GOP signals an end to contraception and interracial marriage, embraces QAnon
Supreme Court confirmation hearings told us all we need to know: Republicans determined to return us to the 1950s.
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The Senate confirmation hearings of Judge Katanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman nominated to the Supreme Court, told us a lot about her: She’s enormously qualified, knows the Constitution and American jurisprudence inside out, and, withstanding vicious attacks by the GOP, is the epitome of grace under pressure.
The hearings also told us about the intentions of the GOP moving forward, as GOP senators played to the base of the party, which has been Trumpied, fueled by conspiracy theorists, white supremacists and Christian nationalists. The GOP has in fact become nothing but a conspiracy mill for extremists.
As the New York Times noted, QAnon conspiracists, who promote dangerous lies about a liberal plot that organizes and supports child pedophile rings and requires surveillance and government crackdowns, were celebrating the hearings:
The online world of adherents to the QAnon conspiracy theory sprang into action almost as soon as Senator Josh Hawley tweeted his alarm: that Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the Biden administration’s Supreme Court nominee, had handed down sentences below the minimum recommended in federal guidelines for possessing images of child sexual abuse.
“An apologist for child molesters,” the QAnon supporter Zak Paine declared in a video the next day, on March 17, asserting without evidence that Democrats were repeatedly “elevating pedophiles and people who can change the laws surrounding punishment” for pedophiles.
The QAnon adherents, who now overlap with the anti-vax/anti-mask crowd and the Christian nationalists, also help to fuel the “don’t say gay” bills in the states — in which we’ve seen politicians making the abominable comparison of homosexuality to pedophilia — and the anti-Covid-mandate laws and anti-abortion laws. Many of these have components that inspire people to rat out their neighbors.
The Virginia GOP governor, for example, famously created a tip line for people to report on those who violated his new anti-mask policies. The anti-abortion law in Texas, and one proposed in Idaho, offers bounties for people to make money reporting on those who “aid or abet” a woman getting an abortion. The “don’t say gay” bill in Florida and similar bills in other states encourage teachers to report anyone who breaks the law, and allow lawsuits by parents who believe the law was violated.
All these are throwbacks to the McCarthy era, in which people were targeted as “communists” or “traitors” or “homosexuals” — and were purged from government and other jobs — and were turned in by neighbors, co-workers, and employers, sometimes because those people were coerced themselves.
But the clear signals that the GOP is bringing us back to the 1950s don’t end there. Senator John Cornyn made it apparent in his questions of Judge Jackson that, now that the Supreme Court is intent in overturning Roe v. Wade and sending abortion back to the states, he believes the Obergefell marriage equality ruling must be overturned — sending gay marriage back to the states.
Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, a far-right Trumpist, made it clear in a video she tweeted out just before the hearings that it was time to overturn the constitutional right to contraception by married adults — decided by the Supreme Court in 1965 in Griswold v. Connecticut — and send it back to the states.
Constitutionally unsound rulings like Griswold vs. Connecticut, Kelo v. the city of New London, and NFIB vs. Sebelius confused Tennesseans and left Congress wondering who gave the court permission to bypass our system of checks and balances.It is the 11th hour and Judge Jackson's stance on the Constitution remains a secret.
(She’s not the first to make this extraordinary statement: All three GOP candidates for attorney general in Michigan recently came out in favor of sending contraception back to the states.)
And Senator Mike Braun of Indiana, in discussing ending the constitutional right to an abortion and instead letting the states decide, agreed that the same should be true of contraception, and, well, everything — including interracial marriage.
After an uproar, Braun tried to walk back the statement, claiming he “misunderstood a line of questioning” and stating “I condemn racism in any form.” But listen carefully to the clip. There is no way he didn’t know what he was saying. In fact, as Slate points out, the larger context of the conversation, about how states should have all the power, makes it quite clear he knew what the question was and answered it honestly — slipping out with the truth.
You better believe that he and Blackburn and the rest of the GOP believe sodomy laws should be allowed once again in the states, allowing the banning of homosexuality itself. All of these rights decided by Supreme Court rulings rest on the fundamental right to privacy, which the GOP believes doesn’t exist if it goes against their authoritarian agenda.
So this, in line with the stripping of voting rights for minorities, is where they’re going, bringing us back to a time when white straight men had all the power, and Blacks and other minorities, LGBTQ people and women were kept in their place. The most astounding thing about all of this is how open they’re being about it. There was a time when many tried to shroud their opposition to a woman’s right to choose, at least a little bit — and didn’t dare go near contraception or interracial marriage.
But now they’re saying the quiet part out loud, all of it ready-made for Democratic attack ads.
And we had better take them at their word.
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