Sunday, February 05, 2006

Alito Has No Power--We Have Lost Nothing

Why is everyone so upset about Alito? I'm not.

Sure, I made my calls, I put in the time, I sent faxes and letters. It was a good and important fight. But it doesn't really matter. And I know that because I know my history--and I don't buy into the bullshit the wingers have bought into.

The only reason you think it matters is because you've been TOLD that it matters. That somehow, Alito will be able to do something terrible to this nation.
You believe that, in Mary Scott OConnor's words, We Are Fucked.

We are not. And compared to the power we all just showed by our effort to see him blocked, Alito is an impotent little shadow of a man.

It's just that the right wing doesn't know that yet. They will gloat and count their ill-gotten riches, failing all the while to understand that all they have is fool's gold. The right wing doesn't understand that the SCOTUS didn't give you your rights, and it can't take them away.

I made this point clear in my much-recommended diary on DailyKos called We've Defended You for Five Years for this Moment: the religious right has been on a crusade to pack the Supreme Court because they believe that the court, and not the PEOPLE were responsible for the liberating movements and social upheavals of the 1960's.

Allow me to quote from that very diary:

"To Bush's base, everything wrong with America was the result of the multiple social revolutions of the 60's and early 70's.
They see raunchy MTV videos and they wish the sexual revolution had never taken place.
They see people of different races as their neighbors and children's classmates, and they wish desegregation had never taken place.
They see poor civic behavior, and they blame it on the "removal of God from the public square."
In fact, every progressive thing we cherish as a result of that era is something they hate.
And, most importantly, in order to reconcile themselves to how those changes could possibly have taken place in "their" America, they cannot allow themselves to believe it was the popular will. In fact, they believe, EVERYTHING "bad" that happened in those "terrible days" of the 60's and early 70's was the fault of JUDGES."

But it WASN'T. There was no way the Warren Court could have or would have made the rulings they did without feeling extraordinary pressure from the American people--from groups of dedicated, activist citizens just like you.

The truth is that not even a conservative Supreme Court would dare make life-changing rulings in contravention of an angry and disgruntled populace--if for no other reason than that it would mean the elimination of their conservtive cohorts in the legislative and executive branches through the voting process.

Again, from my old diary:

"And they are foolhardy and vicious enough to believe that the entire revolution happened because of a few totalitarian judges who deserve to be hanged for putting their sons and daughters into schools with black people and then giving them libertine ideas about being able to miscegenate with them--and abort the Rosemary's baby that ensued after that. Oh horror of horrors!
And THAT is why they've been supporting Bush this entire time: because they were certain he would appoint judges who would overturn all that."

But they can't overturn all that, don't you see?

Even if an Alito-Roberts-Thomas-Scalia court agreed with Richard Nixon that "when the president does it, it's not illegal", there is NO WAY IN HELL that they would have dared agree with him with the public demanding his head. Nixon would have been toast even with 9 Alito's on the Supreme Court.

Do you honestly believe that if Alito were on the court for Brown v. Board of Education, instead of Earl Warren, that southern schools would still be segregated? It might have taken a little longer, perhaps--but even if took longer, the pressure to desegregate from the rest of nation would have been all the greater; and a Republican might have been forced to enact it instead.

Do you honestly believe that, if the NSA spy scandal goes all the way to the Supreme Court, that Bush's impeachment or lack thereof will depend on the ruling of Alito's court? That the politics of what takes place will not be formed more by the protests and anger on the street? If you doubt it, just look at what we have accomplished over the last two days. And don't tell me that you've forgotten that it is the Senate--not the Court--that rules on Impeachment. The SCOTUS could be manned by Mussolini, Hitler, Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun, James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Osama bin Ladin, and Samuel Alito--and you could impeach just as easily.

Roe v. Wade may go down, yes. And 30 states in the Union may outlaw abortion. That would be the worst calamity. But it would come at the cost of a Republican minority in congress for 30 years.They wouldn't dare. And hell--if they do dare, I'll take that trade. Abortions will still be available in the sane states. And by God, if Harriet Tubman could do it 150 years ago, I'll bet the moral among us can start our own Underground Railroad, and welcome the oppressed who need these procedures into our homes. It's all been done before, and we can do it all again. But the cause of truth and righteousness always wins out.


The point here, people--and especially for all you boomers--is that the SCOTUS didn't give you your rights. YOU TOOK THEM when you took to the streets and gave hell to the establishment. When you marched, protested, loved in abundance, and did everything they now hate you for.

And only apathy can take your rights away.

The right wing thinks they've won a battle. And they have. They've put one wingnut empty suit in Hogwarts robes on a high-chair in a pretentious neo-classical building.
What they don't understand is that they lost the war long, long ago--and that the war was waged in every street, every workplace, every college campus across America.
A war that is now being waged right here, right now, on the Internet and everywhere else. A war that, as has been pointed out before, we are winning.


So do not cry over spilled milk, fellow Democrats. Continue the work you have been doing for 50 years now, because the tide of history is irreversible. Rage, rage against the dying of the light--and shine that beacon of truth and justice as far and as brightly as you can.

Because one man in a robe never helped you in the first place--and one man in a robe cannot stop you now.


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