A conservative majority on the Supreme Court will dismantle the regulatory framework of the United States
This piece by Christopher Leonard outlines one of the biggest dangers of the Barrett nomination (other than the brash illiberalism of the process) and a 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court: that the U.S. regulatory framework, tenuous and imperfect as it is, will be replaced by an even more lassiez-faire system. Naturally, Charles Koch appears to have been a major player in orchestrating this.
I haven’t been following the Barrett nomination all that closely — it’s a depressing farce and there’s nothing to be learned from such a horrifying display of abuse of power from a Republican party hellbent on solidifying their minority rule for a generation. From the headlines, it appears the usual battle lines are being drawn, over abortion and healthcare primarily.
I don’t believe the Republican party actually cares all that much about making abortion illegal — Mike Pence, a creepy weirdo, probably personally cares, as do his fellow evangelical cultists. But so much of of the project of the Republican party for the past fifty years has been to dismantle and delegitimize the post-New Deal consensus about the role of government in favor a Hobbesian free market that favors the wealthy at the expense of everyone else.
Which really gets at the heart of so much of the cynicism of the Republican party. Charles Koch is almost certainly not motivated by abortion or even voting rights — his professed commitment to libertarianism, in fact, should make him a champion of safe and legal abortion access. He does care deeply about destroying regulation and undoing even the most basic collective commitments of government, so deeply to have spent five decades and a vast inherited fortune making it happen. This cynicism is inseparable from the Republican party today, whether it’s McConnell’s abuse of the legislature to tilt the judiciary or the entire party rallying around a criminally stupid horrorshow like Donald Trump to sign off on all of it before he blithely kicks off to watch four straight hours of Fox News.
I don’t know how simply getting rid of Trump, a vital first step, is going to counter this very long game. The existential problems we face, from climate change to racial justice, require collective action and we are now in a world where that no longer appears possible.