Supreme Court Building at Dusk
‘Democrats capitulate as Republicans secure votes to install far-right justice on Supreme Court’, Barry Grey and Jacob Crosse, 23 September 2020, wsws.org (w/ permission)
“On Tuesday, Utah Senator and former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced that he would support a vote prior to the November 3 election on Trump’s nominee to fill the seat on the US Supreme Court vacated by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The announcement virtually assures the installation of a far-right justice, to be named by Trump on Saturday, who will shift the court even more decisively against abortion rights and democratic rights in general.
The Democratic Party, whose response from the outset has combined cowardice and dishonesty, sank to the level of farce. Even as the top Democrat in the Senate, Charles Schumer, was denouncing the Republicans for their “hypocrisy” and pleading for a change of heart, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was secretly negotiating with Trump’s treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, to extend funding for the federal government until after the election.
For all her talk of “taking nothing off of the table” to oppose Trump’s antidemocratic court move, Pelosi was focused on preventing a plunge in the stock market by reaching a bipartisan deal with the Republicans on a continuing resolution before the September 30 deadline. The two announced a deal Tuesday afternoon and the Democratic-controlled House quickly passed it in a bipartisan 359-57 vote.
The supposed leader of the “progressive” Democrats in the House, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, could not even summon up the nerve to vote “no” and instead voted “present” on the bill.”
[The Roll Call Vote for H. R. 8337: at the top: Yeas, Nays, Present, Not Voting]
“So much for going “all-out” to oppose a court appointment that will be used to attack not only abortion rights, but all that remains of the past gains in civil rights, voting rights and social rights, from the eight-hour day to child labor laws, and accelerate the drive toward dictatorship. Rather than use the threat of a government shutdown as leverage against Trump’s Supreme Court coup, the Democrats rushed to demonstrate their fealty to Wall Street and pass the spending bill.
They have evinced no such urgency when it comes to restoring the $600 weekly unemployment benefit that expired at the end of July, leaving millions of laid-off workers and their families without the means to pay rent and put food on the table.
The contrast with Trump and the Republicans, who wage open war against the working class, could not be starker. Trump forced a government shutdown at the end of 2018 when Congress failed to give him the full amount he demanded to build his border wall with Mexico. After the end of the shutdown, he declared a national emergency at the border and illegally appropriated money from the Pentagon to build the wall, without any resistance from the Democrats, who soon after voted to fund his war on immigrants.
The same day as Romney’s announcement and the passage of the continuing resolution in the House, the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden reiterated his opposition to passing legislation, should the Democrats win back the Senate and capture the White House in November, to expand the Supreme Court so as to break the stranglehold of the far-right. This was confirmed on Tuesday by a top Biden aide, who spoke anonymously to the Associated Press and called for “de-escalation” in the one-sided battle on Capitol Hill.
The one thing the Democrats never considered was appealing to the mass popular hatred for Trump in the working class and youth of the country. They could have called for all those opposed to Trump’s attacks on abortion rights, his promotion of police and fascist violence, and his threats to declare martial law, defy an election defeat and impose a dictatorship to march on Washington. No doubt such a call would bring out hundreds of thousands, which is precisely why the Democrats rejected it out of hand.
They are fearful of the right, but even more hostile to and terrified by the growth of left-wing social opposition and anti-capitalist sentiment in the working class. They have spent the entire three-plus years of the fascistic Trump administration working to suppress popular opposition and channel it behind their reactionary anti-Russia campaign.”
The remaining two-thirds amounts to the feckless Dems not givin’ a hoot ner a holler for the democratic rights and social needs of the working class.
(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)