The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘Open Thread’ Category

She was right. Of course. Always.

As we head into Labor Day Weekend, I wanted to share President Biden’s speech with all the Widdershins. As the historian Michael Beschloss said afterwards, this moment echoes across time to two other Presidents who, like Biden, spoke on the eve of extraordinarily consequential elections that put America at a crossroads between democracy and ruin.

President Lincoln, before the election of 1860, gave a now-famous speech about slavery, contending that “a house divided against itself cannot stand” – that if America continued to embrace a system that was against the spirit of the Constitution, a system in which only some were free, we would lose our democracy. President Roosevelt, before the election of 1940, had to contend with American apologists for Hitler and Nazism, and clearly laid out what the future would be if we did not enter the war and stand up for democracy.

President Biden made this clarion call for democracy and against the MAGA movement at exactly the right time. Once again, our democracy stands on the brink of falling to an extreme minority who does not believe in the Constitution, the rule of law, the right to free and fair elections, or the peaceful transition of power. These Nazis, these fascists, these white supremacists, simply want to enshrine themselves as the rulers of America – and they don’t care how they do it.

In this speech, Joe Biden did what he doesn’t like to do – he made a clear division into “us” (patriotic Americans, no matter what party) and “them” – MAGA extremists who do not believe in our vision of America.

It’s about fricking time. As we know, Hillary was ahead of him by 7 years! But, better late than never, Joe.

The liberals made my life miserable for 43 years. And I’m going to make their lives miserable for 43 years.

Clarence Thomas to his clerks in 1993

This is the petty schmuck who has led the charge to make all the people he hates – women, LGBTQ+, and non-Christofascists in general – into property of the State. I say “the State” because the federal government, in the person of six ideologues who never should have been confirmed to the Supreme Court, has removed basic privacy protections from all of us.

The State has decided that only women who live in blue states will have rights to their own bodies. In essence, when one person is denied the guarantee of freedom, it opens up the precedent that everyone can be denied the guarantee of freedom. Thomas and the five ChristoClowns have decided that no one has rights to their own bodies except white, straight, Christian men. (I think Clarence Thomas counts himself as white – that’s the only explanation for his buying in to this anti-American bullsh*t.)

As Quixote pointed out in comments, this is the re-establishment of slavery; but Slavery 2.0 casts a much wider net than the original. Friday’s decision removed basic human rights from 166 million women and girls. And each of those women and girls has many people that love her and will grieve her pain along with her. So when she is raped and has to bear her rapist’s child, or dies in childbirth, or dies from an ectopic pregnancy, or lives in poverty and misery because she can’t afford a child, this suffering doesn’t just impact her. It impacts everyone around her.

The horrors that will spread from this decision are unimaginable, and I think we are all incredulous that no one could see it coming in 2016. Young white people in particular should have come out in droves to vote for Hillary, but no. They couldn’t be bothered because “both parties are the same” and “Bernie woulda won.” Do y’all get it now, Gen Z and Millennials? You’re the ones who will actually be impacted by this. I’m going to be 55 this year and can no longer get pregnant, which oddly, makes me feel guilty that I won’t be directly miserable along with so many others. (Jewish guilt is rough.)

For those who say this will only impact women of color, and wealthy white women in red states will be fine because they can travel to other states, I think they’re in for a surprise. The Christofascists have thought of that loophole. They want to test women for pregnancy before allowing them to travel out of state. And, they want to criminalize miscarriages. Sounds like Slavery 1.0, doesn’t it? Will they be sending bounty hunters to capture runaway pregnant women if they cross the border “illegally” to states where they’re not considered property?

Based on the wave of protests that started on Friday and will likely continue, as well as the vast majority of Americans who disagree with SCOTUS, this terrible decision will drive enormous turnout in 2022 and the Democrats will increase their majorities in the House and Senate. (This doesn’t even count the impact the J6 hearings have had on the QOP – but that’s for another post. That will also be quite significant.) Nevertheless, I agree with Quixote, DYB and other Widdershins that every Democrat running for office in 2022 needs to be on message as to what they are going to do to fix this. I’d like to hear them say three things: 1) I will vote to amend the filibuster to make progress on legislation the Republicans are blocking; 2) I will vote to expand the Supreme Court and 3) I will vote “yes” on the Women’s Health Protection Act. None of these things can happen without two more Senate Democrats to nullify Manchinema’s inconsistent insistence on keeping the filibuster sacrosanct sometimes, whatever whatever.

The QOP has massively overstepped both their power and their mandate. They may be celebrating now, but they will be crying in November, and for decades to come. And Clarence Thomas, you will be f*cking miserable for the rest of your disgusting, pathetic life.

We are also celebrating (?) Women’s History Month. This is all too apropos, because women’s history is bursting at the seams with men wreaking havoc on us – and none worse than the evil monsters who start global wars, such as our not-so-dear Pooty-Poot.

There is a concept in activism called “Nothing About Us Without Us.” In other words, don’t make decisions about a marginalized group, such as folks with disabilities or Black people, without significant representation from that marginalized group. It strikes me that this concept has been largely absent from so much of the decision-making that has created the difficult conditions women live in today.

Its absence has been deeply felt. For example, how many women agreed when the Texas legislature effectively overturned Roe v. Wade in that state? How many agreed when the Supreme Court refused to put a stop to it? (The Supreme Court consults the Constitution, which is a woman-free document, thanks to the QOP men who refuse to pass the ERA – without getting agreement from women.) How many women agree to allow trans women to enter their safe spaces? How many women agreed that Putin should wage war on Ukraine?

I want to be clear that women in power are NOT the women who would need to agree to all of these actions that impact us; those women are far too likely to echo the men, as they benefit from the patriarchy almost as much. It is the marginalized and disenfranchised who need to be brought into the conversation. Joe Biden is a great example of how to do this right. He knows his base is Black women, and true to his promises, he has set about elevating Black women to positions of power they have never had before. Under his leadership, we now have a Black woman Vice President, and will soon have a Black woman Supreme Court Justice; he’s also appointed more Black women to appeals courts than any other President already. Way to go, Joe!

To me, “Nothing about us without us” seems to cut through the convenient excuses white male supremacy throws up when they make policies that hurt us. I’m going to keep it front of mind as I talk about women’s rights going forward.

Open thread, as always.

Courtesy of Daily Kos

Good morning Widdershins! This week we saw another torrent of bad news for Drumpf and his partners in crime. As all the birds starting singing to the January 6th committee and news came out about secret meetings in the Oval Office, a planned and coordinated fake electors plot (with a project plan, deliverables and milestones!) and the scheme to seize voting machines in 2020, the RNC doubled down on its gaslighting by censuring the only Republicans on the January 6th Committee, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, and officially denoting those who participated in the attempted coup against our government as engaging in “legitimate political discourse.” Also, War is Peace, right Ronna?

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said Friday’s resolution targeted the Jan. 6 committee probe, which has subpoenaed a range of politicians and Trump White House aides as it tries to piece together their role in events leading to the assault.

“Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger crossed a line. They chose to join Nancy Pelosi in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens who engaged in legitimate political discourse that had nothing to do with violence at the Capitol,” she said. She said she “condemned violence on both sides of the aisle.”

The censure was overwhelmingly passed.

Let’s take a look at what she’s saying here. Her argument is that everyone who didn’t go to the Capitol and riot was just expressing an opinion. So everyone trying to overturn our government through non-violent means should be ignored and allowed to continue, according to her. This would include Mike Pence’s and Drumpf’s staff, Rudy Giuliani, Mark Meadows, Mike Flynn and his brother, Steve Bannon, Sidney Powell…the list goes on and on.

That is a horrifying statement, but if you think about it, why wouldn’t she make it? The Republicans know they are no longer a political Party that can win elections legitimately. They haven’t won the Presidency legitimately since George Bush I, and they’ve used voter suppression tactics, election fraud, gerrymandering, conspiring with foreign enemies, and the Electoral College to gain control of state legislatures and steal the Presidency.

They have been like this since 1994, and every single elected Republican knows it.

Newt Gingrich Republicanism was bad enough, but what Newt and it has evolved into since 2015 is even worse: a Party promoting white supremacy, and promising violence and prison to everyone who opposes them. They are Nazis: actively for fascism and against democracy.

There is nothing “legitimate” about that.

So when I see people like Mike Pence coming out and saying that the Mango Moron is wrong and Pence couldn’t have overturned the election; Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger sitting on the January 6th Committee; and Mitt Romney (whose niece is Ronna McDaniel) saying the RNC was wrong to censure Cheney and Kinzinger, I don’t applaud or give them any credit. Cheney and Kinzinger are doing the bare minimum their oaths to the Constitution require. Mike Pence stood by Drumpf for 4 years as he rampaged through the federal government, destroying everything he touched. Mitt Romney voted with Drumpf while he was President, and in the age of Biden, he has voted against voting rights legislation repeatedly.

They still call themselves Republicans. They know they are part of a Nazi Party. They are scum. And I won’t be tricked into congratulating them or thinking there’s some redeemable part of the Party, just because I deeply wish there were two (or more!) legitimate choices to vote for in this country. There aren’t. There are Nazis, and then there are Democrats. That’s the choice.

There are no good Nazis, and there are no good Republicans.

Open thread as always…

Not that it ever is, but thanks to the events of this week, Der Drumpfenfuhrer and his hellspawn are in bigger legal trouble than they’ve ever been. The January 6th Committee now has all the documents Drumpf wanted to hide, and just from what we’ve seen so far, there are enough smoking guns to spark a four-alarm fire.

Just one of the more terrifying revelations was that Drumpf (likely with the assistance of Sidney Powell) drafted an Executive Order to seize voting machines to have the DNI “assess” them for 60 days, using his Big Lie as an excuse. The media is quick to state that the Order was never signed, although that doesn’t make me feel any better. Clearly the coup was firing on all cylinders and from every direction – the Executive Branch, Congress, the DOJ, the Supreme Court (Ginni Thomas), the DNI, state legislatures, and of course the violent insurrection on January 6th.

I’m sure we’ll find out a lot more about the protofascist, comprehensive attempts to install Drumpf and Rethugs in power forever as the public hearings come up. Co-Chairs Benny Thompson and Liz Cheney are considering holding them in prime time for maximum impact; they’re scheduled to start in March or April, and possibly to go throughout the summer. Sounds good to me.

But this is only the tip of this week’s iceberg. When you’re a crime lord presiding over a crime family that’s incredibly stupid and obvious about their criming, danger can come from anywhere. On Thursday, New York State Attorney General Tish James took legal action to subpoena testimony from the Mango Moron, whispering sex doll Ivanka and dumber-than-dirt Don Jr. (Eric already gave an interview in which he notoriously took the Fifth Amendment 500 times) about the Trump Org and its penchant for just a wee bit of bank, tax and insurance fraud.

“Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., and Ivanka Trump have all been closely involved in the transactions in question, so we won’t tolerate their attempts to evade testifying in this investigation,” James wrote. “We will not be deterred in our efforts to continue this investigation, uncover the facts, and pursue justice, no matter how many roadblocks Mr. Trump and his family throw in our way. No one is above the law.”

Meanwhile, in Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis requested a special grand jury to advance her investigation of IQ45’s election obstruction in that state. Lest we forget, this investigation would also pull in bootlicking blackmail victim Lindsey Graham.

Willis is also scrutinizing is a Nov. 2020 phone call between Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and the secretary of State, in which Graham asked him if he could toss out mail-in ballots in certain counties, according to Raffensberger. She’s also examining the sudden resignation of U.S. Attorney Byung Pak a day after an audio recording in which Trump called him a “never-Trumper” was made public.

Yes, that also happened this week.

Good Gawd, between all of that and Minema’s antics tanking Biden’s agenda, I am exhausted! Speaking of those two, here’s an interesting article I found making some suggestions about how Biden should hold them accountable for tanking filibuster reform and thus, the voting rights bills. What do you think – should he do it?

Open thread as always!


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