Saturday Report 10/23/21

The Best of the Rest of the News

— Is a day of reckoning coming for the rightwingers on the Supreme Court? The mythology we learned in civics class in high school (at least those of us who took civics before Reagan’s Education Secretary, Bill Bennett, gutted it in the 1980s) was that the Court is nonpartisan. It’s a fantasy, of course, and has been since the founding of the republic and is one of the main reasons why Republicans fought so hard to break the law to grab the White House with Nixon, Reagan, Bush and Trump. Now, with the Texas abortion law the hot issue of the day, the legitimacy of the Court itself is front-and-center as former Senator Russ Feigold noted in a recent Guardian op-ed. Biden’s “commission” on Court reform was a bust, but it was destined to go that way from the beginning, not having even one single open advocate for Court reform among its members, so we can forget about expanding the Court or otherwise changing it. But that doesn’t rule out the Court changing itself, particularly if President Biden uses his bully pulpit to call them out. This is what FDR did in 1937 when the Court was on the verge of striking down Social Security and other New Deal programs, and the Court reversed itself. (I’ve pasted the chapter from my book on the Court that describers this at the end of this news summary.) The Court historically has responded to public opinion, and we need to keep up the pressure.

Sore loser and convicted grifter Donald Trump continues to promote his Big Lie about “election fraud” and the most recent lie-spree was among the worst. “The insurrection took place on November 3, Election Day,” Trump said this week, adding, “January 6 was the Protest!” Coming from any other president it would be shocking, although apparently it still had the ability to jolt former Republicals like Joe Walsh (who was on my show yesterday), who described it as “an act of war” against the United States. Will the GOP turn away from this Hitler wannabee before it’s too late for American democracy? Will Trump destroy the Republican Party and then go down in flames? Will the outcome of the January 6th Riot Select Committee produce information that will change anybody’s mind (or simply provide a historical record for future generations)?

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