The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Losing Roe And The New Dred Scott

So, Roe is to be overturned. This has been coming for a long time. Democrats were worthless and didn’t fight, RBG betrayed those who worship her when she refused to resign when she got a cancer with a 90% death rate and Obama had a supermajority. (In the end Roe would have been lost anyway, but she moved up the clock.)

What needs to be understood about the loss of Roe is that states with anti-abortion laws are going to make them extra-territorial: they’re going to make it illegal to go to another state for an abortion. They will try and extradite people who do, and if they return to the state they live in, well, they’ll be arrested. Given surveillance abilities today, many women who thought no one knew will find out someone did: if you track your periods on your phone, or if you are foolish enough to carry your phone to a clinic. Perhaps even if you use your phone to call a clinic.

Phones are bugs and taps we carry with us voluntarily, after all.

Roe is, of course, only the start. Conservatives have a 5/4 majority for horrid things, and they will go after gay marriage, school integration, teaching evolution in schools and eventually (given Thomas is unlikely to annul his own marriage) mixed raced marriages.

I would also expect an assault on the decisions which allowed the New Deal: which is to say the right to regulate banks, to provide social security and medicare, and, of course, a further gutting of Obamacare.

Voting and demonstrations which bother no one will not fix this. If you want it fixed you’re going to have to let politicians and judges know, personally, in ways they can’t ignore, that this is unacceptable. That will entail risk to you, and may not be worth it to enough people.

There are no such thing as innate rights: all rights are political, and all of politics is a matter of force and power. Sometimes that fact is kept out of sight so as not to offend the delicate, but power is the only thing that ever matters.

Do people who want abortion rights and other civil liberties have enough power to keep them? Remember that you don’t have power you won’t use.

I hope we find out they do.

(And don’t count on fleeing to Canada or Mexico. If a Republican government puts the pressure on, there’s a good chance our government will fold. Canadian and Mexicans understand what American governments do to those who cross them.)



Does Zero Covid In China Work?


The Democratic Bargain, Abortion and Responsibility


  1. marku52

    This has been my fear: the pubs take the house and the senate in the midterms, and the presidency in 2024 (Thanks Obama, for sabotaging Sanders!)

    Immediately, the pubs throw out the filibuster (McTurtle respect “norms”? Don’t make me laugh.) and ban abortion nation wide.

    The West Coast and the NE refuse to comply. Now what? The Feds sending in the National Guard to close the clinics? Wait, the NG serves the governor! But that can be overwrode at the federal level, can’t it? That’s how NG troops ended up in Afpakistan, after all.

    Second Civil War, here we come. Good work, Democrats. Well played.

  2. Dan Lynch

    “Conservative s… will go after gay marriage, school integration, teaching evolution in schools and eventually mixed raced marriages.” None of which matter to the ruling elites, who only care about money and power.

    Social issues are for suckers. Yes, blacks should be able to drink at public water fountains, but it’s far more important that blacks be ECONOMICALLY equal to whites. Marriage is a religious ceremony that government should not be involved in. Southern schools are more segregated now than they were in the ’60s because white racists either relocated to lily white parts of the country or else sent their kids to “segregation academies.” Repeat, SOCIAL ISSUES ARE FOR SUCKERS. The elites use social issues to keep the common people divided.

    There are a handful of Republicans who sincerely believe in their social issues, but most only go along with identity politics because it is the price of admission to power.

    What to do? If you live in a state that has a ballot referendum then you should put abortion on the ballot. Polls show that even red state populations support abortion.

    The national government of the U.S. is hopelessly corrupt and there is no fix on the horizon short of a strong man riding in on a white horse. Historically, major change has only come about because of war or catastrophe. I had thought that the covid pandemic would be enough of a catastrophe to wake America up, but no, America has gone back to sleep.

  3. Mary Bennett

    I tend to think that abortion restrictions in some states means men, especially single men, won’t be having sex very often. The young women of today are not at all the easily manipulated, fashion obsessed dolls of 40 or 50 years ago. They grow up with the expectation that they will have to make their own livings, and quite possibly be sole support of any children they might have.

  4. NR

    Relevant for this post, from Daily Kos of all places, the Senate unanimously voted last night to extend police protection to the immediate families of Supreme Court members.

    I don’t know what I think about this. On the one hand, violence and the threat of violence has been very effective for right-wingers (things like targeting abortion providers, etc.) On the other hand, sometimes this can backfire in a big way, like how the murder of Emmett Till in the 50s gave a big boost to the civil rights movement. It’s a dangerous game no matter how you slice it.

    I will say, though, that it’s very telling the Senate acted so fast on this given that they’ve consistently refused to pass protections for abortion providers.

  5. madaha

    I think there’s a shadow goal of eliminating public schools entirely, actually.

  6. different clue

    There was a time when Democrat Liberals still had a measure of power or at least some access to usable power. But they believed in subhuman pacifist subhumanism. (I was raised pacifist and I learned in person just how subhuman and subhumanizing pacifism really is. And that is not something I debate about anymore with subhuman pacifist subhumans.)

    So they very carefully abjured the pursuit and use of power till they had no power left. They kept turning the other cheek until they ran out of other cheeks to turn. I speak of the Democrat Liberal true believers and followers, not the cynical Inner Party manipulators who farmed and ranched those true believing followers for their own Inner Party fun and profit.

    I think it was the true believing followers and the well-intended Outer Party cadres that Hunter S. Thompson had in mind when he finally wrote . . . . ” Jesus Christ! I’ve gone as far as I can with these god-damned waterheads.”

    So for now, probortionism will have to retreat to some legal probortion states. The people of those states would be advised to legalize abortion good and hard in those states and start taxing themselves enough to raise, train, build and supply probortion state armies powerful enough to deter Federal Anti-abortion enforcement invasion-occupation forces. Ideally, they would also begin turning their states into separate survival fortress economies, steadily reducing and then severing economic contact with the antibortion states.

    They should also institute systems for refusing abortion services to residents of antibortion states. Legal abortion should be a privilege restricted to the residents of states which are prepared to support legal abortion within their own borders, including being prepared to apply the defensive violence needed to protect their probortion laws from antibortion-state aggression.

    Present or potential abortion seekers or supporters within the antibortion states will have to be forced to know that their only hope for abortion rights will be to either emigrate to a probortion state and become a citizen there ( as slaves used to try doing from the slavery states) . . . . or to wage and win a political or physical civil war against the antibortion forces of their own antibortion states. The probortion states will have to force that issue by sealing their abortion provision systems against abortion tourists from the antibortion states. And that means most-of-all denying abortion access to the millionaire and billionaire abortion-seekers from the antibortion states.

    And yes, for purely pragmatic reasons, Mexico and Canada will probably not offer an abortion tourism alternative to abortion seekers from the Republic of Gilead States of America.

    People in the antibortion states who want legal abortion access inside their own states might well form a Legal Abortion Party to pursue abortion legalization through political pathways, if there are any. They would be well advised to form very effective heavily armed militias to protect themselves and eachother from Christian Satanist violence from their fellow antibortion state citizens. If they form physical party offices with real-world locations and addresses, these offices should be built as fortresses and fortifications, survivable, defensible, and able to launch hyper-violent raids from if/when the time comes. Something else the Christian Satanists will force all the members of such a party to think about is . . . how many assassinations a Legal Abortion Party is prepared to absorb before it either decides to retaliate massively in order to survive as a party, , or to disband quietly in hopes of being allowed to survive as humble defeated individuals. I merely offer that as some cautious survival advice for them.

  7. Astrid

    Compared to Covid and Russia baiting to start a nuclear WWIII, not to mention the hundreds millions of brown people already maimed/killed and billions to come…I just can’t work up the energy to be upset about petty cruelty against a hateful and stupified USian public anymore (yes, they don’t deserve it, everybody go blame their parents for not using birth control, I do). Yeah, it sucks. Yeah, it shouldn’t happen. But it hardly matters in the grand scheme of things. If we survive this current thing, I expect the whole cruel deck of cards to quickly collapse on itself so it hardly matters.

  8. Ché Pasa

    They’re ratcheting up the chaos. For power. Ultimate. Total.

    Lucky us.

  9. StewartM

    Democrats were worthless and didn’t fight

    Democrats only fought for Roe using the most right-wing arguments possible, i.e., “but rape and incest!!” instead of focusing on “it’s the woman’s own business, at least in the first two trimesters, end of discussion”. Just like gay rights was only sold as gay couples being 1950s Ozzie and Harriet clones.

    Glenn Greenwald (who I have some respect for) was egregiously stupid in his quote about “democracy” and Roe as quoted Sunday in Tony Wikret’s Week-End Wrap. Lots of rights, including his (him being gay) only came about due to court decisions (Lawrence vs Texas, ‘sodomy’; Obergefell vs Hodges, gay marriage). Even in states where these were legal before the SCOTUS cases, it usually was court decisions, not legislatures, which made it legal. Likewise, it is hard to fathom any way forward for the cases for desegregation or civil rights without the relevant court decisions. Even contraception rights may fall, though I suspect that may be the last thing (they’ll have to whittle down the electorate more, Putin-style, to about 10 % so choose the ‘right voters’).

    All those of you who thought Trump and his presidency was not as bad or as harmful as “the more effective evil” of Clinton/Obama, well, defend this shit. As bad as those were, Trump and his ilk were far worse. The US under Trumpists will end up like Putin’s Russia–infrastructure crumbling even more, talent and scientists and those with skills fleeing the country, and the population aging and declining, while the looting of the elites is only restrained by their loyalty or lack thereof to the Big Boss.

    Paradoxically, if Trump and his ilk get back in, which appears likely, is being advised by the likes of J. D. Vance to ignore court decisions not in his favor. So we’ll soon see the Republican two-step, to defy or ignore court decisions unfavorable to them (hell, with immigration, they already were) while to proclaim loudly “it’s the law of the land” when the court strikes down voting rights or New Deal legislation.


    “There are no such thing as innate rights: all rights are political, and all of politics is a matter of force and power. Sometimes that fact is kept out of sight so as not to offend the delicate, but power is the only thing that ever matters.”

    Thank you for saying this. You don’t know how many times I have gotten engaged in internet arguments who those who prattle on about ‘inalienable rights’ when it’s just speechifying. Don’t rely on God or Reason to enforce your rights, society and government has to be designed so that they will be self-maintaining. Since Buckley and Goldwater and Reagan, a political party (‘faction’) has been making war on having a society that is egalitarian and can thus support and maintain such rights. It wasn’t coincidence the whole thing was started by Buckley’s book God and Man at Yale attacking academic freedom.

  10. StewartM

    Lo and behold, today I ran across this in Firefox Pocket:

    “The Woman Who Killed Roe: Marjorie Dannenfelser’s single-minded pursuit of an end to abortion.”

    It was from Mollohan that Dannenfelser learned what she considers “one of the most important lessons” in politics: There can be no hesitation in the exercise of political power. “If you shoot a bear,” he told her, “you have to kill it.” Two decades later, in 2010, Dannenfelser was the head of the Susan B. Anthony List, a group that works exclusively to elect anti-abortion legislators. That was the year Mollohan, now a 14-term congressman with impeccable anti-abortion credentials, voted in a way that she considered objectionable. He believed Obamacare effectively excluded federally funded abortions; she did not feel Obama’s executive order to this effect was reliable. After he voted for the bill, she directed her PAC to spend $78,000 against Mollohan, running radio ads that said, “Alan Mollohan betrayed us and voted to spend our federal dollars … on abortions,” though this was at best unclear. The congressman lost his 14th bid for reelection. If you shoot a bear, you have to kill it.

    This is a story Dannenfelser does not hesitate to tell. She also enjoys being called the “velvet hammer.” Her 2020 book is called Life Is Winning, but it is less about the winningness of life than about the losingness of various people who failed to align themselves with her mission. The list of those alive and dead with whom Dannenfelser is utterly exasperated includes John McCain, George W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan. All of them, she says, “had been given on a national stage many opportunities to authentically witness to the depravity and extremism of abortion” and had failed to do so. Bob Dole neglected to get sufficiently excited about banning an abortion procedure called intact dilation and extraction; what a shame it was that “after leaving one of his most potent issues on the sidelines,” he “lost in a landslide.” There is the “muddled thinking and incomprehensible musing” of Justice Anthony Kennedy; the failure of Newt Gingrich to even name-check abortion in his Contract for America; and Sarah Palin, “who arrived with great hope but left with great disappointment” after failing to show up for a conference call Dannenfelser had organized. Dannenfelser is disappointed in Senator Ted Cruz, former governor John Kasich, former governor Scott Walker, and former congressman Bart Stupak, to whom she promised an anti-abortion award and then dramatically rescinded the offer. There is the grief she professes to feel at having to campaign against more than a dozen stalwart anti-abortion legislators who voted for the Affordable Care Act, including one who sued her for lying about him in his district. There is the supremely exasperating Mitt Romney, who had a “natural aversion to the abortion issue” but appeared to have captured the heart of conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin, whose “overwrought defenses of Romney” resembled those of a “lovesick schoolgirl.” Dannenfelser has pretty much had it with Renee Ellmers, to whom SBA List gave $17,000 but who subsequently “threw tantrums” over a bill requiring victims of rape to report that rape to authorities to obtain an abortion after 20 weeks.

  11. Joan

    I wonder if this will lead to the foster system getting flooded, or if there will be a lot more teenage single mothers from now on. If I had gotten pregnant as a teenager and were forced to carry to term, I’d probably give the baby to foster care and just hope for the best. A high-schooler working part-time at a grocery store, from an unhappy home, verses the foster care system that in my home state was frequently reported as having problems. I knew someone at school whose mother was only fifteen years older than he was, so it apparently can be done, but his mother had a lot of support from her parents/the new grandparents.

  12. someofparts

    I remember when Trump kept talking about building that wall. The unchallenged assumption was always that we needed a wall to keep out the dispossessed from south of the border. Even then I found myself wondering if the walls presumably being built to keep “them” out might, sooner than we imagine, be in place to keep us in.

  13. Lex

    It’s getting harder and harder for Dems to tell us we just need to vote harder. A few more “moderate” Dems will surely turn American into a progressive paradise. Sure, trumpist government would be worse. That’s obvious and uncontroversial. But when it isn’t better by voting in Dems the question of what’s the point in voting at all has to be raised.

  14. Mark Level

    A couple of quick (for me, anyway) observations– 1. One of the rare times I disagree with Che Pasa, I don’t think this is entirely deliberate and to “generate chaos.” As many have observed, the dog caught the car, now let’s see the outcome. However, let’s also concede that the insane Opus Dei-Federalist crew were incredibly disciplined and built to this “victory” over years, while the Dimmies did their usual pretend Washington Generals’ opposition kayfabe. Lots of unintended consequences no doubt . . . 2. Related, as to Astrid’s point I largely agree. If women in this country go along with the Rapist Daddy party’s fanaticism and fold . . . I wish I could expect better, but ‘Muricans are so dumb, ahistorical and supine they may. I recall pointing out to a friend that Trump is an idiot, but had nowhere near the body count of li’l Dubya in the Mideast, and she very rightly reminded me that he had 800K covid deaths, he killed more Americans. Well, point taken, & I guess some of them (Herman Cain is an obvious case) asked to be culled, so there’s that. 3. The point somebody made that the Dimmies always played the weakest, lamest most right wing “defense” of women’s bodily autonomy is clear, Hillary had to scold about how Abortion should be “safe, legal & RARE”, the last being the point, and as another anti-sex center-rightist, Lord (as Atrios called him) William Saletan of “liberal” Slate said HRC clearly meant by rare, “never”– but I won’t share the link to that, here’s one to Katha Pollitt taking squeamish Saletan down (he thinks women’s vajajajay’s are gross, btw, & wrote several columns about wanting to have anal sex)– 4. Lastly, Ian’s 100% correct about the fact that Rights must be fought for, they are not “given” by our uncaring Elites (except to themselves, obviously, since they are “exceptional,” as is Imperial America.) Do Americans have it in them to fight the coming fascist wave? With 30% right wing nuts, 40% sappy Dimmie voting “waterheads” (as diff clue calls them) & only 20% (if that) of people who actually respect humanity and freedom, I am not particularly hopeful. It’ll get worse before it gets better, the question is only how fast and whether the race back to Bronze Age ignorance levels by the majority will be quick or a drawn out fight.

  15. Willy

    There are variations of this joke going around:

    Social conservatives always protect and carefully attend to fetuses until they’re born, after which they toss the newborn into a dumpster to allow “free will” to take its course.

    I’m wondering about this Dannenfelser character, and those like her.

    Firstly, I’m curious about their so-called epiphanies, that sudden ‘Aha! Moment’ where they realized that everything they’d believed up to that point was wrong. She’d apparently been the pro-choice chair of her University College Republicans.

    Second, how do these people rationalize abandoning these obviously unwanted babies to their own resources after they’re born? Both seem to be indicators of unstable minds, and possibly even a mental illness of some sort. Or is there something else at play here, such as the will to power?

  16. KT Chong

    18 U.S. Code § 1507: Obstruction of Justice by Picketing or Parading

    “Whoever, with the intent of interfering with, obstructing, or impeding the administration of justice, or with the intent of influencing any judge, juror, witness, or court officer, in the discharge of his duty, pickets or parades in or near a building housing a court of the United States, or in or near a building or residence occupied or used by such judge, juror, witness, or court officer, or with such intent uses any sound-truck or similar device or resorts to any other demonstration in or near any such building or residence, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.”

    I’m a lifelong atheist so I don’t particularly care much about the abortion so-called “right” either way. However, it is criminal for the pro-choice women to gather outside the residences of justices and yell and scream and should to intimidate the justices. What they are clearly trying to do is to intimidate the supreme court judges into changing their decision, and that is absolutely criminal and illegal. IMO they all should be arrested, fined and sent to prison for a year, but that is not gonna happen because those protestors have a superpower call the pussy pass.

  17. Trinity

    Second paragraph, first sentence:

    “What needs to be understand about the loss of Roe”

    Should be “understood” instead of “understand”

    Your friendly, neighborhood proofreader

  18. Tallifer

    Pro-abortion anti-fur versus pro-life anti-poor. God’s judgment on both their houses.

  19. Astrid

    I am with KT Chong and access to abortion (US and international) was literally the only thing that kept me occasionally voting Democratic for the last 10 years. Protesting in public places (including in their offices) is one thing, but protesting in front of people’s homes is harassment. This just legitimates harassment of women’s health providers.

    But again, look what happened in the past 3 months. Does any of this matter anymore? Isn’t it all a pathetic joke?

  20. anon

    To the commenter who wrote that this will lead to fewer men getting sex, I wish that were the only repercussion! If that were the case, men would not want to touch abortion rights. This will lead to more back alley abortions, foster children, and violence against women and unwanted children. This will set back disadvantaged populations and otherwise upwardly mobile women. Rich people will continue to be able to bypass rules and laws as they have always done. I don’t know if this is enough to wake up Americans. Over a million Americans have died of Covid and millions more affected with long hauler symptoms, but I wonder where are all of these people and their family members are to demand justice or change in how our leaders are dealing with this pandemic. If Covid has not woken up Americans then abortion laws won’t.

  21. Ché Pasa

    The more chaos, the more power accrues to the raving maniacs who rule us or would rule us come the day. Chaotic conditions are panic inducing, and we see it spreading.

    Some women will be forced to give birth regardless of their situation or that of their unborn. Others will continue to have some say or choice in the matter. Babies — whether forced to be born or chosen — will have greater difficulty surviving; infant mortality in the US and other unfavored nations will continue to rise.

    Shortages and high prices will force more and more people into greater levels of precarity. Precarity is chaos for the many. The more precarious daily life becomes, the more chaotic and the more the White Horse Saviour is called forth.

    All this is playing out in many lands, Ukraine hardly alone in its chaos and precarity. In fact, it has long been routine in much of the world, and now it will be inescapable in the US.

    Accelerationists long for Another Trump to Wake Us Up. Nihilists yearn for the Collapse and the rise of Some Great Man to put things all to rights. “Democracy” doesn’t work. It’s a sham. Tony’s civic republicanism isn’t much better; certainly not at dealing effectively and in a timely manner with the multiplicity of crises which affect us.

    “Longtermists” don’t much care about that which most of us have to deal with every day. In the end, it will all work out fine. At least for a few.

    Won’t it?

  22. someofparts

    Dan Lynch:

    “The national government of the U.S. is hopelessly corrupt and there is no fix on the horizon short of a strong man riding in on a white horse. Historically, major change has only come about because of war or catastrophe.”

    Even if we got the reincarnation of FDR for president, it would not be enough these days. Turns out that it costs big money to be a significant player on a Congressional committee. The cost varies depending on the importance of the position. To be head of the Ways & Means committee, the cost starts at a million dollars paid to, I guess, the DCCC.

    As far as having a catastrophe to cause change, it looks like the Democrats are working hard to make that happen. The objective seems to be to keep provoking the Russians until we have an excuse to start WWIII. If Finland joins NATO, bend over and kiss your a** goodbye.

    Stewart M:

    “like Putin’s Russia–infrastructure crumbling even more, talent and scientists and those with skills fleeing the country, and the population aging and declining, while the looting of the elites is only restrained by their loyalty or lack thereof to the Big Boss.”

    Everything you said in your posts was, as usual, well worth reading. The sentence I copied above is the exception. I would recommend the podcasts from The Duran (which I learned about from Astrid) as a good place to start getting better info about Russia. Also Scott Ritter and Gilbert Doctorow.

  23. different clue


    If Obama were to read your comment, he would just keep laughing all the way to the bank all over again. Its part of what he is being paid to do. Its how he can afford a house in Hawaii AND a house on the more-expensive White side of Martha’s Vineyard AND a house in Washington DC and whatever other houses he may have that we don’t know about. He may have more houses than Senator McCain ended up with . . . and more to come. And the worshipful love and adoration of tens of millions of Black Americans besides.


    If he were to read your comment, he might even write a sneercastic reply along the lines of . . . ” don’t mention it. Always happy to help”.

  24. different clue

    @K T Chong,

    Since the same is equally true for women protesters in favor of rescinding Roe v Wade, I await your call to show equal consistency in calling for the same law to be used equally on them as well.

    Whether any other readers await the same show of consistency on your part is not for me to say, of course.

  25. NR

    In fact, the Supreme Court ruled that protests outside of the homes of doctors who provide abortions are constitutionally-protected free speech. I’m sure the people here hand-wringing about protesting outside the homes of judges will equally condemn those protests (which were clearly designed to intimidate) and say those pro-life protestors should have been thrown in jail too, right?

  26. Astrid


    If that’s the case, then yes, then those SCOTUS assholes have what’s coming to them. Loud death metal on repeat for the rest of their lives and after life. They are not entitled to any protection that they deprive from others and I wish the worst for them, personally.

    They already stripped any substantive and even procedural due process protections that used to be inviolable in the last 25 years. There’s a place for drawing the line to protect ourselves but if they already rammed through the line. F them all.

  27. different clue

    I wonder how the Catholic Church Hierarchy and Clergy and their right-wing laity would react to the saying . . . . ” Abortion is against Catholic Sharia Law”. If it would be upsetting to them and clarifying to onlookers at the same time, perhaps it could be a useful saying.

    I give it away for free, just in case. Abortion is against Catholic Sharia Law.

    About “reaching out and touching” the Sharia-Law Catholic Federalist Society Justices on the Supreme Court, I have read that ” anonymous” has taken an interest and should “be expected”. Thousands or millions of digitally skilled hackers and script kiddies and so forth might well start reading John Robb’s blog ” Global Guerillas” for ideas on schwerpunkt paralysis attacks, pain-point takedowns, and so forth.

    George Hayduke wrote a series of books on how individuals might get even with other individuals. Here is a pointer.

    Could these methods be applied to all the individual persons who take part in anti-abortion aggression and harrassment actions? Why not cellphone video them? Why not photograph their license plates? Why not have caravans of defensively armed probortion supporters follow them to their houses and set up anti-harrasser vigils and not-quite-sieges? Why should the anti-abortion terrorist community be allowed a monopoly privilege of direct action?

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