Home National Politics Once Again Today, We See the Cost of Battles Unfought

Once Again Today, We See the Cost of Battles Unfought

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A week ago I published here a piece titled “I’m Heartsick: Are the Democrats Going to Forfeit This Battle, Too.” That one was about my deep worry that — in dealing with the issue of Trump and impeachment — Democrats are repeating their pattern of weakness, a pattern that has led to many disastrous results for Democrats and the nation over the past generation.

Since I posted that, for whatever reasons — life, family, riding my bicycle — my heart has ached less.

But something just revived that heart-sick feeling: reading about the gerrymandering decision just handed down by the Supreme Court, a decision that will allow the continued theft of power from the American people by politicians and parties who are supposed to be serving them. And will in particular allow the Republican Party — whose contempt for the values of democracy is displayed these days in so many ways (voter suppression, lame-duck stripping of the powers of offices the voters have turned over to another Party)– to gain power that is not rightfully theirs.

The decision was 5-4, with all five of the Republican Justices voting to maintain gerrymandering. Which means that this decision would have gone the other way if the Republicans had not managed to steal that Supreme Court that was supposed to have been filled by someone nominated by President Obama.

It makes me heart-sick when I think of how HUGE were the stakes in whether McConnell and his fellow thieves would be able to distort the constitutional role of “advise and consent” into an unprecedented outright denial of the President’s constitutional role to name someone to fill any such vacancy that occurs during his term in office.

Such a huge loss for along so many dimensions –as we keep discovering as these 5-4 decisions keep piling up, giving this morally bankrupt Party such power to control our nation’s destiny — and the magnitude of the consequences is so much greater than the intensity with which President Obama and the Democrats challenged the GOP’s unprecedented behavior.

It should have raised a deafening hue and cry among Democratic leaders. It should have prompted Obama to challenge this theft in court, as an unconstitutional distortion of the intent of the framers of the Constitution’s “advise and consent” role. As I wrote here at the time, it should have brought hundreds of thousands of marchers to the streets of Washington.

But we more or less cruised on through, and the casualties of that largely forfeited battle continue to pile up.