It’s on days like today that I rededicate myself to hating Ralph Nader. Not only am I far from forgiving him, I still hope to chase him down the street with a sack of bricks some day for his contribution to the legal coup that put Dubya in the White House and consolidated a caucus of Republican Party hacks and corporate concierges on the Supreme Court. Indeed there is blame to go around: Florida election officials and an already Republican Supreme Court, but Ralph should have known better, and did.
But two wars, a tax windfall for the wealthy, a towering debt and several jettisoned Supreme Court precedents later, Nader’s “there is no distinction between the parties,” psychotic break is more lunatic than it ever was. Before anybody starts up with that “they’re all the same,” or “it doesn’t make any difference,” or “I’m disillusioned with Obama” bullshit, remember me and my burlap bag full of rust-colored projectiles
It is impossible to predict if, when or how many or from which side Supreme Court justices retire in the next four years, but if any do Barack Obama better be there to choose the replacement. For anyone who hasn’t noticed, between Senate filibusters and the Supreme Court the majority not only doesn’t rule, but concentrated wealth and power regularly laughs in its face.
What cannot be achieved democratically can be managed judicially and with far hazier fingerprints on the job. Citizens United was all but the official closing ceremonies for democratic recognition of and democratic representation for interests other than those of moneyed feudalists, and going from bad to worse is all you get if another Republican president moves in by hook or the Republicans’ always reliable crook (see current voter restriction scams).
The massive and landmark undertaking of health reform whisked away, or the Court imprimatur on the irrational, nativist, un-American and racist Arizona anti-immigration law, along with Citizens United would be a taste of what the back of the hand of the new reactionary corporatocracy feels like. At the least, it would be a preview of how breezily hard won, bitterly achieved progress can be washed away, and a warning to those still attached to the quaint remnants of middle-class security remaining from the New Deal that fanatics want to take them away and might be able to do it.
There is no certainty when it comes to how the Arizona case or the Affordable Care case ultimately will be decided. But when the lines of questioning sound straight out of Fox prime time it isn’t very encouraging. That was the state of affairs during the Affordable Care hearings as it was today. While Anthony Kennedy seems neither mendacious nor ideologically wedged in cement he is the embodiment of unpredictability. On the other hand, hypocrite nonpareil Anthony Scalia drops bloviated principles more often than the finger-splayed drop change. Whatever is necessary to guarantee the correct political outcome of cases before the Court will be done.
The old line on watching congress at work is that it resembles watching sausage being made. One could say that watching any part of the political process these days is like watching your grandmother being chased by a band of saliva-dribbling ax murderers, imagery that gets less metaphorical by the day.