Jacobin - September 24, 2020

If opposition party lawmakers don’t stop imagining a return to normalcy and brunch — and if millions of Democratic voters don’t start immediately demanding that their party’s leaders begin fighting to stop Trump’s court pick right now — then whatever is left of American democracy is probably finished.

Yes, the situation is that dire.

... The events of the past few days have moved at lightning speed, so it’s worth reviewing what’s happened to see the story that’s unfolding.

It all started over the weekend with Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer seeming to signal that Senate Democrats wouldn’t try to do much to stop Trump’s pick. At the same time, weeks after she gave a DNC speech saying Democrats are “championing a woman’s right to choose and defending Roe v. Wade,” House speaker Nancy Pelosi reacted to the Supreme Court vacancy by ending the threat of a government shutdown that might have obstructed an anti-choice court nominee.

When Schumer was subsequently shamed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez into using at least some of the procedural power at his disposal — preventing the Senate from holding committee hearings Tuesday afternoon — senator Maggie Hassan’s office issued a statement saying the New Hampshire Democrat was “extremely frustrated that today’s hearing on defending state and local entities from cyber threats amid COVID-19 will have to be rescheduled.” ...

The Crescendo of the GOP’s War on Democracy

What we see in this sequence of events is the simultaneous and horrifying culmination of the different kinds of “by any means necessary” pathologies that define each party.

On the Republican side, this pathology is a relentless amoral quest for power that originally led the party into the realm of voter suppression and that now has resulted in a GOP president openly working to end democracy.

There is no pretense. There is no deception. This is a right-out-in-the-open attempt to destroy the system that lets voters choose their governmental leaders — and that initiative is happening not only in Washington, but in the states.

“According to sources in the Republican Party at the state and national levels, the Trump campaign is discussing contingency plans to bypass election results and appoint loyal electors in battleground states where Republicans hold the legislative majority,” the Atlantic reported yesterday. “With a justification based on claims of rampant fraud, Trump would ask state legislators to set aside the popular vote and exercise their power to choose a slate of electors directly. The longer Trump succeeds in keeping the vote count in doubt, the more pressure legislators will feel to act.”

Ultimately, the legal proceedings could make it to the Supreme Court, which would be further tilted to Trump if he gets his nominee installed.

“Donald Trump isn’t just trying to steal a Supreme Court seat — he’s trying to steal the election along with it,” said Brian Fallon of the progressive group Demand Justice. “Even though Republicans may claim to already have the votes to confirm Trump’s pick, Democrats cannot afford to compartmentalize this Supreme Court fight because the fate of the election itself may ride on it.” ...

Read full report at Jacobin