strike one-third of SCOTUS with personality reversal rays.

    But at the end of the day, in November, people will be looking for someone or something to vote _for_. Not just "Vote for me, I'm not Donald Trump"; Trump's not on the ballot this year, though his minions certainly are. People will need a reason to come out and vote for Democrats, an idea that if they do so, something good will happen.

    "We need a bigger majority to get things done" is not that reason. Dems have had a substantially bigger majority in the not-very-distant past, and meaningful change didn't happen because the legislative system was rigged _and_ because the political will was not there to attempt meaningful changes. "We can eliminate the filibuster with 53 Dem Senators" rings hollow if there's no evidence that they would eliminate the filibuster with 53 Dem Senators.

    America handed Democrats the Presidency, a slim House Majority, and razor-thin control of the Senate in 2000. People are looking at the state of the nation right now and seeing oil company profiteering leading to high gas prices, the same "none shall pass" situation in the Senate, and now half of the nation about to be kicked squarely in the uterus. The coup-plotters are walking around free and even still serving in Congress. BBB is dead. So the question potential voters will ask is simple: if we give you more power in November, what will change?

    And that is what they need an answer for.
    posted by delfin at 8:48 AM on May 4 [8 favorites]


    The Republicans didn't fucking roll up and immediately deliver Alito's opinion within a year

    Yes, I was discussing the Democratic Party's performance for the last 40+ years. They've been mostly out to lunch my entire life.

    So we push. We keep pushing. For decades if necessary. Forever if required

    I'm not against "us" pushing... That's a given to how any change ever happens. But I see that as a separate thing entirely from whether or not the Democratic Party is a failure at their own stated (or heavily implied) aims. If the party's goals were to protect abortion access they have failed. It's pretty simple.
    posted by flamk at 8:55 AM on May 4 [4 favorites]


    https://wapo.st/3w5VOny Washington post on trump cult

    Also, looking at the HRC campaign seriously use trump in her campaign slogan?

    (You can't kick people in the uterus, that might be an abortion and everyone in the world can sue you for at minimum ten thousand dollars)
    posted by Jacen at 8:58 AM on May 4


    Here's Joe Biden giving the most mealy mouthed, wimpy, pathetic, possible response to the question fo whether Congress shoudl codify Roe as law.

    He can show rage when a young woman asks him about his history of opposing women's rights. He can be snippy and quippy when asked about how young people are suffering.

    But when asked about the biggest political loss the Democrats have suffered in 50 years?

    He's long winded, boring, droning, and passionless.

    Tell me again that there's no problem of will here.
    posted by sotonohito at 9:00 AM on May 4 [26 favorites]


    So you claim they aren't talking about it, but you admit you don't actually know.

    Come on, dude/dudette. I'm asking in good faith here. I am relatively informed and I had no idea that the need to pass Build Back Better was a regular part of Jen Psaki's press briefings or that Biden was currently negotiating with Manchin to pass his economic agenda. Can you please point me to your sources for these things, so that I might be better informed?
    posted by Gadarene at 9:02 AM on May 4


    Democratic Party politicians can only do what politicians can do, and they will do that fine.

    They will raise billions more dollars than they would have, and every penny will be spent on pro-choice candidates. That money will yield one or two more Senators and Governors, half a dozen more House members, and scores more state legislators than would otherwise have been elected. Abortion will be legal in at least one state where in the absence of those campaigns it would be illegal, and there will be an increased chance of some kind of federal abortion rights statute, in 2025 if not in 2023.

    The campaigns for those candidates won't particularly stress abortion because abortion isn't especially motivating to low-propensity Democratic voters (and could motivate low-propensity Republican voters who have seen Republican politicians deliver on the moral values platform after 50 years of bupkus) ... but once again, that's what politicians are supposed to do.
    posted by MattD at 9:02 AM on May 4 [3 favorites]


    Talk is cheap. If the Democrats failed to protect abortion, so did Sanders, Warren, and AOC. If the proof is in the pudding, none of them did a single thing that protects abortion, either. You can't have it both ways. You don't get to make an exception for your preferred team.

    Again, if the rest of the party electeds were like them, we'd be much better off. As it is, they're kept away from the levers of power (don't want to upset the wealthy and/or corporate donors!), so I guess we'll never know how things would have been different if they were in charge.

    At least they're not FUNDRAISING FOR A CORRUPT AND ANTI-CHOICE DEMOCRAT.
    posted by Gadarene at 9:04 AM on May 4 [6 favorites]


    Can clinics providing abortions be set up on Native American land? Of course, with their permission. I believe that tribal lands would not be under the state's jurisdiction for this sort of thing.
    I realize there are hundreds of Native American governments with differing politics. When I was younger I was near some very Catholic. Still, there is a variety of viewpoints.
    posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:05 AM on May 4 [1 favorite]


    They will raise billions more dollars than they would have, and every penny will be spent on pro-choice candidates.

    Oh really?
    posted by Gadarene at 9:05 AM on May 4 [4 favorites]


    I think it's fair to say that yes, AOC, Bernie et al HAVE failed. They're still swinging though, which is more than can be said about the rest of the Dem establishment who are rolling over and, yes, endorsing anti-choice Democrats.
    posted by gee_the_riot at 9:08 AM on May 4 [12 favorites]


    My Senator, Ted fucking Cruz, is on the news in a frothing rage that someone dared to leak this.

    There's something striking about the fact that conservatives are so bought into their own victimhood that even on the verge of their biggest political win in decades, they have to invent a reason for aggrievement.
    posted by Slothrup at 9:17 AM on May 4 [26 favorites]


    there are people who have been elected, and people who ensure those people have been elected, and they only know 'attack'

    keep attacking.. the other side is an enemy and you keep attacking.. if they say something, you attack it because it's wrong.. whatever they do is wrong AND a threat.. if you win, you attack the next thing about them, if they die you go after their family, friends, neighbourhood, find new enemies, keep attacking

    that's no longer politics, and we can't solve that with "politics"
    posted by elkevelvet at 9:25 AM on May 4 [1 favorite]


    A conservative probably leaked it.
    posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:25 AM on May 4 [3 favorites]


    It's the opinion a true believer would want. No point in waiting for Roberts to try and tone it down, get it out there.
    posted by cmfletcher at 9:32 AM on May 4 [2 favorites]


    My impression is that Republicans had a pipeline for judges (not sure how they did that) and were planning ahead.

    Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has been doing a pretty good job at simplifying the explanation any chance he gets.
    posted by Celatone at 9:34 AM on May 4 [6 favorites]


    Or maybe -- just maybe! -- the reason we are where we are is the Republicans, not the Democrats.

    This is like insisting that the security guard is blameless, because after all, it's the burglars who robbed the place.
    posted by mstokes650 at 9:35 AM on May 4 [1 favorite]


    Election discussions are also currently ongoing over at https://www.metafilter.com/195203/Bringing-Rural-Voters-back-to-the-Democrats#8243051

    Back to abortion, are the menstrual extraction kits available online anywhere? For those who don't have access to the needed equiment?
    posted by beaning at 9:36 AM on May 4 [3 favorites]


    Well, one thing about circular firing squads is that if they get big enough, the bullets all fall to the ground before they get across. Unless we all shoot sideways, that is -- then we are all dead. Unfortunately, from the evidence so far, the latter seems to be the more popular choice this morning.
    posted by y2karl at 9:52 AM on May 4 [6 favorites]






    > Or wait, are you saying that you don't understand why people would be a civil court judge as a thing?

    I think we're talking about state and local government, not the courts.


    Nnnnno, we're talking about the courts, because the whole train of conversation I'm on started when Nancy said that it seemed like the GOP had a pipeline for judges, and said that she wasn't sure how that pipeline happened.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:33 AM on May 4


    Today's Ask A Manager, #2: SO's work is insisting they move to Texas, offers abortion flight if you need it.

    Thoughtful points re employers offering flights for abortion may not be sustainable (which is different than performative) as it sets them up for liability under abortion bounty laws such as TX SB8, requires disclosure of medical/sexual info to the HR department, and risks your HR determining the provider/location to minimize costs. If actually done however it could be a game changer particularly if expanded to include transport for other conditions needing non-local care.
    posted by beaning at 10:37 AM on May 4 [1 favorite]


    I would personally find another job, if the one I had wanted me to move to Texas. Especially now. (I wouldn't take a job in Saudi Arabia, either.)
    posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 10:40 AM on May 4 [5 favorites]


    If actually done however it could be a game changer particularly if expanded to include transport for other conditions needing non-local care.

    What if there was a federal program to cover these flights/drives for those who can't afford them? Or roll it into another current program.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:41 AM on May 4


    Data Brokers Selling Location Data Of Americans Who Visit Abortion Clinics

    BRB, going to eat my lunch in the parking lot of an abortion clinic.
    posted by box at 10:42 AM on May 4 [15 favorites]


    I literally cannot understand anybody defending the Democratic Party on this right now. Literally the proof is in the pudding. You either deliver the goods or you don't. That's all that matters at the end of the day.. results.

    ....A twitter thread with the counter-argument to this.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:42 AM on May 4 [9 favorites]


    I believe that tribal lands would not be under the state's jurisdiction for this sort of thing.

    I'm not sure the US has a really great track record of allowing Native Americans that much autonomy. If a tribe were to try it, I'm fairly certain there would be suddenly be Reasons that the interested state would have to stop them, by force if necessary.
    posted by hanov3r at 10:42 AM on May 4 [2 favorites]


    People who want to keep beating on the end the filibuster to 'codify Roe Federally' drum, is that despite knowing that the draft decision explicitly says it's a state question?

    What Federal power is it going to rely on, and how eager are you to invite SCOTUS as presently constituted to undermine that as well?

    Maybe this is a hopeless situation at present. Maybe nothing _can_ be done to protect abortion on a national level unless we get ten more Dem Senators and fifty more Dem House reps and aliens strike one-third of SCOTUS with personality reversal rays.

    With a sufficient hold on the Congress, Justices could be impeached for lying during their confirmation. Or, there's the Court-packing option (if also holding the presidency).
    posted by snuffleupagus at 10:44 AM on May 4 [4 favorites]


    I don't accept the response to "Why don't they just DO something" being answered by "because of real, actual, existing constraints" should be "No, it means they just don't CARE!"

    Are those constraints really constraining though? Seems like there's one party that's able to bluster its way into not accepting any constraints.
    posted by Apocryphon at 10:50 AM on May 4 [6 favorites]


    ....A twitter thread with the counter-argument to this.

    I think it's pretty belittling, verging on gaslighting, for that thread's author to characterize frustration with Democratic Party inaction on abortion and other issues over the last couple decades as a "need for immediate gratification."

    We've voted. Those of us who can, those of us who care, we've voted. It is not a low-cost activity and we've voted. And we look around and it is getting harder and harder to vote, the very mechanisms of voting are being made more difficult and more exclusionary, and still we're told that voting is the answer. The party who could be incandescent with anger, every day, over the fact that democracy is being stripped away through voting exclusions and restrictions and burdens that fall heavily on the least among us tells us only that voting is the answer. Once more. Just one more time. This time we'll have a majority we can do something with. Never mind the baked-in structural barriers that make this less and less likely. Never mind the lack of appetite for change amongst our party's own leaders. It'll be different if we just keep voting. Harder, if you can. Vote harder.
    posted by Gadarene at 10:51 AM on May 4 [29 favorites]


    Metafilter: ....A twitter thread with the counter-argument to this.
    posted by Rumple at 11:01 AM on May 4


    Talking Points Memo linked to an interesting NYT article from last September, "As Abortion Rights Expand, the U.S. Joins a Handful of Telling Exceptions" (archive.org link):
    The story of abortion rights in the 21st century can be seen in two world-shaking developments this past week.

    In the first, the U.S. Supreme Court effectively upheld drastic new abortion restrictions in Texas. A few days later, Mexico’s high court paved the way for nationwide legalization.

    It may be tempting to see Mexico’s ruling as the more surprising, catapulting the world’s second most populous Catholic country on a deeply contentious social matter.

    But experts say it is the United States that stands out. Since 2000, 31 countries, many just as pious as Mexico, have expanded access to abortion. Only three have rolled it back: Nicaragua, Poland and the United States. [...]

    A rough but reliable rule has emerged, said Sonia Corrêa, a prominent women’s rights researcher. Where democracy expands, women’s rights follow, of which abortion is often one. But the inverse may be true, too.

    That trend has accelerated, she said, but so has a backlash, often tied to rising nationalism and right-wing populism, that has intensified in the last 20 years. [...]

    But last week’s United States ruling may be symptomatic, some political scientists argue, of a significant change in democracy there and elsewhere. Its major institutions increasingly empower minority rule. [...]

    In democracies, a drift toward minority rule can feed a sense that power does not flow from the will of the people as a whole. Such leaders and institutions often become likelier to overrule the majority on issues important to the minority that put them in power. [...]

    “There is a trend to watch for in countries that have not necessarily successfully rolled it back, but are introducing legislation to roll it back,” Rebecca Turkington, a University of Cambridge scholar, said of abortion rights, “in that this is part of a broader crackdown on women’s rights. And that goes hand in hand with creeping authoritarianism.”

    For all the complexities around the ebb and flow of abortion rights, a simple formula holds surprisingly widely. Majoritarianism and the rights of women, the only universal majority, are inextricably linked. Where one rises or falls, so does the other.
    posted by mhum at 11:03 AM on May 4 [10 favorites]






    The bigots and racists are coming out from under their rocks, emboldened, and ready and eager to drag America back into the 1800s.

    Abortion rights are bigger than the proverbial canary in the coal mine, but they also portend other forms of legalized cruelty to come, if we choose to fight amongst ourselves and do nothing.
    posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:13 AM on May 4 [15 favorites]


    The bigots and racists are coming out from under their rocks, emboldened, and ready and eager to drag America back into the 1800s.

    The Supreme Court is doing that for them. How long before the forced birth of a prison-guard rapist's child by his imprisoned victim, in a former slave state? Less than a year, it would seem.
    posted by snuffleupagus at 11:41 AM on May 4




    My initial reaction is that Loving should be safe given at least 2 of the justices on this fall's US Supreme Court have interracial marriages, Clarence Thomas to Ginni Thomas and Ketanji Brown Jackson to Patrick Jackson. Bit hard to hide an attitude of "the only good interracial marriage is mine" when that info is very public.
    posted by beaning at 11:52 AM on May 4 [1 favorite]


    My initial reaction is that Loving should be safe given at least 2 of the justices on this fall's US Supreme Court have interracial marriages....

    And we come back to "now let's find if Kavanaugh ever paid off someone he knocked up so she could get an abortion".
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:55 AM on May 4 [6 favorites]


    Wouldn't they just say that all existing interracial marriages would are OK and that it would be up to the states going forward? That would be the most FYIGM way to do it, which tends to be what American justice tends to do (true fact, when I was writing the New York Bar Exam for anything I was unsure of I'd just think of what the law was here in Canada and then pretend what it would be if I was a jerk. I passed so there must have been something to it).
    posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:58 AM on May 4 [3 favorites]


    Are they happily married though? Maybe this whole thing is a super long con to allow Thomas to annull their marriage
    posted by Mitheral at 12:03 PM on May 4 [6 favorites]


    Well, EmpressCallipygos that twitter thread is the single most insulting, divisive, vile, take from a center right tool I've seen in a long time.

    What is it with the right wing of the Democratic Party continuilly acting as if anyone to the left of Joe Manchin is a child who throws a tantrum and refuses to ever vote again when things go bad?

    With friends like that, who needs enemies?
    posted by sotonohito at 12:03 PM on May 4 [10 favorites]


    My initial reaction is that Loving should be safe given at least 2 of the justices on this fall's US Supreme Court have interracial marriages....

    And we come back to "now let's find if Kavanaugh ever paid off someone he knocked up so she could get an abortion".


    Sure but that would fall under "I have now seen the error of my ways" vs "sure, I'll get a divorce from my spouse of 30+ yrs make the funding (sic) fathers happy."
    posted by beaning at 12:03 PM on May 4


    Point me to one single leftist who has declared that due to the fall of Roe they'll refuse to vote. Just one.
    posted by sotonohito at 12:04 PM on May 4 [9 favorites]


    Attorney, typographer and programmer Matthew Butterick on What We Can Deduce from a Leaked PDF.

    TL;DR, his guess is the source is "a friend, spouse, or family member of a Supreme Court justice who has consis­tently opposed Roe v. Wade, acting with some­thing between autonomy and plau­sible deni­a­bility."
    posted by snuffleupagus at 12:08 PM on May 4 [5 favorites]


    With friends like that, who needs enemies?

    ....Right, I don't need this.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:14 PM on May 4 [6 favorites]


    I wonder which spouse of a Supreme Court justice would do something so irresponsible...
    posted by feloniousmonk at 12:24 PM on May 4 [11 favorites]


    Yeah, anyone talking about "the need for immediate gratification on the left" needs to STFU; the left have been told "your concerns and issues don't really matter, but vote for us anyway" and then get blamed by liberals when they lose because liberals would rather blame leftists than Republicans, and god forbid they take any responsibility (see for instance the adamant refusal to accept that the failings, shortcomings, arrogance and complacency of the Clinton campaign are to some extent responsible for 2016). It isn't so much "immediate gratification" as "we've been voting for you for decades and you keep knifing us in the back".
    posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 12:25 PM on May 4 [18 favorites]


    via WaPo in 2017 -- Pelosi: Democratic candidates should not be forced to toe party line on abortion [mirror]

    note that forcing people to toe the party line is Pelosi's celebrated and irreplaceable heroic feat
    posted by snuffleupagus at 12:28 PM on May 4 [10 favorites]


    the left have been told "your concerns and issues don't really matter, but vote for us anyway" and then get blamed by liberals when they lose because liberals would rather blame leftists than Republicans

    Hold on. Reading over this thread, it looks like the liberals who are blaming Republicans and the left who are blaming the Democrats.
    posted by Gelatin at 12:29 PM on May 4 [5 favorites]


    Not sure if confusion or coyness, but 'liberals would rather blame leftists than Republicans' refers to the urge to again tweet about Bernie Bros, refusal to vote for HRC, Warren snake posting, etc. Whatever you think of that discourse.
    posted by snuffleupagus at 12:32 PM on May 4 [2 favorites]


    And Murkowski and Collins who actually voted for these people despite the known doubts and despite the very clear pattern of where the Republicans were moving on judges and SCOTUS, are getting a complete pass
    posted by beaning at 12:33 PM on May 4 [3 favorites]


    My view of justice Thomas is that he puts Republican party loyalty far ahead of any racial concerns
    posted by Jacen at 12:36 PM on May 4 [1 favorite]


    What is it with the right wing of the Democratic Party continuilly acting as if anyone to the left of Joe Manchin is a child who throws a tantrum and refuses to ever vote again when things go bad?

    2010. It all comes back to that god forsaken election. Every Democratic member, House and Senate, put their necks out for the ACA and the electorate let that guillotine come down on them.
    posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 12:39 PM on May 4 [6 favorites]


    Could we stop calling them abortion clinics? That is so reductive. Women's health care clinics that provide abortions.
    posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:39 PM on May 4 [7 favorites]


    Reproductive health clinics. (The only upside of 'abortion clinic' is distinguishing from the fake pro-life clinics.)
    posted by snuffleupagus at 12:40 PM on May 4 [4 favorites]


    Hold on. Reading over this thread, it looks like the liberals who are blaming Republicans and the left who are blaming the Democrats.

    I mean both are kind of true aren't they. Leftists need to vote for the lesser of two evils come hell or high water because a) American fascism won't lead to a people's revolution and b) revolution isn't a fun thing while Liberals need a better message than "our status quo is less shit than them actively destroying everything".
    posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 12:42 PM on May 4 [6 favorites]


    Liberals need a better message than "our status quo is less shit than them actively destroying everything"

    Let's leave aside for the moment whether there's a better message, or even whether the media would rather amplify said message than Republicans calling it "socialism" over and over --

    Is the statement "our status quo is less shit than them actively destroying everything" true or false?
    posted by Gelatin at 12:47 PM on May 4 [2 favorites]


    EmpressCallipygos I apologize. I shouldn't have called you out. We're all feeling shitty, I didn't need to snarl at you or treat you badly.

    I'm sorry.
    posted by sotonohito at 12:47 PM on May 4 [14 favorites]


    Is the statement "our status quo is less shit than them actively destroying everything" true or false?

    Minimum wage being $7.25/hr is shit and gets shittier by the minute but millions would further descend into poverty if that wage floor was destroyed. So the status quo isn't getting better, but there's still a lot further things can descend if right wing lunatics are given all of their wet dreams.
    posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 12:49 PM on May 4 [4 favorites]


    I get the circular firing squad, comments, I do. You take a bunch of people in a big tent who don't agree on everything and put them in a room, and they are naturally going to disagree, and we have to be careful to make sure our focus stays on the actual enemies and not those disagreements. I'm 100% sure that anybody I've disagreed with in this thread is still far more on my side than the most sympathetic republican.

    The republicans are ultimately to blame for this, I doubt anybody in this thread would deny that. They arguably violated the constitution to pack the courts with this precise outcome in mind.

    But at the same time, we have to, as liberals, leftists, former republicans, or whoever we may be, be able to critique our side when our side is so clearly asleep at the wheel while the other side wants to drag civil rights back 70+ years. This is literally the thing they've been telling us to vote for my entire life, to do our best to keep them in power so they will protect reproductive rights. And the thing that was literally unthinkable 10 years ago happens, and we had ample warning that this was going to happen, and it's immediately clear that the dems have not been paying attention. It's super clear that there is no strategy for this, in terms of messaging, in terms of priorities, or in terms of anything else. That's *incredibly frustrating*, that this moment has been marching its way down the pipe at us and the democrats seem more surprised than the everyday people do! I just cannot comprehend the incompetence that underpins this moment.

    I don't know what the answer is. But we have got to find a way to do better than this, or we are going to find ourselves in, at best, a position where we have to relitigate every single victory over the past 70 years, and at worst in an actual civil war.
    posted by zug at 12:50 PM on May 4 [21 favorites]


    Yeah, anyone talking about "the need for immediate gratification on the left" needs to STFU

    It's not even the "immediate gratification" angle of that thread that gets me, it's the poor grasp of history required to start from "look at the historical arcs of civil rights, labor rights, LGBTQ rights, and women's rights" and go from there to concluding that this teaches us the importance of VOTING. Like, when you think of the civil rights movement - just off the top of your head - are the first images that pop into your mind images of people lining up to vote? It's just astonishing to me that anybody could look at the struggles for civil rights, labor rights, LGBTQ rights, and women's rights and come to the conclusion that the history of those struggles teaches us that voting is the main thing that brings about change.

    Let's be clear: nobody in this thread is proposing "ehh fuck the Dems, I'm never gonna vote ever again". That's a pure strawman. We're all going to (continue to) vote blue, but some of us think that'll eventually fix things and some us do not. And when I look at the historical arcs of civil rights, labor rights, LGBTQ rights, and women's rights, what I see is that mass open, loud, blatant defiance of injustices gets change, while meekly kowtowing to the "practical realities" and party leadership and waiting for them to slot it into their agenda when the political stars align, does not.
    posted by mstokes650 at 12:51 PM on May 4 [34 favorites]


    If linking to other people's words on Twitter is helpful, Alexandra Erin's been linked to a fair amount here before & she has some words to that effect. (trimming interjections that're mostly relevant to Twitter context)
    Today in "two different things can be true at once":
    1. Yeah, we've gotta vote in November. And for Democrats. More good things become more possible if we do; more bad things happen worse and faster if we don't.
    2. The Democrats need a better message than "vote!"
    [...]
    You cannot think that "vote in November!" is an important message if you can't handle the response from people who don't want to hear it. The people who want to hear it, don't need to hear it. They are already voting blue no matter who.
    [...]
    Do I have a better message to propose than "Vote!"? No, not off hand. But I can see that "Vote!" isn't working. I can tell you that "Vote!" is never going to be the best message on its own, because it lands best with the people it needs to do the least work on.
    The people it lands well with can't see the problem with it, because it gives them a good feeling. They're part of the solution. They're doing their part. And all they have to do is the stuff they would have done anyway.
    [...]
    "But why do we HAVE TO fire them up? Don't they understand the stakes? Don't they know how much worse the alternative is?"
    Do you understand the stakes? Do you know how much worse the alternative is? If you want them to get over it and vote... get over it yourself and court them
    "But we shouldn't have to COURT anyone to vote against evil! What's wrong with them, that they NEED to be courted?"
    I mean, we shouldn't *have to* vote against evil, but it exists and it's running for office, so we do. If you think you're better than reluctant voters, be better.
    And being better means that while you're trying to get them to hold their breath and do something they find distasteful, you lead by example by holding your breath and doing something you find distasteful: act like they matter. Like they're an ally you value. A person you value.
    [...]
    Do I have the answer to this problem? No. Am I sure there is one? Also no. Is it possible that the Democrats have tapped the best messaging minds on the planet and what we're seeing is the literal actual best of all possible worlds in this area? Yes, it's possible.
    But... well, I'm a progressive because I believe (without knowing) that better things *are* possible, and because I am a progressive, I insist as proceeding as though better things are possible, just in case it turns out they are.
    Because I believe that the Democrats can always do so much better than they've been doing so far, I will always ask them to do better.
    Because I believe that the Republicans can always do so much worse than they've been doing so far, I will always vote for the Democrats.
    posted by CrystalDave at 12:52 PM on May 4 [16 favorites]


    Is the statement "our status quo is less shit than them actively destroying everything" true or false?

    That depends on how destructive you personally view the status quo to be. Many on the left can't see a lot of difference between a Republican candidate who's basically owned by corporations and won't do anything to piss off their wealthy donors, and a Democratic candidate who's more or less similar, except with less bigotry. "Hey, at least we're not those guys!" is not an especially inspiring message.
    posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 12:56 PM on May 4 [5 favorites]


    There has been a decades-long concerted strategy to suppress Democratic votes informed by studies that pinpoint exactly what methods Democratic voters prefer and eliminating them. It's somewhat unreasonable to treat low Democratic turnout as a failure by individual Democratic voters. As many have been saying for some time, we are at an absolute crisis in our democracy and it feels like we're teetering on the brink of no longer being a functional democracy at all. When, as someone posted above, you need a 12-point sweep to hold a simple majority in the Wisconsin state house, the systemic issues are well beyond what we can manage by bemoaning the choices made by individual voters. Republican voters have an easier path to the polls, and I mean that literally (more polling locations in their neighborhoods, the forms of ID they are likely to have accepted, etc.). So yes, we need a sweep in the midterms, like we always do, and then we either reform our democracy or lose it. Most of the evils that we're observing comes back to the fact that legislators are not accountable to the will of the people. It's not satisfying but I don't think anyone has a better answer. We need to pull out an absolutely heroic showing and then do whatever we can to make the Democrats we elect breathe new life into the VRA etc. The current slim majority we have can't do that. So it's bigger majority or bust.
    posted by prefpara at 12:58 PM on May 4 [14 favorites]


    Many on the left can't see a lot of difference between a Republican candidate who's basically owned by corporations and won't do anything to piss off their wealthy donors, and a Democratic candidate who's more or less similar, except with less bigotry.

    Tell that to the people of Ukraine. Zero patience for this sentiment.
    posted by prefpara at 1:03 PM on May 4 [9 favorites]


    Re: Circular firing squads, the way forwards is quite simple:

    If someones comes into to your conversation to relitigate 2016 and only to relitigate 2016 only you can safely say they do not actually give a shit about the subject at hand (abortion rights, whatever it was the last couple of times) and you ignore their asses.

    Rhaomi, who cam to this thread to cause trouble and only to cause trouble was successfully ignored, you should have done the same for all the other losers.
    posted by Artw at 1:04 PM on May 4 [1 favorite]


    You take a bunch of people in a big tent who don't agree on everything and put them in a room, and they are naturally going to disagree, and we have to be careful to make sure our focus stays on the actual enemies and not those disagreements.

    "It's probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in." - LBJ
    posted by kirkaracha at 1:05 PM on May 4 [4 favorites]


    Many on the left can't see a lot of difference between a Republican candidate who's basically owned by corporations and won't do anything to piss off their wealthy donors, and a Democratic candidate who's more or less similar, except with less bigotry.

    "Except with less bigotry" turns out to be a pretty big deal, unless you're one of the people not in a position to be very directly affected by any (or many) of those bigotries or who thinks they're all reducible to misrecognized class position (as is the case with what my college professors would have called the 'vulgar marxism' of the online left).
    posted by snuffleupagus at 1:07 PM on May 4 [10 favorites]


    Zero patience for this sentiment.

    Too bad, I guess; if you're uninterested in examining why some on the left might have chosen to vote for a third-party candidate (or to not vote at all) rather than voting for a Democrat, then you really have no right to the attitude that Democrats are somehow entitled to those votes. Condescension is not going to win over alienated and disaffected voters and bring them back into the Democratic fold. (And speaking of Ukraine, why is it that no-one is talking about the role of Russian interference in the outcome of 2016? Easier to blame leftists, I guess.)
    posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 1:09 PM on May 4 [6 favorites]


    Is the statement "our status quo is less shit than them actively destroying everything" true or false?

    This is a false dilemma; it posits that the Democrats are, in fact, preserving the status quo and successfully preventing the Republicans from actively destroying everything. If that were true, this thread wouldn't exist! To say nothing of the postal service, voter suppression, gerrymandering, putting in place mechanisms to overturn elections, etc., etc., all of which Democrats also do not seem to have successfully prevented, and most of which portend even more "Republicans destroy everything while Democrats can do nothing to prevent it" in the future. (I won't even get into attacking the notion that the status quo is actually something fixed and sustainable, rather than something that already means "lots of things slowly getting worse for most people" even without GOP involvement.)

    A more accurate question would be "is having the Republican party destroy everything slowly preferable to having the Republican party destroy everything quickly?" and while for me at least, the answer is still "Yes", I would hope that you can see how to a lot of people - especially the worst-off, most-vulnerable parts of the population, who are the first to be affected by GOP ratfuckery - it is largely a distinction without a difference, or at least close enough as to be debatable.
    posted by mstokes650 at 1:15 PM on May 4 [12 favorites]


    I’ve long since decided that members of the self appointed true left who insist on finding a way to blame everything on Democrats are not worth my time. If your take on this is to blame Biden, the Democratic Party, etc then I’m not going to waste my time arguing with you. Allies focus on building each other up and tearing our enemies down, not the other way around.
    posted by interogative mood at 1:16 PM on May 4 [18 favorites]


    Allies focus on building each other up and tearing our enemies down, not the other way around.

    Looking forward to Democratic leadership building up progressives rather than tearing them down, then. Biden's seemingly had more nice words to say about Republicans over the course of his career, and the campaign, and his presidency, than about anyone to his left.

    (Reminder that BBB was a progressive compromise to get onboard with Biden's economic agenda, and we pushed for it full throatedly.)
    posted by Gadarene at 1:20 PM on May 4 [19 favorites]


    if you're uninterested in examining why some on the left might have chosen to vote for a third-party candidate (or to not vote at all) rather than voting for a Democrat, then you really have no right to the attitude that Democrats are somehow entitled to those votes.

    For all its imperfections, we live in a two-party system, and either a Republican or a Democrat will be elected (assuming that the Democrat has a fair chance). Voting for a third-party candidate or a more left- or liberal-Democrat in the primaries is good; it helps drive the discussion and can coerce the eventual winner of the primary into adopting more liberal positions.

    Voting for third-party candidates should start local and build up. Voting for a third-party candidate in a presidential election is historically ineffective. "The last third-party candidate to win a state was George Wallace of the American Independent Party in 1968, while the last third-party candidate to win more than 5.0% of the vote was Ross Perot."

    Many on the left can't see a lot of difference between a Republican candidate who's basically owned by corporations and won't do anything to piss off their wealthy donors, and a Democratic candidate who's more or less similar, except with less bigotry.

    The lesser of two evils = slightly less evil, even if there's little discernable difference.
    posted by kirkaracha at 1:22 PM on May 4 [8 favorites]


    The thing about the Democrats is that they've been eating the seed corn since the late seventies, and now it's all eaten up. Their cover has always been "oh, we can't do anything now, look at Manchin", etc etc but as long as I've been alive they have been uninterested in doing the things you need to do to maintain power.

    In the late seventies, the labor Democrats at the national level were driven out by younger, boomer-generation politicians. This would have been fine, except that they were mostly your Bill Gates Democrats, your me-generation Democrats, interested in white collar workers and getting rich. Silicon valley Democrats, if you like.

    Obviously they had Reagan to contend with in the eighties and you can see that basically all social welfare measures start a sharp decline in the early eighties. But it was Democrats who gave us welfare "reform"*, Democrats who gave us NAFTA and GATT and "free" trade. If we hadn't "reformed" welfare and sent all our regional living wage jobs to suicide net factories in China, we would still have lots of resentful racists, but the material underpinnings of our present moment wouldn't be there. At every turn, the Democrats either actively made things worse for working people by taking away the safety net or refused to act to preserve the safety net. (And remember how Obama was always surrounding himself with social security privatizers, too - it's just good luck that we have any social security left at all.)

    And of course, each time they made things worse for ordinary people, they made themselves weaker and weakened their constituency for the next time. Right now, yeah, there legitimately isn't much they can do - because they have systematically been breaking their tools as long as I've been alive.

    If anything is our fault, it's our fault for accepting the lesser evil back when the greater evil was less bad - the time to be out in the street shutting shit down was probably 1996. So now if we don't prop up these little tyrants and parasites, we're stuck with the giant ones. It's going to be a bloody and fiery few decades now because there is nothing left but blood and fire.

    Oh, it's the Republicans' fault? Sure, whatever, the Republicans do what they say they'll do but the Democrats waste our time.

    *Welfare and public housing were always a floor. If the boss is offering minimum wage for twenty-five unpredictable hours thirty miles away, you can always go on welfare and tell him to go screw - it may not be great, but at least you don't have the commute. And that means that the boss has to offer better conditions. Welfare was a floor for all of us, and we decided that we were such special go-getters that we'd never need it so we cut it out from under ourselves. It took Nixon to go to China, it took Clinton to destroy the social safety net.
    posted by Frowner at 1:23 PM on May 4 [32 favorites]


    The lesser of two evils = slightly less evil, even if there's little discernable difference.

    Not everyone is morally flexible enough to be a pragmatist.
    posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 1:27 PM on May 4


    We're not actively trying to be all things to all people in this thread. This is not my platform from which I attempt to persuade reluctant voters. I'm just telling you how I feel about the ahistorical and contemptible idea that the candidates are the same and both are bad and it doesn't matter.
    posted by prefpara at 1:29 PM on May 4 [3 favorites]


    If your take on this is to blame Biden, the Democratic Party, etc then I’m not going to waste my time arguing with you. Allies focus on building each other up and tearing our enemies down, not the other way around.

    Fair, but let's stop relitigating the cursed 2016 election and blaming Bernie bros for this shit while we're at it.
    posted by cakelite at 1:29 PM on May 4 [5 favorites]


    I'm just telling you how I feel about the ahistorical and contemptible idea that the candidates are the same and both are bad and it doesn't matter

    What's really ahistorical and contemptible is the Democratic mainstream idea that social issues, and not economic ones, are the only meaningful left/right axis.
    posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 1:36 PM on May 4


    Well, I for one, would like to get back to the actual topic of this thread. All of this Dems Bad, Left, liberals, Right, 2016 relitigation, etc. has been a really tiresome derail. I tried flagging, but whatever.
    posted by sundrop at 1:38 PM on May 4 [9 favorites]


    The problem with Oh No Bad Thing Happened threads is that while they provide some catharsis in the moment, and usually some useful links, lots of raw grief and fear, and poetic insight, they don't really end up saying anything other than Oh No Bad Thing Happened.

    And so people look for other things to say, such as theories on why it happened, whose fault it is, whether everything is shit and we've already lost, etc.

    I do it too, so I'm not on a high horse here.

    All that really matters is: what are you going to do about it? And that's much harder to talk about because it quickly gets into an uncomfortable area if you want to discuss actions beyond voting, calls and protests.
    posted by emjaybee at 1:44 PM on May 4 [9 favorites]


    Typically, I do not scream about Republicans being reprehensible because we all know who and what they are. Marsha Blackburn is going to be a bag of owl vomit no matter what anyone says about her. Tom Cotton is the personification of hatred. They will never surprise you by not stooping as low as they possibly can in their pursuit of personal and political gain.

    Why did many of us single out Susan Collins for special invective when the news dropped? Because she at least pretends to be 'moderate,' to possess critical thinking skills and compassion and honesty to some degree, to be capable of making a reasonable and educated decision instead of lurching into whatever knee-jerk position the GOP talking points of the day demand. Even though we KNOW that her left/center-leaning votes are generally 'hall passes' granted when a vote's outcome is already certain, she sets the football out and we run and try to kick it at regular intervals. We hope for better from her, and it stings in the 95% of the time that we do not get any of it.

    And so it goes with our elected Democrats. I hold them to a higher standard because they are the only ones who are capable, it seems, of causing any kind of positive change. So when someone like Sinema declares herself a proud warrior for women's rights BUT also declares that she's 100% against ending the filibuster to protect one of the most important women's rights there is... am I wrong to be angrier at her than at, say, Rand Paul? Paul is not betraying anyone; he's being the rotten shit that we expect him to be. Sinema is wearing one jersey and standing on the other team's sideline consistently... and that's a betrayal.

    If a dog shits on the floor, I scold it but I also I clean it up. If my brother shits on the floor, he deserves greater scorn.
    posted by delfin at 1:45 PM on May 4 [18 favorites]


    Speaking as a far leftie (by MeFi standards of far leftie anyway), I'm 100% down with voting for the lesser evil.

    I've been doing it for the past 29 years after all. Voting consistently for the Democrat who wasn't actively as bad as the Republican.

    I'd argue that the problem isn't so much an activist left who thinks things through and decides consciously to vote third party or whatever rather than voting for the lesser evil, but rather the apathetic non-voter who can't muster the enthusiasm/will/whatever to run the Republican built gauntlet and vote for someone who, at best, is sort of slowing down the decay.

    That's why people like me keep saying we need results. Why we keep saying that "better things aren't possible" is a terrible slogan.

    To entice the lazy, the politically uninvolved, you need to be able to say "look, voting for Demorats got us X good thing" not "hey, voting for Democrats kept things from getting worse quite so quickly".

    It's not about instant gratification, it's about **ANY** gratification. It's about being able to show reluctant voters results.

    Which is why the lack of even relativley small, symbolic, things like changing marijuana from being a schedule one drug, or just helping a little with college debt, or any of the other things Biden could do with an XO but hasn't yet, gall people like me.

    Give us something positive to show potential voters. Give us a win, even a small one, so we can say "hey, look, the Democrats did this good thing, voting for them will let them do more good things!"

    Simply maintaining the status quo, or slowing hte rate of decay, isn't enough to motivate the average low information, lazy, voter.

    Throw us a bone! Give us something shiny to lure new voters with!

    yes, in theory "voting Democratic will slow down the collapse of everything" should be all the motive a non-voter needs. But clearly it isn't, and frankly that's a lousy message and aspiration anyway.

    Do we really want to be the Party that keeps thngs from falling apart quite so quick? I mean, sure, it beats the alternative but should't we aim higher?
    posted by sotonohito at 1:45 PM on May 4 [35 favorites]


    That's why people like me keep saying we need results.

    Well, the good news is you now have results to motivate apathetic non-voters. The bad news is those results are a colossal, generational disaster caused, in significant part, by those people not being able to bring themselves to vote.

    Republicans VOTE, and it allowed them to accomplish this. Just imagine what people opposed to Republicans could accomplish if they voted.
    posted by The Tensor at 1:58 PM on May 4 [4 favorites]


    Republicans VOTE, and it allowed them to accomplish this. Just imagine what people opposed to Republicans could accomplish if they voted.

    I don't understand this sentiment at all. Four of the five votes to overturn Roe are from individuals nominated by presidents who got fewer votes than their opponent. In the Senate, it literally doesn't matter how the majority of Americans vote, because power is disproportionately concentrated in rural states. (It will blow your mind how many people California has!) Republican state legislatures are 1) making it more difficult to VOTE, and 2) redrawing district lines so that Democratic votes matter less and less in House elections.

    We. Are. Voting. That's not why things are turning to shit.
    posted by Gadarene at 2:02 PM on May 4 [23 favorites]


    We. Are. Voting. That's not why things are turning to shit.

    Who’s “we”???? Clearly, enough people aren’t, which objectively contributes to the general turning-to-shitness.
    posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 2:07 PM on May 4 [2 favorites]


    The bad news is those results are a colossal, generational disaster caused, in significant part, by those people not being able to bring themselves to vote

    One could just as easily argue that this colossal, generational disaster owes just as much to Democrats' quixotic chasing after white suburban voters and ignoring the left entirely (if Hillary had selected Elizabeth Warren as her running mate and not Tim Kaine, would Trump have won? Maybe not.) And it also ignores Republican voter suppression and Russian election interference. Many factors played a part, but keep blaming the disaffected left, that will win people over.
    posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 2:09 PM on May 4 [6 favorites]


    Who’s “we”???? Clearly, enough people aren’t, which objectively contributes to the general turning-to-shitness.

    Three hundred thousand voters were turned away at the polls in Wisconsin alone in 2016 due to lack of proper identification. Trump won Wisconsin by 23,000 votes. That's just one state where voter suppression played a role (not the only one). But yes, the problem is clearly not enough people voting.
    posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 2:14 PM on May 4 [24 favorites]


    Feels like the thread has probably reached it’s sad and inevitable equilibrium.
    posted by orange ball at 2:15 PM on May 4 [7 favorites]


    Who’s “we”???? Clearly, enough people aren’t, which objectively contributes to the general turning-to-shitness.

    Thanks to the Electoral College, the Senate, and gerrymandering, most people's votes have very diluted power on a federal level. You could double voter turnout in California, if that's mathematically possible, and it wouldn't change anything about the presidency or affect the balance of power in the Senate (and probably the House) one whit.

    And, again, Roe is being overturned as the result of the choices of two presidents WHO LOST THE POPULAR VOTE.

    Voting as an answer is woefully incomplete. We need to pressure those in power to change the underlying system. And because so many of those in power even on our own side have no apparent appetite for exercising that power to make changes, we need to get better Democrats in office. By voting, yes. But also by making it not okay for, for example, Nancy Pelosi and Jim Clyburn to spend money and energy saving a corrupt, anti-choice asshole from a primary challenge by an amazing WOC. And criticizing Biden for endorsing someone who is literally responsible for helping torpedo his legislative agenda. Both in safe seats. Both against progressive challengers. Both putting their thumb on the scale so we don't get the people in office that we need to effect urgent and important structural change.

    It's hard for voting to overcome capital.
    posted by Gadarene at 2:22 PM on May 4 [23 favorites]


    Crazy idea: Congress has the power to set the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, except original jurisdiction, which is not in play here. Could Congress pass a narrowly tailored law putting this question outside the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction?

    And yeah, I know I know, Manchin et al…but maybe the blockers can be convinced on this one if it’s sufficiently narrow or whatever. And maybe this just restarts the clock until this law is challenged but it feels like trying a gambit like this is better than sitting on our hands? It might at least buy some time?
    posted by delicious-luncheon at 2:27 PM on May 4 [1 favorite]


    Meanwhile, in case anyone had any doubts about Joe Manchin's priorities, not only does he remain steadfast on retaining the filibuster...

    Mr. Manchin, a moderate West Virginia Democrat, told reporters at the Capitol that the defining issue of the coming campaign would be the economy and skyrocketing inflation.

    “Inflation is the number one driving factor,” he said. “I believe in my state right now it’s hurting everybody.”

    Mr. Manchin argued that while a segment of the population would be incensed if the Supreme Court was to invalidate Roe v. Wade, it would unlikely be enough to overcome voters’ concerns about kitchen table issues.


    (first link I saw was the Washington Times, I'm not linking to that)
    posted by delfin at 2:29 PM on May 4 [1 favorite]


    Crazy idea: Congress has the power to set the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, except original jurisdiction, which is not in play here. Could Congress pass a narrowly tailored law putting this question outside the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction?

    The Constitution also gives it "appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make."

    Beyond that, Marbury v. Madison.
    posted by snuffleupagus at 2:36 PM on May 4


    Beyond that, Marbury v. Madison.

    On the basis of existing precedent from the time of the drafting of the Constitution, Marbury should by rights be struck down (judicial review is an alien concept under the British system as Parliament is sovereign).
    posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 2:41 PM on May 4 [1 favorite]


    Crazy idea: Congress has the power to set the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, except original jurisdiction, which is not in play here. Could Congress pass a narrowly tailored law putting this question outside the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction?

    imho the only reason to start jurisdiction stripping is if the court starts down the road to declaring fetal personhood. You don't need to do it if they respect a federal law codifying Roe. Now, if you pass a law and then they find a reason to strike it down and enshrine fetal personhood, yes, you'd have to start talking about playing hardball to either change the composition or powers of the court
    posted by BungaDunga at 2:42 PM on May 4


    Voting as an answer is woefully incomplete.
    The whole "Stop telling us to vote, we vote, everyone votes, tell us something to do besides vote, all you say to do is vote" thing pervading this thread seems weird on several levels.
    • If someone in here has said that the only thing to do is vote, I guess I must have missed it.
    • Meanwhile, people have given other suggestions in this thread.
    • "Everyone votes" is blatantly false. Do you vote? You do? Great! Maybe "Vote" is not a personal attack on you. I bet most or all participants in this thread vote. But nowhere near everyone votes. Maybe you, being someone who votes, could additionally take some of the other suggestions in this thread (including, in my opinion importantly, "convince others to vote").
    We all know about the Electoral College, the Senate, and whatnot. If your answer to the problems that we face due to them is "Stop telling me to vote", then I don't really see how that's terribly helpful. If it's "We need to change the system", yes, I agree. But the possible ways to do that are (1) Vote (and convince others to as well), despite that we're at a systematic (but not insurmountable) disadvantage in doing so; (2) Constitutional amendments to get rid of those systematic disadvantages; (3) Revolution. Enacting the desired Constitutional amendments would be even more difficult than getting enough people to vote (for largely the same reasons). Revolution too, though for other reasons.

    In case it's not already clear, I want to explicitly say that I do not think the answer is "vote". I mean, frankly, it seems weird to me to try to reduce a problem of this depth, history, and complexity to "the answer". Honestly, I'm despondent regarding the idea that there is even any answer that will work, let alone "the" answer; regardless, though, there are obviously multiple things to do, and, like I said, people have been suggesting them throughout this thread. One of them is "vote". It's a very important one. It's not the only one, and as far as I know, nobody thinks or has said that it is.
    posted by Flunkie at 2:51 PM on May 4 [11 favorites]


    Rep. Eric Swalwell yesterday on Twitter, who is usually one of the good ones:

    There is one and only one way to preserve #RoeVWade and protect a women's right to choose and that's to #VoteBlueIn2022.

    Needless to say, the responses that he's getting (including mine) are a land of contrasts.
    posted by delfin at 2:56 PM on May 4 [2 favorites]


    On the basis of existing precedent from the time of the drafting of the Constitution, Marbury should by rights be struck down (judicial review is an alien concept under the British system as Parliament is sovereign).

    The Supreme Court's inherent Constitutional powers don't need to be incorporated against the States by means of the 14th Amendment, which judicial review predates.

    And even if they did, judicial review in the American system is probably also a prime example of what any SCOTUS panel would consider “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition” and “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty.”

    That is exactly what was said in Marbury. Including application of the Supremacy Clause.

    The Washington v. Glucksberg 14th Am. test (which is widely criticized, and hasn't been universally followed) is not the same thing as the 'textual originalism' aimed at somehow recovering the context of the framing of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
    posted by snuffleupagus at 2:56 PM on May 4


    imho the only reason to start jurisdiction stripping is if the court starts down the road to declaring fetal personhood.


    We only have a preview of the decision…the final one could be worse. So by the time you find out if the court will do XYZ the cat is out of the bag. You have to strip the jurisdiction up front before the opinion is issued or it’s too late, right? So it has to be preemptory.

    In more genteel times I think congress could say “We saw this. You better about-face or we’re gonna go hog wild on jurisdiction stripping” purely as a threat. And that might get them to back down like FDR threatening to pack the courts…but these days I’d be more scared of the current court trying to pack in as much horribleness in one ruling… So the best move seems to just strip the jurisdiction up front.
    posted by delicious-luncheon at 3:00 PM on May 4 [2 favorites]


    judicial review in the American system is probably also a prime example of what any SCOTUS panel would consider “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition” and “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty.”


    So implicit in the concept of ordered liberty that it isn't mentioned once in the Constitution or Federalist Papers. Of course the Court will jealously defend a power it's arrogated to itself, but applying the same logic used to arrive at the present decision (which cites Matthew Hale, who died in 1676), said power is one the Court has no business having.
    posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 3:30 PM on May 4 [3 favorites]


    Feel free to have that patently ridiculous argument with yourself, as I'm not going to continue. You might start by reading the decision the language is drawn from, and the internal sources.

    start jurisdiction stripping

    This Court will invalidate such a jurisdiction stripping attempt, which still has to pass Constitutional muster. Again, Marbury. And the 14th Am. jurisprudence, for that matter. That would be suitably trollish for this bunch.

    Packing the Court is more realistic. But can obviously backfire if the Gilead contingent gains enough control of the other branches at once.

    The other thing to do would be to go through the medical establishment and attack the factual basis for state bans in Federal courts by leveraging evidentiary standards on medical expertise and science (which are potentially a 14th am concern if a state is willing to nakedly depart from them in its basis for an abortion bill) where it buts up against religious motivation (on display in legislative history).
    posted by snuffleupagus at 3:31 PM on May 4


    Feel free to have that patently ridiculous argument with yourself

    Not sure how it's any more patently ridiculous than "this guy from the 17th century whose legal areas of expertise included witchcraft says abortion is bad".
    posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 3:39 PM on May 4 [4 favorites]


    If you've reduced the rule to "must predate the United States" you've misunderstood it entirely and are actively wasting everyone's time to post lulzy nonsense you know is a dead end.
    posted by snuffleupagus at 3:46 PM on May 4 [1 favorite]


    as one of the many folks who more or less walked away from this place a few years ago when it became evident that the center-left pragmatists were never going to stop being just straight up dicks to people slightly to their left, it's both a nostalgic and depressing as hell that the users on here who know what's up are still forever arguing with the "just vote" gelatins and other assorted true believers in the system. my advice is to just fuckin' stop engaging them, but i guess the fact that you're still here doing it all these years later means you must kind of enjoy it?
    posted by rotten at 3:47 PM on May 4 [8 favorites]


    (1) Vote (and convince others to as well), despite that we're at a systematic (but not insurmountable) disadvantage in doing so; (2) Constitutional amendments to get rid of those systematic disadvantages; (3) Revolution

    4)secession, declarations of independence and/or autonomy

    5)a new confederacy between the blue areas based on a new constitution convention of the willing, the first requisite of which will be proportional representation, x voters for 1 rep

    what's that you say?

    the civil war makes 4 impossible?

    no, that was a military solution, not a legal precedent

    the constitutional requirements for amendments makes 5 impossible?

    no it doesn't - any more than the requirements for change in the articles of confederacy made the u s constitution impossible - the process followed for this constitution was illegal

    if they could do it back then, we can do it now
    posted by pyramid termite at 4:00 PM on May 4 [1 favorite]


    You don't have to believe in the system to recognize that it exists and operates in a particular way. The options available to people who want to stop Republicans from pursuing their horrorshow agenda are (1) vote against them in local elections, (2) vote for Democrats in federal elections, (3) ????. There are additional things people can do and should do, but they are not going to be very meaningful if Republicans win elections.
    posted by prefpara at 4:00 PM on May 4 [3 favorites]


    And fantasizing about civil war is gross.
    posted by prefpara at 4:01 PM on May 4 [9 favorites]


    it became evident that the center-left pragmatists were never going to stop being just straight up dicks to people slightly to their left

    ....well, I HAD been considering coming back to this thread, but if y'all think that the way I was behaving was "being a dick" then...
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:01 PM on May 4 [4 favorites]


    Yes, yes, or secession, a "new confederacy" or whatnot. I meant such things to be included under my "(3) Revolution", but if you don't like them there, fine, feel free to also add as many others past your (4) and (5) as you want.
    posted by Flunkie at 4:07 PM on May 4


    if the court starts down the road to declaring fetal personhood

    The 14th Amendment says "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside" (emphasis added). By definition, fetuses are not American citizens. Why would we favor the rights of a potential, non-American person over the rights of actual, undeniably existing American citizens? (Oh, right, the actual, undeniably existing people are women.)

    I was an English major, so to me the meaning of the word "born" plainly and clearly excludes fetuses. I'm sure there's some legalistic bullshit way to define it to mean something different.
    posted by kirkaracha at 4:07 PM on May 4 [7 favorites]


    Honestly I had my money on “leaking is not correct procedure” as the toxic centrism take de jour but political fandom is gonna political fandom.
    posted by Artw at 4:08 PM on May 4


    4)secession, declarations of independence and/or autonomy

    The only constitutional ways to secede are:

    a) "by gaining approval of both houses of Congress and then obtaining ratification by three fourths of the nation's legislatures"

    b) Revolution (which I guess technically isn't constitutional either)
    posted by kirkaracha at 4:11 PM on May 4


    fantasizing about civil war is gross

    I'm not fantasising about it, I'm anticipating it; that is absolutely where we're headed as a country. This court ruling and all the rulings on things like marriage equality and contraception etc coming after are absolutely morally equivalent to Dred Scott v Sandford. When (not if, because they're absolutely going to do it) Republicans steal the 2024 election, I would view that as justification for secession.
    posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 4:11 PM on May 4 [7 favorites]


    So, I wasn't calling for the undoing of Marbury vs. Madison? The key line was already quoted here: "appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make." Notice "with such Exception and under such Regulations as Congress shall make."

    And this is not without precedent. There were at least 4 cases going back to 1869 where the court agreed that Congress has this power, including Ex Parte McCardle where congress preempted a case the Supreme Court was in the process of hearing. So, this is not exactly breaking new ground?

    Now, I get it, sure, a case could be brought to review this law, and some arguments could be made, etc. But the reading of the law is pretty plain here. Congress does seem to have the power to say to the Supreme Court "You can touch what you like except this." and if the court wants to argue it away, then they are opening things up for a constitutional crisis.

    Anyway, it feels like it's something to try, or even just to seriously threaten to try to affect the outcome and show how serious people are about countering this vs. giving up and saying that our only option is to hope for the best, and if the worst happens, spend the next 2-3 generations trying to claw back rights we had until the day before the ruling.
    posted by delicious-luncheon at 4:15 PM on May 4 [1 favorite]


    What strikes me about the e-mails I have received from various mailing lists about this event is how few of them treat the loss of abortion access as an imminent problem for real people. I think I'd feel less salty about the fundraising and self-promotion if they started with "if this affects you personally right now, here are resources. If you want to help people affected, here's how to find the groups that are doing that" before getting to their fundraising pitch. Triage, or maybe 'comfort in, dump out'.
    posted by mersen at 4:32 PM on May 4 [19 favorites]


    I'm not fantasising about it, I'm anticipating it; that is absolutely where we're headed as a country. This court ruling and all the rulings on things like marriage equality and contraception etc coming after are absolutely morally equivalent to Dred Scott v Sandford. When (not if, because they're absolutely going to do it) Republicans steal the 2024 election, I would view that as justification for secession.

    Absolutely. We are in a legitimacy crisis that keeps getting worse and worse. It has many root causes and many solutions, but IMO none of those solutions will happen until and unless the bottom finally, truly, drops out. The thing about that is that it’s slow and then happens all at once. We’re very nearly at the “happens all at once” phase of this historical moment, and the institutionalists are sleepwalking into disaster, as they always do.

    Like all the “go vote” stuff in this thread? You may as well put try to put out a million acre wildfire by getting the local residents to line up and piss on it.
    posted by rhymedirective at 4:37 PM on May 4 [15 favorites]


    Notice "with such Exception and under such Regulations as Congress shall make."

    And this is not without precedent. There were at least 4 cases going back to 1869 where the court agreed that Congress has this power, including Ex Parte McCardle where congress preempted a case the Supreme Court was in the process of hearing.


    On what planet is it conceivable that the Supreme Court that announces this decision goes on to uphold a narrow "exception" to its subject matter jurisdiction that is limited to excluding abortion for the plain purpose of invalidating state abortion law after proclaiming that it's a state right under reserved public safety powers? With the result of there being no judicial review in that area? Surely not the one we're all living on.

    So, this is not exactly breaking new ground

    No it isn't, perhaps look to all the defeated attempts at jurisdiction stripping specifically in the context of abortion rights and other civil rights. More often as perpetuated by the right, and the defeat of which were applauded on the left.
    posted by snuffleupagus at 4:50 PM on May 4 [1 favorite]


    Also, if you exclude it from SCOTUS jurisdiction, who's going to invalidate the state prohibitions under the Supremacy Clause or 14th Am. due process?

    The answer to this problem is not One Weird Juridical Trick That Conservatives Hate!
    posted by snuffleupagus at 4:58 PM on May 4


    Getting out a sufficient vote to put in power a Democratic majority that is large enough to actually reform our democratic institutions is a real, hard problem. Pretending that it's too late and we can never succeed (despite recent evidence from, e.g., Georgia, that it's still possible, albeit extraordinarily difficult) is, to say the least, not constructive. All I hear when people start talking about their civil war fantasies is defeatism and, from those in blue states, some fairly repellent "fuck you, got mine." It may feel better to tell yourself that there's no point and you don't have to try. That certainly relieves the pressure on you to try to be part of that very difficult work. It's also gross, and yes, your civil war talk is absolutely a fantasy. The people in America who are currently ready to rise up and use violence to take power in government aren't Democrats. They're Republicans. That's what they demonstrated on Jan 6. There's no Democratic militia that's going to, what, seal off the CA border? Come on. We're not in musket world anymore, and the US military, federal police power, state police power, and local police power is not on the side of the left. And, of course, there is no single, well-organized left. (I mean). Nor is there a single, geographically consolidated left. Just one incredibly large and diverse country, in every part of which left and right-wing people are intermixed, and those categories are broad, messy, and fluid.
    posted by prefpara at 5:00 PM on May 4 [20 favorites]


    Sure, prefpara. So what do you think happens if the Republican candidate for president loses by 5 million votes and loses the EC but enough states steal the EC votes to appoint the loser the winner? Because it’s coming. The only reason it didn’t happen in 2020 is because they were mostly incompetent and didn’t lay the groundwork. That’s not going to be the case in 2024.

    What happens then? Does the California government roll over and go “well gee, guess we live in a dictatorship now”? That’s what we’re talking about here. It’s not 1992. Hell, it’s not even 2016. The wheels are coming off the bus.

    Should we pull over and fix the wheels? Absolutely. Unfortunately, one of the passengers has a gun on the driver and is demanding they continue driving.
    posted by rhymedirective at 5:14 PM on May 4 [3 favorites]


    Yes, of course the CA government will roll over. Look at the other countries experiencing creeping autocracy. Revolutions don't happen because life finally gets way too unfair. What military machine do you imagine Gavin Newsom controls? It's a joke.
    posted by prefpara at 5:24 PM on May 4 [8 favorites]


    On what planet is it conceivable that the Supreme Court that announces this decision goes on to uphold a narrow "exception" to its subject matter jurisdiction that is limited to excluding abortion for the plain purpose of invalidating state abortion law after proclaiming that it's a state right under reserved public safety powers? With the result of there being no judicial review in that area? Surely not the one we're all living on.

    Whoa, there. Who said that jurisdiction would have to move to a state court? Congress also has the ability to create courts. They could simply give jurisdiction over abortion matters to that court, and restrict the Supreme Court's review to other matters. This defuses judicial review and due process objections. Etc.

    But, I get it. You think "There's no way this is going to work because XYZ" and you're quite possibly right. But here's the thing: If you propose something like this and try you might actually get some points for trying some kind of gambit vs sitting around. So even if its success is dubious, it's showing that you're willing to try, and that might actually get some people to say "Hey, at least they tried. They fought hard with every trick in the book for us but sadly lost in the end" vs. "They preemptively gave up and did nothing! They didn't even try to fight for us!". Which one are people going to remember?


    No it isn't, perhaps look to all the defeated attempts at jurisdiction stripping specifically in the context of abortion rights and other civil rights. More often as perpetuated by the right,


    Yeah, and guess what? They kept proposing bills with jurisdiction stripping in them. And touting them, and saying "Look! We're trying every avenue!". You'd think they would have stopped doing that the first few times they lost but they didn't. Hmmm. I wonder why? I guess they were just dum-dums!
    posted by delicious-luncheon at 5:28 PM on May 4 [3 favorites]


    Okay! That’s a totally fair viewpoint. The point is, no one knows, and civil wars don’t look like the one we had in 1860 and haven’t for quite a while.
    posted by rhymedirective at 5:29 PM on May 4


    Whoa, there. Who said that jurisdiction would have to move to a state court? Congress also has the ability to create courts. They could simply give jurisdiction over abortion matters to that court, and restrict the Supreme Court's review to other matters. This defuses judicial review and due process objections. Etc.

    The draft decision says it's a state right because it's not under a Federal power reserved by the Constitution.

    The supreme court grants an immediate stay and expedited review and invalidates the attempt to strip its jurisdiction as a naked whatever and violative of the 14th amendment to boot -- trumping the original text (suck it nyah nyah nyah). Now what?

    I mean do all your RPG sourcebook stuff without a law degree if it pleases you do so. Whatever...
    posted by snuffleupagus at 5:32 PM on May 4


    Like all the “go vote” stuff in this thread? You may as well put try to put out a million acre wildfire by getting the local residents to line up and piss on it.

    I'm not disputing that things are moving in a very bad direction very quickly, but you fail to understand that the GOP has gotten where it is by fighting every battle with every weapon available.

    Voting is still a weapon in this fight. Maybe it won't make a difference. But if you don't vote, it ABSOLUTELY won't make a difference. Get TF out there and vote.
    posted by tclark at 5:35 PM on May 4 [3 favorites]


    I guess what I'm saying is, if you think you're out of options on something this important, then try to come up with something, anything, even if it's a stretch, and try it. At least look like you're doing something and you care, otherwise, morale sinks and so do your options going forward.

    At some point maybe you have to forget whether something is even legally likely to win. This is politics. if you run out of legal options, then looking like you tried might help you in the long run than just quietly taking the loss.

    The Republicans are masters at this sort of thing. They keep proposing crazier and crazier things and capturing minds, and news cycles, and even if they lose every time, people remember them trying their schemes, coming back 100 times with 100 new variations each time. People remeber the trying more than the failing when the chips are down.
    posted by delicious-luncheon at 5:41 PM on May 4 [11 favorites]


    That much I can agree with. I just wouldn't focus everyone's energy on some elaborate gamesmanship that's just going to end with SCOTUS doing the "why are you punching yourself, McFly" routine. Which will just waste resources and time and leave everyone feeling even more demoralized.

    If the decision is tendered as drafted, this is going back to the states. That's what's happening.

    Fantasies about how to avert that are an understandable reaction, because the ground game in a lot the ceded red states has been totally neglected and it's a horrifyingly long time for everyone impacted to be without basic human rights in the 21st century -- but that's what has to be faced.
    posted by snuffleupagus at 5:46 PM on May 4 [4 favorites]


    From Melissa Gira Grant, writing for The New Republic, "The Real Fight for Abortion Rights Is Not in the Courts or Congress":
    Those who saw this coming, who never believed the court could save them, who have mostly given up on the Democratic Party’s promises to protect Roe, have hardly been quiet or thwarted. Every local abortion fund launched to bridge the divide between a right and acting on it, every shared how-to on self-managed abortion using misoprostol pills (and mifepristone, if you can get it)—that’s what knowing this moment would come has looked like for years. [...]

    We now live in a country far more hostile and punitive to abortion rights than it was on January 22, 1973, when the Roe opinion came down. [...]

    So it is understandable why so many abortion rights supporters are sick of the idea still promoted by some Democratic lawmakers that it’s on us to vote our way out of this. It is especially enraging to be told this when Democrats hold Congress right now but—in part, thanks to the undemocratic distribution of Senate seats granting extra power to smaller, conservative states, paired with the anti-majoritarian procedures of the filibuster—cannot pass federal legislation to ensure the right and access to abortion, like the Women’s Health Protection Act. And when some Democrats continue to support anti-abortion candidates in races when challenged by abortion rights proponents. On Tuesday, senators offered a range of responses—from Chuck Schumer’s tweeted promise of a vote codifying Roe to Elizabeth Warren’s impromptu speech outside the Supreme Court, declaring, “I am here because I am angry, and I am here because the United States Congress can change all of this.” To which the obvious response is, though—when? Likely not on the same day Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema once again pledged their allegiance to the filibuster. [...]

    This abandonment by lawmakers is why so many of the most effective solutions we have right now are being developed far outside the realm of electoral politics. Increasing abortion access through abortion funds and education on self-managed abortion, including establishing legal defense funds for abortion, isn’t just something to do while waiting for a better election outcome (maybe) to win back our rights; it’s what advocates have already been doing to survive even when Democrats win. They have secured this right even when legislators failed to.
    posted by mhum at 5:51 PM on May 4 [25 favorites]


    At some point maybe you have to forget whether something is even legally likely to win. This is politics. if you run out of legal options, then looking like you tried might help you in the long run than just quietly taking the loss.

    I think that 'this is politics' and trying things that look big whether or not they're likely to win is how we got here in the first place.

    There are a lot of things that people knew were causing the world to get worse and worse and creating disinformation and voter suppression and situations where this kind of thing could happen, and they didn't take them on because they were popular, and 'this is politics', and 'how are we going to get campaign funding if we take on the things that will get us long term wins but are culturally alienating to my donors'.

    Many of you, like me, have seen a million. fucking. fundraising. emails. that are like 'the Republicans are coming for Roe v Wade, give me money so I can stop them'. Because they knew that was a reliable funding source. And I'll submit that just as the Republicans for a long while didn't care if they 'won' because it was such good funding, neither did the Democrats. Because of things like Frowner has said upthread, it just wasn't existential harm for them, because they mostly lived in blue states or had the ability to take family members to blue states. And it was good fundraising money.

    If nothing else, this should show that we can't keep doing business as usual. I'm not saying the parties are equivalent, but I am saying that both parties are too beholden to money and funders and flashy toxic advertising and zingers, and none of these things are good for making a democracy where people care about people and don't do shit like this. Like: I've been as guilty as everyone else of being like 'ooh, what a zinger to that fucker of a representative', but....zingers don't change minds and they don't create legislation. They just help fundraising. And maybe, just maybe, chasing money instead of doing war tactics isn't helpful to preserving our rights?
    posted by corb at 6:01 PM on May 4 [16 favorites]


    It's hard for voting to overcome capital.

    I guess this is my idea for the upcoming Soft Civil War in '25: Utter Separation From The Christianists -- BOYCOTT A̲L̲L̲ THE THINGS. Buy only food and necessities, used if possible.

    Start saving up now for Great Depression II I guess. Sad, because I was looking forward to the Semiquincentennial, I have great memories of the Bicentennial year celebrations.
    posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 6:03 PM on May 4 [2 favorites]


    Everyone wants to talk about building a ground game in all 50 states but that costs money and we also have to spend a lot defending the places where we have a good ground game because Republicans have been successfully eroding voting access for democrats.
    posted by interogative mood at 6:04 PM on May 4 [3 favorites]


    All I hear when people start talking about their civil war fantasies is defeatism and, from those in blue states, some fairly repellent "fuck you, got mine." It may feel better to tell yourself that there's no point and you don't have to try. That certainly relieves the pressure on you to try to be part of that very difficult work. It's also gross, and yes, your civil war talk is absolutely a fantasy. The people in America who are currently ready to rise up and use violence to take power in government aren't Democrats. They're Republicans.

    first of all, you need to read a history book - revolutions, civil wars, countries breaking up are all a big part of history - in fact, you don't have to go back very far to find examples and not all those examples were violent ones - in fact, the usa is the result of TWO civil wars - the revolution and the civil war

    this is reality, not fantasy

    second of all, 50% of us being free is still better than 0% - i mean, really, was the usa wrong to get their independence when canada didn't have it? is south korea wrong?

    third, there is no such thing as a republican gun or a democratic gun - being unarmed is a choice - there may be good reasons not to be armed but patting yourself on the back about how righteous and pure your politics are without guns isn't one of them

    there's graves full of people who thought that

    one of the reasons the republicans are winning is because they actually are willing to get into lethal fights over their beliefs

    there's no law that says they have to be unopposed or unmatched in their willingness to fight

    i'm not saying we are at that point yet - but it very well could happen - that's a reality, one more likely to happen than impeaching justices, stacking the court, rewriting the constitution, or the rest of the civics 101 solutions that people go over and over again, even though they don't have the votes and are never going to get the votes - when they're not just telling us to vote harder

    how the hell do people claim to be woke when they're sleepwalking to disaster?

    wake up!
    posted by pyramid termite at 6:31 PM on May 4 [9 favorites]


    Want to know what to do? In currently red Iowa, the Republican-controlled state government is in process of adding a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would explicitly exclude abortion as a protected right under the state constitution. Because of Iowa’s amendment process, the voters will have the final say. Currently, it appears the people of Iowa don’t support this amendment by almost two to one. But, as has been thoroughly beaten to death in this thread, it will only be the votes cast that will count.

    When the time comes, we will need your support.
    posted by Big Al 8000 at 7:01 PM on May 4 [21 favorites]


    I just wouldn't focus everyone's energy on some elaborate gamesmanship that's just going to end with SCOTUS doing the "why are you punching yourself, McFly" routine

    That's how a pre-1980's Republican thinks. You assume it's not worth trying because you'd just be laughed out of the court in 30 seconds and so it's a waste of effort. But it's only a waste of effort if your sole goal was "Hey, we have like zero options but let's try this one weird trick!".

    Modern Republicans try. They make a big deal out of it ahead of time. Then they fail (which they knew would happen with perhaps 99.99% certainty). Next, they loudly go to the press and say "Look. The CONSTITUTION says in PLAIN LANGUAGE congress can limit the power of this ILLEGITIMATE court. And they nakedly STOLE this power from us, from the PEOPLE, while this congress was trying to protect WOMEN! THIS COURT IS OUT OF CONTROL!" and they don't stop saying it every time there is a mic in front of any of them, including times that have nothing to do with the court or the abortion case. This is followed by news cycles and debates about whether or not the court is out of control, and then you maybe build that up into more controversies around court and the justices. Maybe even justices of lower courts too. You follow this with more showy bills in the house to try address this with lots of restrictions to courts up and down the country. These bills maybe go nowhere, but suddenly people are seriously asking for impeachments, and court packing, and why were we so against that again? Etc. And if the ruling does come out (and maybe it had to be softened a bit because of all this controversy), well, then that's just more evidence that the COURT IS OUT OF CONTROL. And then suddenly the tide turns and all the right people are asking for this stuff to change and your Manchins and Sinemas see how the wind is blowing and suddenly find they have softened on the issue. Maybe you even soften a few right leaning voters who were never comfortable with the court's powers in the next election.

    Notice how the narrative also moved from abortion to how the court is out of control and then it gently slides into the solution you want and can achieve in the right environment, like court packing. You just need a bare majority on that, and had to get enough people talking to shift the doubters that were blocking you before. Also notice that we've now totally forgotten about that farcical Article III gambit we started with. What was important was to try hard and make a big show with the gambit, even if it wasn't going to have a hope of winning, and get the conversation going in the direction you needed it to go, and in the right places.

    Now...maybe it's too late to do that here...maybe this specific gambit or set of outcomes isn't one that will do it, I don't know. But I feel that something like this is the sort of thing that's necessary now and in the future...but I never see much of it from the Democrats. They absolutely must deny the Republicans air time every chance they get with their own messaging that will get people talking and excited and convinced to go in a good direction.

    Maybe it's the old excuse of "the media won't give them the air time" or maybe Fox News counters this strategy too quickly with their own noise, or maybe the Dems don't have enough unity or media discipline to always say the right stuff to reporters, or maybe they are ashamed of such tactics, or maybe they are too earnest to sound convincing, or maybe too many Vox explainers come out saying why this could never work, or they just don't know how to execute on these kinds of tactics and neither do their well paid consultants. I don't know. But, they need to figure this stuff out because nothing that I said above requires anybody to shift from their views to some evil scheme. It's just playing up the right things in the media to shift the conversation back to your advantage instead of watching everything passively go down the toilet with a pre-defeated look on one's face.

    Compare this to what we see now. Biden et al basically saying "Well, I tried Manchin and Sinema and they said no. I'm all outta options. Go vote harder in November, please? And maybe we'll try again, as a treat...if we keep both houses...no guarantees, though, guys." That may all be factually true, but it's politically awful and most likely a wasted opportunity to try to bring public opinion back on side.
    posted by delicious-luncheon at 7:03 PM on May 4 [22 favorites]



    It's hard for voting to overcome capital


    Especially as capital has been granted citizenship and free speech by the same Court that now revokes a fundamental Constitutional right for flesh and blood living beings, its eyes on more.
    posted by riverlife at 7:45 PM on May 4 [9 favorites]


    first of all, you need to read a history book - revolutions, civil wars, countries breaking up are all a big part of history - in fact, you don't have to go back very far to find examples and not all those examples were violent ones - in fact, the usa is the result of TWO civil wars - the revolution and the civil war

    Four (the English Civil War, the run-up to which included the Petition of Right, and the Glorious Revolution of 1688, which led to the English Bill of Rights of 1689).
    posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 8:07 PM on May 4 [5 favorites]


    maybe the Dems don't have enough unity

    This is a key bit of information a lot of people don’t seem to take into account. The Democratic Party is a de facto coalition of everybody not right-wing enough to be a Republican. It contains people of widely varying ideologies, positions, and goals. You could ask a dozen different Democrats their position on any given issue, and it’s possible you’d get twelve answers.
    posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:27 PM on May 4 [13 favorites]


    I had a long commute, and tried listening to NPR again this week. They had a bit about letting your lawn grow long in May to provide some food for pollinators. And even in the cute fluff-environmental piece about helping bees, they made sure to include some quotes from an opposing viewpoint ("It will be pretty hard to mow that long grass come June!") They are a parody of themselves. You can guess how the coverage of the leak went.
    posted by agentofselection at 10:01 PM on May 4 [8 favorites]


    Deep cut from the past, but I am so glad Leana Wen is not the one in charge of Planned Parenthood right now.
    posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:07 AM on May 5 [3 favorites]


    The Right has an agenda and a plan and funding. The Left refuses to admit how well the Right plays the game. I am deeply grumpy and depressed about this because the consequences suck, and will suck more over time.
    posted by theora55 at 5:35 AM on May 5 [7 favorites]


    Truly, LOL at the idea that we should all read a history book and learn that change in America is going to come from someone taking a pot shot at Tucker Carlson.
    posted by prefpara at 5:41 AM on May 5 [2 favorites]


    So here’s my two cents on why I don’t think just increasing voter turn out is the answer: new voter does not necessarily mean a New Democratic voter. I truly believe that even if 100% of voters actually voted, we would only see a slightly higher Democratic proportion, and based on gerrymandering, it’s not going to swing much. I feel like we saw that in the 2020 election. Record voter turn out and barely gains at the state level. I guess I just don’t have faith that the rest of this country that isn’t voting would actually be liberal if they did.

    Also, I know I’m being pessimist again, but the republicans have been working for this for 50 years, we can’t fix this overnight. It’s going to take decades of doing the same legwork that the republicans did. Hopefully a little faster because there is a slight majority of pro-choice views, and any further attempts to erode rights to BC or interracial marriage would cause huge uproar (because those things affect more people, I guess).
    posted by LizBoBiz at 6:17 AM on May 5 [6 favorites]


    Everybody who feels discouraged about the Vote message. Don't let the assholes convince you it doesn't matter. Don't just Vote. Organize. Write letters. Raise hell. But, also, Vote.
    posted by theora55 at 6:22 AM on May 5 [6 favorites]


    The court lost legitimacy in 2016.

    The Court lost legitimacy in 2000, when it installed George W. Bush as President.
    posted by Gelatin

    Exactly this. Thanks, Gelatin.
    posted by theora55 at 6:23 AM on May 5 [12 favorites]


    Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo interprets a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed.
    It’s very clear that the jockeying among the six Republican appointees has been shared in the elite GOP legal circles that have a direct line into the Journal oped page. Clear as day. And that tells you pretty much to a certainty what was already seeming fairly clear: that the leak came from determined anti-Roe advocates trying to lock in Alito’s ‘take no prisoners’ elimination of Roe. Clear as day.
    This morning he writes, "...since writing the piece...I’ve put together new details which make it crystal clear the Alito leak came from the right and that it was part of a pressure campaign and series of leaks that were something of an open secret in the elite conservative legal world."
    posted by kirkaracha at 7:35 AM on May 5 [11 favorites]


    [NPR] are a parody of themselves. You can guess how the coverage of the leak went.

    On one hand, Marketplace had a piece about how criminalizing abortion affects the ability of businesses to keep and hire pregnant people, impacting the bottom line. On the other, NPR did an interesting piece on Patricia Maginnis, about whom I knew nothing beforehand. A mixed bag, but since the Kroc bequest, NPR knows they can't rock the boat too much.
    posted by They sucked his brains out! at 7:47 AM on May 5 [2 favorites]




    the Alito leak came from the right

    If that is indeed true, I'd fully expect the press (NPR included) to bury that story as quickly as possible. Teaching the controversy is what grabs eyeballs.
    posted by They sucked his brains out! at 7:50 AM on May 5 [4 favorites]


    Answering re: Jen Psaki above: she's my celebrity crush and I watch her press briefings daily. I would say it's been at least a few weeks since BBB was mentioned. Probably because there's no point and it's dead anyway and other dramas are exploding. I'm sure you can look them up yourself if you really want to check exactly when that was last mentioned.
    posted by jenfullmoon at 8:52 AM on May 5


    Meanwhile, Mallory McMorrow is again setting the example of how to respond. She is fucking awesome, and I am here for it.
    posted by ishmael at 8:58 AM on May 5 [8 favorites]


    While the leak analysis & theorizing might seem like an irrelevant sideshow, I'm coming around to the idea that there's a slight chance that it might not be quite so irrelevant. A lot of the initial reactions were that the draft opinion was leaked from someone on the pro-choice side, perhaps in order to try to change the result (lol good luck with that) or out of simple anger. If this were the case, I'd definitely think it'd be a bit of a distraction because there's nothing about the result (the overturn of Roe) that can be affected by further analysis of the leak because, well, it'd already be a done deal.

    However, certain commentators (like Josh Marshall, linked above) are pulling together a picture that this leak was from the anti-abortion side as a gambit to try to lock the conservative majority into this Alito opinion and prevent defections to a milder, possibly Roberts-led opinion (or something like that). If this is the case, then understanding what's going on with this leak is important because it implies that it's not a done deal yet. Of course, as a layperson well outside of legal circles, it's not entirely clear to me what kinds of pressure (public or otherwise) would be most effective to influence such an opaque institution as the Supreme Court but hopefully someone out there on the pro-choice side has a better idea about such things.

    And, while leaking an entire draft opinion like this is unprecedented, some people are observing that there have apparently been similar kinds of leak-based conservative pressure campaigns in the recent past. This Politico article alludes to two instances -- an Obamacare case (probably this one?) and an LGBTQ rights case (pretty sure it's Bostock) -- that have the same kind of feel, and in the case of Bostock, even including using the WSJ opinion page to try to possibly influence a wavering conservative justice (Gorsuch, in that case). In both of those cases, it seems these pressure campaigns didn't quite work since the decisions both went against the conservative position. Hypothetically, if I were a hardcore, hyper-engaged, conservative activist whose name rhymed with Schminni Schmomas, seeing how things went the last couple of times this was tried, I might hypothetically be tempted to go even bigger this time around, especially considering the stakes.
    posted by mhum at 9:44 AM on May 5 [5 favorites]


    Everybody who feels discouraged about the Vote message. Don't let the assholes convince you it doesn't matter.

    I'm close to convincing myself that it doesn't matter. The Democrats are useless and would rather hoover up as much money in campaign contributions as possible while doing the bare fucking minimum for anyone who isn't a wealthy donor, and it's VERY hard to be enthused about a party whose 2016 presidential nominee selected a fucking anti-choicer as her running mate (gotta appeal to those swing voters!) and whose Congressional leadership are currently engaged in defending and supporting an anti-choice incumbent who's under FBI investigation for corruption.
    posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 10:04 AM on May 5 [5 favorites]


    Answering re: Jen Psaki above: she's my celebrity crush and I watch her press briefings daily. I would say it's been at least a few weeks since BBB was mentioned. Probably because there's no point and it's dead anyway and other dramas are exploding. I'm sure you can look them up yourself if you really want to check exactly when that was last mentioned.

    Thank you for answering this question! I just wanted to confirm that I wasn't going crazy and it hasn't been a persistent drumbeat by the administration as Gelatin suggested.
    posted by Gadarene at 10:15 AM on May 5


    Meanwhile, Mallory McMorrow is again setting the example of how to respond...

    I hope and pray she seeks higher office.
    posted by y2karl at 10:25 AM on May 5 [9 favorites]


    Hey all - I made a MeTa thread, for Mefiltes to discuss the actual logistics around protesting, and to educate each other on this. I felt that concrete asks for protest info were being lost in this thread, which does have some very important discussions going on in it.
    posted by spinifex23 at 10:41 AM on May 5 [15 favorites]


    certain commentators (like Josh Marshall, linked above) are pulling together a picture that this leak was from the anti-abortion side as a gambit to try to lock the conservative majority into this Alito opinion and prevent defections to a milder, possibly Roberts-led opinion (or something like that).

    I feel like I should know this, but how does the process of choosing who writes the opinion goes? If Roberts joins the agreement, can he stop Alito from writing it and make it narrower, or does that not matter as long as 5 other justices want it harder?
    posted by corb at 11:05 AM on May 5


    I think if I were Roberts and I was genuinely concerned about preserving the court’s integrity, I’d take this leak as an opportunity to educate the media and the public about just how their deliberation process works. Throw the doors open and show us EVERYTHING. Was Alito’s draft a trial balloon? Do they each write one of these drafts and pass them around so they can argue the case more effectively? Explain the context of this draft and release all the other drafts regarding this decision. Do all the same stuff they usually do in secret but do it in public. Anyway. I’m sure that won’t happen but it’s what I would do.
    posted by wabbittwax at 11:15 AM on May 5 [8 favorites]


    If Roberts joins the agreement, can he stop Alito from writing it and make it narrower,

    As Chief Justice, Roberts has the right of assignment for the writing of the decision on the side he's on. And he has used this in the past to take control of the decision himself to control how it's written.
    posted by NoxAeternum at 11:15 AM on May 5 [2 favorites]


    I commented above complaining about political fundraising emails that treat this more as an abstract outrage than a health crisis, so - for what it's worth, I got one from the Texas Democratic Party today that did in fact link to resources and direct action options before the fundraising pitch. It's something.
    posted by mersen at 11:17 AM on May 5 [7 favorites]


    As Chief Justice, Roberts has the right of assignment for the writing of the decision on the side he's on.

    What defines "the side he's on"? Suppose, as may be the case here, Roberts thinks an opinion in too extreme and wants to water it down. Can he declare, "I'm in favor of this extreme opinion, therefore I am on your side. Now I will assign the opinion to myself and drastically rewrite it."?
    posted by The Tensor at 11:45 AM on May 5 [2 favorites]


    What defines "the side he's on"?

    Usually whether he votes to uphold or strike the appellate ruling in question.

    Suppose, as may be the case here, Roberts thinks an opinion in too extreme and wants to water it down. Can he declare, "I'm in favor of this extreme opinion, therefore I am on your side. Now I will assign the opinion to myself and drastically rewrite it."?

    Not only can he, but he has supposedly done so in the past.
    posted by NoxAeternum at 11:49 AM on May 5 [4 favorites]


    mersen: "I commented above complaining about political fundraising emails that treat this more as an abstract outrage than a health crisis, so - for what it's worth, I got one from the Texas Democratic Party today that did in fact link to resources and direct action options before the fundraising pitch. It's something."

    I got an onslaught of fundraising emails yesterday, almost all of them saying "Give to my election campaign so that we can expand our majority!" That was not an inspiring message, but I hope it works for them. The one exception was from Elizabeth Warren. She didn't ask for any campaign donations at all, and didn't talk about voting as the response. She asked for donations to local abortion funds, and said:

    "I’m going to keep fighting in every way I can to defend abortion rights — including ending the filibuster so we can codify Roe into federal law, and expanding the Supreme Court so we can stop them from ripping our rights away."

    I trust her that those are the best ways forward. She's better at this stuff than I am.
    posted by team lowkey at 12:10 PM on May 5 [20 favorites]


    What defines "the side he's on"?

    IANAL, so I'll probably get a trouncing, but "Yea" or "nay," essentially. There are gray zones like "concurring in part" and "dissenting in part" where they dis/agree with their side's conclusion but for different reasons.
    posted by rhizome at 12:10 PM on May 5


    There are gray zones like "concurring in part" and "dissenting in part" where they dis/agree with their side's conclusion but for different reasons.

    One of the most hilariously infamous examples was when the justice writing the controlling opinion in a case decided to devote a section to a rant on baseball, of which nobody signed on to.
    posted by NoxAeternum at 12:15 PM on May 5


    I was an English major, so to me the meaning of the word "born" plainly and clearly excludes fetuses. I'm sure there's some legalistic bullshit way to define it to mean something different.

    I know there are some wild leaps of logic and semantic twisting out there, but there is no way in the English language to construe "born" as applying to a fetus (or less) in the womb.
    posted by rhizome at 12:16 PM on May 5 [2 favorites]


    I just wanted to confirm that I wasn't going crazy and it hasn't been a persistent drumbeat by the administration as Gelatin suggested.

    That answer doesn't confirm your point of view at all. It said only that she hasn't talked about it lately, because there's little point with other things in the news, including the small matter of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

    "Persistent drumbeat," like "full-throated defense," tends to be an appellation some apply to politicians they agree with, and for which politicians they don't never seem to achieve no matter what they do.
    posted by Gelatin at 12:32 PM on May 5 [1 favorite]


    it's VERY hard to be enthused about a party whose 2016 presidential nominee selected a fucking anti-choicer as her running mate

    I am pro-abortion and super frustrated with the Democratic response to this (and everything) as well, but Tim Kaine is pro-choice. If you are personally against abortion but do not support government restriction of it, that position is pro-choice and our messaging should not imply otherwise.
    posted by the primroses were over at 12:58 PM on May 5 [30 favorites]


    That answer doesn't confirm your point of view at all. It said only that she hasn't talked about it lately, because there's little point with other things in the news, including the small matter of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

    "Persistent drumbeat," like "full-throated defense," tends to be an appellation some apply to politicians they agree with, and for which politicians they don't never seem to achieve no matter what they do.


    I really, really don't want to spend mental energy arguing over this, so you win. "Biden apparently thinks the war in Ukraine and the need to pass his economic agenda are more important" than talking about things like the death of democracy, even though when given a chance to talk about the need to pass his economic agenda, he spends a press conference yesterday trumpeting his deficit reduction skills instead.

    He has his finger on the pulse of what matters in this country. I won't criticize him again. You. Win.
    posted by Gadarene at 1:13 PM on May 5 [4 favorites]


    Jen Psaki talks about it at the daily press conference. Biden talks about at press availabilities and in recorded remarks. This information is in the public domain. The so-called "liberal media" might not consider it "news," but it's unbecoming to simply pretend that the things he says don't exist.

    I still don't see any evidence for this assertion any time recently, though, and I promise I am not "simply pretending that the things he says don't exist."
    posted by Gadarene at 1:15 PM on May 5


    Oh (and last thing from me): if you don't think the progressives were "full-throatedly" trying to get BBB passed all of last year, then we might be living in different timelines and I hope yours at least has better movies.
    posted by Gadarene at 1:17 PM on May 5


    Meanwhile, in Louisiana, they're wasting no time. House Republicans have voted out of committee a fetal personhood bill that would:

    * make abortion a crime of homicide “from the moment of fertilization”
    * allow prosecutors to charge patients with murder
    * instruct the state to "disregard any part or whole of any federal court decision which purports to enjoin or void any provision of this Section." aka "It doesn't matter what SCOTUS or the Circuits say, this state law overrides that because we say it does."
    * make overruling or voiding this under state law, rather than federal, an impeachable offense for judges.

    This is, of course, bugshit insane by any rational standard, but we don't have time for rational standards any more. Marbury who?

    Buckle up.
    posted by delfin at 1:18 PM on May 5 [16 favorites]


    * instruct the state to "disregard any part or whole of any federal court decision which purports to enjoin or void any provision of this Section." aka "It doesn't matter what SCOTUS or the Circuits say, this state law overrides that because we say it does."

    Nice to see that in our rush headlong back to the legal environment of the 19th Century, we are skipping right to the Nullification Crisis!
    posted by rhymedirective at 1:24 PM on May 5 [5 favorites]


    I've linked this in previous Supreme Court threads, but it's worth reading again, especially in terms of hopes Roberts may save the day:

    Former Judge Resigns From the Supreme Court Bar
    [Dahlia Lithwick for Politico, March 2020]

    The Court, under your [Roberts'] leadership and with your votes, has wantonly flouted established precedent. Your “conservative” majority has cynically undermined basic freedoms by hypocritically weaponizing others. The ideas of free speech and religious liberty have been transmogrified to allow officially sanctioned bigotry and discrimination, as well as to elevate the grossest forms of political bribery beyond the ability of the federal government or states to rationally regulate it. More than a score of decisions during your tenure have overturned established precedents—some more than forty years old– and you voted with the majority in most. There is nothing “conservative” about this trend. This is radical “legal activism” at its worst.

    Without trying to write a law review article, I believe that the Court majority, under your leadership, has become little more than a result-oriented extension of the right wing of the Republican Party, as vetted by the Federalist Society. Yes, politics has always been a factor in the Court’s history, but not to today’s extent. Even routine rules of statutory construction get subverted or ignored to achieve transparently political goals. The rationales of “textualism” and “originalism” are mere fig leaves masking right wing political goals; sheer casuistry.

    Your public pronouncements suggest that you seem concerned about the legitimacy of the Court in today’s polarized environment. We all should be. Yet your actions, despite a few bromides about objectivity, say otherwise.

    It is clear to me that your Court is willfully hurtling back to the cruel days of Lochner and even Plessy. The only constitutional freedoms ultimately recognized may soon be limited to those useful to wealthy, Republican, White, straight, Christian, and armed males— and the corporations they control. This is wrong. Period. This is not America.

    I predict that your legacy will ultimately be as diminished as that of Chief Justice Melville Fuller, who presided over both Plessy and Lochner. It still could become that of his revered fellow Justice John Harlan the elder, an honest conservative, but I doubt that it will. Feel free to prove me wrong.


    The US Congress' Constitution Annotated explainer on the Lochner Era
    Lochner Case Brief (for law students)
    Ballotpedia on the Lochner Era
    posted by snuffleupagus at 1:32 PM on May 5 [13 favorites]


    This Rebecca Traister piece is from yesterday, but it's very good.
    posted by box at 1:40 PM on May 5 [3 favorites]


    Justice Alito's invocation of Sir Matthew Hale in his leaked majority opinion is so, so much more fucked up than people realize.
    I'm a professor with a PhD, and my area of expertise happens to be women and gender in the early modern era (1500-1700). Here is what you need to know.
    posted by adamvasco at 2:00 PM on May 5 [24 favorites]


    Oh (and last thing from me): if you don't think the progressives were "full-throatedly" trying to get BBB passed all of last year

    No one is saying this.
    posted by Gelatin at 3:12 PM on May 5 [1 favorite]


    One of the things that has stuck with me in my observations of the invasion of Ukraine is the relationship between Poland and Ukraine. They have long-standing, historical and hearty beefs with each other, but when the opponent of them both reared a very ugly head, they put that shit to the side and are together throwing every available resource at their shared problem.

    This is a comment about leftist/liberal discourse.
    posted by droomoord at 3:43 PM on May 5 [9 favorites]


    No one is saying this.

    Well, that was the context in which I used the term full-throated, which you subsequently mocked and derided me for.

    So I'm a bit confused.
    posted by Gadarene at 4:08 PM on May 5


    You can’t fight in here! This is the War Room!
    posted by kirkaracha at 4:13 PM on May 5 [2 favorites]


    I feel like if the Democrats were better strategic thinkers, they'd start by passing laws to guarantee the legality of selling contraceptives to adults.
    posted by Slothrup at 4:47 PM on May 5 [11 favorites]




    > invocation of Sir Matthew Hale

    so you're saying it's conservative christian kooks all the way down??
    posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 8:45 PM on May 5 [1 favorite]


    but Tim Kaine is pro-choice

    No, he isn't; he supports the Hyde Amendment. As a US Senator, "I am voting against federal funding of abortions on the basis of my personal beliefs" is very much an anti-choice action to take, considering the number of women who are reliant on Medicaid for healthcare.
    posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 12:05 AM on May 6 [12 favorites]


    Susan Collins appears to prefer being dismayed rather than actually doing anything.
    posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 5:35 AM on May 6 [2 favorites]


    Sorry if it's already been mentioned above, but please consider donating to the Yellowhammer Fund. The South is going to be especially hard-hit by this. Those of us down here in the buckle of the bible belt need all the love and support we can get.

    "The Yellowhammer Fund is a 501(c)3 abortion fund and reproductive justice organization serving Alabama, Mississippi, and the Deep South. We envision a society in which reproductive decisions are made free from coercion, shame, or state interference, a society in which individuals and communities have autonomy in making healthy choices regarding their bodies and their futures. We commit ourselves to community education and empowerment, policy advocacy, and the development of systems of mutual aid to ensure that our friends, families, and neighbors never go without the things they need."
    posted by SinAesthetic at 5:56 AM on May 6 [11 favorites]


    Tim Kaine has had a 100% rating from NARAL and Planned Parenthood since he became a senator.

    I lived in Virginia when he ran for governor and NARAL wouldn't endorse him against an extremely anti-choice Republican opponent. His stances have evolved quite a bit in the last 15 years, which is great. That change is possible for a lot of people with the right messaging.

    I'm not suggesting he's a leader on abortion rights or that you have to be happy with his stances. The Hyde Amendment is hardly the only thing I think Tim Kaine gets wrong.

    The goal should be to get as many people as possible to see abortions as healthcare and not something to be ashamed of, but if we have to wait for federal abortion protections until everyone who is pro-choice is pro-abortion, there's going to be more unnecessary suffering.

    Tim Kaine is not pro-abortion, and I think that's wrong. Tim Kaine is pro-choice, and that's taken years of pressure. Continuing to describe him as anti-choice only helps the messaging for the forced birth side.
    posted by the primroses were over at 6:59 AM on May 6 [11 favorites]


    I tell people who are willing to listen to my explanation: I'm anti-abortion and pro-choice. I see many abortions as a minor wrong being necessary because we have a world that doesn't recognize women's health and doesn't deal with child and family poverty. An abortion is not a crime, in my opinion. It is often a sadness.

    The above view is a bit eccentric. The main reason I'm pro-choice is that I don't believe others need abide by my eccentric views. The choice is about their bodies, their lives.
    posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:32 AM on May 6 [11 favorites]


    The above view is a bit eccentric.

    I don't think so. It's kind of the leftist-Christian approach to abortion. Make contraception safe, easy, and cheap enough that everyone who wants it can have it. Provide a good economy with enough support for childraising and free daycare that having an unplanned child isn't a career or school killer. Then you'll see a lot less abortions. Anyone that doesn't advocate for the former doesn't actually oppose abortions, they oppose freedom, because those are the effective ways you lower abortions - not by making them dangerous and illegal.
    posted by corb at 8:53 AM on May 6 [16 favorites]


    Finally, SOMETHING from a major Democrat. Gavin Newsom speaking out against the atrocious lack of... anything from mainstream dems. He's echoing what a lot of us have been arguing about in this thread.
    posted by zug at 9:58 AM on May 6 [3 favorites]


    I feel like if someone thinks people have *any* obligation to incubate & birth a fetus against their will then you are not pro-choice. If you think there is an obligation then how can there also be a choice. It's contradictory.
    posted by bleep at 10:00 AM on May 6 [2 favorites]


    In other words if your position is that morally you don't think people should end their own pregnancies early then you think it's because there's some higher obligation. Even if you are willing to forgive the person you still think they did something wrong. But there is no obligation whatsoever to keep something in your body that you don't want to be there. Never.
    posted by bleep at 10:02 AM on May 6 [5 favorites]


    The above view is a bit eccentric.

    Nah, it isn't. It's called "being pro-choice." It's your way of saying that if you don't want an abortion, you won't have one / pressure someone else to have one, but if someone else does need one, it is not your place to stand in their way.

    I don't think that, under most circumstances, there's a person who wants an abortion who doesn't also have a distinct need for one. Few people are thinking, "I'm bored, I think I'll have an invasive elective medical procedure done to me this week. It's so convenient!" The theoretical woman who has sex five times a day and gets an abortion every month just to clean things out because condoms are icky? She lives in the same fevered imagination with the Welfare Queen, the Dangerous Antifa Terrorist Group and the George Soros Committee to Bring Communism to America.

    But you know what? Even if that theoretical woman exists... that's her business and her problem. Not the government's and not society's in general.

    And as for the vast majority of women who aren't in that category, who approach abortion in pain or in need or in distress rather than in ecstatic joy... you are on their side, and I thank you for that.
    posted by delfin at 11:48 AM on May 6 [10 favorites]


    I don't think it's helpful to try to classify someone as to whether they are actually pro-choice based on whether we agree with their reasoning. That is playing into the enemy's hand. If someone believes that getting an abortion is a personal medical decision and the government has no role in that decision, they are pro-choice, period. Whether their more general worldview around abortion matches mine is immaterial, particularly while abortion rights are under threat. We need every ally in this fight to feel welcome at the battlements, and discussing the finer points of obligation versus duty versus law versus bodily autonomy can wait until the breach has been closed, whenever that may be.
    posted by biogeo at 12:08 PM on May 6 [10 favorites]


    I'm tired of hearing that abortion is "sad."
    posted by tiny frying pan at 12:19 PM on May 6 [24 favorites]


    Indeed. In many, many circumstances, it is the right and proper thing to do and a positive solution to a difficult situation.
    posted by delfin at 12:23 PM on May 6 [7 favorites]


    The mother of my niece's babydaddy used to be a nun. Before she left the order, the worked on the Abortion Ships in international waters off of Ireland. Her belief was that Abortion is a sin but it's not her job to stop you. My kind of Catholic.
    posted by stet at 12:40 PM on May 6 [7 favorites]


    I also don't care much for the idea that people making a medical decision about their own bodies is "sad," but the fact is a lot of pro-choice people think that way, and we need them, and need them to feel confident speaking out and making others who think like them feel comfortable identifying as pro-choice.
    posted by biogeo at 12:45 PM on May 6 [2 favorites]


    In a nice open dialogue, they can share their feelings and I can tell them I don't care for hearing they think my control of my own body is "sad." Telling people their choices are "sad" is not supportive, and I hope some of those people can hear and understand that. If saying that respectfully makes them no longer want to be pro-choice, their support would change with the next wind anyway.
    posted by tiny frying pan at 1:17 PM on May 6 [6 favorites]


    . It's kind of the leftist-Christian approach to abortion

    I don't know that I'd necessarily characterize it that way; I'm firmly secular, with no moral qualms about abortion, and that's basically my attitude. I see abortion as a necessary solution to a problem but also, as a solution, inferior to preventing the problem on the first place. Unwanted and untenable pregnancy comes from a wide variety or sources, many of which show up failures of our social, economic, medical, technological, and other systems. Improving and preventing those failures seems to me like major, important work, and work which will do much to reduce the need for abortion. But through it all, the availability of abortion as a solution remains a non-negotiable necessity.
    posted by jackbishop at 2:41 PM on May 6 [8 favorites]


    When I referred to abortion being a sadness, I said it was often a sadness. I don't believe it is necessarily a sadness. I believe some women have abortions because of the huge obstacles set in front of them. Health insurance? Are they going to go broke having a baby? Being unemployed? No good access to child care? Do they have the prospects of raising the baby outside of poverty? Why should they risk their personal health for a baby they don't want? Why should they be forced to carry a baby they don't want?
    There are many reasons to have an abortion. I believe an uncaring society is responsible for some of these.
    That said, it is their choice, not mine. I am not going to audit their choices or the choice of any individual. They don't have to have my viewpoints to do what's right for them.
    posted by dances_with_sneetches at 3:08 PM on May 6 [6 favorites]


    Way upthread but I'm gonna need a citation on the idea that 300k Wisconsin voters were turned away at the polls. 300k is like 5% of the population and significantly more of the electorate. If that's true it's insane, and if it's not we probably dont need to make things up to make the point.
    posted by aspersioncast at 3:24 PM on May 6 [5 favorites]


    I believe some women have abortions because of the huge obstacles set in front of them.

    Reasons to have to have an abortion can be sad. Actual abortion, in these instances, is what some might call a blessing.

    Personally, I bristle at the vaguer statement because it is easily akin to "women controlling their own bodies and medical choices" is a sadness. Just want to be precise about this, women are told over and over how sad their choice is, when most women are relieved to have the choice, and the procedure.
    posted by tiny frying pan at 3:41 PM on May 6 [6 favorites]


    I recognize what you say, tiny frying pan. I believe that some women are robbed of their choice because of unfair obstacles to having a baby. I don't believe any woman who doesn't want to continue the pregnancy should be robbed of that choice.
    posted by dances_with_sneetches at 3:56 PM on May 6


    (And "procedure" isn't even the right word since most abortions are medication abortions)
    posted by tiny frying pan at 3:59 PM on May 6


    "since most abortions are medication abortions"

    This is presumably true now (I haven't looked up the stats, but see no reason to dispute it) but it is a pretty recent change.

    That may be a reason why some of us olds have a negative view of abortion, even while completely supporting the pregnant person's absolute right to choice. A D&C can certainly be a relief, but it is never better than not having been pregnant in the first place.

    And of course, some significant percentage of abortions ARE sad, and beyond sad - absolutely heart-breaking for all involved. Losing a loved and wanted child is among the most traumatic experiences ever even when it's the right choice.
    posted by bcd at 4:24 PM on May 6 [2 favorites]


    But let's avoid blanket "abortion is sad" statements. And no need to keep harping that some are.
    posted by tiny frying pan at 4:38 PM on May 6 [6 favorites]


    And maybe stop harping on the blanket statement that it is not sad at the same time?
    posted by bcd at 5:17 PM on May 6 [2 favorites]


    No thanks. We're on the same side. I didn't make a blanket statement.
    posted by tiny frying pan at 5:26 PM on May 6 [1 favorite]


    Certs can be both a candy mint and a breath mint.
    posted by delfin at 5:27 PM on May 6 [3 favorites]


    “since most abortions are medication abortions"

    This is presumably true now (I haven't looked up the stats, but see no reason to dispute it) but it is a pretty recent change.

    That may be a reason why some of us olds have a negative view of abortion, even while completely supporting the pregnant person's absolute right to choice. A D&C can certainly be a relief, but it is never better than not having been pregnant in the first place.


    Yeah, I’ve talked to younger people who didn’t believe that surgical abortions were still even performed.
    posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:54 PM on May 6 [1 favorite]


    “since most abortions are medication abortions"

    Collecting data is difficult because doctors don't always record the reasons behind an abortion procedure, the best we can do is look at aggregated data and try to draw our own conclusions.

    There's a significant racial factor to this as well

    When it comes to the effect on minorities, the numbers are unambiguous. In Mississippi, people of color comprise 44 percent of the population but 81 percent of women receiving abortion. PBS Link - Black and Hispanic people have the most to lose if Roe is overturned

    It may be that it's true for white people that most abortions are medical abortions, but it may not be true for minorities.

    Australia (sorry, but always a point of comparison) is estimated to have a higher rate of abortion than the US - Children By Choice, a pro-choice organization in Australia, estimates that half of all pregnancies in Australia are unplanned and that half of those are terminated, which implies a 25% termination rate.

    In the US, using 2011 data, the 63 million U.S. women of reproductive age (15–44) had six million pregnancies. Sixty-seven percent of these pregnancies resulted in live births and 18% in abortions; the remaining 15% ended in miscarriage. So ignoring miscarriages, 21% of all viable pregnancies ended in abortion, some for medical reasons, some for non-medical reasons.
    posted by xdvesper at 7:30 PM on May 6 [2 favorites]


    Thanks for the extra info on that, xdvesper.
    posted by tiny frying pan at 7:58 PM on May 6


    Wow. It’s hard to express how sad it makes me that someone ostensibly on my side would classify a medical procedure as sad. Like I guess radiation for cancer is sad cause I wish people didn’t get cancer? If anything’s sad there to me though it’s whatever caused the cancer, not the treatment. Abortion is just a neutral medical procedure that needs to be available to everyone. Anything else is sad.
    posted by (Over) Thinking at 8:03 PM on May 6 [10 favorites]


    It’s hard to express how sad it makes me that someone ostensibly on my side would classify a medical procedure as sad.

    Hi. I'm not just "ostensibly" on your side, I have driven women multiple hours to have abortions when they were unavailable in their location. I have been part of passing the hat among a bunch of broke women so that another woman could have an abortion. I imagine I'll be doing both again more urgently if this bullshit decision stands. I am pro-choice and I have taken and will take actions in accordance with that belief.

    At the same time, those abortions that I helped make happen were sad. Yes, women were relieved to have the choice to have an abortion in among the shit sandwich options that they had. Yes, I am glad that they had that choice. But for the women that I helped, it was always, always, their grinding fucking poverty and lack of other options that caused them to make that choice, and in literally every single situation, it was a problem that fuck-you money would have fixed. Fuck-you money to pay for a nanny, for an apartment, for the ability to move to another state away from a shitty boyfriend, for more groceries and time off work and diapers and a bigger apartment.

    And so I also find some abortions sad, because even though they are good choices for many in the world we currently live in, that world is bullshit. You cannot possibly convince me that the best thing for reproductive choice is living under capitalism and that all choices that people with uteruses make under capitalism are good ones. I have seen too much fucking misery to believe it.

    Do I believe that some abortions are not due to capitalism? Yes, probably, but I think it's vanishingly few. Most people who intend not to become pregnant would prefer to simply have effective birth control. Why don't we have effective, easy birth control? Fucking capitalism and patriarchy. Both are bullshit. Both are sad. I don't understand why it's so important for you that I not find capitalism and the choices it forces people with uteruses into sad.
    posted by corb at 9:02 PM on May 6 [17 favorites]


    These are two different things. For me, I agree that the circumstances can be sad (they aren't always!) Saying, "Abortion is sad," is a vague statement that doesn't imply support in any way, and is inaccurate besides, as all blanket statements are.
    posted by tiny frying pan at 5:02 AM on May 7 [3 favorites]


    I would suggest that this discussion about sadness finish. In part I am responsible for not separating circumstances from the act of abortion.
    posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:29 AM on May 7 [1 favorite]


    How realistic is it that someone could persecuted in Missouri for assisting in an abortion? Note that Missouri's trigger laws define assisting as broadly as helping with Internet searches and doing things that I would think would fall under free speech. Going by Missouri law if I even suggested they go to Kansas or going further, if they used my WiFi and Google were to refer an Internet search to a Kansas provider, that would be illegal? Surely some of these laws are way overreaching right now.
    posted by geoff. at 9:49 AM on May 7


    I think that's by design. Pass an overreaching law, somebody sues you over it. It winds its way through the courts. Maybe it goes your way, and some nut in the legislature of the next state over starts getting ideas. Maybe it doesn't, but you just made Planned Parenthood or the ACLU or somebody spend a lot of time and money fighting over what they thought was settled law. And while you're filing appeals, pregnant people are suffering. Once again, the cruelty is the point.
    posted by box at 11:12 AM on May 7 [20 favorites]




    Get an abortion every week. Never have protected sex and live on Valtrex, Truvada, penicillin, and RU-486. Have a baby only when you want, the world isn't running out of fetuses. The only reason having an abortion is ever "sad" is because they're forced to have a reason. Once you're talking about "good" and "bad" abortions you've already lost the argument. The only two sides are "none of my business" and "evangelical invader."

    And they call taxes stealing. Forced pregnancy steals lives, both literally and figuratively.
    posted by rhizome at 11:48 AM on May 7 [6 favorites]


    Is there literally any way the phrase "domestic supply of infants" can be interpreted as anything other than wholly inhuman?
    posted by GhostintheMachine at 1:15 PM on May 7 [12 favorites]


    Only if, when you say the phrase you do not consider the people you’re talking about to be as human as you are.
    posted by Mizu at 1:35 PM on May 7 [1 favorite]


    The only reason having an abortion is ever "sad" is because they're forced to have a reason. Once you're talking about "good" and "bad" abortions you've already lost the argument. The only two sides are "none of my business" and "evangelical invader."

    This. Having feelings about other people's abortions is the same as not respecting people's right to choose. Previously.
    posted by RobinofFrocksley at 3:09 PM on May 7 [2 favorites]


    Is there literally any way the phrase "domestic supply of infants" can be interpreted as anything other than wholly inhuman?

    Sounds to me like something Jonathan Swift would write regarding finding a suitable low cost replacement for turkey.
    posted by Joey Michaels at 3:16 PM on May 7 [4 favorites]


    Insisting that anyone who says 'sad' actually means 'bad' is bad faith. One is a personal emotion, the other is a moral judgement. I don't believe anyone in this thread thinks abortions are bad.

    The only reason having an abortion is ever "sad" is because they're forced to have a reason.

    This is exactly the sort of blanket statement that tiny frying pan has been condemning. And no, sharing the sadness of a loved one whose hand you held before and after an abortion because they are heartbroken sure has hell doesn't make one an "evangelical invader."

    It is fair to say that no one other than the person having the abortion gets to decide if a given abortion is 'sad', but frankly, the vehement claims that they are never sad is hateful towards those who have had that experience.

    It is three months now since our son died, and so right now I have zero tolerance for well-meaning people who won't let those involved acknowledge their grief. To be clear, this son was a young adult, but several decades ago now it was a couple weeks after the baby shower, and you're damn right it was 'sad'.
    posted by bcd at 4:03 PM on May 7 [9 favorites]


    I wonder whether Biden would support lifting the filibuster to codify abortion rights if he were a woman who had lived through what it was like pre-Roe.

    Insanity that he's "not prepared" to consider it now.

    Link

    Ah well, at least he can always just fondly reminisce about the good old days having lunch with segregationists, as he did *checks notes* yesterday.
    posted by Gadarene at 4:26 PM on May 7 [11 favorites]


    I wonder whether Biden would support lifting the filibuster to codify abortion rights if he were a woman who had lived through what it was like pre-Roe

    The Republicans already eliminated the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees so they could get Kavanaugh confirmed. Why harbour any illusions at all that they won't abolish it entirely next time they have control of the Senate and Dems try to mount a filibuster? Because that's pretty obviously what's going to happen.
    posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 5:21 PM on May 7 [11 favorites]


    Having feelings about other people's abortions is the same as not respecting people's right to choose.
    That... sure seems absurd.
    posted by Flunkie at 5:37 PM on May 7 [7 favorites]


    The Republicans already eliminated the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees so they could get Kavanaugh confirmed. Why harbour any illusions at all that they won't abolish it entirely next time they have control of the Senate and Dems try to mount a filibuster? Because that's pretty obviously what's going to happen.

    McConnell is already hinting at it.
    posted by Gadarene at 5:48 PM on May 7 [2 favorites]


    Collecting data is difficult because doctors don't always record the reasons behind an abortion procedure, the best we can do is look at aggregated data and try to draw our own conclusions.

    In this context, “medical abortion”/“medication abortion” refers to the method used, and not the motivation.

    In broad strokes, medical abortion is accomplished by the administration of medications that cause the uterus to expel its contents, while a surgical abortion involves inserting instruments into the uterus to empty it.

    The former is less invasive and can be done in the comfort of the patient’s home, while the latter has a slightly higher success rate.
    posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:47 PM on May 7 [1 favorite]


    People are allowed to have feelings about their medical procedures. I understand the spirit of what was being said but it reflects a not considering all the reasons one might want or need to have a medical procedure to end a pregnancy. It isn’t always a choice, or a choice the person wants to make. Often it is a real tragic situation —for example the discovery that you are pregnant and have cancer, etc.

    One of the most frustrating things is that the court has not considered all these medical edge cases in their rulings; and people will suffer and die as a result. Kids will become orphans because mom couldn’t get a medical procedure that would safe her life.
    posted by interogative mood at 7:09 PM on May 7 [1 favorite]


    As long as a person votes for candidates who support a woman's right to choose I'm more or less indifferent to how they personally feel about abortion.

    I may not want some of those people as friends based on those feelings, but as long as their vote reflects a commitment to legal abortion on demand then I'll spend my resources fighting against people who want to end legal abortion on demand not people who support it but also have negative feelings about abortion.

    Right now my main concern is defeating the political forces in both parties that have brought us to the criminalization of abortion. I'll police other people's feelings when I've handled the ten billion or so things I think are more important than policing other people's feelings.
    posted by sotonohito at 8:53 PM on May 7 [14 favorites]


    the reason Roe v. Wade is about to be overturned must be placed at the feet of the cruel Christian fascists and the criminals who abet them for personal gain, full stop

    that said, the amount of argument in this thread re: whether abortion is sad or not, and all the other disagreements among PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT WOMEN'S REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS is an astonishing illustration of--and I won't use the word progressive, but simply people of the 21st century with a modicum of decency, eyes, a brain they use most of the time--how far people are willing to go to disagree. wake the fuck up.
    posted by elkevelvet at 9:09 AM on May 8 [7 favorites]


    Annoyed with blue Twitter today, which is feverishly yowling that Marsha Blackburn wants to outlaw birth control except for married couples.

    This is giving her far too much credit. Marsha doesn't want married couples to have unregulated access to it, either, and has been open about that belief.
    posted by delfin at 10:46 AM on May 8 [1 favorite]


    Having feelings about other people's abortions is the same as not respecting people's right to choose.

    SO much this. This is not saying someone can't have these feelings. However, putting them out in a public forum is disrespectful, in my opinion. Aside from the person who is pregnant, the reason for an abortion is nobody's business.
    posted by Scout405 at 1:13 PM on May 8 [3 favorites]




    Aside from the person who is pregnant, the reason for an abortion is nobody's business.

    Absolutely agreeing that the reason for choosing an abortion is private and does not need made public on an individual level. And offering quiet thought that documenting at a population level the reasoning pregnancy behind this healthcare choice could allow better and more nuanced policy discussion on terminations due to fetal disease or maternal illness. While I don't think we'll ever get to the point that all abortions after 12 wks are medical-related, pregnancy terminations after 16-18 wks gestation are often due to health care disparities and delays and insurance issues that strongly require addressing regardless of the legality of abortion.

    And a passing thought that these statistics will become skewed anyway. Much like at-home testing for COVID distorted transmission rates, the sales data for Plan B/mailed pills to everyone who even thinks they might be pregnant or use as protocol after an assault (regardless of if a conception actually occurred) likely will alter the documented data on abortion's timing and reasoning and the consequent discussion in unexpected ways.
    posted by beaning at 2:19 PM on May 8


    SO much this. This is not saying someone can't have these feelings. However, putting them out in a public forum is disrespectful, in my opinion. Aside from the person who is pregnant, the reason for an abortion is nobody's business.

    Seems odd in a thread where we're talking about a change in the law and the cultural and political issues surrounding abortion, why people vote the way they do, etc. I don't think anyone is trying to say to another MeFite that "your choices are making me sad," or would (for example) pop into an AskMe just to express that.
    posted by snuffleupagus at 2:30 PM on May 8 [2 favorites]


    Here's a surveillance study of U.S. abortions in 2019. It was published in November 2021 by the CDC, so it probably represents the most recent numbers.

    In 2019:
    629,828 abortions.
    2 deaths due to the procedure.
    (Childbirth has a maternal death rate of about 24 per 100,000)
    Surgical abortions are common for women less than 13 weeks pregnant. (49%)
    posted by dances_with_sneetches at 3:56 PM on May 8 [3 favorites]


    Thanks, dances with sneetches, the CDC is likely the best accepted source. Guttmacher Institute published in 2021 on underreported/missing data in abortion statistics such that reports don't match when cross-correlated (up to 10-18% may be missing) especially in black and/or single populations. ACOG in 2020 also includes rural, underage, migrant and prison populations as this difficult-to -assess populations. And comments most data is self-reported or done by clinicians who may have reason to try to protect patients even if the data is then inaccurate. There are also some issues of terminology such as miscarriages or very early/very late losses that affect interpretation of data for policy use.
    posted by beaning at 5:13 PM on May 8 [1 favorite]


    Today the White House press secretary twitter account tweeted a scolding message to people protesting the overturning of Roe:

    .@POTUS strongly believes in the Constitutional right to protest. But that should never include violence, threats, or vandalism. Judges perform an incredibly important function in our society, and they must be able to do their jobs without concern for their personal safety.

    And that is why Democrats lose.

    In the middle of our outrage they choose not to harness that rage but rather harangue us for not behaving in a way that makes them feel comfortable.

    I don't expect Biden to wave a magic wand and turn Sinema, Manchin, and all the other wimpocrats into solid votes.

    I do expect that our national leaders should be outraged themselves, that they should make the focus of their anger the Republicans not protesters against the assholes.

    I'm explicitly making a tone argument here.

    Today President Biden told us he wasn't on our side, that his concern was more for norms and "civility" [1] than it was for the loss of women's rights. Rather than tweeting a message of condemnation against the SCOTUS, the Republicans, or Manchin/Sinema/etc who keep blocking bills, Biden's White House tweeted that it was deeply wrong for people to protest outside the home of an alcoholc rapist.



    [1] Scare quotes because i note they never tweeted anything about the forced birth advocates protesting outside the homes of abortion providers and PP employees.

    As always civility is a one way street for the Democrats: we bow and scrape to the Republicans and they get to treat us like dog shit.
    posted by sotonohito at 12:10 PM on May 9 [19 favorites]


    In case anyone is in doubt, there has been no violence or vandalism. A giant fence has also been erected around the Court to protect from protestors the people who ruled that abortion clinics in Massachusetts could not have fences protecting them from protestors.

    Also, Biden's going to speak about the deficit again! Truly inspiring.
    posted by Gadarene at 12:32 PM on May 9 [10 favorites]


    Oh, but it looks like the Senate will move quickly!

    ...To "beef up security for SCOTUS," that is.

    It's beyond parody.
    posted by Gadarene at 12:36 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


    Gadarene due to the tweet being somewhat vague I can't be sure, but I think the White House was referring to the protests at the homes of Kavanaugh and Barrett.
    posted by sotonohito at 12:39 PM on May 9


    Gadarene due to the tweet being somewhat vague I can't be sure, but I think the White House was referring to the protests at the homes of Kavanaugh and Barrett.

    Yes, I agree. At which there has been no violence or vandalism.

    And if protestors wanted to protest at the Supreme Court instead, they would be unable to, due to the giant fence erected to protect from protestors the same people who etc.
    posted by Gadarene at 12:42 PM on May 9 [10 favorites]


    One of the differences between the parties is that the Republicans embrace their extremists and Democrats reject them. Feinstein was a notorious hippy-puncher. There should be a useful strategy in that distinction somewhere, but I haven't been able to find it. As it stands and as far as I can tell, the country has zero defenses against the growth of Christian Nationalism.
    posted by rhizome at 12:50 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


    certainly seems like the dems will always say they stand with you, so long as you're not actually standing up for yourself or anything else.
    posted by i used to be someone else at 12:59 PM on May 9 [8 favorites]


    So far, the only act of violence has been a very conveniently-timed fire* at an anti-abortion office in Wisconsin, which is still under investigation.

    * Molotov cocktails were found inside the building, which failed to ignite. A separate fire was started by persons unknown. And I am well aware that crying out "false flag" is the first line of defense for Trumpoids and Q*berts, but a small and contained fire, weapons of destruction on the premises that somehow went unused but demonstrate how the attackers were Violent and Dangerous Extremists, a nice graffiti message of "if abortions aren't safe then you aren't either" painted in cursive writing, plus an Antifa circle-A and 1312 (All Cops Are Bastards) for good measure? How con-veeeeeenient.
    posted by delfin at 2:18 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


    Meanwhile, the Senate is "moving rapidly" to pass a bill that will provide extra security at the homes of Supreme Court Justices.

    Per The Hill the bill may pass as early as this evening or tomorrow.

    Note that the Senate is **NOT** "moving rapidly" to pass a bill protecting abortion rights.

    Note also that every time someone complains about the Senate doing nothing we're told that these things take time? Clearly these things do not take time if it's an issue where the Senate gives a shit.

    I never want to hear anyone tell me that things move slow in the Senate again. Things move at light speed in the Senate when Schumer wants them to.
    posted by sotonohito at 2:39 PM on May 9 [13 favorites]


    Today the White House press secretary twitter account tweeted a scolding message to people protesting the overturning of Roe:

    .@POTUS strongly believes in the Constitutional right to protest. But that should never include violence, threats, or vandalism. Judges perform an incredibly important function in our society, and they must be able to do their jobs without concern for their personal safety.

    And that is why Democrats lose.


    Yeah, I just fucking love it when people who are nominally meant to be on my side start pushing right-wing talking points.

    The only Democrat with a national profile who's been expressing appropriate anger is Elizabeth Warren.
    posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 2:40 PM on May 9 [14 favorites]


    Things move at light speed in the Senate when Schumer wants them to.

    Things move at light speed when Schumer plays into the right-wing narrative, which is to say when he's terrified that the imaginary center-right couple that lives rent-free in his skull might no longer love him tenderly.
    posted by delfin at 2:49 PM on May 9 [9 favorites]


    Gadarene due to the tweet being somewhat vague I can't be sure, but I think the White House was referring to the protests at the homes of Kavanaugh and Barrett.

    Which reminds me, exactly WHO paid off Kavanaugh's mortgage?
    posted by mikelieman at 3:28 PM on May 9 [8 favorites]


    I think the speed with which they are trying to criminalize it reflects just how effective protesting at their homes is.

    We CAN win through escrache.

    And the bill just passed the Senate with all Senators agreeing to unanimous consent. Thanks for showing us you don't care Bernie.
    posted by sotonohito at 6:21 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


    I think the speed with which they are trying to criminalize it reflects just how effective protesting at their homes is

    I think this is complicated. Protests outside homes always have a flavor of leaving a horse head on someone's pillow - it's a sort of "I know where you live; right now I'm chanting, but I could be doing something worse; consider your next actions". I don't think it's surprising that they're moving towards increasing security at the houses, though criminalizing the protests are certainly bullshit.

    But I don't think that we can discern from that its effectiveness, where effectiveness is measured in whether they are going to change their votes in the way that we want. It's equally possible that it may harden them in their positions and make it more difficult to soften the opinion. I just don't know - because it's a relatively new tactic it means that we don't have a lot of evidence one way or another.
    posted by corb at 8:00 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


    Ideally, I would prefer that SCOTUS judges based their verdicts on the actual law, not on fear of having their houses burned down.

    But I do not expect these five to be swayed by either.
    posted by delfin at 8:43 PM on May 9


    corb Of course they won't change their votes. But they might decide to retire.

    And, as previously noted, SCOTUS held that forced birthers could protest at the homes of clinic workers. And also that forced birth advocates could go to the schools where clinic worker's children were educated and scream at the kid that their parent killed babies.

    There was no outrage, no massive media response, no sudden vote in the Senate then.

    As far as I'm concerned we're long past time to be practicing escrache and hounding the Republicans until they leave office in a desperate effort to get a moment's peace.
    posted by sotonohito at 8:58 PM on May 9 [16 favorites]


    Well...

    The Senators who rushed to protect SCOTUS homes' peace and quiet knew very well what was coming next. Someone wrote a polite message via sidewalk chalk outside Susan Collins's home Saturday night; she called the police in response, because chalk-writing is inherently dangerous and explosive.

    Of course they're nervous... because they live in America. An America where one Congressional representative got shot in the head in recent memory, a second was shot and wounded at a Congressional baseball game, and we've already had (IMHO) our first false-flag incident of this cycle involving abortion-related violence. A heavily armed America is not a polite America; it is a nervous and twitchy America that may break out into deadly shootings at any moment, and often does.

    Escrache, in and of itself, is not a violent action... but it is a significant escalation, and an invitation for those on the other side (who might not have the same desire to avoid violent confrontations) to do the same. I don't particularly want a hundred guys with rifles camping out outside Sonia Sotomayor's house, or my Senators', or my Congresspeople's, or anyone else's, for that matter. And all it's going to take is one violent act by someone leaving the right clues behind them (He had a circle-A T-shirt! It's the DREAD ANTIFA!) to let the media start painting the protest movement as dangerous, violent radicals.

    We are at a point where polite, reserved dissent is insufficient. Sometimes, risk and escalation are necessary. But SCOTUS justices are there for life. The likes of Susan Colllins are impervious to "we may not take you out with rifles, but we will take you out on Election Day" because, well, raw numbers and donation money and past experience indicate that, generally speaking, we can't. And if a handful do desire to retire in response, (a) a legion of younger true believers stand ready to take their place and vote in lockstep, and (b) that's an invitation for the right to hound every liberal out of office using the same tactics.

    We have never stopped living in interesting times.
    posted by delfin at 7:30 AM on May 10 [5 favorites]


    I mean, people have protested in front of Nancy Pelosi's house and Chuck Schumer's house as well (up to and including some vandalism) and I don't recall any fast-tracked legislation being pushed through the Senate to stop that.

    Meanwhile, in a strange bit of synchronicity, all this talk about escrache and protesting in front of Supreme Court justices' houses is taking place at the same time that several Sri Lankan politicans' homes were/are being burnt and destroyed in the midst of a massive economic crisis in that country. To be clear: I'm not saying "could be worse" or drawing any direct parallels between the two situations, but just noting the whiplash of watching cable news doing segments about police being called for chalk drawings in front Susan Collins' house after seeing a 30-tweet megathread of different Sri Lankan legislator's homes completely engulfed in flames.
    posted by mhum at 10:06 AM on May 10 [2 favorites]


    I don't like living in interesting times.
    posted by kirkaracha at 10:29 AM on May 10 [3 favorites]


    Get used to it. It will not get boring again.
    posted by Meatbomb at 10:32 AM on May 10


    In Major Shift, Casey Announces Intention To Vote For Bill Protecting Abortion Rights: "Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), one of the last remaining Democrats who describes himself as “pro-life,” announced Tuesday that he intends to vote for the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would enshrine abortion rights in federal law. "
    posted by BungaDunga at 12:10 PM on May 10 [8 favorites]


    That figures.
    posted by jenfullmoon at 3:17 PM on May 11 [3 favorites]


    it's a sort of "I know where you live; right now I'm chanting, but I could be doing something worse; consider your next actions".

    I think it has an ominous cast of a threat because the case that enshrined the right to protest at someone's house was a 1996 case finding in favor of anti-abortion protesters. Since Republicans, conservatives, and anti-abortion people in general are the people who tend to threaten (and sometimes commit) violence about this stuff, it stands to reason that the psychological anchoring would be negative.
    posted by rhizome at 3:59 PM on May 11


    The Republicans held how many votes trying to get rid of Obamacare? Why can’t Schumer hold a vote on this every week until the election? Just to remind people where their senators stand on the issue.
    posted by wittgenstein at 4:08 PM on May 11 [9 favorites]


    I like how protesting judges' houses or writing chalk messages outside a senator's house is considered violent, but literally arresting, imprisoning, and executing people is considered totally acceptable because 1) it's within the bounds of law, and 2) it's against little people.
    posted by Lord Chancellor at 4:10 PM on May 11 [7 favorites]


    Why can’t Schumer hold a vote on this every week until the election? Just to remind people where their senators stand on the issue.

    Because Republicans fear their voters, and Democrats dictate and condescend to theirs.
    posted by Lord Chancellor at 4:12 PM on May 11 [4 favorites]


    With women's bodily rights being taken away, and the Court's (read: Republicans') eyes on multiple other rights (never you mind little things like, er, infrastructure), what does having Manchin inside the tent pissing in get us??
    posted by riverlife at 4:15 PM on May 11


    what does having Manchin inside the tent pissing in get us??

    Schumer as the senate majority leader. Biden nominees getting on the federal bench.
    posted by prefpara at 4:19 PM on May 11 [7 favorites]


    Why can’t Schumer hold a vote on this every week until the election? Just to remind people where their senators stand on the issue.

    "Last week, we failed to get anything constructive done. This week, things will be different! We'll... fail to get anything constructive done, but louder. Vote for us so that we can... um... is that the time?"
    posted by delfin at 4:32 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


    My point was to force Republicans including Collins and Murkowski to have to reiterate their anti-choice positions over and over. Who knows? Maybe Manchin might even get some push back from his constituents.
    posted by wittgenstein at 6:50 PM on May 11 [5 favorites]


    "Last week, we failed to get anything constructive done. This week, things will be different! We'll... fail to get anything constructive done, but louder. Vote for us so that we can... um... is that the time?"

    This would be an marked improvement on "we tried once and then gave up"
    posted by ook at 5:54 AM on May 12 [9 favorites]


    "You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don't take. Even though there is only a 1-5% probably of scoring"

    -- Wayne Gretsky, January 16, 1983 edition of the Hockey News
    posted by mikelieman at 9:21 AM on May 12 [2 favorites]


    I know it's offtopic but as a Canadian I can't let that misspelling of Wayne Gretzky's name go uncorrected.
    posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:42 PM on May 12 [5 favorites]


    Biden nominees getting on the federal bench.

    They confirmed a replacement for Breyer, and it simply wouldn't have happened without Manchin being alive and caucusing with the Democrats.
    posted by BungaDunga at 1:49 PM on May 12 [4 favorites]


    The more insightful thing that Gretzky said about scoring was that if you really want to score a lot of goals, you need two people who can score working together.

    But I digress.
    posted by clawsoon at 2:23 PM on May 12 [2 favorites]


    The always worth reading Michael Harriot just had a thread about allyship.

    You'd be forgiven for thinking it's primarily about race, but if you read to the end to understand why it belongs in this post.
    posted by bcd at 10:22 PM on May 12 [12 favorites]


    Here’s the ThreadReader version of ^
    posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:42 AM on May 13 [1 favorite]


    Thank you, bcd. I have spent that past week vacillating on what I wanted to post.

    Harriot clarifies it nicely.

    I posted upthread about being raised in an anti-abortion family in the 70's, going to picket the capital in Sacramento every January 22, picketing Planned Parenthood events, manning booths at county fairs, etc.

    Being anti-abortion in the 70's also meant that you were anti-ERA. Schlafley newsletters came stay and true to our house.

    My family was/are dairy farmers. Distribution of work is different on a farm. I say that my brothers and sister gravitated to what they were interested in and good at so "traditional" roles weren't necessarily followed. The intense and constant work remained the same.

    I am not sure if it was my mom or one of my sisters said this. When I heard this, it registered as it didn't seem to be an "us vs.them" response.

    "If women want equal rights then have them come work on a farm"

    About three years ago, when the threat to Roe v. Wade became serious, I thought of how my family organized and organized and organized. How "Right to Life" rallies every January 22 grew in scope until they took place in most major cities. How the Catholic's version of Fox News, EWTN, was the anti-abortion bullhorn for the Catholic masses. My mom had 5 girls. They had kids. Now their kids have kids. All going to the rallies.

    I said to my friend, "Why aren't pro-choice groups holding yearly rallies? Why aren't they doing anything physical...to keep rallying the "troops", to keep reminding each other as to what was at stake"

    Her reply was along the line of, "We don't do it that way"

    I wanted to scream....

    It seems like most Democrats vote, agitate, and protest within the safety of their property values.
    posted by goalyeehah at 3:23 PM on May 13 [3 favorites]


    Or then there's the Galaxy Brain take.

    James Surowiecki: If Democrats really want a message vote on abortion rights, Schumer should find a way to bring a bill banning abortion nationally to the floor, and let Republicans decide whether to alienate their base by voting against it.

    (No, it would not become law unless the House also passed it and then Biden had an immediate and extended hallucinatory state. BUT.)
    posted by delfin at 3:43 PM on May 13


    ? Pro choice groups hold rallies all the time. We march. We protest. All. The. Time. Often in greater numbers than anti-choice groups, at least here in Chicago. Do you mean we have to come to a specific farm area to protest? I can't imagine that would be at all feasible.
    posted by tiny frying pan at 4:39 AM on May 14 [3 favorites]


    The two positions are not some simple mirror image of each other such that their aims and support bases and suitable tactics are interchangeable. Pro-choice people don't need to 'deploy "troops"' to harass patients and staff at abortion clinics (or to hound pro-life activists for that matter). Until now, choice has been the law and pro-lifers have been attempting to attack and undermine it.

    As pointed out, the religiosity of the pro-life movement would have tended to channel it through groups that already had a "physical" organization and social event calendar; especially meaningful before the era of online organizing.

    And even now, witness the hue and cry at pro-choice protestors expanding their presence on the ground and picketing SCOTUS Justices.
    posted by snuffleupagus at 7:51 AM on May 14 [3 favorites]


    Heh. Republican hand wringing over pro-choice protesters does feel very much like the homophobia of patriarchal cis straight men, or the racial fears of many white Americans - that same “oh, so you’re afraid that other people are going to act toward you like you act toward them, eh?”
    posted by eviemath at 9:06 AM on May 14 [1 favorite]


    tiny frying pan, understood and accepted. After reading your post, I am thinking I've been in a Los
    Angeles/Hollywood bubble for awhile. Protest here, if any, is minor

    snuffleupagus, understood also. while my intention behind "troops" was good, it was a poor choice
    of words.

    And even now, witness the hue and cry at pro-choice protestors expanding their presence on the ground and picketing SCOTUS Justices.

    My argument was that this is more after-the-fact than it should be
    posted by goalyeehah at 12:08 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]


    Wow I hope there’s more context, otherwise guess I never quite realized James Surowieicki is a fucking idiot.
    posted by aspersioncast at 7:51 AM on May 20


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