Harsh Your Mellow Monday: Wailing and Gnashing of Teeth Edition


Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonderandhome.com

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67 Responses

  1. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Today in conservatives are going to have a fit. Roberts concurs in judgement (but not reasoning) with the four liberals in Juno Medical. Basically he states Whole Women’s Health was wrongly decided but it is stare decisis and he is going to follow the law.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      This is the same reason we have to keep the statues up. Not because they were put up for the right reasons. They weren’t!

      But because they were up yesterday.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

        D minus.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          Stare decisis sucks.

          It sucked yesterday too.Report

          • Avatar Doctor Jay in reply to Jaybird says:

            I can see why you might say that.

            And, without it, our legal system would be in chaos, with interpretations of laws changing constantly, and legislatures continually trying to chase judgements and foreclose interpretations.Report

            • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Doctor Jay says:

              There may be subjects on which Jaybird knows enough to be worth engaging on the merits, though I’m working now and don’t have time to think of one, but this certainly isn’t one of them. Just let it pass as the “irritable mental gesture” that it is.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

                Video games and cooking!

                (Though I’m pretty sure that the argument that we need to keep around the stuff we did yesterday because we did it yesterday lest we dissolve into chaos is one that I would enjoy seeing made by progressive types. While I can’t speak for everyone, I’m sure that there are a non-zero number of folks out there who would benefit from seeing this argument made in earnest.)Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

                So then I asked myself “I wonder if there’s a place where I can find a list of overruled US Supreme Court decisions” and, it turns out, there is!

                Here are the last 7 Supreme Court decisions that got overturned (I did this by eyeball so please don’t use this for betting purposes).

                Trump v. Hawaii, 138 S. Ct. 2392 (2018) overturned Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214 (1944).

                Herrera v. Wyoming, 139 S. Ct. 1686 (2019) overturned Ward v. Race Horse, 163 U.S. 504 (1896) (golly… I need to read about that one)

                Knick v. Township of Scott, Pennsylvania, 139 S. Ct. 2162 (2019) overturned Williamson County Regional Planning Comm’n v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City, 473 U.S. 172 (1985)

                Franchise Tax Bd. of California v. Hyatt, 139 S. Ct. 1485 (2019) overturned Nevada v. Hall, 440 U.S. 410 (1979)

                South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., 585 U.S. ___ (2018) overturned *TWO* cases. It overturned Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, 504 U.S. 298 (1992) and National Bellas Hess, Inc. v. Department of Revenue of Ill., 386 U.S. 753 (1967).

                And how could we ever forget:
                Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___ (2015) overturned Baker v. Nelson, 409 U.S. 810 (1972).

                The main arguments that I get about Stare Decisis is a loosey-goosey “look, for the most part, all the Supreme Court does is acknowledge the changes that have already taken place but they do so officially.”

                I suppose that makes sense… but it seems odd to see a handful of overturnings where the consensus was not particularly well-established at the same time that there are a handful of cases where there is an obvious injustice that fails to be rectified by the court.

                It can appear capricious to a layman.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

                It can appear capricious to a layman.

                Indeed, it can, especially if you focus on one court that takes a handful of the 6,000-odd cases it gets asked to review and ignore the day-to-day work of thousands of courts in countless thousands of cases.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

                From what I understand, lower courts are supposed to oppose overturning precedent, right?

                I’ve seen a lot of movies where the judge (Danny Glover, usually, but sometimes it’s Charles Napier) says “I am not going to set a precedent here.”Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

                Lower courts aren’t supposed to support or oppose overturning precedent; they’re supposed to follow it. They do so with varying degrees of intelligence or good faith, sometimes calling explicitly for the precedent they feel constrained to follow to be overturned, other times rationalizing that, in practical terms, it already has been, and acting accordingly. The Supreme Court has often chastised lower courts for “anticipating” that it will overrule some precedent, but if the Court ultimately does overrule it, getting lectured for being right prematurely is a toothless sanction. None of this would, admittedly, make for a good movie.Report

          • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

            “Well, you have to understand…”

            Stare decisis: the Ur Source.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

        You’re forgetting the statue of limitations.Report

  2. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    In terms of Trump quitting, I have a few thoughts:

    1. Contrary to popular belief, he is in fact a quitter but he does it in the most cowardly way possible and tries to claim victory in defeat. I suspect this comes because he was raised in the cult of Norman Vincent Peele.

    2. That being said, I don’t see him doing anything except the kind of James Brown pretend quit to get people to say “Nooooooo Donald!!!!! Please come back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:

    3. Still the current polling is not good for him and is a lot worse than polling in 2020. But I guess it is a shocker that a bungled pandemic response, economy heading towards depression, and massive civil unrest would be bad for a President whose approval rating never made it north of 50 percent.

    4. If he does quit, I expect even more of a rout for the GOP. Mike Pence is too much of a tight ass and stick in the mud to go demagogue like Trump does, the GOP is not going to be saved by switching again to a corporate country club Republican like RomneyReport

  3. Avatar Doctor Jay says:

    I don’t see Trump stepping aside either. I see him phoning it in and blaming everyone else.

    You are right, though. This is a moment of great weight. Covid is the biggest thing to hit us since WW2. It might become bigger, it’s hard to say. And lots of people aren’t coping with it very well. In different times, we could rally together and try and beat this thing, and grow with one another as a result.

    But somehow, that’s not what’s happening. Some of us think that this is all a plot by others of us, and a lie. The weaknesses of our normal information-gathering systems has been exposed.Report

  4. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    “Trump’s approval ratings are in the toilet! No way he’s gonna wriggle out of this jam!”
    (Trump wriggles out of the jam easily)
    “Ah, well. Nevertheless…”Report

  5. Avatar Marchmaine says:

    Working on an App that plugs into the Twitter API and Parler API so you can read both and send messages back and forth. I’m calling it, “TheSilentTreatment” or maybe “WouldYouPleaseTellThatAsshole” … it’s work in progress and all that.Report

  6. Avatar Marchmaine says:

    On Trump quitting… agree with Andrew; doesn’t seem likely.

    But then… if Tulsa becomes the norm and not a fluke? Eh, I could see him walking away to control the narrative of his not losing in epic fashion.

    What about the rumor that I’m hearing from all over the place *except* Twitter(?) that Michelle Obama is the VP pick?

    Right up there with Trump bailing on the election? Or metaphysical certainty?Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Marchmaine says:

      I have not heard that rumor and she has made it clear that she does not want to be an elected politician. There is no evidence to doubt that. I think it will be Kamala Harris or Tammy Duckworth.Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        I see, so you’re saying Oprah said no too?

        Funny how rumors work.

        On the one hand I could see how Michele Obama would practically print electoral votes… on the other hand, I really don’t have any sense of how she’d perform as an electoral candidate (much less an elected politician). Would be 90% projection: then again, see Hand #1.Report

      • Avatar Philip H in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        My guess is Senator Harris or Senator Warren. Maybe Stacy Abrams as an outside swing for left field fence sort of thing. Of Harris/Warren – whichever one doesn’t get VP needs to shove chuck schumer off the leadership podium.Report

        • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Philip H says:

          Stacy Abrams:

          outside swing for left field fence
          popping up the sacrifice bunt

          Hard to say at this point in time.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine says:

            Something I idly wondered was “when was Biden told that he was the VP pick?”

            Believe it or not, there’s a wikipedia page for that:

            On August 23, 2008, via text message, the Obama campaign announced that the then-presumptive Democratic presidential nominee chose Joe Biden as his vice-presidential running mate.


            • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

              Yep, these days it’s carefully choreographed as part of the run-up/hype to the convention.

              Barring unusual circumstances, the announcement this year will be on or around August 15th.

              But then, 2020 is pretty much the definition of unusual circumstances, so what do I know?Report

            • Biden was told he would be the VP at least by June, and he knew he was top of the list since March.Report

              • If that’s true, and I’m not saying it’s not, then Wikipedia is deliberately misleading people.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Jaybird says:

                Jay, there is the “official” announcement, and then there is when Biden was brought into the fold, so to speak. In other words, there is no way that Smokin’ Joe found out at the same time as the punters did. He was vetted, debated internally along with others, conversations were had, and he knew long before the text went ’round the world. Thus giving time for a late pull back if necessary.

                It’s just like any other job interview.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Aaron David says:

                Oh, I’d be willing to say that there’s a lot of Kabuki going on and that the August 23rd date is obviously *NOT* the real date. But, in my case, I suspect that the “real” date is around August 16th rather than June 16th.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Andrew Donaldson says:

                I wonder… I have no insight into how political convention planning goes. Do they have to know 1-day, week, month in advance to print all the hats? Do they print two sets?

                So I could certainly see a situation where the insiders know well in advance who the pick most likely will be. But, until the paperwork is signed, its just an intention and not a deal.

                June strikes me as somewhat early to a) have to decide b) want to decide.

                What have you read/heard that marks the decision that early?

                I’ll caveat that the formal call to Bayh has to happen just before the announcement makes it official… even if Bayh/Biden knew the likely outcome earlier… I’m not sure that earlier would mean June, however… that still seems early to me.Report

          • Avatar Philip H in reply to Marchmaine says:

            Biden is too many innings into the game with a questionable bullpen to buntReport

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Marchmaine says:

      I’ve still got a ten-dollar bet that he’ll pick Hillary Clinton.Report

      • Avatar Philip H in reply to DensityDuck says:

        She won’t take the paycut to be second fiddle.Report

  7. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    More than any other thing, Trump loves the image of winning, even more than the real thing.

    He quit and walked away from numerous businesses but only after concocting a narrative of himself as the victor.
    Theoretically, he could do that here, invent some narrative that has him as the heroic victor who rejects the corrupt system and walks away.
    But…this seems unlikely. What is more likely is him inventing a narrative of winning but being robbed by the corrupt system, and parlaying that grievance into a tv show.Report

    • Avatar InMD in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      Is that your phone ringing? Fox News already wants the rights.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to InMD says:

        There have been a number of people suggesting that Trump never really wanted to be President, but just develop an audience for his own reality show.

        The strongest evidence is that he obviously has no interest in governing, or any coherent vision of what he wants America to be.

        I’ve said before that the Republicans are an insurgency force, even when they hold power. They’re a shrinking minority in both demographics and ideology which explains their increasing need for authoritarian schemes to hold onto power.

        Insurgencies benefit from chaos and panic, where the existing regime can be painted as corrupt and ineffective. This was a good strategy in 2016 when they were running against the Obama/ Clinton regime.

        But all insurgencies must learn how to pivot from smashing thru the gates, to establishing a regime which has plausible authority. The Trumpists never had the ability, or even desire to do that.

        The Covid pandemic displayed this, where they demonstrated that they don’t just have a flawed ideology of how to govern; They don’t have any ideology of governance at all really. They have so far just been coasting on grievance and ressentiment but those can’t put bread on the table.Report

    • We’ve been hearing that in various forms and flavors since before the election. That’s a thesis of Michael Wolff’s book, the first of many tell-alls about the Trump Presidency.Report

  8. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Trump quitting would be good for the country and politically interesting. The Republicans would have to scramble for a replacement. Pence is the logical choice but just doesn’t move Republican voters to cult like devotion like Trump does. For non-Republicans, Pence is just a more restrained version of Trump. Trying to find a replacement at the convention is going to look chaotic and bad. Republicans in disarray. The replacement isn’t going to inspire Republicans to come out and vote either. So basically I agree with my brother, it will be a big rout for the Republicans.Report

  9. Avatar JS says:

    Trump quitting would certainly be no panacea for the GOP’s ills. Trump is the figurehead and very loud, popular spokesman for a chunk of the GOP base that has felt abused, unheard, and taken for granted.

    Do you think for an instant they would accept Trump — who loudly and proudly proclaims their cause, without the wishy-washy dog-whistles of those RINOs — lying down? That they would turn out for Pence, or Romney, or Ted Cruz or anyone else?

    Of course not. They’d scream “stabbed in the back”, blame “RINOs'” and stay home. Having had a taste of the adult’s table, they are highly unlikely to go back to the kiddie table without fuss — and certainly wouldn’t turn out in record numbers.

    And losing Trump off the top of the ticket would not, I’m afraid, lower Democratic ire. Deprived of Trump personally to vote against, they’ll take it out on the GOP as a whole — as they did in 2018. Trump might be the figurehead and the standard bearer of the GOP, but Democrats are very angry, and seem to want to send a very large message. (Sadly, it does not seem to occur to some of them that if one voted EVERY election, not just when angry, one might not ever get so angry. But alas, “we’ve won and everything is fixed forever, I’ll sit out the midterms because [X]” is apparently writ into Democratic DNA).Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to JS says:

      You know… it occurs to me that your comment suggests *why* Trump might drop out… to show that the Loss was because the Party did not fully support him and his supporters stayed home which is why the Republicans lost.

      That would be the Narrative anyway. And, quite possibly the numbers would show that a Republican Party without Trump draws fewer votes – as long as we [Bracket] the fact that dropping out in this manner would likely show similar decline in any party in a similar circumstance.

      But still… a “Power Move” in his own fevered imagination. A way out.Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to Marchmaine says:

        Michelle would never play second fiddle to Biden, a nobody who was only chosen as VP to appease white Democrats who might have been afraid that Obama would be too radical.

        Politico: Letter to Washington, in which a reporter goes to a cook-out hosted by some influential members of Detroit’s black community. They all think Trump is going to win, and they’re not losing any sleep over it.Report

      • Since he’s the most irresponsible man in history, he no doubt quits post-convention and after it’s too late to change the ballot in a number of important states.

        (He won’t quit.)Report

        • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Mike Schilling says:

          …and in the most bizarre turn of events ever… he wins the election because he didn’t say anything between then and November; while Biden “came out of his shell” confident he couldn’t lose.

          (Don’t think he’ll quit either)Report

          • If he quits (he won’t) the fun part will be his nonstop Twitter savaging of both candidates.Report

            • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Mike Schilling says:

              But you said he quits (no way) after the convention and too late to change the ballot… so he’s still the only R candidate… just that he’s not running, see, so he can’t lose. It would be an un-campaign.Report

              • Too late to change the ballot in *some* states. He does quit, the RNC picks someone else, and then has to explain that in those states voting “Trump” really mean voting “Haley” (tacitly assuming the electors do what they’re told). Meanwhile, he alternates tweets about Creepy Joe and Crooked Nicky.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                Ah yes, well that (never gonna happen) would create an even more epic flameout as the split R vote in some of the states the R could have won would result in a D plurality.

                There will have to be a lone Elector who votes against Biden so that the tradition of never having a unanimous selection after Washington. Assuming we still acknowledge a Washington.

                Of course, refounding America on Joe Biden would, I suppose, be appropos the moment.Report

              • It would be fun to hear Tucker Carlson explain that standing up in a boat is a sign of dementia.Report

  10. Avatar George Turner says:

    When Democrats have to spin election fantasies about how Trump is probably just going to quit, it means they’re in deep deep doo-doo. I suspect the reason for it is that they sense that Biden isn’t really in the race, and they wish Trump wasn’t, either.Report

  11. fillyjonk fillyjonk says:

    I am not that smart when it comes to politics and all, but I want to say your first part (“Anecdotal Evidence, but Admissible”) really resounded with me. I have not been out…much….in the past three months. I have seen a little impatience here and there, lots of unmasked people. I am bracing for the ridicule friends have said they’ve gotten for going out masked. I see the video of people having meltdowns that would embarrass a 3 year old and I wonder; is this some kind of awful and bizarre performance art and nothing more? Surely no adult feels entitled to act like that in front of God and strangers.

    but apparently they do.

    I am apprehensive about the future. People seem to be on their last nerve in a lot of places and don’t seem able or willing to extend grace to others. Or maybe that’s what gets the press, in which case – shame on the press for exclusively showing the worst 2% of us.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to fillyjonk says:

      I’m in MetroNYC and we’re experiencing almost the opposite. We’ve had a “mask mandate” in stores since early April (April 7th, I believe). Some folks have been wearing masks everywhere, indoors and outdoors. A subset of those folks think the mandate includes being outdoors, even though there is nothing in the language of the EO to support this in any way. Our mayor has encouraged folks to wear masks “in public”, which has added to the confusion.

      Facebook is awash in critiques of folks not wearing masks. Even as NJ opens and our town embraces outdoor dining, the mask warriors somehow want people to wear a mask while eating.

      We’re a liberal area in a region hit hard by the virus. So it is understandable that we’re A) going to have mask mandates and B) folks are largely going to adhere to them. It is interesting that the ‘shaming’ has tipped the other direction.

      What stands out is that much of this is happening on social media. I haven’t really seen anything arise out in the world regarding masks, either the wear or not wearing of them.Report

      • fillyjonk fillyjonk in reply to Kazzy says:

        Someone I know (in the local AAUW chapter) had someone mock her for wearing a mask in the grocery store, telling her she was afraid of a “hoax”. She stepped back and informed that person that she was the caretaker for her elderly, ill mother (which is absolutely true) and she knew people who had gotten sick, and she needed to stay healthy for her mom’s sake.

        So those people are out there. But since I spent roughly from age 8 to age 17 or so being mocked on the regular, I expect some rando accusing me of being “afraid” (Hell yes, I’m afraid! I think it’s reasonable to be scared enough to want to take standard precautions here) is not going to make too much of a dent.

        It just baffles me that someone is going to go up to a total stranger and bug them about it. Back in, say, 2018, if I had seen someone in public with a medical mask on, I might have been slightly taken aback but my reaction would have been to think, “Well, maybe they’re undergoing chemo or are a recent transplant patient and need to be really careful not to get sick.” but I’d certainly never go up to them to specifically talk about the mask.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to fillyjonk says:

          The failure to wear masks really bugs me. I mean, yeah. I get that masks suck. I have glasses. They steam up after the first exhale and it takes a minute for everything to equalize.

          At work, they have rules that say that you have to wear a mask in the hallways, in conversations, and pretty much anywhere that isn’t at your desk (they explicitly make exceptions for when you’re sitting in a bathroom stall… one wonders how they’d police that one anyway…) and that’s okay. I wonder if sitting in a room with another person for X hours is okay even if you both have masks. Having a cubicle wall won’t help. Some of the offices have those cubicle walls that are only about 5 feet high (as opposed to the 7 feet high cubes). The five feet high ones won’t do a dang thing for protecting you from the guy 4 cubes away.

          At that point, you’re pretty much hoping/praying that all of your asymptomatic co-workers are not merely pre-symptomatic WAIT WAS THAT A SNERK FROM READING AN EMAIL FROM MANAGEMENT OR A SUPPRESSED COUGH

          But I honestly cannot comprehend being against masks in the grocery store. Do masks suck? Yes they do. They suck less than the COVID.Report

          • Avatar Philip H in reply to Jaybird says:

            IN a world where a white woman will call the cops while she is being filmed by a black bird watcher and claim he’s threatening her because he asked her to do the inconvenient thing of putting her dog on a leash – I am not the least bit surprised.Report

          • fillyjonk fillyjonk in reply to Jaybird says:

            “Do masks suck? Yes they do. They suck less than the COVID.”

            Quoted for m(onkey) f(ishing) truth. I wore one for an hour today in 90+degree heat with a dewpoint in the 70s while I carried around Meals on Wheels to people. I wanted them (many of them medically fragile) to be safe; I wanted to be safe. It was uncomfortable but I was able to do it. Yes, it was a relief to get home and be able to wash my hands and remove the mask. But maybe that just gives me another little reason to be grateful for getting home at the end of the day?

            Some people on a board for academic fiber-crafters I am part of thought my idea of buying one of those plastic face-shield things (like dentists use) and wearing it WITH a mask when I really can’t distance in class (like labs) seemed a sensible idea; I may consider doing it. I am going to wait a bit to see what my university decides. Right now the policy is “masks on indoors except when you are alone in your office” and I can live with that.

            the plan is also to have all meetings over Zoom, which I don’t love quite so much, but whatev’s. There’s a pandemic on.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to fillyjonk says:

          Agree with all that. Living in this area and commuting into/around the city via public transit for much of the last 15 years, I’d occasionally see folks in masks. They were most often people who appeared to be of East Asian descent and I was told in many countries in that part of the world, it was pretty common for folks to do so when they were sick to avoid spreading their germs. This was helpful, since many locals tended to assume they were wearing it because they thought the city and its inhabitants were dirty. So even that, an act of considerateness was somehow twisted negatively.

          I wear masks everywhere I’m supposed to and some other places as well. Sometimes because I know it can make a dramatic difference in exposure risk (for me and others), sometimes because it’s just the rule and I think now is an important time to follow such rules, and sometimes because I can tell it will simply put others at ease. Is it annoying? You bet. But… eh. Get over it.

          In the very early stages, I looked slightly askew at folks in masks because of the “guidance” saying they weren’t necessary or possibly even made things worse. I’d NEVER even considered saying anything about it.

          I don’t appreciate the passive-aggressive mask shaming on social media. It just feels unproductive… even if the person is “right”. And I do not agree at all with the behavior you’re describing. It’s horrible for about 18 different reasons.Report

  12. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    The large suburban school district where I currently live has announced that elementary school (PreK-5) will be 100% in-person starting Aug 24. That is, free day care for a lot of working parents will be open again. Middle and high school have not been decided yet. Trying to read between the lines, unless there’s a major breakthrough, it will probably be a mix, with the bigger hormone-crazed fiends more online and the littler fiends less so. The not-so-large suburban school district where we will be moving around mid-Sep hasn’t decided on anything.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Michael Cain says:

      One model I’ve heard has elementary school kids spread among the buildings in smaller groups for full-time in-person instruction. Older kids will do mostly remote. This is primarily to address supervision challenges.Report

  13. Avatar Philip H says:

    Trump won’t quit. Michael Cohen told us as much. He may well really torch the place on his way out, but he won’t quit. You have to remember thanks to the Electoral college he won with 27% of voters pulling the proverbial level for him. He doesn’t need an overall high approval to win again. Biden has to best him by between 5 and 10% nationally and by at least that much in the swing state Trump won last time for him to consider leaving.

    What is supporters do afterword is where you should worry. I live among them, and they will take it as a sign of the Rapture that he’s lost. And they are armed.Report

  14. The GOP is going to do their best to steal this election, and their best is pretty good: closing polling places, not mailing out ballots, forging absentee ballots, staging riots to prevent ballot counting, ludicrous but binding court decisions, etc. And while Roberts is currently unpopular on the Right, he’s the man who singlehandedly destroyed the VRA. So let’s not assume that GOP unpopularity will mean elections losses.Report

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