Trump, as well as other Republicans have been looking anxiously at next year, in large part because one of their tools isn’t going to be available next year. Putin and his marauding muckrakers won’t be available this time. But Chief Justice John Roberts has effectively been telling the via SCOTUS decisions “Don’t worry. I’ve go this.” Let me explain:
Trump Puppet Master Putin has even worse problems than Trump these days. Trump only has to worry about prison. Pootie is literally fighting for his life and on multiple fronts. Without his help Trump would never have slithered into the WH in 2016. Or gotten even more people to back him in 2020 and in the process further rip at the fabric of our country. But between the war Putin started in Ukraine that has gone so disastrously for him and Russia, and now actual rebellion including a former ally leading a humiliating coup/sorta coup and an actual assassination attempt AND his battling cancer even if Putin is alive next years he’s not going to be able to much around in our 2024 election. The chaos likely to ensue in Russia once he’s out will have others fighting for control. Again, too busy with more pressing stuff than screwing with us. Besides, short of a full blown armed uprising with DOD standing down or taking part Putin/Russia have already done most of the damage they can do.
However 2024 is no sure thing for President Biden and other Democrats thanks to the Electoral College, and the fact that in some states GOP voter suppression laws (not to mention now organized methods of formal intimidation) so GOPers, including and especially Trump sure as hell want Putin’s/Russia’s help next year. They want, in fact believe they need more interference like they’ve come to rely on. I can imagine the quiet despair that’s gone on at private gatherings, lamenting Putin having been so stupid as to put himself in the position he’s in. (naturally the irony of Trump’s and even many of their own problems being self-inflicted will be lost on them!)
The GOP doesn’t care about our country except in the sense of what they can TAKE from it and everyone who isn’t a one-percenter. They want POWER. Both for it’s own sake but for how they can use, or rather misuse it to their benefit and that of their cronies. That means winning elections, and something they’ve been doing in a planned, systematic way for four decades – stacking the federal courts and even the Supreme Court. SCOTUS in particular can, if it chooses to take the place of the legislative branch on any given matter have a bigger and far longer impact than almost anything Congress and a President can.
Has the Court in the past sometimes acted as a political body? Sure. We’d be kidding ourselves if we didn’t acknowledge that fact. It has tended to create enough uproar that being politicians instead of Justices have exercised some restraint on this. Not anymore.
Leonard Leo’s vision when The Federalist Society was created has come to fruition. As I said, it was a long-term plan. It would take decades and might not get to where it’s gotten in his lifetime. It pi$$es me off to no end to know he and others that helped him popped champagne corks the night RBG died. And have routinely drunk toasts with “the good stuff” like Johnnie Walker Blue ever since. Roberts you see had a dream of a legacy of being recognized by historians in a positive way. Oh, he always harbored visions of a country with laws backed by SCOTUS rulings/precedent he’d engineered. A very different country, one like the Robber Barron Age and what in law is known as the “Lochner Era.” Being as young as he was in 2005 he could look forward to well over three decades, perhaps even four to (mostly) incrementally change the country in ways it would take generations to undo.
Had RBG lived, allowing Biden instead of Trump to replace her he’d still be on that track. However, he was now outnumbered and it’s clear it became apparent to him he could preside over a Court he couldn’t control, or join his fellow GOPer appointees and turn SCOTUS into a political body. One with more power than the legislative branch.
Think I’m exaggerating? Take the decision on student loans. My ears perked up when I heard one pundit note the much wider than people realize economic impact. At a time when all the indicators show an improving economy, with people spending more and even the home market (including housing starts) steadily getting better people who thought they’d have more money to spend, to inject into the economy now won’t be able to do so. That will impact those who would have gotten money for goods and services from them. They in turn won’t by as many goods and service from others. The negative ripple effects will be widespread.
If President Biden can’t find a way to mitigate what Roberts has done by next year growth will have slowed and unemployment will have gone up. That this hurts the country and countless millions of people/families is the whole point of what Robert’s/SCOTUS has done!
What Congressional Republicans have been unable to do, or will be able to do to weaken the economy, make literally hundreds of millions of American’s lives tougher all with the goal of weakening Biden’s another Democrat’s chances next year.
It doesn’t stop there either.
The GOP has a long history of driving wedges between folks on social issues, and getting electoral success from doing so. Even if it means making up stuff not even they can define, with Critical Race Theory in classrooms, and also “Woke” being current hobby horses. Affirmative Action has long been a boogey man for conservatives so Roberts just tossed them that hunk of red meat to sate them and fuel them for upcoming stuff. Not to mention a religious “freedom” decision which has no basis in law or reason, one in which the plaintiff lacked what is legally known as standing to bring it, and even (as we’ve learned) was base on a lie. The individual cited in the case has recently gone on record to say he’s never met or even talked to the plaintiff nor suggested she do any web design for him. She just decided to cite him as her example to prove the “injury” to her “right” to be a bigot on religious grounds. All of which SCOTUS knew before the decision was released. Instead of dismissing the case Roberts and his gang widened the pathway to the conservative goal of establishing Christianity as our national religion!
(FYI, it’s already being noted legislatures down to the county/local level are looking at using this ruling to craft new PRO discriminatory laws.)
Oh, but there’s more. Since Roberts, as well as Kavanaugh and Barrett and probably Gorsuch too realize now that they’ve decided to active as a legislative body, the problem the Dobbs decision created isn’t going away. As Murfster has noted more than once here on Politizoom the forced-birthers have caught the car. There’s a thirty point (plus) enthusiasm gap with voters now because of the Dobbs decision and so many red states outlawing abortion. Roberts/SCOTUS can help close it. How you ask? Well, there are other reproductive rights Thomas and Alito have been itching to eliminate. Birth control will I predict be on the SCOTUS calendar next year. Roberts might hope for the incremental approach he and GOPers used for years to string the religious wingnuts along on abortion.
I’d be willing to bet Alito and Thomas insisted that while there’s be a huge outcry when Dobbs was issued it would all blow over before the end of the summer. Their petulant digging in of their heels on the stunning electoral impact during the midterms notwithstanding I’ll bet Roberts and the others can reason with them to go along with a little restraint. Cutting back on access to birth control, but not overturning still more precedent. Basically, more carrot on a stick leading the pony. Rile up the crazies who’ve lost enthusiasm since Roe was overturned.
I could go on all night on this stuff. But the point is that Trump and the GOP no longer need Putin/Russia to screw with things here in the U.S. The seeds they planted and cultivated bore (rotten) fruit in 2016 and shed seeds that keep growing. And mutating now without any more “doing” from Pootie and the Oligarchs. Still, being on the wrong side of virtually every issue that voters care enough to factor into their vote is a problem for the GOP. They fear that with so many of their legendary messaging gurus having dumped them and become not just Never Trumpers but believing the GOP has lost it’s way that Democrats might break though and control messaging.
As I’ve already stated, Roberts might as well send out a memo saying “Chill dudes. I’ve got this.” All he really needs from GOPers on the Hill is to prevent any meaningful oversight or reform to the Court. Both Thomas and Alito have the spotlight shining on their corruption, and Kavanaugh it certainly vulnerable on that front as well. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if he hopes either Alito or Thomas dies a year from now. THAT would re-energize the GOP base! But that’s another article for another time.
The point is that Roberts appears to have accepted he won’t get the kind of legacy he’d dreamed of, that he’s going to be regarded as the leader of an activist Court that did grave damage both to the Institution and our country. That the “Roberts Court” will be viewed as a shameful episode in American jurisprudence. And that since there’s nothing he can do anymore to change that then he might as well start knocking down bodies to do as much damage as he can as quickly as he can.
If he hasn’t already discreetly spread the word to some trusted people he knows can keep their mouths shut and/or cover him as they spread the word, he’s effectively done so lately. His Court is NOT Trump’s Court, but it IS the hardest of the hard core conservatives wet-dream of a Court. And will when needed be a “super” legislative branch AND campaign arm of the GOP.