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Tuesday, September 5, 2023

14 months to the Nov 5th, 2024 U.S. national elections.

And, this is the ongoing quality of our political discourse.
And, GOP Senator JD Vance (the #HillbillyIshtar guy) reportedly is filing a bill to prevent the federal government from issuing any Covid19 mask mandates applicable to air travel, public transit, and school systems.

Also, for your entertainment, GOP hard-righties are threatening to shut down the federal government when the fiscal year expires in 25 days on September 30 by refusing to pass a new fiscal year budget or continuing resolution if their various loony demands are not met.
"Chairman," LOL

Ahhh... Baltimore. Once again we're under a Code Red this week. Looking at close to 100F and humid most of the week. Local TV weather prediction is saying today (Sept 6th) will be the hottest day of our year. Ugh.

American Democracy Perseveres—For Now
Antibodies against authoritarianism are still working, but the U.S. system remains under immense strain.
By Tom Nichols

Democracy is under attack around the world; in the United States, the summer brought good news and bad news. The institutions of democracy are still functioning, but not for long if enough Americans continue to support authoritarianism…

We’re already seeing this unwinding in slow motion. Donald Trump and many on the American right (including the national Republican Party) have made clear their plans to subvert America’s democratic institutions. They made continuous efforts to undermine the will of the voters at the state level, most notably in Georgia, after the 2020 presidential election, and then they tried to overrule the results at the national level by setting a mob on Congress on January 6, 2021. If Trump returns to the Oval Office, he and his underlings will set up a system designed to set up a series of cascading democratic failures from Washington to every locality they can reach….

They intend to pack courts with judges who are loyal to Trump instead of to the Constitution. They want to destroy an independent federal civil service by making all major civil servants political appointees, which would allow the right to stuff every national agency with cronies at will. They want to neuter independent law-enforcement institutions such as the FBI, even if that means disbanding them. They will likely try to pare down the senior military ranks until the only remaining admirals and generals are men and women sworn not to the defense of the United States but to the defense of Donald Trump, even if that means employing military force against the American public…

Trump, of course, has since made the promise to drop pardons like gentle rain from the sky. America’s democratic immune system, however, is for now still functioning. The courts have done their duty even when elected officials have refused to do theirs. (Imagine how much healthier American democracy would be right now if the Senate had convicted Trump in his second impeachment. Alas.) Trump is now under indictment for 91 alleged crimes, and Jack Smith seems undaunted in his pursuit of justice.

Likewise, the major ringleaders of January 6—all but one, I should say—have been convicted of seditious conspiracy, among other crimes, and sentenced to lengthy prison terms. Some of these supposed tough guys ended up blubbering and pleading for mercy in a federal courtroom, but to no avail. The would-be Oath Keepers centurion Stewart Rhodes and a leader of the Proud Boys, Ethan Nordean, each got 18 years, a record broken yesterday when a Trump-appointed federal judge sent the ex–Proud Boys chair Enrique Tarrio inside for 22 years, meaning he will be sitting out the next five presidential elections.

This is the good news, but none of it will matter if Trump returns to the White House…

…I still have faith that most people, when faced with the choice, will continue to support the constitutional freedoms of the United States—but only if they understand how endangered those freedoms are.
And, Tom Nichols is no "liberal," not even close to being on the "Left."


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