Osprey, Mono Lake © Robert Sommers 2023

Friday, June 30, 2023

The Turtle, Opus Dei and Old Hickory

Man behind the curtain, Leonard Leo

The Supreme Court of the United States, currently crafted through the sly machinations of Mssrs. Leo and McConnell, does not represent the views of the populace of the people of this country. Not even close. First Dobbs, then affirmative action, clean water and discrimination, they are bulldozing precedents with the subtlety of a Mack truck. 

One has to wonder what longstanding freedom they will set their beady eyes on next; contraception, Obergfell, the sky is the limit for the conservative majority. 71 % of Americans support same sex marriage. You think it is safe?

Next up is a bill to allow domestic abusers under protective orders access to their firearms. That's going to work out well...

These justices have the lowest standing with the public since such metrics were first analyzed in 2004. On issue after issue they fail to represent the consensus and opinions of a broad swath of the american public. And guess what, they really don't care.

A Quinnipiac University poll found just 30 percent of registered voters approved of the nation’s highest court, while 59 percent disapproved — which the poll notes is the demographic’s lowest approval rating for the Supreme Court since Quinnipiac started asking the question in 2004. 

I understand that we live in a divided country and that justices will not always rule my way. But I have always suffered under the delusion that they would not lie at their confirmation hearings or pal around with billionaires with cases before the court or join them on hundred thousand dollar plus free vacations. Even if the seat on the jet was going unused.

They seem to have regard for a single class, rich, white, straight, religious and corporate. Everybody else be damned.

I don't think we need a Jewish court in this country, or a gay court, or a black court, all we are asking for are nine individuals who will put their personal grudges, religious beliefs and ideologies aside and be fair referees. 

But we are a long way from that, we now have a majority papist court (including the one Episcopalian) and if they have their way, we will all be soon toeing the Vatican line. Get ready for those wafers, kids.

Handmade's tale

This imbalance all started of course when f*ckface Mitch McConnell refused to give Merrick Garland a hearing and then reversed himself at the earliest opportunity and broke his new rule and granted Amy Coney Barrett a last minute confirmation.

He has absolutely no regard for ethics or fair play and now he is seeing the results. And surely loving it. But it is pissing off much of America and I hope that my countrymen have long memories and that one day the GOP gets its just desserts for ramming this stuff down our throats and gaming the system so brutally.

But how many poor pregnant woman will die before then, with ectopic pregnancies and no doctors willing to treat them for risk of jail in their red stat gulags? Pro life, my ass...


I was thinking about Andrew Jackson the other day, talking to Terry. Although he was not a perfect man (native genocide, etc.), he was a man of his time that I admired. 

Jackson had a wife named Rachel Donelson. She was born into a poor Virginia family, who eventually moved south to Tennessee.  

The seventh of eleven children, she was  married off to Lewis Robards at 18 and by all accounts was in a very unhappy marriage. 

She moved back in with her family and although she thought that she had been legally divorced it appears her first marriage was never properly annulled.

A recent emigre from North  Carolina, a young lawyer named Andrew Jackson took a fancy to her. They fell in love and married in Natchez. The first husband got wind of the betrothal and sued her for bigamy. Jackson loved his wife very much and tried every legal remedy to sort things out.

On May 30, 1806, Charles Dickinson, an attorney from Nashville, TN, and Andrew Jackson engaged in a duel on the Jeff Burr farm. The quarrel between the two men began as comments were made by Dickinson about Jackson’s wife, Rachel.After the insult to Rachel and a public statement in which Dickinson called Jackson a worthless scoundrel and coward, Jackson challenged Dickinson to a duel. On May 30, the two men met at Harrison’s Mills. Dickinson’s first bullet hit Jackson in the chest. Jackson’s first shot misfired and, according to the code duello, he should not have been able to refire. Re-cocking his gun, Jackson fired and killed his opponent. Although Jackson’s wound was not fatal, he suffered chronic pain from the wound for the remainder of his life. 

During Jackson's presidential campaign against John Quincy Adams in 1828 the mudslinging about his wife got vicious and horrible. Rachel famously proclaimed that "I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of god than live in that palace in Washington."

She was a simple country woman who hated "high society" and was tormented by a barrage of vicious taunts and innuendo. She developed depression and was made ill by the barrage and died about six weeks after the election, on Dec. 22, 1828.


I admire a man who will fight for his family and defend his wife. Contrast Jackson's behavior with that of then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. 

His own president disparaged McConnell's wife, Trump cabinet member Elaine Chao and subjected her to anti Asian slurs.

Trump called her "Coco Chow" and the "China loving wife" and nobody in the GOP would even utter a peep in her defense.

And the Kentucky cuckold did nothing. Smiled and took it. Just the kind of man he is. A big unethical pussy. Who wouldn't even defend his wife. Give me Andrew Jackson any day.

I have told at least one of these two stories before, please excuse me. When I moved to Rainbow in 1980 I entered a mechanic's shop and asked him about a piece of equipment. He told me that it was used to gas jews who walked into his shop. I exited quickly. Later on I met similar vitriol at the FC, waitress said, "Damn, smells like a jew in here"when I walked in. Gorsuch says I need to tolerate that. Had to navigate the klan gathering back then too Sunday afternoons, when Metzger was still in town.

About a year later I was sitting at a table at the Oaks across the way when a well dressed interracial couple walked in and sat down. My waitress, who was very pretty, muttered to me under her voice,"Don't you hate when they won't stay with their own kind?" I looked her in the eye and told her I really didn't give a shit. Tried not to sit at her table again.

I believe that the ultimate upshot of the recent wedding cake ruling will be that either of these establishments will now be able to deny me service if they merely state that their racism is based on sincerely held religious beliefs and rights to "free expression."

Substitute gay, atheist, agnostic, Unitarian, Mormon, Jew, Democrat and any other previously protected class you choose and if a fascist evangelical can convince a judge that someone is the son of Ham, or Sheba or Canaan or doesn't eat ham, there is a good chance that they will not have to serve, rent or deal with them. Because they hold sincere "religious beliefs," it now trumps everybody else's beliefs.

All you have to do is profess that you are talking to god and you can now discriminate against anybody to your heart's content and even get them take your shift down at the plant. Play the god card and you do anything you want to people you don't approve of. Maybe even reconstitute the anti jew, black and hispanic covenants locally in Rancho Santa Fe and La Jolla. Nothing would surprise me with this court.

They will no longer have to feed me, rent to me, give me a loan or fix my car. It's all in the good book. Religious liberty.

“The worry is that this provides a green light to any business owner that they can refuse service to any person on the basis of their identity, whether they’re gay or lesbian, or Jewish or Black, or anything, because they have an objection to those sorts of people being in their business,” said Katherine Franke, a professor at Columbia Law School.

“There was nothing in the opinion that limits it to objections to same sex marriage,” Franke added.

Sepper similarly said that the majority didn’t specifically limit the decision to LGBTQ people. She said that in other cases from the court in this area, there has been language about race, for example, being different.

“We don’t see that here in 303 Creative. So this opens the door to race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin discrimination – any kind of discrimination,” she said.

That is what we are left with. A tyranny of the extreme religious right on the Supreme Court that only cares about one thing, pure political power and ideology and serving their wealthy benefactors. The rest of us damned folk be damned.


Jon Harwood said...

On the other hand, when it comes to "Owning the Liberals". The Nine In Skirts have torn through liberalism like a Tasmanian Devil in a Big Daddy Roth Car. Trump himself, a master liberal poker, must secretly admire the Black Skirts as they rip through precedent to squish any law they don't like like.

Scrota said...

You left out the part about the 'Trail of Tears' but who cares when you're having so much fun picking and choosing your history! Andy Jackson, yeah! Merrick Garland, the incompetent bitter old fuck for not getting into the big judicial dance, who's going to be impeached, yeah! Mitch McConnell, meh.

Georgia Frontiere

Diane O said...

well said.