So first of all, check out a new thing I have up at The Week about what Senate Democrats can do to stop the upcoming Supreme Court nominee (hint: nothing) and what they need to change moving forward so that they stop taking brutal losses like this as a matter of course.
In a broader sense, this week feels like it was a tipping point – and hopefully not simply for me personally. I feel like I reached total Trump Fatigue sometime Thursday afternoon when the news of the mass shooting at the Capital Gazette reached me. It was a back-breaking straw for me, the knowledge that we will all sit around making and listening to the same arguments and the Trump people will all pretend like the President constantly telling crowds of armed half-wits that journalists are "enemies of the American people" has nothing to do with armed half-wits killing journalists. Our discourse has gotten so insane and repetitive that very few people seem capable of or interested in stepping back and asking what the fuck we are doing. It has been a boil-the-frog process of slowly normalizing one form of insanity after another and it is not at all clear that people in power will figure that out before it is too late and the water is boiling.
Couple that with the utter spinelessness of the current congressional Democratic leadership – a generation of white geezers who seem to have internalized losing as par for the course who are trying to confront a literal authoritarian as if he is some generic Republican to be bargained with – and the ability to summon hope for the future is pretty limited at present. Look at what is happening in this country, and Chuck Schumer and the supposedly Liberal Media spent half the week jerking each other off with pearl-clutching lectures about Civility.
I want to yell very loudly and I want to punch someone but I don't feel like there's anything to be accomplished by either. And the constant pep talks about working for November are falling on deaf ears at this point if there isn't a serious change in leadership and direction of the Democratic Party.
This is, or needs to be, a Dred Scott moment. That decision didn't do anything to sway abolitionists (who were already perfectly convinced that slavery was bad) but hit home for the mushy center position held by many wealthy elites that "OK slavery is bad but gosh, abolition seems too drastic can't we find some halfway compromise point?"
In the 1840s and 1850s, we tried. We tried repeatedly to find a compromise, at least until it dawned on those people in the Let's Be Civil and Please Everyone center that there is no compromise to be had. Some things require us to be for them or against them. Some things require us to take an actual position and deny ourselves the luxury of comfortable Third Way bullshit that attempts to please everyone.
You can't compromise with the current American right. You have to defeat it. Anyone in Congress who doesn't understand that yet needs to retire and take up crossword puzzles. Since 1994 the Republicans have operated on the principle of "No compromises, oppose and obstruct at every opportunity using any tools available" because they realize (Democratic strategists, pay attention here) nobody gives a flying fuck about "optics" or bipartisanship – your party's base wants to see you win. Period. Don't lose politely – win. Get results. The GOP gets results. Democrats lose and sit around complaining that the GOP isn't playing nice and fair and how history will vindicate them.
Now the GOP owns the Supreme Court. Because they get results and are willing to fight dirty to get them. Compared to the Moral Victories that Democratic leaders have been doling out for 25 years, I think most of us would prefer to have the Supreme Court.