“Elections matter.” So insist progressives ramming a radical new policy or program down Americans’ throats.
But just as Orwell’s pigs declared some animals more equal than others, it’s becoming ever clearer that some elections – that is, when liberals win – matter more as well.
Mark June 15, 2020 down as a new milestone in that regard.
On that date, as highlighted by Daniel Horowitz in Conservative Review, the U.S. Supreme Court – its so-called “conservative majority” bolstered by two Donald Trump appointees – handed down not one, but four decisions on fight-or-die battlegrounds for the right that turned truth, tradition, the law and the Constitution on their heads.
On gun rights, capital punishment, illegal immigration and outright state “nullification” of federal law.
But most horrifyingly, in “imagining” out of whole cloth a new definition of the term “sex” in the Civil Rights Act. In an opinion actually written by “textualist” Justice Neil Gorsuch, the president’s first high court selection.
Color this commentator white with shock.
But then, one asks oneself – and you – why we should be even moderately surprised.
After all, this then-standoffish president and his GOP congressional cohort cratered on their signature promise, Obamacare repeal. They delivered a first round of tax cuts, but not real reform.
Meanwhile, where’s The Donald’s vaunted border wall? How far has he gotten with any of his immigration initiatives, other than managing to get into a full-scale border crisis and public relations disaster?
What did Republican congresspeople do to help the administration hold that “respected” special counsel accountable for a two-year sham investigation? “The Mueller investigation must be allowed to continue.” Exactly why, in retrospect?
How many serial abusers of the law enforcement and national security apparatus have been called to account – and how many will be once Sen. Lindsey Graham’s hearings and the Durham investigation are over? Zero and – the prediction here – zero.
The president did manage to transform virtually overnight one of the strongest economic surges in history into the fastest collapse in our nation’s 244 years – by letting Karens of the public health establishment and embarrassingly bad Brit models spook him into an unprecedented nationwide quarantine.
The Trumpists were already planning trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye could see, having waved round after round of budget-busting continuing resolutions past the turnstile – and remaining determined to block their own party’s half-hearted previous efforts on entitlement reform, even as a mid-decade deadline on Medicare’s insolvency looms.
But the red ink spilled in coronavirus “stimulus” packages, both enacted and yet to come, dwarfs those exercises in budget un-discipline and will drown any real hope for fiscal stability, possibly for generations.
Otherwise admirable Bill Barr’s Justice Department still countenances senselessly overbroad and unsupported lockdowns perpetuated by pocket-tyrants, denying citizens their fundamental rights to move about and make a living.
Maintaining “law and order” in the face of the chaos of CHAZ (or is it CHOP?) and cities aflame from sea to shining sea? Actions speak louder than tweets.
This checkered scorecard on conservative causes brings to mind the similar fumbles of the last GOP crowd to rule the White House and Congress. You may recall how W’s set of Caseys at the Bat whiffed on – or in the solons’ case, ran screaming from – election promises on Social Security privatization, tax reform and protecting marriage.
Contrast the Obama-Reid-Pelosi record on healthcare, opening borders, relentless regulation, and using courts and agency intimidation to flip the culture. Plus two justices voting in progressive lockstep.
Now, if one were being charitable, he or she might credit this administration in a few areas: initial regulatory reduction efforts, tougher trade policies, a more assertive stance in foreign affairs, and remaking the lower courts.
Except the administration has still barely scratched the outer skin of the fearsome federal Leviathan.
We’re still running massive trade deficits and allowing China to access our markets on favorable terms even after its lies about the Wuhan bat virus destroyed our economy and caused nearly 120,000 deaths – and counting. America remains bogged down in the Middle East, and is still confronted with the burgeoning nuke stash of chubby Kim Jung Un and his increasingly scary little sis.
And what matter the lower courts, when one can scarcely name a single high court case on which the “conservative majority” has made a meaningful diff? Should you imagine in your wildest dreams that a bench presided over by consensus-crazed John (“Obamacare is a tax”) Roberts will do so at any time in the future, here’s a brochure on swampland in Florida that might interest you. Overturn Roe, per progressive hysteria? Pardon us while we suppress a hearty guffaw.
Perhaps, you argue, if Trump and Mitch can hold onto 1600 Pennsylvania and the World’s Most Deliberative Body by their collective fingernails, they might at least keep things from going completely off the rails.
But what part of the progressives’ agenda cannot be accomplished through continued co-opting of the commanding heights of the courts, corpocracy and culture – against the growing passivity and panic of the Grand Old Party’s grand poohbahs?
Indeed, some elections do matter. But it’s hard to maintain at this point that 2020 will be one of them.