Volume 33, Number 3

Losing Roe is Not Just About Losing Rights, It’s Also About a Clear and Present Danger to Our Democracy

Fred Schepartz

I could say very little. I could say a lot.

The recent action by this dangerously radical U.S. Supreme Court to ignore 50 years of precedent and overturn Roe is an utter catastrophe. The impact on women’s health has already been felt. Health care professional fear prosecution. Pregnant women are being denied healthcare that is absolutely essential. Women will die as a direct result of this action.

In addition, families who live in forced-birth states will find themselves more likely to fall into poverty due to the denial of reproductive rights. Impoverished families will find their situations even more desperate.

Infant mortality will rise, and disproportionately for babies of color. This is especially heinous in states like Wisconsin where Black infant mortality is considerably higher than that of whites. That will only get worse.

However, this is more than just about abortion.

This is the first time in our history that SCOTUS has taken away a right that was previously held by the citizenry.

Take a moment to think about it.

Throughout the 20th Century, we evolved as a nation. One by one, rights were won, and always through a great deal of sacrifice and hard work.

Now a right has been taken away. Alito demurred, claiming that his opinion would not apply to anything but abortion.

Not so fast, Thomas chimed in. The same rationale could be used to overturn any rights involving privacy, such as marriage equality, contraception. Hell, even adultery and sodomy. And it is crucial to note that Thomas has made it clear that he has no respect for precedents that he does not agree with.

Our democracy is in crisis. We are talking five-alarm fire.

We barely survived an attempted coup that involved a nationwide conspiracy among the highest levels of government. We may not be so lucky the next time.

SCOTUS has agreed to hear a case that could essentially allow state legislatures to sidestep federal election law and ignore the will of the people if they do not approve of the results of a federal election.

What we are seeing is the mainstreaming of Christian Nationalism. And this has been in the works since the election of Ronald Reagan, which was maybe the first election where abortion was a huge issue, where the Christian right became a significant political force.

This is an extreme, dangerous and atavistic bunch. They now control SCOTUS, and they have come to dominate the Republican Party. And they do this openly.

Again, this has been in the works for a very long time. I have written previously about the unholy alliance between the Christian right and billionaires/corporation/big business. Somehow they found common interest. BCBB supplies the money. CR provides the votes and the organizing structure. BCBB wants unfettered capitalism. CR wants theocracy.

And for both sides, the ends ALWAYS justify the means.

That is why this is so dangerous. That is why we see such ruthlessness among Republican politicians. They don’t care about democracy or any kind of norms. If they can dominate through extreme gerrymandering, so be it. If they can dominate through voter suppression, so be it.

The ends justify the means.

These Christian Nationalists are emboldened to the point that they hardly hide their nature anymore.

Doug Mastriano is the Republican candidate for governor in Pennsylvania. It was recently revealed that Mastriano paid $5000 for “campaign consulting,” with far right wing social media site Gab. It should be noted that the gunman who murdered 11 Jews at a Pittsburgh synagogue posted anti-Semitic screeds on Gab. As Rachel Maddow reported, Mastriano essentially is now in a partnership with Gab where the site automatically funnels new followers to his page.

Josh Shapiro, who is a Jew, is running against Mastriano. He is the current attorney general of Pennsylvania and is a very highly qualified candidate. Mastriano got Giant Baby Man’s endorsement because he not only attended the January 6 attempted coup, but he also arranged for several buses to transport scores of likewise deranged folk to join the coup.

Shapiro is high on my list of candidates who will receive donations from me this election cycle. More about that in a bit.

All is not lost. There is much we can do.

First, support reproductive rights any way you can. Donate money. If you have an opportunity to help in any other way, by all means do so.

Second, participate in the mid-terms elections this fall. Yes, I have often said that our electoral system sometimes is a distraction to keep us from taking more radical actions at certain times. I have often said that we are so often led to believe that electing Democrats is the be-all-and-end-all. There is so much more to our political discourse and our political reality than elections.

But this fall the stakes could not be higher. If somehow Democrats manage to keep control of both houses, we might actually be able to protect the rights that SCOTUS has not yet taken away. And we could see that abortion rights are enshrined as the true law of the land.

It is crucial that Democrats not just hold the Senate but actually gain some seats, at least two so we can render those two phony Democrats inert.

Voting is not enough. Volunteer in get out the vote efforts. If you have money to spare, make campaign donations. As I did two years ago, I am in position to donate money to several candidates. Here’s some on my radar. Please note, this is far from a complete list.

Right here in Wisconsin, Tony Evers for governor, Josh Kaul for attorney general and whoever gets the nomination to face off against Sen. Ron Johnson. It is long way past time for Rojo the Fucking Idiot to go. And he’s never been more vulnerable because he has tilted so far to the lunatic fringe.

In Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer, governor, Jocelyn Benson, secretary of state and Dana Nessel, attorney general.

And please do consider supporting good candidates for secretary of state because there are many anti-democratic candidates running as Republicans in states where elections are controlled by secretaries of state. And look at attorney general races as well.

In Georgia, Stacey Abrams, governor and Raphael Warnock, senator.

In Pennsylvania, Josh Shapiro, governor and John Fetterman, senate.

Depending on how the primary goes, look at Katie Hobbs for governor. Sen. Mark Kelly hopes to hold his seat and needs support.

In Florida, the fantastic Val Demings is hoping to unseat Sen. Mark Rubio. That would be a huge get if she can pull it off.

In Ohio, Tim Ryan, senate.

Other Senate candidates to consider are Catherine Cortez Masto, Nevada, Maggie Hassan, New Hampshire and Michael Bennet, Colorado.

Again, these are just a few suggestions, but the bottom-line is that we cannot afford to sit on the sidelines. Elections have consequences. Let us hope that this upcoming election will have consequences that are meaningful to us in a good way.

As I like to say, the arc of history bends toward justice. We have made great progress as a society, but that only matters if we can survive the backlash.