The judges are trees. The filibuster battle was so much bigger than the judges. Don’t get so caught up in the minutia that you don’t see the bigger picture of what was going on. See the forest. The forest is that the “nuclear option” fight was about The Party solidifying absolute control over the levers of power, and for now they lost that. (Regular readers know that “The Party” is my term for the “conservative movement” that now controls the Republican Party, along with all of its tentacles of propaganda and control: think tanks, Fox News, Limbaugh, etc. I use it the way we used to talk about the Soviet Communist Party.)
The Right had been working toward this for a long time. Rush Limbaugh talked about this on his radio show today:
“This is about what we’ve all been fighting for since the 1960s, or maybe in some cases the fifties: To get to the point here where we’ve done what we’re supposed to do. We’ve worked hard and we’ve won elections, and we’ve won elections by persuading people to agree with us, and we’ve campaigned on specific things, and said, “This is what we believe in.” We’ve defined ourselves as conservatives and we’ve won and we’ve won big, and now we’ve won the Senate and the House and the White House — and now all that’s being undermined … It is maddeningly frustrated, and to put this all in perspective, you know, a lot of people have been interested in this stuff for two years, five years, ten, 15, 20. Others have been toiling away in the basement for 40.
[. . .] Folks, let me make a point. … I’ve said it on previous occasions in different ways but I’ve gotta say this. And one of the reasons, aside from just, you know, the battles in 40, 50 years, and working hard to get where we are and winning elections. There were reasons behind that. There are reasons everybody has been working hard. There are reasons why we’ve tried to get the power necessary to appoint judges and so forth … You get to do that and the rights of the minority go by the wayside in those circumstances.” [emphasis added]
This wasn’t just about a few judges, this was about something far more important and dangerous. These people are dead serious, and they were grabbing for absolute power. This compromise blocks that power grab – at least for now.
If you are a Seeing the Forest regular, you know that I think these people are taking this country in a very, very dangerous direction. I mean, what other directions are there after launching aggressive warfare, justified by lies and authorized through trickery, lies and intimidation, against countries that were not threats to us? When facing this kind of threat you do anything to turn back that tide. The way I feel, this was like the vote in Germany in the 30’s that gave the Nazis absolute power, except last night we bought some time.
Something I wrote in February keeps coming back to me. It was titled, Inches and Rope to Right-Wingers?
[a commenter] said what I was going to say far better and in many fewer words:
Ernst Thalmann thought the same thing.
He died in Buchenwald.
Take these people seriously, and fight them at every opportunity. Don’t give them an inch. Don’t “give them enough rope.” I really don’t like to think about right-wingers with ropes — because more likely than not they will hang YOU.
Watch your backs.
More recently I wrote about the Right’s attempt to establish a theocracy. Please take a look at They mean it. (There are links in the original.)
These people mean it. America is an experiment. Democracy is an experiment. American democracy has not been around very long, and we have never been so perilously close to losing it. All the checks and balances have been removed by allies of these people. They mean it. The leader of the Senate is saying that Democrats hate “people of faith.” They mean it. Time magazine puts on their cover a person who calls for murdering us. They mean it. A Supreme Court Justice declares that rulers should be chosen by God, not the people. They mean it. The Vice President is the keynote speaker at a conference where other speakers called for “a new McCarthyism” to bring “terror” to intellectuals, saying “let’s oppress them [liberals],” and that “the entire Harvard faculty” are “traitors.” They mean it. They mean it.
Watch your backs. I mean it.