Friday, June 24, 2022

Leftists Are Crushed: Rebecca Traister, 'Today is the day that this nation sees, with eyes that are briefly clear, exactly how bad things are...'

The Court's abortion ruling this morning is a monumental defeat for the radical left, a political earthquake.

Some are calling for a "day of rage" in protest of the decision, though what good will that do? As noted earlier, inflation and the economy are tops on the list of concerns for voters, and the Democrats are foolish if they're looking to turn the November midterms into a referendum on the Supreme Court. What's done is done. The action now's at the state level, as it should be, really. Some states will maintain abortion rights --- California most definitely --- though others have "trigger laws" already in place that will ban abortion immediately, today, now that the Court has ruled. Other states have laws ready to go and could ban abortion in their states in the days or weeks ahead.

What you see on the left is utter despair in the face of bitter defeat, and if there are not literal violent attacks on crisis pregnancy centers (Dear God, no), etc., we'll at least have heated political rhetoric at the scale that would melt steel. Leftists are already degenerate, nasty, and violent. They'll be worse then ever now. It's a powder keg out there. The ruling means that abortion will be more polarizing than ever --- and that it will never go away as a divisive political issue. People will be fighting over this for decades. 

In any case, Rebecca Traister (whose writings are very good) certainly reflects the despondency of the moment, at the Cut, "The Necessity of Hope: Things are bad. They will get worse. But despair has never been an option":

Today is the day that this nation sees, with eyes that are briefly clear, exactly how bad things are, and exactly how bad they will become. No clouds today where I live. Only a stark and chilling truth in a bright blue sky: Roe is overturned, and so is Casey.

The dissent, co-authored by the Supreme Court’s three liberals, is explicit: “Whatever the exact scope of the coming laws, one result of today’s decision is certain: the curtailment of women’s rights, and of their status as free and equal citizens.” They write that, in the wake of this decision, “from the very moment of fertilization, a woman has no rights to speak of. A state can force her to bring a pregnancy to term, even at the steepest personal and familial costs.”

So that, as they say, is that. Where we are. We can all see it, and so much more: Clarence Thomas, in his concurrence, openly declares that same-sex marriage and contraception are next. Gender-affirming health care, LGBTQ protections, voting rights, labor and environmental regulations — they are all prey to this ravening court and the party of malevolent ideologues and cynical tacticians that stands behind it.

Today also makes indisputable, thanks to Representative Jim Clyburn (who called today’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization “anticlimactic”) and his fellow House Democrats (who had the gall to stand outside the Capitol and sing “God Bless America” as protesters gathered at the Court and troops in riot gear marched to meet them), that those with the most power in the Democratic Party are as inept as their fiercest critics have claimed.

Today is wretched and plain. And it is not the bottom, as many people may feel it is. It will get worse; we will go lower. As the Court’s dissent insists, correctly, “Closing our eyes to the suffering today’s decision will impose will not make that suffering disappear.”

And so, with all this laid out, ugly and incontrovertible, the task for those who are stunned by the baldness of the horror, paralyzed by the bleakness of the view, is to figure out how to move forward anyway.

Because while it is incumbent on us to digest the scope and breadth of the badness, it is equally our responsibility not to despair. These two tasks are not at odds. They are irrevocably twined. As Dahlia Lithwick wondered just a few weeks ago, after the massacre in Uvalde, another clear and awful day: “What does it mean, the opposing imperative of honoring the feeling of being shattered, while gathering up whatever is left to work harder?”

It means doing the thing that people have always done on the arduous path to greater justice: Find the way to hope, not as feel-good anesthetic but as tactical necessity.

The prison abolitionist Mariame Kaba reminds us that “hope is a discipline.” It is also a political strategy and a survival mechanism. As Kaba has said, “It’s less about ‘how you feel’ and more about the practice of making a decision every day that you’re still gonna put one foot in front of the other, that you’re still going to get up in the morning. And you’re still going to struggle … It’s work to be hopeful.”

I am regularly asked, when I speak to groups in frank terms about the peril in front of us, about the temptation of hopelessness: “How can we keep going when the progress accumulated over our lifetimes has been reversed?” But we go forward because that progress was made against forces that will never stop trying to reverse it.

The failure to communicate that is a failure of our leaders, many of whom came of age in a period of progressive victories that they seemed to believe — due to naïveté or willful blindness — would continue to move in one expansive direction. It is no accident that many who believed this came from or moved into classes of power and privilege, where they could remain insulated from the erosions that have been grinding away this whole time, right under their noses.

This stubborn belief in a kind of Forever Progress has undergirded a political message that there was nothing to worry about. It has prevented a proper understanding of this country’s history and its foundational power imbalances. And now it is the shattering of this belief that pulls people toward despair.

But despair is poison. It deadens people when the most important thing they can do is proceed with more drive and force and openness than they have before. Which is why the work ahead is insisting on hope, behaving as if there is reason for hope, even if you feel, based on the ample available evidence, that there is not...

Still more.