Saturday, May 7, 2022

The Seven Year Bitch

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.)
"In the top Senate battlegrounds, Democrats are buying up television time and sounding off at every opportunity about Republican plans to curtail abortion rights. They have seized on the moment — and consider it a possible turning point." -Natalie Allison and Holly Otterbein, Politico.
Jon Stewart had announced his retirement from the Daily Show after a fabulously successful run right before Donald Trump descended the escalator and America descended with him into collective madness. That was seven years ago next month, yes, SEVEN years. My, how time flies while Nazis are having fun running roughshod over every democratic institution in sight.
    As the linked Politico article states, Sam Alito's draft opinion on Roe v. Wade, bloated with hubris, arrogance and a general ignorance of the law, may have just put the Senate GOP on its back foot. Democrats, from opportunistic Blue Dogs to actual progressives, whether out of genuine outrage or political grandstanding, have smelled the blood in the water. They're buying millions of dollars of air time and are filming campaign spots at a clip that would make Peyton Manning blush.
    15 Republicans are running for re-election with six others up for grabs (Shelby, Blunt, Burr, Toomey, Portman and Inhofe have all announced their retirement). Not all those 21 seats are safe by any means. Pennsylvania is very competitive, with Lt. Governor John Fetterman all but assured of getting the Democratic nomination while a soggy Dr. Oz last night struggled to get more than tepid applause for his applause lines even with Trump's endorsement.
    Missouri's Senate seat is looking less and less like a sure thing when one considers the GOP's leading contenders are a rapist who once kept a woman chained in his basement when he wasn't beating his wife and kids and a shyster who pointed a machine gun at peaceful black protesters and lost his law license for a year.
     A quick schoolboy math equation tells us that Republicans have 21 seats to defend vs 14 for the Democrats (13 reelection bids plus Patrick Leahy's soon-to-be vacated seat). Both parties are in the unusual position of having no wiggle room. With a 50-50 split in the upper chamber, neither party can afford to lose a single seat. Obviously, Vice President Harris, as president of the Senate, alone provides Democratic supremacy. In other words, at 21 to 14, Republicans have a lot more to protect than Democrats.
    But Donald Trump won't go away. He's a human herpes sore on the Republican body politic. Actually, that's not fair, as herpes at least goes away from time to time. To go back to Pennsylvania for a moment, Dr. Oz's nomination, let alone election, is far from assured. Years ago, Trump's meddling in Alabama politics resulted in a Democrat getting elected after he'd endorsed two losers (Luther Strange and Roy Moore R-Lolita). Further meddling in his revenge tour in Georgia in the twilight of his brain-dead junta cost Georgia (Georgia, for fuck's sake!) both its Senate seats, the GOP's slim majority in that chamber and Mitch McConnell his leadership position.
    The next day, Ossoff's and Warnock's victory lap was truncated by the riots that came closer to toppling the government than most people realize. It was an insurrection that resulted in an unprecedented second impeachment and DOJ criminal charges against Steve Bannon. Oh, and it also gave us a January 6th select committee that looks as if it's just getting warmed up.
     And then came Sam Alito.

Essentially, what Sam Alito did was hang a rotten albatross around the neck of the GOP going into the midterms  Now, Republicans are like the proverbial dog that caught the car. They're chewing on the tires, pissing on the bumper and otherwise running away from it now that they've caught that car they've been chasing for 49 years.
     So, the story of the day is all about The Leak! and not about the draft decision itself. I guarantee you the Republican Outrage Calliope wouldn't be playing at 300 decibels if the draft ruling on the likely demise of Roe v. Wade turned out to be as popular as they hoped. It doesn't help matters any that one of the very few Republicans willing to talk about the coat hangering of Roe v. Wade is shrill, strident and incoherent.
     Meet New Hampshire state Rep. Susan DeLemus, who confronted pro-choice advocates on the steps of the state house in Concord to call them, and herself, murderers. As John Stoehr said in his latest editorial, 
   "Rightwingers like DeLemus can’t tolerate disagreement. It literally hurts them. It causes pain. Disagreement raises the possibility of being wrong, and they can’t be wrong, because if they were, their enemies would be right, and that’s impossible. Rightwingers are always right."
    In other words, now that Republicans are scratching at the Holy Grail with their gnarly fingernails, they're angrier than ever. The dog finally caught the car and then the danged thing done come down with rabies and distemper.
     Susan DeLemus met a vocal wall of opposition at her workplace and immediately turned herself into the termagant that would find themselves burnt at the stake thanks to the same guys that Sam Alito looks up to for early 17th century guidance for 21st century issues. Only, unlike all other Republican elected officials, she isn't wasting anyone's time on diversions about leaks and getting right to the heart of the matter: Your uterus are belong to us.
     The 2022 midterms are still five months away. That's an eternity in political time. But considering the angry hornets that came flying out from all quarters, it doesn't look as if the outrage over Roe v. Wade's imminent demise is going away any time soon. And if anything will cost the GOP control of both the House and Senate, it'll be this.


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