Monday, June 30, 2014

Supremes Being Supreme: Feudalism Edition

So the neoliberals and the theocrats had a torrid affair and just gave birth to a great, big, fascist monstrosity.

The black-robed Inquisition known as the Supreme Court has blessed the anti-union union and officiated at the baptism.

There shalt not be any Obamacare-subsidized birth control for you, ladies, and guaranteed living wage, benefits and union rights just got a swift kick in the ass for good measure. And Goddess help you if you happen to work as a home health aide in a Christian family-owned agency in the Land of Lincoln, the Great Emancipator. You will not only have to continue working as a drudge in the New Servant Economy till you die, but you will have to risk pregnancy while doing so. And since your collective bargaining powers are kaput, there's even a chance you'll have to be working, pregnant and barefoot. Shoes for the kids will trump shoes for yourselves.

And if you're taking it into your pretty little heads to do an end run around the court ruling, and traipse on over to one of the Planned Parenthood clinics still standing in order to score yourselves some cheap contraception, think again. Those people with their anti-abortion signs are watching you, too.... from inches away, thanks to a unanimous ruling by both liberal and conservative justices on the court.

 Since contraception has, essentially, now been equated with abortion in many an ignorant, narrow Unhobbled Lobby of a little mind, the Inquisitors-for-Life have duly decreed that an egg not ovulated is an egg condemned. 

And whoever said that conservatives don't believe in immigration reform is nuts. Tear down that contraceptive wall  between ovary and uterus!  Give every egg that is willing to work hard and play by the rules a free fallopian tube pathway to full American citizenship. The waiting period is only nine months -- and from then on, the survivors will enjoy a lifetime of low-wage non-union jobs, or a one-way school-to-private prison pipeline, leaking oil and gas pipelines, an opportunity to serve in the forever wars.... oh, and the freedom not to be insured for birth control themselves.

And lucky you: if ever the cops stop you in your travels to hell and back, they still won't be able to search your cell phones without a warrant. The Supremes may be immune from protesters, thanks to their own buffer zones, but they do have cell phones, apparently. They also get paid enough to afford cable TV, since they just ruled against against that much more affordable Aereo cloud service provider. They must have figured that if a TV network can't double-charge consumers via forced ad-watching and cable fees, it amounts to a slap in the face of the Market God (and the Market God, remember, has just been decreed a person with religious rights.)

But there is actually some good news on the horizon if you are a non-corporate person living in the Feudal States of America. That whole three-part balance of powers edifice has become so top-heavy with One Percent influence that it's beginning to crumble from the cracks of populist outrage. The American Way of Government is losing its legitimacy. The American People are becoming apostates and losing their faith in all three branches of the Unholy Trinity!!!

From a Gallup poll released simultaneously with today's Supreme Auto-da-fé:
Americans' confidence in all three branches of the U.S. government has fallen, reaching record lows for the Supreme Court (30%) and Congress (7%), and a six-year low for the presidency (29%). The presidency had the largest drop of the three branches this year, down seven percentage points from its previous rating of 36%.

It's only when governments begin to lose their legitimacy, when the whole edifice starts to crack, that populist movements can take hold in order to effect change. The unanswered question is whether Crumble-vania will veer even further right and slide off the fascist cliff, or whether the Left can awaken as it did during the previous social upheavals of the 30s (New Deal) and 60s (Great Society.)

Let us pray for the latter scenario. And let us hope that this constant chipping-away at Obamacare will, ironically, create a new pathway to true universal health care. The apostates at the gate are demanding it.


James F Traynor said...

Let them eat cake. Can the blade be far away?

Denis Neville said...

“The Court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield,” wrote Justice Ginsburg in her dissent from the 5-4 ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby. “Approving some religious claims while deeming others unworthy of accommodation could be perceived as favoring one religion over another, the very risk the [Constitution's] Establishment Clause was designed to preclude.”

Who else will now be able to ignore which laws on what religious grounds?

“The free men of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too much soon to forget it. Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects? that the same authority which can force a citizen to contribute three pence only of his property for the support of any one establishment, may force him to conform to any other establishment in all cases whatsoever?” - James Madison, Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments, 1785

“Those who would renegotiate the boundaries between church and state must therefore answer a difficult question: why would we trade a system that has served us so well for one that has served others so poorly?” - Sandra Day O'Connor

There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action - in our era of social media - many have been taking their rage over the Hobby Lobby decision out on the SCOTUSblog (which reports on SCOTUS) and not the SCOTUS' blog. The same uninformed people who voted, even though they had no idea what was going on in politics, for those responsible to the current composition of SCOTUS? Yolo, proof of the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.

annenigma said...

I hope this one gets printed in Truthout. You were really in the zone when you wrote this one, Karen!

Jay - Ottawa said...

We hyperbolic lefty critics of Washington keep saying there is no difference between the Democrats and the Republicans in the first and second branches of American government.

The same can justifiably be said of the Supreme Court, which sits atop the pinnacle of the third branch and whose decisions must be followed all the way down the line of the third branch. The nine supremes deciding McCullen v Coakley today, both the women and the men, both the Democratic nominees and the Republican nominees, were UNANIMOUS in taking down that 35-foot barrier around women’s health clinics. In fact, 67% of this term’s decisions have been unanimous.

Et tu, Ginsberg, Sotomayor, Kagan?

It isn't all bad news. The court did allow that police could politely push pro-lifers back a few feet so that women entering clinics wouldn't have to shift into broken field running to get around the blockers.

Another irony mentioned by Karen is the fact that the 252-foot barrier at the entrance of the Supreme Court still stands.

James F Traynor said...

Consider this. The Man is getting more and more brazen; not really caring what large majorities of the public think. And by the Man I mean the overseers and mechanics for the 1%, the people who make and enforce the rules. I can only think they've lost their fear of us - the mob.
Part of this is the propaganda success, beginning with Reagan, with which they've divided us. But a lot of it, I think, has to do with the fact that we've become over civilized - too bourgeois. it has become 'impolite' to fight for our rights with loud voices, flaming pens, and yes, fists if need be. We've gotten too soft, we are no longer the hoi polloi, but the Eloi, easy victims for the Morlocks.

Zee said...

Working from a tablet away from home so can't comment or reply at length 'cause typing is difficult.

But when in this nation's history has the intersection of the right to free expression of one's religion/faith with state NOT landed squarely in the center of a "minefield?"

These are easy questions/issues to be answered by the legislative and judicial branches ONLY if they have complete contempt for the views of one side or the other, in which case it's a simple matter to completely trample the rights of one or the other, rather than balancing them.

The "Hobby Lobby" case SHOULD have been difficult to decide, and it SHOULD be unsurprising that it was a narrow decision.

Personally, though pro-choice I think the court made the right decision for corporations that are "closely held."

And besides, as someone else pointed out, this just be one more nail in the coffin of ObummerCare, and a new paving stone added to the road to single-payer.

Isaiah Earhart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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