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Since the Dems retook control of the Senate this past January, it has seemed clear, at least to me, that the greatest threat to democracy, not to mention the greatest source of disfunction in our politics, is the Senate filibuster that is used by Republicans again and again to block the possibility of a vote on any meaningful legislation that, in turn, would stand or fall based on the will of the majority. And because neither abolishing the filibuster nor exempting it even to pass bills protective of our most basic rights currently has support from 50 Senators, I wish to issue an alternative. Here, I defer to Congressional Scholar Norm Ornstein who, for some time, has pressed for a Senate filibuster rule change I believe would provide an opening for the Senate to function as the deliberative body our Founders had sought to establish.

This rule change that likely would pass (it would need support from only 50 Senators) would involve replacing the 60-vote threshold required to end debate with a 41-vote threshold to continue debate, thus shifting the burden from the majority to the minority, 41 of whom would have to be present, speaking nonstop solely about the issue at hand, to sustain a filibuster. I don’t imagine any Senator (as stated, we only need support from 50) could mount a credible opposition in defiance of this reform. I would add that neither Manchin nor Sinema could use their supposed commitment to the filibuster as justification to block this rule change.

Imagine the possibilities were this rule change enacted and Senate Dems were able at least to have a shot at passing not only the Freedom to Vote Act and VRAA, but also the PRO Act, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, criminal justice reform, gun safety legislation, immigration reform, and more. I expect Dems would be so mobilized that they likely could win enough seats in 22 to render the likes of a Manchin or a Sinema as virtually irrelevant.

In closing, I would note that President Biden, as he did with the American Rescue Plan, would be expected to play an equally aggressive role in getting the two coalitions in his Party together and united. Whether it be the Freedom to Vote Act, the Social and Climate Action package, or some other legislation, we the people would expect President Biden be mindful that the fate of the Democratic Party, and of democracy itself, ultimately, does not rest solely with individual Senators or with different coalitions within the Party. Rather, it’s the Party leadership that must lead, come up with the deal, and get the job done.

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Because I had intended to comment on the Supreme Court as part of my December 5th reply, I am inserting the following addendum: In 1790, 6 Supreme Court Justices were seated, matching the number of Federal Circuit Courts at that time. Were precedent to hold, the number of Supremes would match the number of Federal Circuit Courts. Today, there are 13, explaining why the Supremes take fewer cases and solidifying justification for expanding the High Court. Similarly, the number of judges seated in the lower courts merits reconsideration.

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Barbara My impression is that the number of Supreme Court justices has fluctuated between 5 and 10, but has been 0 for a long, long time.Initially these justices also had to serve as circuit judges, thus Chief Justice John Marshall individually presided over the Aaron Burr treason trial.

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Keith, Though I was aware, in the distant past, that the number of Justices had fluctuated between 5 and 10, I was not aware that, initially, they also had to have served as Circuit Judges. Thank you for the history lesson. Still, as stated in my original posting, I, nonetheless, maintain that precedent affords solid justification for expanding the High Court and, perhaps, also the lower courts.

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The argument against eliminating the filibuster -- that I've heard -- is "Oh, but what will we do when the Republicans get a slim majority in 2022?"

Well, will the Democrats actually USE the filibuster? That is, will they use it as a weapon, as the Republicans do? I don't think they will. So why keep it around?

This question outlines the underlying issue. The Republicans are not playing the federal democracy game at all. They are out to destroy the federal government, if they can't have their way. I can't see any other way of interpreting their recurrent threats to not raise the debt ceiling, and to collapse the US economy. They signal willingness to threaten national default. This is the equivalent of a sociopathic child, matches in hand, threatening to burn down the house if he can't have ice-cream for dinner. For such a child, ice-cream is more important than the house, or his parents: it's a "moral imperative," an "issue for our times," a blow against the tyranny of broccoli and bedtimes.

Dump the filibuster. Pass the voting rights act. Get the congressional makeup to reflect the diversity of the nation, not the fanaticism of one movement within it.

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Joseph, I imagine most, if not all, of LFAA’s subscribers share your views. That said, I would note that in my original posting I pressed for Ornstein’s proposal because currently the Senate lacks support from 50 Senators either to abolish the filibuster or even to exempt it to pass bills protective of our most basic rights. Setting aside Sinema, note, as we speak, that Joe Manchin refuses, without support from Republicans, to pass the Freedom to Vote Act, legislation he helped draft, while GOP controlled state legislatures unilaterally pass bill after bill that restricts voting and nullifies votes. Need I say more to make the case for trying to push through a rule change that precludes either Manchin or Sinema from using their supposed commitment to the filibuster (aka bipartisanship) as justification to block this reform?

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Joseph, your comment reminded me of Greta Thunberg’s visit to the US Capitol and her description of the scene in the cafeteria where the most powerful lawmakers in the world sat stuffing themselves with junk food and candy.

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Exactly, disgusting beyond words

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The very real question is whether we have enough democratic votes to dump the filibuster with Manchin and Sinema against such a move?

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couldn't agree more

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'The Senate was, of course, not designed to operate on a pure head-count basis. But this is a contemporary, permanent imbalance beyond what the practical-minded drafters of the Constitution would have countenanced.'

'Why “contemporary”? Because the filibuster was not part of the constitutional balance-of-power scheme. As Adam Jentleson explains in his authoritative book Kill Switch, “real” filibusters, with senators orating for hours on end, rose to prominence as tools of 20th-century segregationists. Their 21st-century rebirth in the form of phony filibusters (where senators don’t even have to make a pretense of holding the floor) has been at the hands of Mitch McConnell, who made them routine as soon as the Republicans lost control of the Senate in 2006.' (James Fallows, theatlantic) See link below.

https://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2021/05/what-ancient-rome-tells-us-about-todays-senate/619025/

Why don't a majority of Americans know how close this country is to midnight? Are we too busy? Has the pandemic kept their minds elsewhere? Why isn't the Free-Press shouting the news of our near demise? Is it just a shadow of the past and been overtaken by Fox, social media and corporate interests? It is the same Democratic Party failing to communicate with the American people as it failed to contain the growing power of the Republican Party to seize the reins? Has the Democratic Party, or much of it, been coopted by corporate lucre?

Have the best and brightest Americans, the comfortable 'progressives' been too comfortable as they damned Trump and his posse? Why haven't the people been mobilized to resist this coup?

'Is Biden Doing Enough to Protect Democracy? - The Atlantic'

'Nothing close to this loss of faith in democracy has happened here before. Even Confederates recognized Lincoln’s election; they tried to secede because they knew they had lost.'

'Democracy will be on trial in 2024. A strong and clear-eyed president, faced with such a test, would devote his presidency to meeting it. Biden knows better than I do what it looks like when a president fully marshals his power and resources to face a challenge. It doesn’t look like this.'

'The midterms, marked by gerrymandering, will more than likely tighten the GOP’s grip on the legislatures in swing states. The Supreme Court may be ready to give those legislatures near-absolute control over the choice of presidential electors. And if Republicans take back the House and Senate, as oddsmakers seem to believe they will, the GOP will be firmly in charge of counting the electoral votes.'

'Against Biden or another Democratic nominee, Donald Trump may be capable of winning a fair election in 2024. He does not intend to take that chance.' See link below.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2021/10/biden-democrats-2024-election-interference/620392/

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"Why don't a majority of Americans know how close this country is to midnight?" You have to ask? 74 million Americans think a white autocracy would be an improvement of our political system. They think an oppressed underclass of Americans who have some non-European ancestry is a positive element of society. Their top political priority is preserving the systemic oppression of those people that the USA has had in place since 1789. Every Republican knows that all it would take to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act is for two of their Senators to vote with Democrats to allow the Senate to call a vote on it. Furthermore, they know that there is a high probability that such a vote is necessary, now, to avoid the establishment of a white autocracy in 2024. They know these things, yet not a single Republican Senator will come forward to preserve democracy. The only reasonable conclusion is that every single Republican Senator agrees that systemic oppression of Americans with non-European ancestors is a good thing. Not only do they have no shame, they have no humanity.

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You are right, EVERY republican senator

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Yes, I asked. I didn't have to, but I did. 74 million voters do not comprise the majority. Do you know at this time whether the same number, more or less meet the criteria you have laid out? What's more you know 'the only reasonable conclusion...'!

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74 million is, indeed, quite a way short of a majority, but likely to be plenty, regardless, when 20 states get their laws in place to let their gerrymandered legislatures override the popular vote in those states. Of course, I don't know for sure whether all 74 million Trump voters put white supremacism at the top of their political priorities. I make that claim based on personal conversations with such people, around they likes of whom I lived for 50 of my 78 years and based, too, on the persistence of their support for a man who personifies white supremacism. Regarding my assertion precluding any reasonable conclusion other than than every single Republican Senator agrees with systemic oppression of Americans with non-European ancestors, I concede that my claim is an extrapolation from the undeniable assertion that no Republican Senator thinks passing a voting rights bill is important enough to call for a vote on the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. Not a far-fetched extrapolation in my judgment, but an extrapolation nonetheless.

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I live in a sea of red, albeit with a tinge of purple. Your extrapolation is not far-fetched by any measure that I can conjure up…. Republicans stopped being a political party about the time Rupert and Democrats helped elect Ronnie, my take anyway, but I’m old and memory is too good sometimes

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Thanks, Fern, you ask all the questions for which there are no satisfying answers right now. But I think we will not have to wait until 2024 to have them. If the Democrats cannot turn the tide on this authoritarian/totalitarian impulse, we will know the answers already sometime in November of 2022. It does not look good. We are not getting adequate leadership, despite the best of intentions.

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Thank you, David. Those questions recently coalesced in my mind. I have been very supportive and hopeful about Biden and the Free-Press, not truly of the Democratic Party for a long time. Now my thoughts are centered on our society -- the most important factors that need to work as you wrote or I would say, 'doomed'. Too much is not working and has not been, except for fairly brief periods. So much has to pull together, and at a time of the pandemic, a diminished free-press, a fractured Democratic Party and a deep split among the people. Much of what we need, we don't have. I don't believe this spells-out as give up, but how to wakeup and how to get what we do have together.

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Fern, we can hope that history will move in mysterious ways, though our national survival instinct is definitely being tested. Things happen fast these days, perhaps even some good things.

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Been waiting for 40+ years

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I don’t think most of those 74 million have any idea how bad it could be, how their lives will change, what lose of freedom means, what lose of speaking freely…. I adopted my daughter fromRussia in the late 1990’s and the people suffering, starving and freezing to death was horrifying. You knew you were watched and your conversation monitored everywhere you were. There was no privacy.

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Margaret...you have expressed the danger, within us. We are witnessing how evil can overtake us by stirring hatred, division and prejudice with lies. Ah, humankind can be so unkind.

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tfg thought he had cheated enough in 2020, I imagine that he was shocked that he didn't. He will surely cheat enough in 2024, with all the help he could imagine

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Dems only have the majority in name only:(

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Where their majority lies is the Majority of American people, especially in all core urban areas of the populace, who of course favor democracy, however imperfect. Whether that majority is controlled and bamboozled into complacency and disbelief about the outrageousness of the NatCon push is to be determined.

This is beyond Washington DC.

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In the preface to his new book, "FEVERS, FEUDS, AND DIAMONDS: EBOLA AND THE RAVAGES OF HISTORY, Paul Farmer writes "The game-eating, caregiving natives of this part of West Africa might not be acquainted with modern medical care, but they are quite familiar with colonialism's primary purpose: to rip riches from the earth and export them for profit. That's because West Africans have endured the extractive trades, and the many myths that obscured them, for so long. For centuries, a stream of commerce has moved commodities--initially, slaves and gold, and then rubber, iron ore, oil, bauxite, hardwoods, diamonds, and more--from West Africa to the Americas and Europe. It doesn't take much digging to learn that the natives, especially in the three most Ebola-affected countries, are still caught up in the aftermath of extractive colonialism." I wonder how many Democrats and Republicans and those who don't vote truly understand colonialism's affect on them of 'colonialism's

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Oops, I hit the wrong key! So, as I was writing ...affect on them of 'colonialism's primary purpose,' which is also to rip wealth from hard-working people in the Americans and Europe who receive these riches of those countries from whom they have been ripped. The corporations that gain their wealth in this way control the media and political parties so that we cannot gain the knowledge needed to rise up against capitalism. Yes, the Dems and the Reps appear to be on opposite ends of the spectrum, but most of those politicians actually work for the capitalist corporations. A move to eliminate the so-called left wing Democratic Party only favors the capitalist wishes to have nobody protesting.

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From your lips to the Congress’ ears!!! What a wonderful idea!!! Please call your senators and representatives and insist that they act on this!!’

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This is an excellent history of the filibuster with detailed analysis of the options for changing it. Thank you, Hayley, for posting this link.

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Hayley, Were it not already 1:30 AM, I would call up the link you so thoughtfully posted. I will write again as soon as I have read the piece.

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Been dreaming while WAITING

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TCinLA

Writes That's Another Fine Mess ·3 min ago

For those not up on their gun recognition, Massie himself is holding an M-60 squad automatic weapon, a full-auto machine gun. His youngest daughter is holding an Uzi, also a full-auto submachine gun, while his wife is holding a Thompson submachine gun, also full-auto. Three of the older spawn standing are holding M-16A3 military rifles, marketed to civilians as the semi-automatic AR-15. That's quite an armory. Somehow, he doesn't look like the type to wield an M-60 the way the biggest guy in an infantry squad did in Vietnam.

The far right in America now calls themselves "National Conservatives." They're about as "conservative" as the National socialists were "socialist." Their self-used term "NatCon" is the functional equivalent of "Nazi", a contraction of "National Socialist."

They may be a minority in the country, but so were the Nazis, who never "won" the election of January 1933, merely coming in as the largest individual party in the election, with less than 35% of the total vote. At the height of their power, no more than some 40% of Germans were party members.

As a dear departed friend who described himself as a survivor of what he called "the twelve bad years" once described to me, "The Nazis didn't elect Hitler - it was the conservatives! They believed him when he told them he was one of them, a lie they discovered too late."

Theodore Adorno, who knew a thing or two about far right political movements, called the American far right "pseudo" (pretend) "conservatives" back in 1949. His term is only more accurate today.

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I recoiled when I saw this photo just now. It’s not just morally repugnant and grossly insensitive to the families and victims of the most recent school shootings, it’s horrifying! For lack of a better way to say this, I think I’m in shock at the moment. How any family finds this appropriate disturbs me to my core.

Even at 60, I’m ready to do all I can to join and help a counter movement to reverse course. Apathy be damned!

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There are no words…

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Any Christian--indeed any person who found Massie's "Christmas card" to be offensive--you can't contact him via email unless you are in his district. You can try his Kentucky offices but will get full voicemail boxes. You can try his DC office and the aide will try to circumvent you by asking your name and where you live, if you give it, he will cut you off with a "God Bless You" (pretty ironic, isn't that?) So, I encourage everyone who was as displeased as I was to call his DC number and just start right in on that good Christian aide who answers. The number is (202) 225-3465

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You have done a public service by posting this number. I hope many will call it!

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You've had the best possible response - good for you.

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Thomas Massie once threatened to shoot me. We worked together some years ago, before he ran for Congress. In December 1999 he became deathly paranoid about Y2K, so he stocked his cellar with a year’s supply of food and water. He used to walk around our office warning us to prepare. When I joked that he was being ridiculous, he barked back, “Ranter, if you come to my house Jan 1st looking for food and water, do not doubt that I will shoot you.” Like he still does today, he looked silly when we got back to work after New Year’s and Armageddon hadn’t showed up. I have no idea what he did with all the supplies. He never did shoot me.

BTW - the first three guns you mention are illegal. Fully automatic weapons are not approved for civilians.

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Ah, yes. New Year's Eve, 1999. Prince did not have any concept of how" Party like it's 1999" was to be. In my small corner of the world, I watched as the government agency that I worked for (Lane County Sheriff's Office) scramble to address the issues that were genuinely of a concern (primarily the computer issues that had no idea what would happen as the date switched over to 2000) along with the fear that there would be mass unrest in the public when the "system" crashed. Beginning on 30 December and ending on 2 January, our patrol division went to "emergency coverage". We had three 12 hour shifts (0800-1800, 1200-0000, and 2000-0800) each made up of any and all police certified personnel, to include detectives and civil deputies. The Courthouse Security team was at the courthouse from 2000-0800. Metro SWAT (tactical, not including negotiators) was deployed, but didn't let anyone below the rank of Lieutenant know where or how. Our SAR team was set up at the county shops with a mess tent, and a tent with cots and sleeping bags should that become necessary. We wore "field force" uniforms (BDU's) instead of our regular uniforms. Each supervisor had to check the vehicles of their squad to insure that every deputy had all of their riot equipment, an extra uniform/boots, and MRE's.

With the exception of a homicide that occurred at 0600 in a remote part of the county, it was the quietest NYE I ever worked. No one was out. By the time 0000 hit on the west coast, it was pretty clear that Armageddon was not at hand, and we secured our "Y2K deployment" a day early. My personal note: Because the primary sergeant assigned to first watch (graveyard) was also a SWAT Sergeant, as an AIC (acting in capacity) Sergeant, I was the only supervisor on duty as the clock rolled over into 2000.

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wow, I was confident that "smart" was on the job. It was

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Fantastic story, thanks!

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What an amazing story, Amy. I had no idea this was happening in the rest of the country. Just fascinating.

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Y2K wasn't a disaster because many worked hard to make sure it wouldn't be.

But the morons didn't shut up, they just found another cult to join.

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For the record, it wasn’t nearly as big a problem as the consultants who were hyping a Y2K disaster made it out to be. They were just trying to maximize their software-update contracts. A radio news person who interviewd me about it when people were panicking was disappointed when I explained that it would be fixed in all critical cases and most others cases, too, and furthermore that the electronic storage space that had been saved over the years by not recording the century saved many times as much money as it would cost to fix the problem. Electronic storage was thousands of times more expensive when the systems that needed updating were designed (and of course bullions of times more expensive than it is now).

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thank you, so much of well, everything, is undercover. Never heard that before

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Exactly right about the weapons. Massie has spoken about the fact that he used to think Republicans had to have principles to get elected, but "then after they voted for Rand (Paul) and me, I saw they only want us crazies." A very telling comment, eh?

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They have no problem owning their crazies, some used to keep a low profile, no more

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Yeah, that "if you blah, blah, blah, I'm gonna shoot you" line is a favorite of certain macho a-holes who are usually more bark than bite, though you can never be sure who the biters are beforehand. Good reason to take away their weapons on general principle.

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Thomas Maddie may ultimately regret posting this picture.

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I hope so. It was deliberate and the cruelty of doing so when the incident happened and when the families of those 4 children were feeling unimaginable despair. What a disgusting human being this man is.

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Damn, the history has been there all the time… who knew. As Tom Toro, in a New Yorker cartoon said ,”Those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it. Yet those who do study history are doomed to stand by helplessly while everyone else repeats it.

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I remember finding a Hitler speech on Youtube some years ago, when I first delved into the internet. I watched it for five minutes (I don't speak German) and thought that, given the right person in the spotlight, it certainly COULD happen here. And yeah, I read Sinclair Lewis.

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One of my favorite cartoons, as an historian who does "get it."

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Oof.

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Nice comment, TC. Thanks.

Seeing the nitwit Massie clutching his heavy piece brings back memories of my inglorious experience as a basic trainee at Fort Lost in the Woods, MO in the summer of '72. Though we spent most days out on the range firing M-16s at nearby pop-up targets -- it was so hot and humid I couldn't see shit through my sweat-covered glasses -- several times we were marched off to more remote ranges and got to play with some serious weapons, such as the M-60. We stood in line to take turns firing tracer rounds at large targets 700 (800?) yards away for a few seconds on full automatic feeling the weight, the noise and the demonic power of the thing. We were each given a couple of longish bursts, just enough to get our macho juices flowing, and then treated to the drill sergeants one-upping each other with stories of driving back waves of attacking Viet Cong, and of the gun's barrel getting red hot and needing to be replaced, and of how -- when things got just too intense -- one soldier would fire it while another one had to stand up and piss on it, har, har, har, that pisser was a real goner in no time, yuck, yuck, yuck!

God help me, I have no idea why that brief moment 50 years ago has stayed so insanely vivid in my otherwise creaky memory. I probably need some help, but I am sure Massie and his family and others of their ilk really need some help.

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Thanks for sharing, David.

I will share the one story my Dad, who spent two years in Korea, shared with me about his experience in Korea.

My Dad was assigned to be a gunner on a "half track". This is a moving vehicle with four .50 caliber machine guns mounted in it and firing out an armored side (the other side is not wall armored giving its name "half" track).

He had "loaders" to help and he and the US Army slowly pushed north into Korea for months until, he later learned, some small force of US Soldiers, under MacArthur's (unauthorized) orders briefly crossed into China.

At that point, the Chinese poured hundreds of thousands of young people across the border armed with everything from sticks to machine guns. This horde pushed the US Army and my Dad and his half track back fairly rapidly. My Dad winced at the memory of laying down streams of .50 caliber bullets into the advancing horde of kids, some of whom were carrying sticks, not real weapons. He lost two "loaders", both shot in the head, during this time who disobeyed orders to look over the armored wall.

When the US Army was pushed back to the 38th parallel, having sustained many losses and having killed MANY Chinese, the Chinese push stopped. My Dad said: "If the Chinese had not stopped we, the US Army, would have been pushed back to the ocean".

Back then hearing protection was not even issued, and, my Dad was all but deaf from almost my earliest years because of his quality time on this half track where he started from one place in Korea, then, ended up in the same place after killing a bunch of people for no reason. You can imagine, in your mind, if he was supportive of subsequent US Military action. Answer: He was violently opposed to all subsequent "wars" and lived to see all of them lost.

The one time he told me the story he concluded by saying: "I just cannot get out of my head shooting up all those kids with sticks as they ran toward our front line. I just cannot get out of my head who would order kids to slaughter like that".

THAT, ordering kids to slaughter (and heck, my Dad was 20), is what humans seem to have a long history of doing pretty well honestly.

So, I take this white family very seriously. They are saying they want to kill anyone unlike them, and, they will do so with a smile.

Yes.....They......Will.

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It sounds to me (I wrote "The Frozen Chosen," a history of the Chosin battle and retreat) that your father was most likely a member of Task Force Faith. Allow me to tell you he lived through hell, and those four halftracks with their gun mounts were literally their only protection, along with two twin-40mm AA guns on full-track vehicles - your father and the guys who manned those vehicles were heroes for sure. The 7th Regiment were on the far side of the reservoir from the Marines, and were badly outnumbered. Their commander, Lt. Col. Don Faith, had never been in combat before, but he rose to the occasion so well he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Their sacrifice in holding off four Chinese divisions allowed the Marines at Yudam-ni to hold their position and not be overwhelmed, long enough to organize the retreat out of the reservoir. Only some 20% of the guys in TF Faith survived to get to Yudam-ni, and then they fought like hell with the Marines to get out in the only organized retreat of "The Big Bugout" from North Korea, which Dean Acheson called "the greatest defeat of American arms since the Second Battle of Bull Run" and British historian Sir Martin Gilbert described as "the most thorough defeat of a previously-victorious army in history."

For many years after, the Army considered the story of the 7th Regiment to be one of "dishonor" till they finally listened to the Marines who told them it was the opposite, and now the story of Task Force Faith is honored by the Army.

MacArthur was the damnedest fool in US military history, convinced he was a genius, but truly a moron.

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TCinLA, thanks for this post and this information. I appreciate your taking the time to write it.

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Without in any way minimizing your dad's horrible experience, your history is off. The Chinese didn't stop at the 38th Parallel. They pushed the UN forces into a small pocket around the Port of Pusan, and were only later pushed BACK to the 38th Parallel by a huge build-up of UN forces and MacArthur's amphibious attack at Inchon which forced the Chinese to retreat and re-group. Also, half-tracks are so-called because their drive is from a wheeled and tired steering unit in the front and a set of tracks in the rear. Their (not very good) armor was evenly distributed.

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Thinking some more, it is very possible that my Dad was not aware of much after the heavy shooting started until it was over. Or, he was 79 when he told me the story and it was jumbled in his head.

His most clear memory was shooting kids with sticks with his four .50 caliber machine guns.

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Mike, my Dad was a dentist on a troop carrier, the U.S.S. Randall. He tells the story of delivering Chinese troops from the south to the northern Chinese port (1945 or46) all young teenage kids. He was distressed that the kids were not dressed for the winter freeze they came to and there was no sign they would get any warm uniforms or blankets. He was sure they had delivered these "teenagers" to their certain death from freezing. He hated to see them marched away. Again, like you, it is a memory I cannot confirm except for the 22"Japanese doll he bought for me from a Chinese bar at the port (for $6 and 2 packs of cigarettes) and which stands under glass in my living room today. So, I know he had been there.

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That would have been 1953, Carol. The repatriation after the armistice.

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Thank you for sharing. His concern was, no doubt, well founded.

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I can imagine. What a terrible burden.

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Your dad was a real hero, whether he knew or admitted it or not. I think the horrors of combat are enough to strike most survivors silent about them.

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Aye.

My Dad spoke once, at age 79, late in the evening when I was visiting him alone one year after my mother, his wife, had passed on and after two Johnny Walker Black scotches.

He definitely, at that moment, was not feeling heroic. He was feeling like an old man that had done wrong.

And, he regretted it.

I told him "Dad, you were drafted and you were poor so there were no "out" options for you, you had no choice".

That was the entire extent and then he arose, and headed off to bed.

Never before or after mentioned it.

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No - the initial North Korean invasion in summer 1950 was what pushed the UN forces to the Pusan Perimeter. The retreat out of North Korea in November/December 1950 did hold south of the 38th Parallel during the fighting in January and February and they regained the parallel, which became the Main Line of Resistance that today defines the border between the two Koreas, by summer 1951. (Herewith a shameless personal plug: I am the author of "The Frozen Chosen" a history of the battle and the first year of the war)

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You're right. I'm wrong. Got my retreats and advances mixed up! I'm right about the half tracks, though. Mike's dad had balls of brass, and damn well needed a good-sized vehicle in which to carry them around.

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He was drafted and just did what he had to do. He was a good man, but, never represented in a "brass ball" way for one minute.

He was aware of the fragility of people and structures.

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Indeed they did!

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Thank you for the clarification.

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I was wrong about the Chinese. They came in AFTER Pusan and Inchon and eventually were held on a line close to the ore-war border at the 38th. Got my advances and retreats mixed up! I'm still right about the half-tracks but none of that should detract from Mike's dad's experiences and heroism.

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OMG

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Carol, Jim,

Thanks for the clarification. I wrote the story as told to me. I have never studied history of any of the US Wars before 1970 as is obvious.

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Your story, though, is important.

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Jim and/or Carol, missed the point. Thanks for sharing your Dad's memory.

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I'm fully cognizant of Mike's dad's heroism and sacrifice. There was a lot of horror in that war. I also had my retreats and advances mixed up as TC has pointed out above.

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Thanks for posting this David. Fortunately for you, that kind of "insanity" was as close as you'd get to the real insanity, in 1972. It's actually a good memory, because it helps to know that you knew it was crazy, which is a "tell" for being a good person.

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Well, TC, in the summer of 1972 I think self-knowledge and good judgement were not my strong points, and I ended up in boot camp because I had partied too much at college, then dropped out just in time to lose my deferment and draw number 49 in the last draft lottery. Despite good advice from my father, who told me, "Be careful or you'll end up in the stockade," I just let it all happen and had a short experience of military life: two months of basic (I was an exemplary trainee in all areas except knocking down targets), a month of AWOL, about 6 weeks back at Fort Leonard Wood doing KP and picking up cigarette butts and helping the training company clerk sort the mail while I waited for my special court martial to be authorized by some office at the Pentagon, then another month's AWOL -- really tempting fate --, a week in the mental ward at the FLW hospital, 2 weeks in -- you guessed it -- the stockade, another 4 or 5 days in the PCF (only one thin strand of barbed wire atop a tall chain link fence) while I finally learned of all my legal rights, then a long bus trip back home to DC on the government's dime. Good riddance and the feeling was mutual.

But, I had handled, lugged around and shot some pretty deadly weapons, done a lot of laps and pushups, received Lord knows how many vaccinations, learned that you have to follow orders sometimes and discovered the screwed up, perverse way that man's army perceived and referred to women generally. I even screamed aloud, "I wanna be an airborne ranger, I wanna kill me some Charlie Congs!" in unison while marching out to the ranges. But I knew I could not shoot to kill anyone unless it was to save a life, and I did a pretty good job of avoiding having to make that choice.

This all seemed like a huge deal at the time, but it is now just a memory, no more vivid than many other memories of an odd, occasionally useful and always entertaining life.

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You weren't that different from the rest of us - perhaps a bit braver, actually, rather than go along with things.

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Well, TC, I suppose brave and foolhardy can be two sides of the same coin. The doctor who interviewed me at the FLW hospital diagnosed me as having an "immature personality disorder", and I was quick-thinking enough to understand that those words could get me out of the army without my having to "do time", though the two weeks in the stockade were unexpected and I didn't realize they (the Army?) were just protecting me from going AWOL again, not preparing me for shipment to Fort Leavenworth. I later found out they were also keeping me from consulting an army lawyer, too, but that was probably for the best in retrospect.

Anyway, there were comic elements in my military adventure that I should probably weave together into a well-embellished "true" story of youthful folly and write it all down in polished prose, assuming I might be up to the task.

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write the story! You'll get a lot out of that whether you publish it or not. (If you haven't done any writing before, get William Zinsser's On Writing Well. Zinsser is probably long gone, but he taught writing at Yale. Someone gave me his book very early in my writing career and I read it every six months for two years, and each time it improved my writing.

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Please do write it up.

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David and Mike, My husband never talked about the bad times that he and his company had in WWII (except one time during intermission of a play about WWI) but loved being with his buddies and only missed a reunion once. I am grateful to you for sharing your visceral sense of the horror of it.

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At the time my Dad was 79 and spoke only once of his time in Korea, late in the evening, after drinking two scotches, when I was visiting alone with him about one year after his wife, my Mom, had passed on.

He never mentioned it again.

I am glad he told me. It explained his semi-fanatical anti-war stance that he held for my entire life and his constant upset with the United States Government, which, was almost constantly at war (for no reason in my Dad's mind), for most of his adult life.

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Your dad was right. What Edna McAlexander said in The Nation a couple decades ago is still true: “The last American to die in what might be truthfully called the defense of his country did so in 1945. Those who have perished since have died to promote the agendas of lying politicians.”

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The Nazis required party membership as a condition of employment for civil servants and teachers. It would be interesting to know, of the 40% of Germans then, what percentage were unequivocal "true believers."

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It was, once the Allies got there, something around 25%-30% according to the "De-Nazification" program after the war.

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Have you read "The True Believer" by Eric Hoffer?

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Yes, it should be required reading nowadays.

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At the end of WW 2, Nazis were outlawed and substantially denazified, making way for the states of West Germany, East Germany, and now the Federal Republic of Germany.

What Eric Hoffer writes about "true believers" is scary about present day threats to our democracies, including the role of disinformation and propaganda, but as he notes, it is feeling comfortable that causes people to not act in response to the threat of people who are mobilizing to destroy our present way of life.

"Unifying Agents:

Hatred

Imitation

Persuasion and Coercion

Leadership

Action

Suspicion"

"All active mass movements strive, therefore, to interpose a fact-proof screen between the faithful and the realities of the world. They do this by claiming that the ultimate and absolute truth is already embodied in their doctrine and that there is no truth nor certitude outside it. The facts on which the true believer bases his conclusions must not be derived from his experience or observation but from holy writ."

https://www.academia.edu/21464682/The_True_Believer_Eric_Hoffer

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No, and fear its message.

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Someone did a PhotoShopped meme of that pic on twitter, replacing guns with various size & color dildos in each of their hands. The analogy with guns is spot on.

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Of course it must be pretty hard to kill someone with a dildo, though I can't say for sure as I''ve never tried.

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Whenever I run across one of those guys, I make sure to call his pride and joy a "penis enlarger."

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"The Nazis didn't elect Hitler - it was the conservatives! They believed him when he told them he was one of them, a lie they discovered too late."

Hitler was one of "them and" and "they" absolutely and enthusiastically went about performing what they and Hitler wanted: Ethnic cleansing and world domination.

Same thing is happening here. Don't be fooled. The people you see sitting in photographs of themselves with weapons of mass destruction want to kill and maim and dominate. They are not joking, they DO want to kill anyone with a different perspective and they will if given and chance and they will enjoy the killing.

Don't think humans don't enjoy demonizing then killing others. Humans enjoy that and do it frequently.

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Mike, I think it is very hard to know what people are thinking before they act, but it is prudent to expect the worst, as history has shown us repeatedly.

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The Massie brood must be pretty bad shots is they need to use semi-automatic weapons to shoot deer.

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They're thugs, not hunters.

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They do not plan to shoot deer. That would require them to gut and clean it and then butcher it up for storage.

None of the people in that picture have every done that hard work.

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Wrong Mike. The Massie clan are ardent hunt hunters.

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I bet someone else does the work.

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👍

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I copy/paste what I have already posted:

I have yet to read the comments yet today, perhaps others will say the same: in all the times of tfg, I thought I could never be shocked again, as it seemed daily there was some absolutely disgustingly tasteless display of arrogance, ignorance, depravity.......you name it. This photo though, I am just stunned STUNNED at the poor judgement displayed here. I have friends, neighbors, former coworkers, family across the spectrum of faiths or lack of faith. Anyone of these people should be appalled. I am not the best Christian and I would not want to advise anyone on exactly WHAT does or does not follow church doctrine...........but seriously now!! LIke the famous quote on pornography, you know it when you see it. This is just wrong. It seems to me that those who tout the Bible seem to have totally forgotten about the new testament and every single passage that quotes Jesus!! Where is the love thy neighbor in this photo? (and it is becoming harder and harder to love those in the GQP, I must admit) My church used to have a priest who would look out at the congregation and say "does anyone think about their immortal soul" implying that all of us sinners did not. I wanted to stand up and yell "I DO!" and truly, I do. Life brings about a lot of situations where things are not "black and white" and I find myself often mired in the grays. I've believe that, even if you are NOT a Christian, you can use "WWJD" as a guide. If there is a judgement day, how would Massie explain this way of celebrating the birth of his Savior? Pardon me if I have offended anyone by this diatribe.

I will add that I have tried to contact Massie, of his 4 numbers, one directs me to one of the other three. Of those 3, two of them have full mailboxes, the other (the DC number) the aide who answered it asked my address and upon hearing it, refused to take my comment as I am not in the district and ended with "God Bless You" . Wow. Hypocrisy.

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Of course, for the crowd that Thomas plays to (MAGAts), this photo will win kudos. And that the rest of us find it appalling? That's "owning the libs". This photo wasn't a mistake and I'm pretty sure Thomas has no regrets.

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One of his kids will be the next school shooter.

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Miselle, I had a thought soon after we communicated. It may not be worth your time, which it would require, as well as an outlay of money. The idea is to organize a mailing campaign to both Massie's office and home. It would be an identical prayer on a postcard, with a note, a sentence or so long, indicating that the family's Christmas card showed its need for spiritual guidance. One mass mailing or mass mailings for a week was what I had in mind. This is just an idea for which I do not have a role. You recognized the dark menace that his card represents. You have already taken an important step in asking subscribers to make Massie aware of his anti-Christian, inhuman behavior. This comes with another question for you. What is the best use of your time and spirit? Does it make sense to use of your energy to carry on with this a bit longer?

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JR has a point. I would like to think that decent people could be ashamed of themselves, but tfg proved they have no shame.

Years ago, I had reason and proof to engage in a lawsuit against a former manager for "intentional infliction of emotional distress" but the attorney warned me it would take years and cause me even more stress. I decided instead to quit but not without giving HR pages and pages of emails and documents that my manager was foolish enough to put out or send. He eventually lost his position and I went onto a better employer that paid more money!

My hope is that enough Evangelicals are offended and vote him out. Thanks to Ellie Kona, I have signed up with two organizations that send letters or postcards. I don't have a webcam (and I have a very old computer) or I'd be join Heather's Herd as she suggested. I thank you for your positive replies. And btw, I called Massie's office again and against my general kind nature, I sadly admit I took it out on the aide answering the phone.

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You had a lot of steam and you let it out! I'm smiling that you found a release in Massie's office. Sales will start or have started for computers. It would still probably cost between $475 - 600 to buy a good one. What do you think?

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Something I am considering, not sure I'd sign into Heather's Herd as I really hate zoom, albeit, I only used it twice--once to give a deposition in a lawsuit I'm involved in (as a pedestrian, I was hit by a car, long story, but has put me off of lawsuits!) and a very awkward zoom holiday.

It isn't my nature, ever, to be nasty to people and I am feeling guilty now. But then I think of the sign off of "God Bless You" each call and I don't feel so guilty.

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Sounds as though you have been through some difficult times. I have zoomed a number of times and believe that I'll get more comfortable with it. I'll have to if I take on a project after the Holidays. I hope that you take some hours to do something wonderful or satisfying; maybe something fun or beautiful or delicious or all of them in one. I'm glad that we've had some time to be together tonight. Peace, Miselle.

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Hi Miselle. You are a warrior for democracy, and that’s what Heather’s Herd is all about! Have a cell phone? You can email for more information regarding the different ways people participate and support each other:

heathersherd@gmail.com

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Fern, I recognize that your suggestion is made with the best of intentions, but it is futile. I know Thomas a little. He will laugh at this effort, it will not lead him to repent, or to be less of an obnoxious idiot. You have to understand that Thomas intended to offend and shock us.

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This suggestion was made to Miselle. She will decide what she wants to do. This has to do with her. As confident as are you cannot know the cause and effect in this case. I don't know if you understand the intention or how Miselle would feel with each step she takes concerning this matter. I don't know why you thought it useful to share your opinion with me.

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I didn’t want Miselle to waste her time.

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Are you presumptuous in 'knowing' how Miselle 'should' spend her time? Is seems to me that you're quite engaged in this. I don't have any investment it what Miselle does concerning this. Do you?

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I have decided that most, not all, evangelicals are Pharisees. Period. Ran from church as fasts as I could a decade ago

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This is a more complete historical essay from TC’s column which expands on comments above.

Sobering, chilling, necessary read.

Action, not mere agreement, is what will save democracy.

https://tcinla757.substack.com/p/the-national-right?r=l2aa7&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web&utm_source=copy

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Excellent if a little long essay.

Summary of what Brooks saw: A bunch of thugs willing to kill to get what they want.

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Length and accurate reporting necessary to convince many who just do not believe something such as Massey is “ridiculous and nothing to be worried about”. After all, “it’s just Kentucky”.

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It’s just America. It’s just Kentucky, and California, and all the other states.

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Here is what stood out for me in what TC cited on 12/05/2021:

"Was the Ku Klux Klan, for instance, which was responsibly estimated to have had a membership of from 4,000,000 to 4,500,000 persons at its peak in the 1920’s, a phenomenon totally dissimilar to the pseudo-conservative revolt?”

The DOJ (as HCR has also written) was expressly instituted for "the protection of black voting rights from the systematic violence of the Ku Klux Klan."

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/created-150-years-ago-justice-departments-first-mission-was-protect-black-rights-180975232/

As white supremacists are becoming more and more culturally sanctioned and more and more bold and violent in their propaganda and actions through their various organizations of NatCons, Patriot Front, Proud Boys, et al., fighting and neutralizing them is a multi-pronged effort, of which the DOJ and law enforcement is a critical part.

A resource to know thy enemy:

"The Counter Extremism Project (CEP) is a not-for-profit, non-partisan, international policy organization formed to combat the growing threat from extremist ideologies."

https://www.counterextremism.com/content/white-supremacy-groups-united-states

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Wow! It’s worth taking time to look at new posts here a few days later.

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When people like us voice our outrage at the despicable behavior of Massie and his ilk, it brings them great satisfaction. The perps are proud of their behavior, and their supporters are equally proud of it. Any reaction to it (including this one and excepting, perhaps, violence against them) makes flouting human decency even more fun for them.

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true evil in my book, Pharisees look better by comparison

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Well then, what DOES humble them? I’d like to know !

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A person with who is smarter, better educated, and more successful than they are humbles them, especially if that person has some non-European ancestors. Probably a better word for what they feel is “humiliation.” That, of course, enrages them and leads to sympathetic responses (if not participation in) events like the Jan 6 insurrection.

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This is terrifying. Do we never learn from history?

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If those guns you mentioned are illegal, I hope someone with authority will investigate.

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Maybe Massie is chickenshit enough to be posing with realistic-looking fakes, but I would love to hear him whine as they haul him away.

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nothing will be done.

heck, someone can order a crowd to attack the Capital in order to overthrow the government and, although the overthrow did not occur as far as we can tell, someone remains at large and getting larger by the day both in reality (this guy is FAT) and in people's minds.

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Nachos? Conzis?

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Justice Sotomayor has my admiration for calling out the stench of the Supreme Court. I found the Justices ready to throw out Roe v. Wade giving ridiculous arguments that even the lowest level court wouldn't buy disheartening. That the word "abortion" isn't in the Constitution! Well, neither is the word "woman" in the Constitution even the 19th amendment uses the word "sex". I've been reading a few articles on abortion during Colonial times. Laws against abortion were quite harsh in some states. The laws basically following the European country the settlers came from. And, Justice Barrett's argument that any woman can just leave their newborn at the closest fire station so they don't have to worry about parenting the child for 18 years. All this supports my position that the Supreme Court is illegitimate and then Majority Leadership McConnell should be prosecuted for being in Contempt of the Constitution with his double stunt of first refusing to hear President Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court on Justice Scalia death in February 2016 and then pushing through the nomination of Justice Barrett in a matter of days when early voting had already started giving the court its politically right super majority.

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All that said, I believe there is going to be tremendous backlash if the SCOTUS overturns Roe v. Wade. Even my Tea Party brother thinks this violates a woman's right to sovereignty over her own body. He agreed that the Texas SB8 "heartless" anti-abortion bill with its vigilantism was horrible and Governor Abbott's remarks that he was going to eliminate rape in Texas as his top priority was the stupidest thing he'd ever heard from a politician! I know I'm livid about all this and it sure is and will energize me to be part of a movement to reclaim democracy! I'm hoping we'll call this time in US history as the Women's Rebellion. I am certainly going to do everything I can with nonviolent resistance to reclaim democracy and stop authoritarianism.

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My Libertarian brother thinks so also.....that all heck will break loose if Roe vs Wade is overturned. He is way into individual freedom and rights.

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Agree, Cathy.

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Texas is no longer a democracy. It is under minority rule of whites, primarily male. Elections with the extreme gerrymandering will be difficult to win for democrats (small d). This is definitely Russia and Hungary style elections -- i.e. meaningless and predetermined. Please read "Laboratories of Autocracy" by David Pepper for ways you can take action!! Like never have any candidate race go uncontested. Focus on Always Democracy without compromise and allowing anything else to dilute your efforts to save democracy. One key is passing the For the People and John Lewis Voting Rights Acts! That's the only way to get rid of the gerrymandering and reform campaign money laws. The Supreme Court has gutted Voting Rights and made money free speech which is legalized corruption in the Congress. We have to unite -- moderate Republicans as well as Progressives and Moderates and Independents. RESIST!

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Thirty steps to reclaim democracy, from “Laboratories of Autocracy” by David Pepper.

Reclaiming Democracy

Step 1: Reframe the Battle: Fulfilling a Constitutional Guarantee

Resistance at the National Level

Step 2: Resist through Federal Legislation and Enforcement

Step 3: Don’t Let the Filibuster Stop You

Step 4: Robust Federal Corruption Enforcement

Step 5: Legislation to Buttress Democracy on Other Fronts

Step 6: Define the Teams Differently

Step 7: Fight for Democracy Everywhere

Step 8: Invest Every Year, Everywhere

Step 9: Challenge Laws Everywhere

Resistance at the State Level

Step 10: ALWAYS Resist – Never Cut Deals Against Democracy

Step 11: Resist Fiercely and Unconventionally

Step 12: When in Power, Create Laboratories of Democracy

Step 13: Run a Candidate in Every Legislative District

Step 14: Run on Corrosion as much as Corruption: In Kansas, “There’s No Place Like … Public Schools”

Step 15: Focus on Any Seat with Leverage Over Power

Step 16: Go Right to the People to Protect Democracy

Step 17: Treat Every Candidate as a Champion of Democracy

Step 18: No “Off-Year” Elections

Step 19: Reflect America, Represent the New Majority

Step 20: Register, Register, Register

Step 21: Boosting Journalism

Step 22: Expose Statehouses; Disrupt the Silence

Resistance at the Individual Level

Step 23: Once Aware, Spread the Word

Step 24: Connect!

Step 25: Know Your Legislator, or His/Her Opponent

Step 26: Run for Office, or Make Sure Someone Else Does

Step 27: Register Voters

Step 28: Put Your Money Where Democracy Is

Step 29: Put Your Time and Voice Where Democracy Is

Step 30: Election Time – VOTE!

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/11/28/2066084/-An-interview-with-David-Pepper-Laboratories-of-Autocracy-author-about-the-GOP-war-on-democracy

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Step 31: Keep repeating “ Laboratories of Autocracy”

I heard the Miss governor use the term “Laboratories of Democracy” yesterday ironically when he was defending these heinous abortion laws.

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Horrors. The original Brandeis quote was that states are Yes. "Laboratories of Democracy", where experimentation like Republican Romney's successful Massachusett's healthcare program became Obama's national Affordable Care Act. Now we have Laboratories of Autocracy, destroying democracy at every level.

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Pick One. Do It. Pick Another. Do It...

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Just goes to show that R’s were awful before tfg. They do what ever they think is necessary to get their way. They are not conservatives; they are fascists-totalitarians coming from the right.

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Yes. TC’s newsletter. Agree.

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Thank You Cathy. I quoted you (re: word "woman" isn't in the constitution), and posted. Thank You.

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Yes, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett lied in their Senate hearings. But make no mistake, every Senator in that room knew they were lying. The three justices had been vetted by the Federalist Society, which uses the facade of "originalism" to identify anti-abortion, anti-gay, pro-gun, pro-corporate justices. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski (two Republicans who claim to be staunch advocates for reproductive rights), knew that Kavanaugh was lying, knew that Barrett was lying, and voted to confirm them anyways. Their lies gave Collins and Murkowski cover to put their party ahead of women's rights.

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The entire current issue of abortion is slathered in lies, both in the Senate and by recently-appointed Supreme Court justices [Clarence Thomas is a liar of an earlier century.] When the Supreme Court issues it decision next June, I propose the following plaque be placed on the Supreme Court building: HERE LIES WOMEN’S ABORTION RIGHTS.

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I doubt our rights will Rest In Peace. My fervent hope is that this, at last, will prove the step too far and will awaken and mobilize enough voters in 2022. Though it wouldn’t surprise me if they delay the decision until mid-November. Partisan through and through.

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Where are the Democratic Senators who sat in those hearings, including Joe Biden, to call out how blatant those lies were? Unfortunately, we have a long history of blatant lies being made in House and Senate proceedings without any consequences for the liars or those who enabled them.

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A sincere question here. What consequences could the Democratic Senators have enacted?

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There are already consequences. It's a felony to lie in a House or Senate hearing. We just need Senators and Representatives with the will to enforce them.

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When those convicted of such felonies are sentenced to jail time, the liars will begin to get the idea. But don't hold your breath. By then it might be too late. You might copy all of the columns and arguments of those working to preserve democracy (including HCR's comments), put them in a box and hide it under the floorboards, hoping your grandchildren, living in a less democratic world, might find it someday.

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How do you prove the lie? By what process?

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"Roe v. Wade is settled law" says nominee for SCOTUS

Same nominee votes to vacate Roe v. Wade.

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Ally, I struggle with the settled law thing. I’m not a lawyer, far from it! But, once, Dred Scott was settled law, and it was right then to change it. The world does move on. I just want it to move forwards in terms of expansion of rights, not backwards. And as a woman, I see our bodily rights as the foundation of all our other rights, rights which white men take for granted, and which the rest of us struggle to get or to keep.

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But the lawyers convinced me to change my mind with their impeccable research and caused me to consider things I hadn’t before…

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Then what the consequences for the lie for this Justice?

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Let's be realistic here. Proving lying under oath is extremely difficult. First off, until Kavanaugh, Gorsuch and Barrett vote to overturn Roe, there's no proof that they changed their position on Roe being settled law. Secondly, to prove that they lied under oath, we would need recordings, or sworn testimony, that they had told people prior to the hearings that they intended to overturn Roe once they were seated on the court. I'm sure they told the Federalist Society, when they were being vetted, that they would overturn Roe. But nobody at the Federalist Society is going to testify against them. There's very little that can be done now, short of impeaching these justices if we have the evidence.

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Of course. We knew it then and we know it know. And I include Justice Thomas in the mix.

I am grateful every day for Merrick Garland.

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I'm generally patient about prosecutions but I'm beginning to see Garland as more interested in institutional protection than in doing the hard work of shaking things up to deal with the new reality.

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He’s shaking it, but only as fast as legitimate wheels of Justice will spin. And actually, I like that so many Repubs are gleeful in what they think is his ineffectiveness. He is anything but.

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I don’t know, Christine. I check in on Laurence Tribe’s Twitter every so often. (I don’t have Twitter, so I just Google him). Garland was one of his students. It seems to me that Tribe is tweeting directly at Garland, and he is pushing hard for subpoenas and indictments NOW. Along the lines of what the heck are you waiting for? Tribe is a towering legal scholar, and I trust his voice.

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Gratitude isn't enough. We must mobilize, as Kathy says, enough voters to continue the Democratic majorities in Congress in 2022 and keep a Democratic president in the White House in 2024. That's the name of the game! Without that, even Garland becomes no more than a brief interlude in our history.

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Democrats have to win every election on-going till this is over. Republicans only have to win once, and then it will be over.

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Alito also lied.

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You can't accuse someone of lying when they are so evil to start with that they cannot grasp the difference between lies and truth. Name one Republican whom that Party still respects who is not a liar. There are none.

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These conservatives are uniformly zealots. They're able to justify absolutely any means to attain their goals, and their conscience is salved by their "righteous" Christian views.

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The zealotry of movement conservatism's association with Christianity is unfortunate but is mitigated by Pope Francis' timely appeal to people to rededicate themselves to the common good and to strengthen democracy.

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Pope Francis is truly a Christian, unlike many of his predecessors. Those on the SCOTUS have no regard for the common good, nor democracy.

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Who listens to the Pope? Nobody.

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In this case, perhaps they should. He definitely has an edge on SCOTUS.

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As they sang in The Mikado “I’ve got a little list, he [Alito] never will be missed.”

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I just wish we could "never miss" him very soon!

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Term limits for SCOTUS Justices are the answer. How about ten years, staggered, with automatic retirement at age 80? Nothing in the Constitution prevents that from being legislatively effected. All the more reason to fight to hold on to a Democratic Congress in 2022 and thereafter.

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I agree, and maintaining a Democratic Congress is absolutely essential - for a multitude of reasons.

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You are absolutely correct!

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Amen.

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Spot on JR. I find nothing about these 2 women even slightly endearing.

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Future dictionaries may refine the definition of 'lying' with a footnote excluding untruths intentionally uttered for the sake of expediency.

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I truly wonder if the "public good" ever existed, as America has always been about advancing some while suppressing others. Our eternal optimism often gets in the way, because we do seem well-intentioned, but we need to finally question if we truly are. For instance, Senator Bob Dole died yesterday after a life dedicated to public service. Yet, he also fought against equality for people like me and in the last couple of years of his life abandoned the form of republicanism he fought to serve in. So while I get the accolades, I want us to finally confront who we've been and who we are. The holiday card that Massie sent symbolizes this. He is a member of congress. A responsibility that only 435 people get to have at a time. And this is what he sends out. So, yes, it's time to talk about the Public Good. Not the personal good, not the polarized good, not the good for some who held power. The Public Good is for the collective. But it's also time to reassert what's good. Mitch McConnell clearly stated the Republican agenda is to just say no. Is that why we pay their salaries? Is that good. Yes, I know this reply is a bit a ramble. But I'm tired. I'm angry. And I want to believe we can be better for once and for all.

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My sentiments, I have watched former “good republicans” turn vile in my long life, they all seem to follow the party, or what was the party, and the country be damned. John McCain choosing Palin was as vile as I thought they could go. It just set the stage for relabelling racism as socialism. Before that, James Baker supporting the stealing of a presidency with no qualms whatsoever. I could go on and on, None of these things are secret, but have been ignored as if they were buried in a vault.

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"James Baker supporting the stealing of a presidency with no qualms whatsoever"

Sometimes I wonder if some of them just get caught up in the thrill of the political gamesmanship and forget about the consequences of their actions. The LIncoln Project guys are an example of this.

I know some of the 'conservatives' are true believers in whatever it is they are trying to achieve. Does anyone know exactly what their vision is, of what our government should look like? I haven't seen any kind of explanation of exactly what they want for the future but based on their actions I don't want it.

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Thank you, Howard. Not a ramble at all.

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Massie... sounds too close to "massacre". Such a disgusting "Christmas" card from a congressman. May none of their children, grandchildren, friends, or loved ones be gunned down in cold blood at an elementary school, on a college campus, at church, a concert, a family gathering, and the list goes on. This disturbing, classless American family they so brazenly display in their pathetic, attention grabbing photo makes me sick, angry, and sad. At least these psychos show and tell us who they are. We are watching and waiting to vote so many out.

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You said it better than I did above! I’m right with you, Just Jane!

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Any Christian--indeed any person who found Massie's "Christmas card" to be offensive--you can't contact him via email unless you are in his district. You can try his Kentucky offices but will get full voicemail boxes. You can try his DC office and the aide will try to circumvent you by asking your name and where you live, if you give it, he will cut you off with a "God Bless You" (pretty ironic, isn't that?) So, I encourage everyone who was as displeased as I was to call his DC number and just start right in on that good Christian aide who answers. The number is (202) 225-3465

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The list does go on...Or used the gun on themselves.

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Now is a good time to tell you about my activist Grandmother, Mrs. Schneible. Guessing back in the 1940’s near Tampa Florida. The Ku Klux Clan were marching downtown. My brave Grandmother wrote down all the car license plates she could see that Klan members were driving. Wanting to know their names! Not sure how she shared her list but I know my Grandfather was fired after the list became known. What a brave caring lady!

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Was your Grandfather a police officer? Because, your Grandma had to have access to License Plate records to do what she did back before computers. Good for her!

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He probably was a police. Also thinking she might have recognized some of the cowards before they put on their hoods.

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So what do we do? Democrats elected the President and slim majorities in the House and Senate. The bills that guarantee free and fair elections cannot come up in the Senate without breaking the Republican filibuster. Two so-called Democratic senators have so far refused to change the filibuster rule. There is no shaming them. If we push them hard they can change party affiliation and vote with their fellow Republicans.

And then there's the Supreme Court. Republicans stole a seat, changing the informal rules to suit their ends. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, despite being elderly and suffering from cancer, risked another seat and lost her gamble to give the Republicans another seat when she refused to resign while a Democratic President held office.

Republicans have amassed media power and march lockstep in selling their agenda in terms that people can remember and that generate strong emotions. What is Democrats' answer? "Build back better."

Someone wake me up from this nightmare. Please.

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Biden and Build back better is not a nightmare imo, but the first time in my 50 years that the government is actually making a concerted effort to function in a useful way. ACA was nice, but just one thing in 50 years...half broken from letting gop tinker with it.

The middle class is not just a nice idea, but the necessary heart of successful democracy. We hired a guy who gets things done and that's what he's doing, in spades, along with all the tag lines we need if we listen. ("The former guy" is my fav!)

The rest is on us. We have to change the dialogue. We do that by stepping away from the hand-wringing and spending all that time articulating what we want. ❤️ Please don't give up! Keep writing, keep calling, keep discussing with neighbors and friends. Get involved in your local league of women voters, make donations to groups who do the work you care about.

Mostly just show compassion and patience in your daily life. We need to keep demonstrating what a better world looks like!

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🙏🙏 💯💯💯 “The rest is on us. We have to change the dialogue. We do that by stepping away from the hand-wringing and spending all that time articulating what we want. ❤️ Please don't give up!”

Democrats need cohesion and to stop whining about what’s not getting done and start celebrating all the good stuff. Attitudes are infectious. We are social beings. We need all the people who want the good things that democracy brings with work to rise up and drown out the ugliness. Energizer bunnies. Excitement. Let’s go!!

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We need pro voting and law and order parades

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And I’m not talking about racist law enforcement!!!

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I love that idea!! Count me in!! 😊👍

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The nightmare I described is not our President's actual program, it's the lack of hard-hitting rhetoric to support what we're trying to do. No matter what Democrats do, we must prevail in the information wars and set the agenda instead of fighting against Critical Race Theory that isn't being taught in schools and being labeled socialists when we are trying to stand up for the 99% and sustain a middle class, or traitors by "patriots" who support a "former guy" who catered to Russia for helping him win an election and maybe having the goods on him. BTW my friends and I recently had an activist's meeting where we affirmed our resolution to find what we are best at and as you say, "keep writing, keep calling (calling does nothing to move our GOP congresswoman), keep discussing with neighbors and friends, all of that.

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