There were wild celebrations last week above- and below-decks on the yachts of members of the TNC Party. Skezillionairres, trillionaires and mere billionaires partied hardy at their success in setting the dynamite on U.S. democracy, then lighting the fuse.
“TNC” of course (of course you already know this, of course) stands for Trans-National Corporations, another use of the word “trans” that doesn’t mean “transition” (although I suppose it could be becoming that). Here it means “across, spanning, above” nations and governments with their peculiar habits of creating laws to fit the cultures of the people living within them. Trans-National is another word for “above the law.”
The cause of the celebration, of course (and you already know this, too) was that their puppets in the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a one-two punch to Americans’ civil rights on Thursday-Friday by becoming permissive on gun control Thursday and prohibitionist on reproductive rights Friday. The internet exploded with rampant speculations on the instantaneous meaning of these two things on the ground. According to Kathryn Joyce in an opinion piece for Salon, June 24, the responses on the right ranged from vicious gloating to promises of “a summer of historic violence.” Joyce wrote:
“From the pre-emptive responses across right-wing Twitter to the supposed threat of a night, or summer, of rage, it wasn’t hard to imagine how that might play out, as one high-profile conservative figure after another repeated the same joking threat: The Supreme Court had wisely ruled in favor of dramatically loosening gun restrictions just before its Roe decision.
“Others, like Colton Duncan, a former Turning Point USA staffer turned political consultant for far-right Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, skipped the subtlety. He wrote in a long post that pro-choice protesters are ‘Nasty, ugly gender-confused animals’ intent on ‘torch[ing] American cities’ and doing ‘everything they can to tear down the fabric of America.’ Consequently, he continued, ‘They should be shot.… If you live in a big city, arm yourselves, Get ready to defend your homeland. Because the enemy is at the gate. If they threaten you or your livlihood [sic]…shoot to Kill.”
Thanks to last week’s Supreme Court decisions, now half the women in the country who need an abortion cannot find a safe, legal one, and not one single American is safe going out in public, with a gun or without. Now any place could instantly turn into the O.K. Corral.
In all my reading last weekend to write this, I did not see anyone note that Thursday’s decision was made while the fourth public hearing on the violent insurrection of the Capitol Jan. 6, 2021 was being held and aired on TV and radio. Those four hearings have been incredibly impressive about the strength of our democratic institutions (not the fragility, in my mind): the system held, despite the litany of appalling efforts to undermine it. It only held, however, because multiple public servants—people who folks on the Right often refer to as some kind of polluted, political mollusks—held on tightly to the oaths they took, the promises they made to serve us. And they kept holding tightly despite the threats and the actualities of violence brought down on their heads by those trying to Make America Despotic Again.
According to the Hightower Lowdown (v. 24, no. 4, May 2022), the Supreme Court supermajority we now have strung above us is not the result of Republican control so much as it is the result of corporate control of the Republicans. A wily, nondescript lawyer for the Federalist Society named Leonard Leo, who is “a fanatic devotee” of our Constitution as “a legal structure for enshrining property rights as supreme over all others and protecting the wealthy from the democratic majority,” this is the guy who chose Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett for Trump’s Supreme Court picks. It was part of a corporate plan to control the courts spawned years ago by tobacco lobbyist Lewis Powell, a plan that previously ensconced the other three (Alito, Roberts and Thomas). This influence spread downward into the lower courts over those years, promising to obliterate democracy’s guarantees of human rights case by case.
Meanwhile, they’ve found the perfect equation to get the Flotsom fighting the Jetsom, committing lower-class genocide while they rub their greedy—and dirty—hands.
Trudy Wischemann is a real Populist who writes. You can send her your political dismays c/o P.O. Box 1374, Lindsay CA 93247.
This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Sun-Gazette newspaper.