July 4, 2022, and our Constitutional republic faces a clear and present danger: The Republican Party . . . but don’t give up hope — fight, fight, fight!!!

See below for a superb Independence Day 2022 thread by the brilliant David Rothkopf. Let’s not just hope he’s right, let’s all work to make *sure* that he is!

  • “On this July 4, I think of all the progress the US has made & the struggles we have endured & am convinced that ultimately those who seek to undo that progress & steal that democracy for which we struggled will be defeated.
  • But it is going to take a long time. Our system will be tested & weakened before it can be strengthened again. Indeed, we will be reminded in the years and perhaps decades ahead that the struggle for freedom is never over, that current generations will have to do their part.”
  • “This holiday is not a time simply to look back at the accomplishments but to recognize that we are in one of the great struggles in our history. One of our two major political parties, the GOP, seeks to turn back the clock & strip away essential rights we thought had been won.”
  • They are actively and, thus far successfully, trying to turn America–once again–into a minority rule nation. There is every reason to believe that their success will continue in the years immediately ahead. The Supreme Court majority are now extremist political agents.”
  • “They are likely to continue to curtail voting rights and give unfair electoral advantages to their allies. To the extent Republicans in Congress regain power, they will do the same–attacking core rights of all but those of the white, rich, Christian, male elites they serve.
  • “They will continue to harness the power of biased, unprincipled, media outlets to inflame the grievances of a base they claim to serve–but who are actually among those they exploit most egregiously. They will win more elections, take more court seats…”
  • “…further enshrine their radical views into law. As long as Democrats seek to compromise with them, to treat them as though we were engaged in the politics of decades past, to negotiate with ourselves, to seek to “reach out” to those who refuse to hear them, we will lose ground.”
  • “What makes this struggle so difficult is that it has been engineered for decades by the opponents of democracy within our own country to look as though it were not a struggle at all, to look as though grave defeats were actually ‘our system at work.’”
  • “My optimism is based on the fact that those who believe in democracy, who reject the views of the radical right (which, we must be honest, is today virtually the entire Republican Party), are actually in the majority. Indeed, it is not even close. We are two-thirds of America.”
  • “We know it because on issue after issue, from guns to health care for all, protecting the environment to fair taxation, holding those who attacked democracy accountable to preserving a woman’s right to control her own body, big majorities are on the side of decency& common sense.”
  • “Demographic change is also on our side. The white supremacist impulse of the right is a manifestation of their awareness a more diverse future is coming. I also believe that next generation leaders are emerging who will gradually gain more power.”
  • These leaders understand the urgency and gravity of the threat we face, that we are in fact at one of those turning points that will define what kind of nation we have…and they understand we cannot take past promises and guarantees for granted.”
  • The sooner this new generation assumes the lead in this fight, the sooner rising generations of voters back them and turn out, the sooner the tide can be reversed. That is not to say older voices must be silenced, but those inclined to compromise and capitulate must be ignored.”
  • “Throughout our history, strength in the face of grave threats, a refusal to meet the enemies of our democracy halfway, has guided our greatest victories, the ones we typically celebrate on Independence Day.”
  • “We need to keep that resolve and spirit in mind as we enter the next phase of this struggle. (And make no mistake, while the enemies of democracy have coopted our system to advance their interests, they have also shown they would go farther, embrace violence, steal, cheat.)”
  • “We must recognize not only the importance of advancing and restoring our values, but the cost of failing to do so, of strengthening those who would use any and all means available to gain and maintain power.”
  • “Failing to hold them accountable for their crimes would be a defeat. Failing to turn out to deny them majorities in our Congress would be a defeat. Failing to call out their lies each and every time they advance them would be a defeat.”
  • “Failing to use every tool at our disposal to undo the damage they have done, reverse the unfair advantages they have given themselves, would be a defeat. And each of these defeats must be seen as every bit as resonant as those we once thought confined to battlefields.”
  • “Our revolution was a war against a foreign power that sought to oppress us. Our civil war, a war against those who sought to deny progress and enslave our brothers and sisters. Our world wars battles against forces that were threatened by our system and ideals.”
  • “They were visible, tangible and more traditional kinds of conflicts. That is why this one is more dangerous, more pernicious, because even to many of us who want what is best for America, it is hardly seen as a comparable conflict at all.”
  • “But I have hope this July 4th, that thanks to the over-reach of our enemies and the resolve of many to call out and make clear their crimes, that we are starting to see the dangers we face for what they are. And that such an awakening along with the trends on our side…”
  • “…will ultimately bring yet another set of victories that restore our values and our commitment to progress, to the great (if never fulfilled) aspirations that are America’s greatest strength.”
  • “I am not over-confident and none of us should be. But there are reasons to be hopeful, not the least of which is the essential spirit of the American people and the fact that we have not lost such battles before.”

This is the nightmare scenario the Supreme Court is setting up for 2024 to end our Constitutional Republic

Republicans on the Supreme Court just announced — a story that has largely flown under the nation’s political radar — that they’ll consider pre-rigging the presidential election of 2024.

Here’s how one aspect of it could work out, if they go along with the GOP’s arguments that will be before the Court this October:

It’s November, 2024, and the presidential race between Biden and DeSantis has been tabulated by the states and called by the networks. Biden won 84,355,740 votes to DeSantis’ 77,366,412, clearly carrying the popular vote.

But the popular vote isn’t enough: George W. Bush lost to Al Gore by a half-million votes and Donald Trump lost to Hillary Clinton by 3 million votes but both ended up in the White House. What matters is the Electoral College vote, and that looks good for Biden, too.

As CNN is reporting, the outcome is a virtual clone of the 2020 election: Biden carries the same states he did that year and DeSantis gets all the Trump states. It’s 306 to 232 in the Electoral College, a 74-vote Electoral College lead for Biden, at least as calculated by CNN and the rest of the media.  Biden is heading to the White House for another 4 years.

Until the announcement comes out of Georgia. Although Biden won the popular vote in Georgia, their legislature decided it can overrule the popular vote and just awarded the state’s 16 electoral votes to DeSantis instead of Biden.

An hour later we hear from five other states with Republican-controlled legislatures where Biden won the majority of the vote, just like he had in 2020: North Carolina (15 electoral votes), Wisconsin (10), Michigan (16), Pennsylvania (20) and Arizona (11).

Each has followed Georgia’s lead and their legislatures have awarded their Electoral College votes — even though Biden won the popular vote in each state — to DeSantis.

Thus, a total of 88 Electoral College votes from those six states move from Biden to DeSantis, who’s declared the winner and will be sworn in on January 20, 2025.

Wolf Blitzer announces that DeSantis has won the election, and millions of people pour into the streets to protest. They’re met with a hail of bullets as Republican-affiliated militias have been rehearsing for this exact moment.

Just as happened when Pinochet’s militias shot into crowds as he took over Chile, Mussolini’s volunteer militia the Blackshirts killed civilians as he took over Italy, and Hitler’s volunteer Brownshirts did the same in Germany, their allies among the police refuse to intervene.

After a few thousand people lay dead in the streets of two dozen cities, the police begin to round up the surviving “instigators,” who are charged with seditious conspiracy for resisting the Republican legislatures of their states.

After he’s sworn in on January 20th, President DeSantis points to the ongoing demonstrations, declares a permanent state of emergency, and suspends future elections, just as Trump had repeatedly told the world he planned for 2020.

Sound far fetched?

Six Republicans on the Supreme Court just announced that one of the first cases they’ll decide next year could include whether that very scenario is constitutional or not. And it almost certainly is.

Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution lays out the process clearly, and it doesn’t even once mention the popular vote or the will of the people:

“Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress… [emphasis added]

“The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons … which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President…”

It’s not particularly ambiguous, even as clarified by the 12th Amendment and the Electoral Count Act of 1887.

Neither mentions the will of the people, although the Electoral Count Act requires each state’s governor to certify the vote before passing it along to Washington, DC. And half of those states have Democratic governors.

Which brings us to the Supreme Court’s probable 2023 decision. As Robert Barnes wrote yesterday for The Washington Post:

“The Supreme Court on Thursday said it will consider what would be a radical change in the way federal elections are conducted, giving state legislatures sole authority to set the rules for contests even if their actions violated state constitutions and resulted in extreme partisan gerrymandering for congressional seats.”

While the main issue being debated in Moore v Harper, scheduled for a hearing this October, is a gerrymander that conflicts with North Carolina’s constitution, the issue at the core of the debate is what’s called the “Independent State Legislature Doctrine.”

It literally gives state legislatures the power to pre-rig or simply hand elections to the candidate of their choice.

As NPR notes:

“The independent state legislature theory was first invoked by three conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices in the celebrated Bush v. Gore case that handed the 2000 election victory to George W. Bush. In that case, the three cited it to support the selection of a Republican slate of presidential electors.”

Those three were Rehnquist, Scalia, and Clarence Thomas, now the seniormost member of the Court. They wrote in their concurring opinion in Bush v Gore:

“The federal questions that ultimately emerged in this case are not substantial. Article II provides that “[e]ach State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors.” … But as we indicated in our remand of the earlier case, in a Presidential election the clearly expressed intent of the legislature must prevail.”

That doctrine — the basis of John Eastman and Donald Trump’s effort to get states to submit multiple slates of electors — asserts that a plain reading of Article II and the 12th Amendment of the Constitution says that each state’s legislature has final say in which candidate gets their states’ Electoral College vote, governors and the will of the voters be damned.

Fully twenty-one years before Trump tried the same trick, David Barstow and Somini Sengupta wrote for the New York Times on November 28, 2000 that Jeb and George W. Bush were discussing it:

“The president of Florida’s Senate said today that Gov. Jeb Bush had indicated his willingness to sign special legislation intended to award Florida’s 25 Electoral College votes to his brother Gov. George W. Bush of Texas even as the election results were being contested.”

Barstow and Sengupta added, 22 years ago:

“[T]alk of a special legislative session continued unabated here today as local Republicans fretted about the possibility that the justices on the Florida Supreme Court, all appointed by Democrats, might uphold the challenge by Vice President Al Gore [for a statewide recount], ultimately awarding him the state’s electoral votes.”

As I wrote eight months before the 2020 election, predicting that Trump would do what Bush considered trying twenty years earlier:

Thus, through simple brute force, if Trump, Fox News and Limbaugh, et al, were to loudly claim that there was “voter fraud” in any or all of those states and succeed in casting doubts about the integrity of an election that would put a Democrat in the White House, the manufactured conflict could be resolved [in the House] and the election given to Trump by one or more state legislatures as Florida threatened to do in 2000.

This has been a long time coming.

The Republicans point out that the Constitution says that it’s up to the states — “in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct” — to decide which presidential candidate gets their Electoral College votes.

But the Electoral Count Act requires a governor’s sign-off, and half those states have Democratic governors. Which has precedence, the Constitution or the Act?

If the Supreme Court says it’s the US Constitution rather than the Electoral Count Act, states’ constitutions, state laws, or the votes of their citizens, the scenario outlined above becomes not just possible but very likely. Republicans, answering to their rightwing billionaire donors rather than voters, play hardball and consistently push to the extremes regardless of pubic opinion.

After all, the Constitution only mentions the states’ legislatures — which are all Republican controlled — so the unwillingness of the Democratic governors of Michigan, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania to sign off on the Electoral College votes becomes moot.

Under this circumstance DeSantis becomes president, the third Republican president in the 21st century, and also the third Republican President to have lost the popular vote election yet ended up in the White House.

This scenario isn’t just plausible: it’s probable.  GOP-controlled states are already changing their state laws to allow for it, and Republican strategists are gaming out which states have Republican legislatures willing to override the votes of their people to win the White House for the Republican candidate.

Those state legislators who still embrace Trump and this theory are getting the support of large pools of rightwing billionaires’ dark money.

As the highly respected conservative Judge J. Michael Luttig recently wrote:

“Trump and the Republicans can only be stopped from stealing the 2024 election at this point if the Supreme Court rejects the independent state legislature doctrine … and Congress amends the Electoral Count Act to constrain Congress’ own power to reject state electoral votes and decide the presidency.”

I take no satisfaction in having accurately predicted — in March of 2020 — how Trump and his buddies would try to steal the election in January of 2021. Or how the Supreme Court would blow up the Environmental Protection Agency.

Trump’s January 6th effort failed because every contested state had laws on the books requiring all of their Electoral College votes to go to whichever candidate won the popular vote in the state.

That will not be the case in 2024.

As we are watching, the Supreme Court — in collaboration with state legislatures through activists like Ginny Thomas — are setting that election up right now in front of us in real time.

We damn well better be planning for this, because it’s likely coming our way in just a bit more than two short years.

Hitler had brown shirt thugs; Trump’s thugs wear khaki trousers and hide their faces

About 100 members of the white supremacist group Patriot Front paraded through downtown Boston on Saturday, with several of them holding riot shields. Photos from the Boston Herald show members of the group unloading their infamous U-Haul and several counterprotesters confronting them as they marched along with a “Reclaim America” banner. The white supremacist group made national headlines in June when several members were busted by police on their way to an Idaho Pride parade.

Local authorities in Boston

were quick to make their opinion about the group known on Saturday. “To the white supremacists who ran through downtown today: When we march, we don’t hide our faces,” Mayor Michelle Wu tweeted. “Your hate is as cowardly as it is disgusting, and it goes against all that Boston stands for.”

These assholes would not wear masks during the COVID pandemic but are only to happy to wear masks to hide their identity. Cowards all.

Turns out, Trump’s attack on a Secret Service agent on Jan 6 was well-known throughout the agency

BACKGROUND:  First, let’s review how we got here.

  • On June 28, Cassidy Hutchinson testified in public before the Jan 6 Committee.  Hutchinson was the main aide to Trump’s Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows.
  • Hutchinson told a SECOND-HAND REPORT she had heard that on Jan 6, the S.S. hustled Trump into his one of their black Chevy Suburbans and headed to the White House after he spoke on the Ellipse, inciting the attack on the Capitol.
  • According to what Hutchinson heard, Trump was furious and attempted to grab the steering wheel and turn the Suburban to the Capitol, not the White House.

As expected, Trump’s defenders have attacked Hutchinson, claiming that the Secret Service has denied the such an incident happened.

Not so fast!!

Now it turns out that the incident was talked about and was well-known among Secret Service agents.

Justin Baragona
Based on two Secret Service sources, CNN reports that the story of an irate Trump demanding to be taken to the Capitol and even attempting to lunge for the steering wheel spread around the agency weeks after Jan. 6. One source said they heard it directly from the driver.

Republicans privately praying Jan 6 hearings will take down Trump so they don’t have to take him down

During an appearance on CNN’s “New Day” with hosts John Berman and Brianna Keilar, former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) stated that the Republican Party leadership is “privately praying” that the Jan 6th Committee’s investigation of the Capitol insurrection will end Donald Trump’s political future.

Discussing the House Select Committee testimony given by Cassidy Hutchinson, the former senior aide to ex-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, Walsh said the revelations so far are giving GOP lawmakers hope that they can finally put the former president in their rearview mirrors.

Pressed by host Berman “…does it make Trump’s path to the nomination more tenuous, what we’ve heard from the January 6th committee?” Walsh replied, “Maybe, John, maybe, but I think really important to say at the outset that, you know, [Pennsylvania Republican Se. Pat] Toomey and Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy and all of these Republicans privately are praying that this committee and these hearings will do what they haven’t had the courage to do for the last four or five or six years and that’s remove Donald Trump from the public scene.”

“Look, John and Brianna, I talk to Republican base voters every single day,” he continued. “They are the ones who are going to decide if Trump is the nominee, not Mitch McConnell or Pat Toomey. And I will admit that there is — Trump is losing some support among his base based on what I’m hearing because of these hearings, but it’s not because they disapprove of Trump’s behavior, they just think this is going to make it more difficult for Trump to win in ’24.”

Asked by host Keillar about Republicans keeping their distaste for the former president to themselves, Walsh snapped, “Brianna, I have to watch my language and, John, I can’t say what I really want to say. But I am so damn sick of Republicans talking privately or anonymously. None of that stuff matters. I mean, look at 26-year-old Cassidy Hutchinson, look at what she’s done this week.”

“I mean, five years ago I came out and publicly called out Trump and if I had a dollar for every damn Republican over the last five years who privately told me, ‘oh, joe, I agree with what you’re saying publicly about trump,’ I would be wealthy.”