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    sábado, fevereiro 04, 2017

    Two words


    Why did Republicans, who usually prefer to operate subtly and behind the scenes, so nakedly (and at considerable cost to their credibility) block President Obama from filling Scalia's seat on SCOTUS? Two words.

    "Gay marriage"? "Planned Parenthood"? "Gun rights"? Nope, those are just red meat for the suckers who keep thinking that the GOP really cares about their culture-war issues.

    "Labor unions"? Warmer, but the key two words — the only two worth spending that much political capital are Citizens United.

    The modern GOP is the party of a shrinking minority — both demographically and in public opinion — which maintains its electoral majority only through a constant infusion of big money. And though it bills itself the "party of principle," every one of its policy positions has a price tag and is bought and paid for.

    Climate-change denial? The fossil fuel industry and the Kochs' Heartland Institute. Opposition to gun control? Arms manufacturers, funneled through the NRA. Opposition to reproductive choice? The Arthur S. DeMoss Foundation and the Wilks family. Starving public-school funding to enrich profit-making charter schools? The DeVos family. And across the range of the right-wing agenda, wealthy individuals like Coors, Kern, Scaife, and Adelson, and organizations like ALEC and PACs/SuperPACs that pool and disguise corporate money.

    Republicans need cash like a vampire needs blood — constantly and in large amounts. And the prospect of a Justice that even might be receptive to overturning the shaky legal reasoning of Citizens United was and is an existential threat to their walking-undead party.

    So Garland had to go.

    Progressive media and Senators will rightly put Gorsuch's potential positions on Roe v Wade, Obergefell, District of Columbia v. Heller (fundamental gun rights), Burwell v Hobby Lobby (religious liberty of businesses), Shelby County v Holder (voting rights), Lawrence v Texas (gay rights), and even New York Times v Sullivan (press freedom) under a microscope. 

    But you can be sure that the single make-or-break criterion in his vetting was his willingness to keeping the Republican lifeblood flowing by upholding Citizens United.

    So if you or your Democratic Senators are thinking, "This nomination is not the one to make our stand on," take a moment to consider not only what you will be conceding on the issues — perhaps for a generation — but the acquiescence you will be giving to the naked theft of this seat and the lasting stain it will put on the legitimacy of everything the Supreme Court decides hereafter.

    Choose wisely.

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