Tag Archives: Norms

SFD Short—Storming and Norming

SFD Short—Storming and Norming
Safe For Democracy

00:00 / 24:23

Hey folks,

I know I’m running a little late on the next Iran show, but with some law school stuff, a family reunion, and a neat little piece I’m putting together on Ancient Aliens for The Awl all done by the end of this week, I should have that out soon.

In the meantime though, we’ve got this, following up on our last short about the erosion of democratic norms and the death of republics.

Mitch McConnell seems to be doing his level best to tear down what democracy we’ve got, and not in the service of the New Deal or the Great Society, but in an attempt to pry health insurance out of the hands of the poor to give a minuscule number of hyper-rich Americans a marginal tax cut.

History will not be kind to this monster.

Also, check out our Patreon!  We’ve now got at least one patron pledging $5 monthly, which means that SFD will now be producing a monthly news analysis show (which will be something like this short, but with a little more topical focus and a little like a spoken version of the news posts I was trying out for a while) for patrons who’ve signed up for $5 or more.

A Memorable Series of Revolutions

At the time I originally wrote this, the Senate had just confirmed “Mad Dog” Mattis, the first time since George Marshall at the end of the Second World War that a non-civilian has gotten a waiver to serve as Secretary of Defense. Two days before that, Donald Trump got in front of a crowd to crudely berate two news agencies and to announce that unlike every president in modern history, he would not be separating himself from his business interests. A week before that, congressional Republicans tried to eliminate the only independent ethics committee that oversees the legislature as the very first act of the new session.

Failing that, they scheduled more cabinet confirmation hearings in less time than ever before, hoping to railroad a slate of candidates who are, with little exaggeration, bent on destroying their respective departments. Late last month, North Carolina Republicans, having lost the governorship, used the end of their lame duck session to divest the executive of its powers and invest them, in effect, in the Republican Party, leading the Electoral Integrity Project to categorize the state as having “deeply flawed, partly free democracy that is only slightly ahead of the failed democracies that constitute much of the developing world.” Not only that, but:

North Carolina does so poorly on the measures of legal framework and voter registration, that on those indicators we rank alongside Iran and Venezuela. When it comes to the integrity of the voting district boundaries no country has ever received as low a score as the 7/100 North Carolina received. North Carolina is not only the worst state in the USA for unfair districting but the worst entity in the world ever analyzed by the Electoral Integrity Project.

And since then, was either five months or five years ago, this past January, God, some other stuff has happened: the President’s hired both his son in law and his daughter to be the right and left hand people of his administration; he’s taken advantage of a year-long stall on the part of the Republicans and installed a conservative justice in Merrick Garland’s seat; he’s put two different avowed white supremacists in office in Gorka and Steve Bannon and a much more effective, subtler one in Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Virtually every member of the Administration has lied to the Congress or the Senate about conniving with the Russians, he’s fired FBI director James Comey, while Comey was investigating him and then told Lester Holt that that’s why he fired him.

Something is up, guys.
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