If the Democrats were serious they would have treated each reactionary GOP nominee over the decades as a bullet to the heart of their constituents. They did not.
“The Democrats have always been unwilling to create a political crisis in order to prevent a human rights meltdown for Black and poor people.”
Brett Kavanaugh took his seat on the far right of the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, but before the Court’s newest racist, pro-torture, corporate, patriarchal pig could don his new robes the Democratic National Committee was filling email boxes with appeals for funds to turn Republican victory into defeat in November. “The only way we'll be able to protect our rights is by regaining a Democratic majority in Congress,” writes Seema Nanda, the DNC’s chief executive officer. “If we don't, women's reproductive justice, affordable health care, and the future of our democracy will all be at risk.”
The Democrats have been singing that same song for decades -- indeed, generations -- even as they passively allowed reactionary justices to become dominant on the High Court, their hard right rulings only slightly tempered by the “swing” votes of, first, Sandra Day O’Connor -- who is credited with rescuing “diversity,” the pale replacement for affirmative action, as a public policy option – and, later, Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose seat Kavanaugh now fills. Whenever the Democrats’ GOP-lite policies became indefensible, the party’s apologists would caution exasperated Black voters: “But what about the Supreme Court? You can’t allow the Republicans to decide the law of the land for the next 20 years!”
“The Democrats have passively allowed reactionary justices to become dominant on the High Court.”
But their assurances that the Democratic Party would hold back the corporate legal juggernaut were always a sham. Yes, an ultra-right judiciary portends disaster for Black, working and poor people, but not for the oligarchs that fund and control both mass parties in this country. No Supreme Court produced by the two corporate parties could possibly pose the slightest threat to the core interests of the ruling class or the capitalist system.Indeed, the judiciary becomes more reactionary in synch with the consolidation of wealth at the top of the economic pyramid, which is reflected in the rightward lunge of both corporate parties. If the Democrats were sincere in their vows to block the troglodytes’ steady march to judicial hegemony -- if they were serious about preventing a human rights apocalypse -- they would have treated each reactionary High Court nominee put forward by the GOP over the decades as a bullet to the heart of their constituents, and shut down the Congress to force the nomination to be withdrawn. But the Democrats have always been unwilling to create a political crisis in order to prevent a human rights meltdown for Black and poor people.
“Whenever the Democrats’ GOP-lite policies became indefensible, the party’s apologists would caution exasperated Black voters: ‘But what about the Supreme Court?’”
The Supreme Court was already a right-wing club when John Roberts was nominated in 2005. Twenty out of 42 Democrats voted to confirm the reactionary jurist. Two months later, right-winger Alito was confirmed after 19 Democrats joined 53 Republicans to halt a filibuster against his nomination by Senators Barack Obama and Harry Reid. Brett Kavanaugh represents an imminent threat to “women's reproductive justice, affordable health care, and the future of our democracy,” as DNC operative Seema Nanda put it,because the Democratic Party, as a body, collaborated in laying the groundwork for an ultra-right majority. And, when West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin made it clear he would vote to confirm Kavanaugh, the party’s honchos made it just as plain that he would not be punished.
Yet, the Democrats have the gall to continue playing the Supreme Court card, when it is already too late to reverse the damage they have helped to inflict. Make no mistake: the Democratic Party is a corporate party that will never create a real political crisis -- never shut down the Senate, which is within the power of a unified minority party – unless the interests of their masters, the Lords of Capital, are threatened.
“No Supreme Court produced by the two corporate parties could possibly pose the slightest threat to the core interests of the ruling class or the capitalist system.”
A Huffington Post article from June 27 of this year reported that some Democrats discussed the idea of a Senate shutdown in 2016, when the Republican leadership refused to act on President Obama’s nomination of the “moderate” corporatist, Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court -- an insult and unanswered challenge that paved the way for Kavanaugh’s seating, two years later. “We should have shut down the Senate,” said Sen. Brian Schatz, a Democrat from Hawaii. “We made a calculation that we were going to win the 2016 [presidential] election and confirm a nominee. And it didn’t work out.”
Connecticut Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal corrected the narrative. “Self-immolation was not an option,” he told reporters -- which is another way of saying he and other Democrats were not willing to create a political crisis over the issue. Neither was Obama willing to a respond to the GOP declaration of political war by refusing to conduct governmental business as usual with the Republican-controlled Congress until Garland’s nomination was acted upon. That’s because, even if a fifth reliable ultra-right vote on the Supreme Court ensures decades of misery for Blacks, workers and poor people, that is not sufficient cause for Democrats to disrupt the governmental order. And it never will be.
“The Democratic Party is a corporate party that will never create a real political crisis unless the interests of the Lords of Capital are threatened.”
The Democrats are a fraudulent opposition, and totally shameless, moving from election to election, financed by an oligarchy whose interests both parties regard as paramount. They have no vision beyond endless austerity and war, the same agenda as the Republicans -- with a racial and ethnic “diversity” twist.
The long legal twilight time is over and deep darkness has now fallen on the U.S. Supreme Court, with the active and passive collaboration of the Democratic Party. A real opposition must be mobilized in the streets, and in alternative electoral formations that take their cues from the street mobilizations.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at [email protected].