I’m Definitely Not Rooting for Anyone to Get Hurt

The confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett as the newest Supreme Court Justice—who has as much experience trying constitutional law cases I do playing in the NBA—has gotten people justifiably riled up. In an egregiously short time window, the chief Demon Turtle of the Senate has forced through a LIFETIME appointment more aggressively than Donald Trump forces himself on women. (ha ha! It’s funny because he’s a rapist!) However, even though this miscarriage of justice will literally echo for decades, it’s important that we don’t violate our very super duper important sense of common decency and wish totally justifiable ill will on these shitsacks walking hate crimes “people.” That’s why, today, I am making this declaration: I am definitely not wishing harm on these people.

I most certainly don’t want to see Ted Cruz get lice in his midlife crisis beard. I 100% don’t want to watch Mitt Romney choke during a speech so self-pleasuring it can only be seen on Cinemax After Dark. There is no world in which it would be endlessly funny to see Mitch McConnell get COVID only to have medical professionals refuse to help him because most people don’t die from it anyhow (that’s how it works right, you jowly fucknugget). I definitely don’t want to see any of that. 

No, I’m above wishing ill will on the people who would rather watch your family die in the streets without healthcare before they pay taxes on money their grandfathers made selling slaves in agriculture. Would it be absolutely hilarious to see Lindsey Graham, Brett Kavanaugh, and Clarence Thomas have heart attacks during their weekly backroom tuggy session? Yes, 100%. I’m only human. However, do I wish for those embodiments of mediocre, sniveling male privilege to die that way? Almost definitely not. Because I’m a good person who legally cannot say that I would like that to happen.

These are bad times. The people in charge of our government are bad people. However, we mustn’t stoop to their level. That is why I am imploring you to take this pledge with me: I will not wish harm or death upon the people responsible for stealing this Supreme Court seat, no matter how totally awesome it would be.

10 Questions That the Judiciary Committee Should Have Asked Amy Coney Barrett

ACB’s judiciary hearings: bad!! Here’s 10 questions that would have improved the process: 

  1. Are you mad at me? 
  2. Wait, you went to Rhodesia College before they changed the name to Zimbabwe?
  3. Do you think Pete Buttigieg is jealous that you’ve almost made it out of South Bend?
  4. How much of your opposition to Obamacare is just because it’s a total bitch to cite to National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius?
  5. How will YOU use the power of the judiciary to further the Republican Party’s descent into fascism? 
  6. Is this whole thing really just to get back at all those Cubs fans who said they’d take a Trump presidency if the Cubs won the World Series in 2016? 
  7. Which RBG opinion will you overturn first to honor her memory? 
  8. How did your Fed Soc membership at Notre Dame prepare you for a lifetime of a false sense of persecution as a member of a 6–3 conservative majority? 
  9. But actually, what would Trump have to do for you to not accept his nomination?
  10. Is the fact that so many people got infected at your nomination ceremony evidence that COVID-19 has an anti-Catholic bias?

Who We’re Nominating When We Pack the Everlasting Fuck Out Of The Supreme Court

Alright, fuckers. The endgame is here. Win this election, never see Donald Trump again, and pack the Court like it’s the last bowl you’re going to smoke before you go home for the summer. Get your padfolios ready, America—you might be joining the nation’s most powerful court. Here are the not-so-select few people we’re adding to the Supreme Court the fucking minute Biden is sworn in:

  • A Starbucks barista who Biden complimented on “the way her shirt fit”
  • 15 illegal immigrants
  • Hunter Biden
  • Your local DSA treasurer 🌹🌹🌹
  • Chief Justice Cardi B
  • The E Street Band
  • Your local ambulance chasing attorney with a kick-ass nickname like “The Justice Hammer”
  • My fifth grade teacher Ms. Leach she was nice 🙂
  • People who loudly shout “Tequila!!!” when the Tequila song plays
  • Rebecca Black
  • Our corporate sponsor, NBC Comcast
  • Jimmy Buffett’s Parrot. He has a parrot, right?
  • Still not Michael Avenatti, sorry!
  • Jeb!
  • Several Krassensteins
  • That guy who tried to chug an entire bottle of Patron in a parking garage and just vomited everywhere
  • Count Chocula
  • Diana Ross, along with no more than two other Supremes
  • The frontline healthcare hero from that Blink-182 album cover
  • Al Franken 😱😱😱
  • A bombastic drag queen whose stage name is Amy Bony Carrot
  • Paul George, so he can finally secure a victory on the court
  • Kett Bravanaugh
  • Every dog with over 50,000 Instagram followers
  • I think my roommate’s boyfriend is pretty sharp actually
  • The Migos member you don’t know
  • A cardboard cut-out of Antonin Scalia with an 18-inch dildo affixed to the mouth region
  • Damn Daniel
  • Kate McKinnon, roleplaying as RBG
  • Scooter Libby
  • Alec Baldwin (300 hours of court-ordered community service)
  • Flo-Rida
  • The weiners from Pod Save America, so they can go bother somebody else
  • Jack Daniels
  • Ur mom haha
  • Esteemed Eastern District of California judge Troy L. Nunley
  • Idris Elba, because what can’t that guy do!
  • My bodega guy
  • Balloon boy!!!!
  • 2003 Oakland Athletics’ All-Star Reliever Keith Foulke
  • Saquon, who suddenly has the time
  • Herman Cain’s ghost 👻👻👻
  • Joe Lieberman JK FUCK THAT GUY
  • Three Toddlers in a Trenchcoat
  • Susan Collins
  • Van Jones, so he gets off my dang TV
  • Claudia Conway
  • Flo, but not Jamie!
  • Taylor Swift, when she is in the woods
  • Merrick Garland
  • Anyone with LED lights in their bedroom

RIP to RBG

In a year full of loss, this one hits the hardest. 

I went to the Supreme Court on Friday night. Two things stuck out as we walked among the people assembled on the steps. 

The first is Ginsburg’s incredible legacy. Long before she was a Supreme Court justice, she (seemingly single-handedly) led the charge in the 1970s for sex equality. Nearly every landmark Supreme Court case about sex and the Equal Protection Clause was tied to Ginsburg. Then she went and authored her own crucial opinion once she was on the Court. 

You don’t need me to tell you that RBG was a trailblazer. But seeing the assembled mourners on Friday night was a powerful reminder of all the people whose lives she helped change for the better. The women who were able to have fulfilling professional careers that weren’t conceivable in the years before Ginsburg forged her own path. The lives that are richer in a society that has benefited because of the work RBG did to push us toward a more equal nation on the basis of the sex. She helped challenge and loosen the ingrained, constricting, and unfair gender roles and legal rules that confined men and women. Our lives at home and at work are unimaginably better for it. 

The second thing that hit me though was how losing RBG makes the law in general, and the Supreme Court in particular, feel ever more like a tenuous and arbitrary edifice. We have put so much pressure on nine old people in the Supreme Court to uphold and enforce our rights, and we feel crushed every time they fail to do so. We have let a Court of almost uniformly white men cloak itself in a veneer of objectivity only to get kicked in the stomach every time the Court helps the conservative movement swipe away another hard-fought right. Ginsburg’s passing sheds even more light on the artifice of an institution that stakes claims to neutral principles of law while allowing states and the federal government to concoct preposterous abortion restrictions or establish crosses on public land or kill Mexican teenagers playing on the wrong side of an invisible line

These feelings are mixed up with some frustrations about RBG. She was celebrated as a liberal icon—even when other justices outflanked her on the left. Her hiring practices weren’t as progressive as her legal opinions. And her meme-ification as the Notorious RBG had overtones of minstrelsy and appropriation

Perhaps most frustratingly, she could have retired earlier and let an Obama appointee continue down her path for a more liberal expansion of rights. Instead, we’re staring down the barrel of 30+ years of Amy Coney Barrett using RBG’s seat to build a “kingdom of God.” 

Ginsburg became known for her impassioned dissent on an increasingly conservative Court. We were already in for a lot more dissents like hers given Trump’s two nominations to the bench so far (one stolen, the other simply despicable). But now things could get very bad for a very long time. What lies ahead might force us to rethink our view of the Supreme Court as a fair institution that will protect our rights and values. In that case, we may need to shift our focus away from the federal courts and toward matching the conservative movement’s strides at the state level. 

RBG crafted a brilliant litigation strategy that operated within an overwhelmingly white and male power structure to make a push toward sex equality. But her legal victories—as crucial as they were—only took us so far toward concrete and lasting change. The real change comes from the sweat and blood of shifting hearts and minds as we fight for a more just society. Ginsburg could see the whole board when it came to social change, and she knew when and how the law fit into the bigger picture. 

It’s a shame that Ginsburg’s death immediately became a political battlefront rather than a testimony to her incredible achievements and lasting influence. But it’s heartening that we can celebrate her achievements and continue her legacy by fighting to protect the rights she fought for and to expand the vision of equality she articulated. So let’s do that. May her memory be a revolution.  

Joe Biden’s Most Likely October Surprises, Ranked

5. “And it’s about the, we’ve all got to be — you know, there’s nothing that can’t — and if we are!”

4. “Folks, it’s like when I was the Obama, there was a woman — I mean, when the vice president was president, it was nowhere near as much as now.”

3. “You can’t — today, it’s about today — and so it’s about a reckoning but that’s the possibility and we’re finally, but it’s about so much more.”

2. He learns the dang WAP dance 😦

1. “Corn Pop!”

Trump’s Most Likely October Surprises, Ranked

8. Replacing Mike Pence. If this was going to happen, by the rules it would have to be done at the convention. But the rules* also say you can’t have your attorney facilitate hush money payments to your porn star mistress during a campaign, so I feel like we can’t rule this out. It’s definitely the least likely item on the list, mainly because Trump values loyalty above all else and Pence has been a sycophant’s sycophant for his entire term.
*laws

7. Mass tribunals for BLM protesters. We’ve seen Tennessee announce that engaging in protests would result in a forfeiture of voting rights, and Trump already sent the secret police to create violence in Portland. So they’re not being terribly creative here, just kind of running down a totalitarian checklist for engaging with the opposition. Feels like show trials should come up fairly soon.

6. Banning mail or something. It almost feels inevitable at this point that we’re gonna reach a stage where sending mail items through the USPS is going to be a fierce act of #resistance.

5. War :). Remember how much he loved the fawning media coverage of his Syria strike? Now imagine that, but with a country no one’s ever heard of. 

4. Finding a doctor to claim Biden’s senile. This would probably need to be ginned up in the last few days before the election, so the news media doesn’t have time to dig up “facts” that “show this doctor has never had Joe Biden as a patient” or whatever. But still, it wouldn’t be too hard to find someone to make the claim. Is the devil jizz lady still available?

3. Killing his niece on Fifth Avenue. Experts agree, murdering a woman with a firearm could bring Trump’s GOP approval rating up an extra 3-6 percentage points.

2. Announcing charges/investigation into Biden, Hillary, Obama or, idk, someone like that. Again, this is an authoritarian classic, and Bill Barr has shown a somewhat sexual excitement at the opportunity to serve as Trump’s attack dog. It’s hard to imagine exactly what the charges would be (Did Hillary ever send an email about Benghazi? Could be something there), but that would largely be beside the point. Like Comey’s letter in 2016, the aim would just be to get the name of a Democrat in the news alongside words like “corruption” and “federal charges.”

1. Approving a COVID-19 vaccine. It’s hard to call this one a surprise, really. He’s been telegraphing it for months, and the administration is reportedly targeting the (fairly promising!) Oxford University vaccine. Whether he succeeds in making the FDA actually grant vaccine approval before the election, or just unilaterally announces that we have a vaccine now, I have absolutely 0% doubt that Trump is going to claim there’s a COVID vaccine by election day. And honestly I just hope there’s even a crumb of truth to it.

Trump’s COVID Response Is Reaganism Defined

On Oct. 15, 1982, President Reagan’s press secretary was asked about a newly discovered virus that was in the midst of devastating certain subsections of American society. The room laughed, the questioner persisted, and the official White House response to the disease was “I don’t have it, do you?”

The virus was HIV, and that reaction would set the tone for the federal government’s reaction over the ensuing decade. They ignored the deadly disease as it ravaged communities from coast to coast, because the people who were being killed were people they didn’t care about. Largely gay, often urban and poor, sometimes sex workers—these were not lives the White House felt mattered, or at least not enough to protect.

Fast forward 28 years, and President Trump’s administration has perfected the Reagan model of pandemic response. 

At first they ignored the virus, only taking action if it could be done in a jingoistic fashion. They declined to institute a national test and trace program when one could have still saved us. They waved it off, claiming it might disappear on its own or suggesting mass suicide via bleach injection if we were worried about it. Then once they realized it was disproportionately killing Black, Brown, and poor communities, they encouraged states to lift lockdowns—knowing full well this would spread the virus—and steadfastly refused to promote masks that might have helped at least slow the devastation.

And when the deaths skyrocketed again (as every epidemiologist, virologist, and human with an ability to gather news from anywhere besides QAnon fanboards knew they would)? President Trump did Reagan proud, declaring “it is what it is.” 

As if having a 9/11’s worth of excess human death every 2.5 days was just a fact of life. One happening outside the realm of administration actions and consequences. 

So it’s worth remembering as “decent” Republicans loudly proclaim they want to return to a pre-Trump era of compassionate conservatism, that none of this has ever been terribly compassionate. Not to the most marginalized communities, and not to the groups that were abandoned by their country in the ‘80s and are being abandoned by their government right now. 

Grading Fauci

Recently, Anthony Fauci was the subject of a scathing op-ed by something called a Peter Navarro (??). Navarri is known, tragically, to have an extremely bad brain and the White House was forced to claim they had nothing to do with the piece. 

But while much scorn has been directed Navarro’s way, what should we make of Fauci himself? He’s been deified on the left, vilified on the right, and sidelined by the White House. But how should we grade his performance during this pandemic?

Criteria 1: death and destruction
Hooooo boy. Ok, so theoretically, as the nation’s top virologist it’s Fauci’s main job to prevent hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths by virus. On that front, the scale of the failure is, um, unignorable. But it’s not going too far out on a limb to say that his guidance hasn’t always been followed, and his advice has generally been to do things like socially distance and wear a mask (we’ll get back to this) that could have prevented the current nightmare we’re sleepwalking through. And considering that the head of the White House Coronavirus task force is the same guy responsible for bringing the HIV/AIDS epidemic back to Indiana, it’s probably fair to say this could have been much worse.
Grade: B-

Criteria 2: scientific adherence
Here’s where Fauci has really shined. In the face of a White House courageously pledging not to let “the science get in the way” of killing teachers, Fauci has been steadfast in forcing the science into the way. It hasn’t always worked out, but Fauci has consistently refused to talk politics or really anything other than the science of the pandemic—and it seems pretty likely that if the president had suggested injecting bleach in his presence, rather than Dr. Birx’s, he would have spoken up,
Grade: A

Criteria 3: protective measures
On the one hand, the CDC committed what epidemiologists refer to as a “catastrophic fuck up” (CFU, in industry-speak) when in March it advised the nation not to wear masks for a virus that turned out to likely be airborne. Fauci doesn’t work at the CDC, but as the nation’s most trusted voice on communicable diseases, he surely played a role in that CFU. On the other hand, Fauci has been adamant about keeping social distance and closing down businesses when needed, even in the face of a president determined to eradicate the state of Florida. 
Grade: B+

Criteria 4: looking sick as fuck
Anthony Fauci is like four feet tall, a billion years old, and would absolutely be able to pipe every intern in the greater Silver Springs area if there weren’t a fucking pandemic. 
Grade: A+, somehow

Criteria 5: keeping his job
As bad as things are, they would surely be worse if Trump’s next choice for the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Disease—the doctor who prescribed Michael Jackson all that propofol, probably—were in charge. Fauci’s ability to publicly contradict the president and not get fired has been perhaps his greatest strength, and perhaps the only thing keeping us from a situation as dire as that in [add country doing worse at this than the US, make one up if none exists].
Grade: A++

Overall
So how do we grade him on the whole? The pandemic has been a disaster for everyone except grave-diggers, so he’s certainly not getting perfect marks. But an A- feels pretty fair. Maybe that’s just because it’s so jarring to see a government official trying to keep people alive, but if he’s benefiting from low expectations, so be it. Now, go have some freaky socially distant phone sex with a GW grad student, Tony. 
Grade: A-