postscript: the nation state

Once again, a year and a half into a Democratic presidency, I find myself asking “why the hell doesn’t it feel like we won?” The obvious answer is that we won in name only; with two fake Democrats in a “majority” of 50+VP, we don’t actually have the power to pass a damn thing, which in turn leads people to scream at Biden for not doing anything. Well, apart from student loans (which he should definitely be free-rolling in the next four months tops), there’s nothing he can do that a Republican couldn’t immediately do away with in 2024. We could make a temporary benefit, but that only works if it gets people out to vote.

Then, too, there’s the usual problem: the Republicans run the country into the ground, lose power, then throw everything they have into preventing the Democrats remediating those problems and blaming them instead, with the help of the supine catamites of the Washington press. Twas always thus. It’s cooking along in jig time, seems like.

But the biggest reason it feels like things have gotten worse is that we are currently experiencing the delayed-effect bombs of 2016-20. The sacrifice of Ukrainian independence to Putin-worship, the indifference to stopping the Covid-19 pandemic, and the unprecedented and shameless shattering of what we thought were the rules in order to pack the Supreme Court. Now it’s all going off at once, and here are the Democrats having to navigate the wreckage of the last five years all at once.

Basically, the Supreme Court has torched the 14th amendment and its emanations and penumbras. Post-WWII juridprudence is absolutely for the chop, and states will be allowed to opt out of the postwar consensus en masse. It’s soft secession, as described elsewhere: states can do what they want and the conservative machinery at the federal level will protect them. The only way to prevent it is to somehow retain the House, somehow retain the Senate, add enough Senators to make a solid 51 votes for the entire Democratic plan, and then run roughshod – pack the Supreme Court to at least 15, destroy the filibuster, pass federally binding election law to prevent states making their own shenanigans. Right now, the Republican Party is devoted to the destruction of American democracy, and is acting and adjudicating as if they will never again be out of power. It has to be stopped now. Forget loans, or stimulus, or anything else except inasmuch as it will bring more voters to the polls in 2022 and 2024 to defend the entire concept of majority rule.

And this is where California comes in.

California doesn’t have an electoral college. California’s GOP burned itself down on the altar of “we hate Mexicans” twenty years ago, and can only achieve statewide power now through methods that don’t require them to win the most votes (see: 2003 recall, Arnold Schwarzenegger). That’s why there was a recall attempt on Gavin Newsom, that’s why there are a steady stream of Three Californias or Six Californias or whatever bullshit. California is a state where the modern racist redneck GOP simply cannot achieve political agency at the ballot box, because they do not have the votes, and if you don’t have the votes you don’t get agency.

California has food. California has oil. California has high tech and entertainment and the finest public university system in the world. California has a budget surplus of $97 billion dollars this year and can afford to ease its citizens’ extortion by Big Oil. California, depending on how AAPL is doing today, has the world’s sixth largest economy. And while I have never thought California should secede from the United States, it should be prepared for the Confederates to secede from it, and it should not shirk from the challenge.

California will continue the American experiment. The notion that all people are created equal, regardless of race or gender expression or sexual orientation or national origin, and that they are endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – irrespective of income, irrespective of property, irrespective of adherence to the backward beliefs of the Deep South. The modern GOP is about one thing: freedom of consequences for the right whites and absolutely no one else. That they should be protected and unbound by the law while all others are bound and unprotected. And California will stand between the Rockies and the Pacific and say, not here.

And if by life or death I can stand with them, I will. And when the day is over we will buy a keg of booze, and we’ll drink to California til we wobble in our shoes…

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