Sometimes the Headlines Miss the Full Story
As The Saying Goes…
We have good news, and we have bad news. There has been much of late to lament, for sure. But there has been no small amount of good news as well. The latter often gets a pass in the headlines. I thought it might be helpful to call out some of the high notes and low points in current events.
The National Guard as Guns for Hire
This week’s, maybe this century’s, award for the single worst idea anyone at any level of government has ever thought of – ever.
The governor of South Dakota, already famous for bad ideas (consistently wrong on EVERYTHING about COVID, for starters) made the remarkable decision that it would be a swell idea to send the state National Guard to the Texas border, under a dubious agreement among some states, funded by a local millionaire. The South Dakota National Guard used, at best, as a private militia, at worst as a mercenary force.
This is not what anyone signed up for and should be absolutely and completely stopped. I don’t have enough ink supplies to write up all the reasons this is wrong.
It clearly is a political stunt, with no regard for any values of note. As I noted, this is one of the country’s worst governors already, but this one moves her into a class by herself. Other Republican governors are joining in, but at least they are selling their troops to the highest bidders.
My hope is that the Guard will find a way to stop this. Failing that, I am all for the President nationalizing the Guard for a period and making it clear he will do that as often as necessary until sanity prevails.
Voting Rights/Access – Some Rise to the Occasion; Some (including the Supremes) Fall
There has been much written and spoken about the rash of voter restriction and sanctioned election tampering being passed and signed in many states. There should be much written. This truly is a turning the corner moment.
But know that it is not all bad news. In fact, several states have passed the opposite – legislation to enhance voting. More voters are covered by this good news than are covered by the bad. This does not mitigate the bad by any means, but it does remind that there are people at all levels doing some good work out there.
The US Justice Department is beefing up the civil rights division and has taken Georgia to court. The Supreme Court makes the judicial route harder of late, but we will have to see how this initial voting right suit goes.
The REALLY bad news does come from the Supreme Court. More on that in the next section. Suffice it to say passing some form of HR 1 is now the most important task before the nation, at it is the only path left to securing voting rights nationally.
The Supreme Court – Quite a Term
This court seemed a bit all over the map in this term, which is not a bad thing. Most of us expected hard right results uniformly. That was not the case, although the Court did steer hard right in its closing days, most notably in its terrible decision on the Arizona voting case. Let’s call this one like it is: Dread Scott II- This Time Its Personal.
Less important but notable in this last case was the role of Judge Alioto. In my view, he stands out on two points. One, Clarence Thomas can retire anytime he is ready. His replacement as the irrationally conservative justice is in the house.
And Alioto continues to be the worst writer on the bench. His logic and prose and little short of embarrassing. This particular decision was the worst yet, not just the decision made, but the document laying it out. Almost unreadable and completely flawed.
And lastly, the matter of Justice Bryer. He is a man worthy of much respect but his apparent decision not to step down now and ensure a moderate replaces him for the next few decades is unexplainable. Some combination of naivete and selfishness must lead to such a decision. The consequences could be terrible for the country.
Justice Ginsberg, whom I admired almost more than anyone, made the same flawed judgment when the handwriting was on the wall. Now we all pay the price. Let’s hope Justice Bryer thinks better of it during the recess.
Infrastructure – Some Progress
It will be fascinating to see if the bipartisan bill actually passes and the reconciliation, likely Democrats only version, also passes. If they do, kudos to all involved. If not, will the Democrats stick together to put it all in one bill that they can pass?
I would applaud either outcome. The country needs all of this in the worst way and if we fail to deliver this time, I don’t see us doing anything but accelerating our rush into third world status. We are way, way behind across the board. Think big or go home. I hope for the two-step solution, for lots of reasons, but in whatever form, let’s get on with it.
We have a lot still on our plate. Infrastructure, voting rights, judicial and ambassadorial appointments, the January 6 investigation, Trump & Company finally beginning to face charges, and much more.
And behind it all, a lurking COVID Delta variant surge of terrible proportions for those who have not gotten vaccinated.
It will not be a dull Summer.
If you find this blog worthy of your time and curiosity, I invite you to do two things:
(1) Join the conversation. Your voice counts here. If you wish to share COMMENTS anonymously, make the last word in your comment “PRIVATE.” I will assure your privacy via anonymity.
(2) Share the word about this post with friends and colleagues. Share a link in your emails and social media posts (https://agentsofreason.com). Let’s grow our circle.