Why Is Any of This a Surprise?
As CNN reports . . . “Sen. Susan Collins: Referencing the Supreme Court draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade (Politico) is ‘completely inconsistent’ with what Justice Neil Gorsuch and Justice Brett Kavanaugh ‘said in their hearings and in our meetings in my office.’”
Wow, whata surprise! Political appointees to SCOTUS might fib a little, ok more than a little, and probably a lot more to become a SCOTUS Justice. There is such a thing as leaving the old cell phone out and recording. Maine is a one-party consent state unless you are in a bathroom or dressing room. They still would have done it. At least the public can hear what hypocrites and liars both Kavanaugh and Gorsuch are.
About Kavanaugh: “‘We talked about whether he considered Roe to be settled law. He said that he agreed with what Justice Roberts said at his nomination hearing in which he said it was settled law,’ Collins said at the time after meeting with Kavanaugh. ‘I have always been concerned about preserving Roe v. Wade.’” Insider.
About Gorsuch: during his confirmation hearing. “Roe is ‘the law of the land.’ Under scrutiny over his writing in a book about euthanasia, The Atlantic. Some conservatives view Gorsuch’s statement in the book ‘the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong’ as a signal of his views on abortion.”
“To Senator (Durbin), as the book explains, the Supreme Court of the United States has held in Roe v. Wade that a fetus is not a person for purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment, and the book explains that,” Insider.
Susan Collins Shocked . . .
“WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Senator Susan Collins, who had been assured by Brett Kavanaugh in 2018 that he considers Roe v. Wade ‘settled law,’ said today that she was ‘shocked’ that the Supreme Court Justice ‘would ever lie to a woman.’
When I met with Justice Kavanaugh before his confirmation hearings, looking me in the eye and said that he considers Roe v. Wade the law of the land,’ she said. ‘Nothing in his confirmation hearings suggested that he would ever be less than trustworthy with a woman.’”
And Chief Justice Roberts is indignant. Who would do this? My guess would be Clarence Thomas’s wife, Virginia.
“Susan Collins calls draft Roe opinion ‘completely inconsistent’ with what Gorsuch and Kavanaugh said during hearings and meetings | CNN Politics“
It is annoying/terrible that disingenuous pols like Susan Collins can be so easily hornswoggled, even if it makes the voters Downeast in Maine happy. (She is after all the sole remaining GOP congress person from New England, alas.)
Mainers assail Collins anew on past confirmation votes
Boston Globe – May 3
No surprise at all to me since I have been expecting things to play out this way since 1973. OK, it was a little surprise to me that it took so long, but then I had expected the financial crisis to come to a head before the end of 2006 and that took almost two more years to happen.
Given how long that it has taken, then the eventual outcome will be different than it might have been a few decades earlier. The Republican Party has learned a lot from the Democratic Party over the decades. First they learned Congressional cowardice and then they learned to legislate their highest priorities from the bench. But who knows how it ends? The Republican Party also seems to have learned how to dramatically overplay their hand, which never ends well for any political party.
It will only take a dedicated liberal US Congress to fix the abortion law problem, but it will take a constitutional amendment to limit SCOTUS terms and provide popular referendum rights to overturn their future over-exuberance. The latter will take a lot more time yet to happen. No way to know about the former. Public opinion is strongly in favor of the abortion status quo in general, although the specifics of regulation are broadly disagreed. That dedicated liberal US Congress is still a reach too far with abortion out of place on voters’ kitchen tables.
This was always about balancing the rights of women with the rights of the unborn.
It would appear that the unborn have won this one. Finally?
[I probably agree with Douthat too often to be either a liberal or progressive.]
What Was the Strategy Behind the Supreme Court Leak?
May 4, 2022, 5:00 a.m. ET
The leak of a draft Supreme Court decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade is not a surprise, but it is something of a mystery.
What’s unsurprising is that the accelerating politicization of the judiciary that began with Roeitself would overwhelm attempts to sustain an apolitical charisma around the operations of the court. Every development and controversy and scandal along the way — the Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas hearings, the multistage death of the filibuster, the pocket veto of Merrick Garland, the Brett Kavanaugh affair, the liberal enthusiasm for court-packing — cut away some element of the apolitical illusion. The leak of a draft decision, a violation of the secrecy around deliberations, is another escalation, but it’s part of the same pattern, the same trend that’s defined judicial politics for two generations now.
But the mystery lies in the strategy behind the leak.
All we know right now, from the leak and related reporting, is that Samuel Alito’s draft reflected the breakdown of the court about three months ago, when his draft first circulated — five votes to overturn Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, three votes against, John Roberts in the middle. But plenty of decisions have changed between the initial vote and the final ruling, including the Obamacare decision in 2012 (where Roberts switched sides) and Casey itself (where Anthony Kennedy wrote the decision upholding abortion rights after initially voting to overturn Roe). And in this case, it always seemed imaginable that an initial stark split would give way, through some kind of intra-judicial persuasion, to the kind of minimalist ruling that Roberts in particular favors.
So if you were simply following a crude strategic logic, the fact that what’s been leaked is a draft from months ago might suggest that a leaker on the conservative side hopes to freeze a wavering justice — Kavanaugh being the obvious candidate — into their initial vote, by making it seem like the very credibility of the court rests on their not being perceived to cave under external pressure…
…And finally, to the extent that a leak like this has some delegitimizing effect no matter what, that might be an end unto itself: If the court is going to be conservative, then let it have no mystique whatsoever.
This last place is where most liberals will end up, I’m sure, should the draft ruling turn out to be the final one. But there is an irony here, of course, because a key implication of Alito’s draft — and of arguments marshaled for generations by Roe’s critics — is that treating the judiciary as the main arbiter of our gravest moral debates was always a mistake, one that could lead only to exactly the kind of delegitimization that we see before us now.
Regardless of whether the draft becomes the final decision, then, its leak has already vindicated one of its key premises: that trying to remove an issue like abortion from normal democratic politics was always likely to end very badly for the court.
If this does not anger Democrat voters, what will? This may be a call to battle and get out the vote in November. This will not go quietly into the night. People need to be angry and Repubs are stirring that anger up.
Abortions do not land on the kitchen table. Younger unmarried women will be very upset by this. Will they take the time to register and vote other than they already would have? Judicial activism did not bite the Democratic Party immediately. Conservatives were immediately upset which changed zero election outcomes. However, over time there was blood drawn not just from the dead unborn, but from the character of our courts and our republic. The American people could not settle their own problems legislatively, so nine old appointed men (Sandra Day O’Connor was first woman in Supremes) in robes decided for us without any of the nuance afforded legislation. Courts are blunt instruments that create trauma when they exceed their mandate, especially SCOTUS with its lifetime appointments which constitute the epitome of undemocratic insular scholarly dictators. Such insults to the substance of the republican polity leave visceral wounds that heal slowly despite the lack of urgent pain and response. So, it should not be any different for conservatives now. There will be blood as from a thousand paper cuts, but they may have barely begun to have bled by November 2022.
Ross Douthat has it correct in today’s NYT Opinion piece What Was the Strategy Behind the Supreme Court Leak?
Angry Americans: How political rage helps campaigns but hurts democracy
As the 2020 presidential election ends, one thing is clear: America is an angry nation. From protests over persistent racial injustice to white nationalist-linked counterprotests, anger is on display across the country.
The national ire relates to inequality, the government’s coronavirus response, economic concerns, race and policing. It’s also due, in large part, to deliberate and strategic choices made by American politicians to stoke voter anger for their own electoral advantage.
Donald Trump’s attempts to enrage his base are so plentiful that progressive magazine The Nation called him a “merchant of anger.” Meanwhile, his opponent, Joe Biden, elicits anger toward the president, calling Trump a “toxic presence” who has “cloaked America in darkness.”
Anger-filled political rhetoric is nothing new. From Andrew Johnson and Richard Nixon to Newt Gingrich, politicians have long known that angry voters are loyal voters. People will support their party’s candidates locally and nationally so long as they remain sufficiently outraged at the opposing party.
While inciting voter anger helps candidates win elections, research from my book, “American Rage: How Anger Shapes Our Politics,” shows that the effects of anger outlast elections. And that can have serious consequences for American democracy’s long-term health.
Trust in government
Political anger lowers citizens’ trust in the national government, causing people to view it with hostility, skepticism and outright contempt. Due to the increasingly national focus of politics, that anger is often directed squarely at the federal government, not state or local officials…
Nice, but the wrong extreme.
Angry politicians make angry voters, new study finds
July 16, 2021 • By Daniel Strain
Politicians may have good reason to turn to angry rhetoric, according to research led by political scientists from Colorado—the strategy seems to work, at least in the short term.
In a new study, Carey Stapleton at CU Boulder and Ryan Dawkins at the U.S. Air Force Academy discovered that political furor may spread easily: Ordinary citizens can start to mirror the angry emotions of the politicians they read about in the news. Such “emotional contagion” might even drive some voters who would otherwise tune out of politics to head to the polls.
“Politicians want to get reelected, and anger is a powerful tool that they can use to make that happen,” said Stapleton, who recently earned his PhD in political science at CU Boulder.
He and Dawkins, an assistant professor, published their results this month in the journal Political Research Quarterly.
The researchers surveyed roughly 1,400 people online from across the political spectrum, presenting them with a series of mock news stories about a recent political debate. They discovered that when it comes to politics, anger may lead to more anger. Subjects who read about an enraged politician from their own party were more likely to report feeling mad themselves than people who didn’t. Those same steaming partisans also reported that they were more likely to get involved in politics, from attending rallies to voting on Election Day.
“Anger is a very strong, short-term emotion that motivates people into action,” said Stapleton. “But there can be these much more negative implications in the long term. There’s always the potential that anger can turn into rage and violence.”
Anger and politics in the U.S. have long gone hand-in-hand—the nation’s second president, John Adams, once referred to Alexander Hamilton as a “bastard brat of a Scotch peddler.” But Stapleton and Dawkins’ findings come at a time when American politics has grown especially divisive.
According to the Pew Research Center, in the lead up to the 2020 presidential election, “around nine-in-ten Trump and Biden supporters said there would be ‘lasting harm’ to the nation if the other candidate won.” That anger boiled over with deadly results when a mob of supporters of then-President Trump stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Stapleton, who is not related to the Colorado political family, wanted to find out just how contagious those kinds of emotions could be. He will start a position as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Notre Dame in the fall.
“Most political science research to date has focused on what we do when we feel an emotion like anger, rather than how our emotions affect other people,” Stapleton said…
How Anger Shapes American Politics
KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE
— Politicians increasingly, and deliberately, seek to make voters angry.
— Eliciting voters’ anger comes at a cost. When voters are angry, they are more likely to express distrust in the national government. This distrust is problematic because trust in government can facilitate bipartisan cooperation and maintain support for social welfare programs.
— Nevertheless, incentives to elicit anger remain strong for political elites because voter anger helps politicians win elections. Absent a shift in the incentive structure that politicians face, expect voter anger to continue to rise.
Contemporary American politics is, above all else, rage-inducing. This is due in large part to our politicians, those architects of anger who benefit from the public’s ire.
Donald Trump, in particular, is quite adept at stoking anger among his base. From his claims that immigrants from Mexico are “drug dealers, criminals, and rapists,” to his references of COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus,” to his disparaging comments about Democratic-run cities, the president seeks to keep his base perpetually outraged. These messages are amplified by other Republican politicians and affiliated groups, some of whom have claimed that Democrats “don’t love” America and seek to silence those with whom they disagree.
Joe Biden, too, traffics in anger. Despite his claims about wanting to “restore the soul of the nation,” Biden has sought to arouse anger among his base by claiming that Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis was all about “making sure … his rich friends didn’t lose money,” and that the president “didn’t do a damn thing” to keep Americans safe. And, much like Republicans have buttressed Trump’s anger-inducing claims, prominent Democrats have echoed Biden’s remarks about Trump by calling the president “a threat to our democracy” and a would-be autocrat.
Why do politicians — both Democrats and Republicans — seek to make their voters angry? Research from my book, American Rage: How Anger Shapes Our Politics, suggests that politicians seek to make their supporters angry because angry voters are loyal voters. Put simply, when a voter is angry, she is most likely to vote for her own party’s candidates at all levels of the federal electoral system. Crucially, anger can bind a voter to her party’s presidential candidate even when that candidate is not well liked. Anger, and not bonds of affection, is what drives political behavior in the United States.
This anger takes many forms. Americans are angry at the opposing party’s politicians and supporters. They are also angry with the opposing party’s policy ideas. Yet, while the specific nature of a voter’s anger may vary, anger often leads to a predictable outcome.
When voters are angry, they seek to take an action — or set of actions — that alleviates their anger. This action is usually aimed at the source of one’s anger. Because Americans’ political anger is often due to the opposing political party, they most typically channel their frustration into pursuing outcomes that benefit their own party — or, perhaps more accurately, harm the opposing party. Most commonly, this action is casting a vote for one’s party’s candidates up and down the ballot.
And, unlike many things in today’s political climate, anger is a bipartisan emotion. Both Democrats and Republicans are capable of experiencing anger, and both are increasingly outraged. According to data from the American National Election Studies (ANES), there has been a dramatic increase in the percentage of both Democrats and Republicans who reported feeling angry with the opposing party’s presidential candidate.
In 2008, 43% of Democrats and 46% of Republicans reported that they experienced anger with the other party’s standard bearer. By 2012, 56% of Democrats and 75% of Republicans indicated that they felt angry with the opposing party’s presidential candidate. In 2016, these numbers soared. Among Democrats, 90% of respondents to the ANES reported feeling angry with Donald Trump; 89% of Republicans reported feeling angry with Hillary Clinton. Not coincidentally, the 2016 election saw high rates of partisan loyalty at the ballot box…
Working smart leads to more desirable outcomes than working angry. Sure anger motivates, but it also leads to unintended consequences.
The Republican Party does not really care about the consequences to governance, since they only want to get elected and maintain political power. The Republican Party solicits activism on the cheap by appealing to extremists, radical conservatives and nationalists that need little persuasion or assistance. Such a motivated political cadre does not cost the donor class a dime. Likewise, the Republican Party opposes abortion because it is cost-free to the donor class and broadly appealing to self-righteous sycophants. Liberals accuse conservatives of being hypocritical in opposing both abortion and material support for families, but conservatives are merely being both parsimonious on behalf of the donor class and cleverly deceptive. Of course, deception is a weakness that can be exposed by a focused intelligent adversary, but just as easily lost in a fit of rage. That is why hypocrisy is more of a useful tool for politicians than a particular moral failing. There is nothing particular about the moral failings of those that seek power.
The Republican Party has developed hypocrisy into an art form. Their most talented two performers were previously a two-bit actor and a commercial real estate developer, both tough acts to follow on the stage of political deception. They were both also wealthy enough before entering politics to naturally display unhesitating class bias.
Now that the SCOTUS draft opinion has been leaked, then it cannot be un-leaked. Regardless of who leaked, which is to say regardless of intentions, which is to say irrespective of outcomes, which we know to be independent from intent thanks to decades of unintended consequences, then it is what it is. All that we may control now is outcomes, which just happens to be all that matters anyway.
So, eyes on the road and hands upon the wheel. Winning takes time and money, but most importantly organization and functional institutions which is essentially what all that time and money is for.
For sure NOW is on our side as always, even when we are not exactly on NOW’s side. But now, we and NOW are one. We need more and greater inclusion. We must play smart and the biggest part of playing smart is playing on our own strengths. We have loads of quasi-political civic organizations for various special interests, but they do not always play well together with social exclusion pitted against inclusion. Solve that problem, then the Republican Party is toast. Everyone has a mother, but Mothers United for Abortion Rights just does not have that ring that we are looking for. Someone that is half a century younger than me and currently involved in political activism may be able to solve this problem, but not me.
It does land on the kitchen table in our household. It has been discussed. My NP daughter is angry as our both o my sons and daughter-in-law. Dems need something to rally around, and this could be it. Time will tell.
You sound like McConnell when you say “The American People.” He does not speak for me. Maybe McConnell speaks for you when you use his words? Gerrymandered districts and the “anybody but trump or Clinton” vote created much of this. trump would have been a has been if not for a minority of people who bought into the swill spewed forth. Or they bought into the propaganda Clinton was a bad choice because of the lies. National Democrat party arrogance led to Michigan going Repub for the first time since 2000. PA and WI since 92. The Dems did not take the issue in Michigan seriously.
There are more there like Lana Theis. Mallory McMorrow hit her between the eyes. That is what Dems need, more Mallories to call the Lanas out “hate wins when people like me stand by and let it happen. I won’t.” What happened with that leak from SCOTUS is something which was planned. Maybe, I am wrong, I think Repubs did it to incite. We need to turn it around and lay it at their feet.
It has been a long time since Giddeon Vs Wainwright. Common people need to get angry and this could be the issue which will drive it. Have you ever filed in a COA or SCOTUS?
I do not believe a Dem did this. We will find out I am sure.
“Kitchen table” is a euphemism for household finances same as bread and butter. In the context of abortion it is a twofer, a euphemism and a shocking ironic image.
Douthat’s point was the same as mine – i.e., that the court is not where thoughtful legislation is done. I have no idea who leaked – nor do I care. Seems inevitable under the circumstances. I prefer to stay out of court.
Knowing who released it allows us a chance to understand the reasoning for doing it. Repubs could have done this too. I like knowing the nature of the beast.
Think beyond the obvious. Dems are some of the most lackadaisical and placid people I know of today. And some are pretty stupid too. The anybody but trump or Clinton is a great example of such. They will not react to a threat till they lose something of value which in this case may take decades to resolve. And the loons drawn to trump, seriously do not understand what they are doing to themselves for years to come.
Thank you for the kitchen table depiction.
The foundation for this was laid years ago when people were clamoring for justices in the same mold as Thomas and Scalia. Boy George Bush chose Samuel Alito as that person. The initial text of his decision should be “no surprise.”
Why is this a surprise? This has been in the making for years. Alito’s was chosen for this role. Even when he was a part of the 3rd District, his decisions went against women’s rights. Democrats have not protected the foundation for which the freedoms of all are built upon. We have squandered our liberties by being too lax and forgiving. The anyone but trump or Clinton election brought this to a head.
While at Duke University, an acquaintance Erwin Chemerinsky testified on Samuel Alito’s potential appointment to SCOTUS to Congress.
This has been a long time coming. Why was Alito chosen to write this decision? He has been anti-women’s rights since the time he took up law. There are a number of links here. Take a moment and read them.
Joe Scarborough this morning suggested Ginni Thomas also. With the reasoning being, this was leaked to Politico. Libs use the NYT. She has access to SCOTUS documents, has no respect for the court, is privileged, and has made her views (no matter how described) very public.
She is loose cannon and does not care about the harm she causes. Clarence does not care.
Let’s see if Joe and I are right on the release.
I can understand why the GOP is “concerned” about the leaker, they do not want to talk about the decision. Why anyone else cares is beyond me. Etched in stone this was going to happen when Ginsburg died at the latest, and probably would have happened anyway.
Fatalist I see. Gotta push back EM.
Playing one’s hand well is the way to win, whereas overplaying one’s hand is the way to lose. Although it is not always easy to see the difference beforehand, then the evidence is always revealed by the outcome. Good intentions may have been sufficient in the simplicity of 18th century life, but I sincerely doubt that was true even then despite how comforting that it may have been to believe. Nowadays though, good intentions are not even close to sufficient. One must keep their eyes on the road and their hands upon the wheel.
You appear to miss the point being made. In 2016, an additional and ~ 496,000 people voted for Donald Duck, their neighbor, Libertarians, Communists, etc. This is in addition to the numbers voted in 2012 for other than Repub or Dem candidates. I guess you could blame the Electoral College for this rendering of the piece of white trash called trump to the presidency. Dems were complacent and mostly believed the lies Repubs and the those better than thou who skewed the election to trump. That is what complacency gets you.
The revocation of the ACA was blocked by one angry Repub Senator because trump pissed him off. I guess you could argue the ethical values of McCain. I would not. McCain was dissed by trump who thought he could be a street bully and push McCain around. If you have not figured out where I am going with this, you will shortly.
Kennedy retired in 2018. Two of his clerks (Kavanaugh and Gorsuch) have been appointed to SCOTUS. Scalia died in 2018 and Gorsuch replaced Scalia. Kennedy could have retired in 2015 and Obama could have selected a Justice to replace him. As it was president mcconnell blocked Obama with his lies of not appointing so close to an election. Kavanaugh replace Kennedy. Ginsburg should have retired and maybe Obama could have replaced her. Three Federal appointments to SCOTUS all because ~496,000 people did not take trump seriously in 2016.
“It is not always easy to see the difference beforehand” that your vote matters. Your good intentions of remaining silent in the 21st century is what has hurt this nation since the beginning of it. Yep, people thought it would be funny to vote for Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Libertarians or the Communist Party Candidate. My neighbor did and he was sorry for it. It is too late to be sorry. We are all laughing now. aren’t we?
The evidence revealed by the outcome of the 2016 election is coming to pass in 2022. And still, you doubt it. Repubs and the Federalists are not stupid. Neither is the Catholic church.
Good advice for anyone that actually lives in a state or congressional district that sometimes elects Republicans. We got Youngkin for governor though, but I blame that on Democrats nominating Terry McAuliffe. VA cast its votes for Hillary in 2016, but by 5% compared to Biden’s 10% margin of victory.
wow. so much running in circles scream and shout. no chance anyone will agree with me, but
the leak is not the issue. the right wants to turn the leaker into Assange. i can see no good reason for the court to work in secret.
the reasoning by Alito is the problem. he did not invent this level of twisting and turning to visit injustice upon people, either one at a time, or the whold population at once. but it is evil reasonig and it will not go away until we the people learn how to reject it. won’t be easy.
abortion is a kitchen table issue. how many kids can YOU feed? and old married moms understand this as well as young sex-in-the-city puff-heads. [trust me, i was a young puff head once myself. i doubt if any species could sustain itself if the young were not stupid. of course the old get stupid too in their own way.]
i don’t think there would be any problem “permitting” abortions if wise old grandmas had their way. i worry much more about people imagining they have a right to force other people to do what they, or their god tells them, to think is right. on the other hand, I wold interfere if i saw a man or woman abusing their child. i can’t think of any absolute moral rule right now that does not come up against another absolute moral rule. we need to find a way to figure that out. and then convince the people who can’t figure it out to leave us alone.
so far our record is not good.
as for Doubt-that, politicizing the supreme court is as old as the republic. FDR did not invent it. I wish pundits could stop politicizing “reason.[I think John Adams opinion of Alexander Hamilton was said in private, not as a political slogan. Adams had good reason to dislike Hamilton, not one, I think, we heard in the opera.]
meanwhile dear friends, try to focus on the real threat, and not the word games meant to distract. [i have my own word games to deal with. i keep coming up with “yes, but…”]
maybe i’m wrong. maybe hysteria is the best we’ve got.
You are right, you should be scolding Ron for concentrating on “Leak.” Did I say Leak somewhere in my last comment? It is a matter of control and how to achieve it.
Agreed. However, sometimes white man speaks with forked tongue. Take care.
This guy says it better than me:
I wasn’t scolding anybody. I’ll go back and read more carefully, but it struck me as though everyone was talking like a bunch of literature majors discussing the subtleties of language and finer points of presentation in the text of “The place is on fire! Get out now!”
Senator Susan Collins says she is opposed to Democrats’ bill aimed at protecting abortion rights
Boston Globe – May 6
She is Roman Catholic. (Wikipeda)
Not that there is anything wrong with that.
As I mentioned elsewhere, a preponderance of Mainers are Roman Catholics. I guess that’s her voter base. Or it forms her conscience.
Nice neon light outside which states, “it” does not do abortions should work.