OKAY, IT’S BEEN A GLOOMY WEEK. BUT DON'T LET IT GET YOU DOWN
YOU'RE RIGHT. It’s been an absolutely gloomy week. Worse, there’s still a little time for the week to get gloomier. We’ve got all of Friday, which traditionally is one of the week’s best/worst days for disasters. And don’t forget, we're living in truly wretched times, during which tragedy no longer takes the weekend off. So, I understand how you’re feeling. And forgive me here for oversharing, but I’m feeling a just a tad bit gloomy, too. And why not? Things got off to an awful start Monday evening, when Politico dropped a genuine news bombshell: a draft of a Supreme Court decision that would obliterate the right to abortion. It’s still hard, a few days later, to get your hands around the misery that will be visited on the one-half of the population for which pregnancy is a possibility, should the court's final decision mirror the draft, which seems likely. More trouble showed up the next night: J.D. Vance won the Ohio Republican primary, which maybe is easier to understand than the legal reasoning behind the abortion draft, although Vance's victory was just as hard to stomach. The problem was not just that Vance might become another mean-spirited Republican in the Senate if he defeats the Democratic nominee in November, which he has a decent chance of doing. The actual gloomy part was that the real winner of the Ohio primary was Donald J. Trump, the worst president in history, whose endorsement moved Vance from third place in the opinion polls to first place in the actual polls. Trump could also take a victory lap for the Supreme Court’s move against abortion, since three of his scoundrel-nominees were now on the court, and joining two of the court’s longtime conservative grouches to constitute an anti-abortion majority, . So, yes, Trump was still with us this week. Still calling the shots. Still shaping our lives. Still fibbing, still working to wreck our democracy, when he should have been in jail, and his zombie-cult Republicans twisting themselves in pretzels, trying to explain to the rest of us what in the world had caused them to join a zombie-cult. Instead, just five people were about to send the country back a half-century, undermining the Supreme Court's own decisions which made abortion legal, starting with its Roe v. Wade ruling, long, long ago in 1973. Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., author of the leaked draft simply brushed all of that away. “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. It’s reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences.” Actually, a future court, not as politicized or as demonic, could conserve that wording, saving it for new decision restoring abortion and other privacy rights inherent in the Constitution. In the meantime, Republican states have laws ready to go that will ban and criminalize abortions after the court issues its final decision, probably next month. What’s more, anti-abortion forces are anticipating a new, national law that will strip Democratic-led states of their ability to allow abortions.
WELL, IT'S NOT FUN being on the losing side. Not fun being wrong. I admit that I was wrong about about Vance winning in Ohio, because I thought - hoped, anyway - that Vance losing would mean Trump had lost his grip on the Republican Party. I was wrong about how far Alito would go in decimating abortion rights. Maybe you were, too. I was wrong, wrong, wrong - and I know you were, too - in thinking that Donald J. Trump could not possibly become the president of the United States. Sometimes I think that’s a problem with liberals, progressives and Democrats: we are just too optimistic, too positive, too hopeful, and then, when things don't turn out that way, we go full gloomy. The Supreme Court couldn’t possibly reject its own precedents that ensured that a woman has the right to decide if and when she’ll have a baby. Really, you couldn't imagine forcing someone to carry a pregnancy she doesn’t want; couldn't imagine someone being raised by parents who don’t want you; hard to imagine being too poor to provide basic necessities for your child. But that’s what happens when a J.D. Vance and like-minded zombie-cult Republicans get control of Congress, putting them in a position to approve a president’s high court nominees. That's what happens when a guy like Donald Trump shows up in the White House and nominates more “justices” like his first three. Or worse. Can there be worse justices? Of course.
BUT IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY. The solution is simple. There are enough Democrats and Independent voters to keep America sane and safe. Which is why we shouldn’t - why we can’t - overdo this gloomy business. It’s okay to take a moment or two to realize our side, at least for the moment, is on the losing side. Losing is hard. Losing hurts. Not easy to whistle a happy tune when Republicans are on a roll, and Democrats can’t catch a break. And, like I said, it can always get worse. Remember that I said that there might be more bad news? I started writing this on Thursday. And when I checked later that night, I came across this Washington Post headline:
DOW PLUNGES MORE THAN 1,000 POINTS AS FEARS ABOUT ECONOMY INTENSIFY. Investors are reacting to concerns about a slowing economy and interest rate increases.
JUST CAN'T catch a break. The economy is what’s on voters’ minds these days; inflation particularly; and here’s the stock market going cuckoo on us. And the week's not over. But enough is enough. There are enough Democrats, enough Independents, like I said, to win this November and again two Novembers from now, to keep the country safe and sane. But that’s only going to happen if we stop with this gloomy attitude. Instead, we should get just a little bit mad - maybe really mad - about the abortion fiasco and the fact that Trump is on the move to be a once and future authoritarian. It's so simple to make sure those things don’t happen. The danger isn’t that Republicans are on a roll, counting their chickens and taking some victory laps this week. The danger is that Democrats are feeling so gloomy that they stay that way, thereby missing the chance of a lifetime to keep democracy sensible and secure. Before we know, it will be Fall and our opportunity to put put this gloomy week and many others behind us, starting with my vote, then your vote and millions of others just waiting to make Nov. 8 the brightest, happiest day of the year.
I'VE BEEN a reporter and writer for 58 years, long enough to have learned that journalists don't know very much, although I've met some smart ones. Mainly, what reporters know comes from asking other people questions and fretting about the answers. This blog is a successor to one inspired by our dog, Phoebe, who was smart, sweet and the antithesis of Donald Trump. She died Feb. 3, and I don't see getting over that very soon. Occasionally, I may try to reach her via cell phone.