What Is To Be Done

This has been a rough few weeks. The debate, followed by attacks on Biden’s candidacy are painful and divisive. The partisan hacks on SCOTUS have savaged our democracy and the rule of law, ripped at the foundations of the administrative state, grabbed for power, and humiliated the not-so coequal branches. Corporate media has amplified the first, and ignored the latter. Details of Trump’s Project 2025 continue to arouse fear of fascism and Trump’s lies are treated as equal to Biden’s facts.

The response of the leaders of the Democratic Party, to the extent there is one, is pathetic. The secret donor class is whining publicly enough to be picked up by the corporate media. Democratic politicians are cowering in their offices and texting us with fear-laden demands for money. When they aren’t badgering us for money they offer us nothing to do but vote, as if all this were just part of a reality TV show and we were the online judges.

All of our so-called leaders have failed us. It’s enough to gag a maggot. And it’s time for action. It’s time for us to force these people to live up to their privilege. I’m hardly the only one who thinks this way. Read this (and everything else) by Oliver Willis.

I don’t know what will work. Nobody does. But that’s our big advantage. There are millions of us. We can try all the ideas, and we can dream up new ones. We do not have to comply with phony expectations of propriety from the people who created this problem.

A. We can pound on the cowards and toadies

1. The New York Times and the Washington Post and most cable news networks have forgotten who actually reads or watches, and what their paying audience wants. They act like showering us with the views of the MAGAs and attacking us and our candidates is cool.

Let’s remind them. Cancel all your subscriptions to these Quislings. Use your subscription money to support independent journalism or give it to your favorite candidate. Write them a snotty email with your cancellation. It feels good.

2. If you’re on social media, insult all the corporate media reporters you see or can find. Every dig at Biden, every sly effort at dividing us, and every minimization of Republican treachery should be followed by a stream of outrage. Mention that you’ve cancelled your subscription. They don’t read or report on this, but other people, including their money side and low-information voters, see it and it will make a difference.

3. Are you a member of a group capable of arranging a rally on, say the SCOTUS wrecking ball? Think strategically. Street marches that end in parks are the usual thing. But they don’t draw media coverage. You know what will? A Rally for Reform outside the local TV station. A SCOTUS Sucks protest outside your local radio station. A Save Democracy From Fascism rally outside the local newspaper. A What Are You Doing To Protect Democracy gathering outside city hall, where reporters are usually hanging around. Make sure someone is prepared with talking points and push them at the reporters and cameras.

B. What about the legal situation

We can’t make the following happen, but we can say it online and we can hammer on our politicians demanding it. The organizations we support can file pleadings, even if they’re ignored. And we can make our anger heard in a thousand different ways.

1. Judge Chutkan can recuse herself from the insurrection case. She could file a recusal statement saying she swore to uphold the constitution not the partisan hacks on SCOTUS who refuse to protect democracy (or something more adult).

All the decent judges in that circuit can follow suit, saying that the DC Circuit decision flatly denying immunity was right and they intend to follow that precedent. Eventually a Bork/Cannon agrees to try the case. This will emphasize the reality: the courts won’t protect democracy. It will undermine SCOTUS and pressure Biden to demand immediate action to rein in SCOTUS.

2. Judge Chutkan orders that all pretrial motions will be filed by July 11. Starting July 15 there will be a marathon hearing on all motions. It will run 10 hours a day until complete. Trial starts 15 days later.

The DC Court of Appeals refuses a stay, and sits on the appeal. This forces the decision to SCOTUS whose interference at this point will damage them further and give Democrats more ammunition.

3. Special Counsel Jack Smith announces that the SCOTUS decision has rendered trial impossible. He files a motion to dismiss. Every organization we support files an opposition to the motion to dismiss. They point to all the public evidence. The boldest say that the immunity decision is an abuse of the power of the judiciary. Give those more money.

Chutkan grants the motion over the objections. Our organizations appeal. The case is in the media regularly, none of it relates to Biden, and there is no both-sides beyond defending a palpably partisan SCOTUS.

4. Jack Smith prepares a report laying out all the evidence against Trump that cannot be used at trial. He gives it to Garland. Garland gives it to Biden. Biden releases it in a very public way. He’s immune because this is an official act. He instructs Smith to cooperate with all the state cases against fraudulent electors. He’s immune because SCOTUS said so.

5. Special Counsel Smith indicts all the unindicted co-conspirators using speaking indictments, setting out all the evidence, all of it. This makes the evidence public.

6. Jack Smith supersedes with a treason indictment. Chutkan calls for motions as in 2 and sets immediate trial. That’ll force SCOTUS to show its partisanship.

7. Dana Nessel, the excellent MI AG indicts Trump on the fraudulent electors scheme using the Smith evidence. Same in AZ. Maybe Fani Willis can figure out a way to clean up the mess in Georgia with a new indictment based on the new evidence.

8. Protesting is an activity at which young people excel. We can support groups like David Hogg’s March For Our Lives and Leaders We Deserve, and Olivia Julianna’s Voters Of Tomorrow and other groups focused on younger people. They can start showing up at every event featuring a MAGA SCOTUS rogue. Other groups like CREW can help, in part by sussing out good opportunities. These activists can put out public notices and encourage attendance. Same for restaurants, and any private events they and others can find. I’d be happy to show up in Chicago. SCOTUS MAGAts deserve to be shamed and shunned by polite society.

9. Lawyers attending conferences ask hard questions of all the FED SOC people. Law student organizations like The American Constitution Society publicly refuse to enroll in classes taught by people aligned with the conservative legal movement.

C. Off the wall ideas

You can’t get a good idea without some off the wall ideas.

1. Biden announces that he’s told the AG and the FBI to investigate fully and report back in 60 days: a) whether Barrett, Gorsuch, or Kavanaugh committed perjury in connection with their nominations, including specifically the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford; b) the role of Ginni Thomas in the insurrection, the fraudulent electors scheme, and her contacts with former Thomas clerks on those matters; and c) the connections between Trump and Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislane Maxwell. He explains that this is possible because SCOTUS said the President is free to control the investigations done by the Department of Justice, so he’s immune for these official acts, and he’s just being vigorous and energetic.

Outrage erupts from the frothers. Then Biden says ha ha just kidding. You right-wing jackasses need to understand just how terrible you and your rotten SCOTUS and your felonious candidate are.

2. Biden announces that he’s heard the calls for his withdrawal. He points out that if he withdraws, it will help the convicted criminal and hurt the millions of Democrats who support him. Then he says I’ll withdraw after the convicted felon withdraws. He has to go first because no one believes he’ll keeps his promises, and everyone knows Biden will.

D. A personal request

I live in Chicago. My senator, Dick Durbin, is the chair of the Judiciary Committee. He’s one of those old-timey Democrats whose love of senatorial privilege and bipartisanship is greater than his love of our democracy.

Call his office. You will talk to a staffer. Explain your anger about his failure even to hold a hearing on SCOTUS arrogance and corruption. Say you know it must be awful to watch up close as democracy fails and their boss does nothing. Do your best to make them weep.


129 replies
  1. Magbeth4 says:

    Yes, we should act in various ways to let the powers-that-be know how we feel. But, as far as my Congressional Representatives and Senators are concerned: the are all Republicans, so my protests will fall on deaf ears.

    I have already cancelled my subscriptions to the NYT and the WaPo. My local rag is a McClatchy fleabag which never makes any kind of strong statement, nor does it accept those directed to its Editorial Page.

    All I can do is vote. And, perhaps, convince one or two people how imperative it is that they vote for the Democratic Nominee, whoever it turns out to be if Biden is hounded from being a contender. But, I like your spirit. We mustn’t give up!

    • Ed Walker says:

      I get that, I used to live in Tennessee. Being one of a few blue dots is no fun. Any ideas for others in your position?

    • Rayne says:

      So what if your representatives are GOP? They’re still your representatives. They should know they’re on notice. Rustle up other non-GOP folks in your district/state to call them as well. Find other ways to make it obvious to them they don’t get a pass on what’s happening, that they own it unless they make an effort to change it.

  2. paulka123 says:

    What strikes me as something that would be effective would be a public display of the crimes at issue, something similar to the January 6th committee hearings. I don’t have a clue as to the venue or the appropriate people to make the case, but something that tells the story of what happened and what is at stake-think Fahrenheit 911, but bigger. I have no idea on how that can be achieved, or how the production could get the attention it deserves. It just strikes me that when those Congressional public meetings were held the American people were listening and MAGA was on it’s heels.

    Maybe a series of presentations on
    1. January 6
    2. Project 2025
    3. The actions of the Supreme Court
    4. The implications of presidential immunity
    5. Trump’s various crimes

    I know the message is there, Trump is a target rich environment. It is just the messenger-something with the gravitas of the January 6 committee, the presentation of a Hollywood or marketing powerhouse, presenters with the wit of Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert but with a truly nationwide audience. I know what I want, I simply have no idea how to achieve that (me not being an expert), especially in this media environment.

    Maybe a series of Oval Office speeches, Biden should damn the Hatch Act, this is all our war for the existence of our nation.

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    As I read this, organizing and thinking of unusual and creative ways to engage in civil disobedience come to mind.

    On the media front, I was surprised by the persistent and insistent “dump Biden” campaign at Slate, notably by Zachary Carter. The media home of Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern should do better.

  4. paulka123 says:

    Another idea I have is that Congress should, when Congress reconvenes in January 2025 refuse to certify Trump’s election (assuming he wins) as he is an adjudicated insurrectionist. The SC said any 14th Amendment enforcement has to come from Congress, well run on that.

    Make the case that electing Democratic congressman will allow us to deny Trump taking office regardless of the results of the ballot box. He IS ineligible per the 14th Amendment. ACT LIKE IT.

    I have no idea of the Constitutional impacts of not certifying, but act like it is a possibility, shoot act like it is a foregone conclusion if Dems can take the house that Trump can be kept from office. Act like Trump won’t be seated no matter what, and a Tim Scott or Doug Bergen presidency would result from a Trump “victory”. That would make MAGA head’s explode, which is a good short-term goal in and of itself-make them show their madness in public.

    I’ve dropped 2 ideas so I’ll step back and calm down.

    Oh and Biden should DEFINITELY sic the IRS on Thomas, Alito and Kavanaugh

    And noone should mention prima nocta around Trump

  5. SelaSela says:

    This is the first time I’ll be able to vote, after recently becoming a US citizen, and it would be the easiest elections ever. Even if the democratic party had a worn out crumbling shoe as their candidate. Like, a literal shoe, I would vote for them over Trump without any hesitation. No matter how good or bad Biden’s health is, he would still be infinitely better than the destruction of democracy that Trump would bring. And even though I’m disappointed with Kamala Harris, she would still be thousand times better than Trump as well.

    I don’t want to sound defeated, and I hope to do whatever I can to change things around, but I’m increasingly more worried that Trump is going to be back. I hope that in such case, he would be bogged down enough by his own health issues and possible economic downturn. But still, Monday’s supreme court decision just made him even more dangerous than before. Some of the scenarios that justice Sotomayor listed in her descent are probably far fetched even for Trump, but there is no doubt in my mind that he will abuse it, just like he abuses any power. The mere knowledge of having absolute immunity would enable him to do things he might not have done without it. I won’t be surprised, for example, if no longer try to make it a secret when he promise people pardon if they make illegal things.

    • Rayne says:

      “Some of the scenarios that justice Sotomayor listed in her descent are probably far fetched even for Trump”

      If Sotomayor already thought it and expressed it, it’s not only passed through the minds of Trump’s supporters but it’s already in the works.

      Hitler didn’t order every atrocity committed in his name. His supporters did so, committing them for him in the belief they did it with his blessing. Do not yield now in despair to Trump’s ecosystem of treachery to come; get in touch with your righteous anger and find a way to fight it back before it gains a foothold.

      • SelaSela says:

        “If Sotomayor already thought it and expressed it, it’s not only passed through the minds of Trump’s supporters but it’s already in the works.”

        This is just too terrifying to think about it, so I’m trying to use the power of denial to protect my sanity. I’m quite certain that if Trump get elected, he would do some of those. I’m 100% sure he will be much more bold and explicit when promising people pardon if they perform illegal acts for him. Yes, he did this before, but he still felt the need to do it quietly, and signal people rather than tell them explicitly. Now he could do it on much larger scale. This is a huge loophole that would practically allow him to extend his immunity to anyone else who does his bidding, and there is nothing we could do to stop him.

        The only thing I can do, other that vote, it to communicate this to as many people as I can. And hopefully, it would make a difference.

    • harpie says:

      SelaSela: The mere knowledge of having absolute immunity would enable him to do things he might not have done without it.

      THAT is the exact reason Convicted Felon TRUMP
      asked the ROBERTS Courtesans for immunity.

      And it is the exact reason that they and their
      Second-Gilded-Age-Fascist TAX CHEAT Money-Bags bestowed it on him.

      • harpie says:

        https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/23pdf/23-939_e2pg.pdf []

        [pdf21/119] [ROBERTS] The hesitation to execute the duties of his office fearlessly and fairly that might result when a President is making decisions under “a pall of potential prosecution,” [citation] raises “unique risks to the effective functioning of government,” [citation]. A President inclined to take one course of action based on the public interest [< haha…as IF] may instead opt for another, apprehensive that criminal penalties may befall him upon his departure from office. And if a former President’s official acts are routinely subjected to scrutiny in criminal prosecutions, “the independence of the Executive Branch” may be significantly undermined. [citation]. The Framers’ design of the Presidency did not envision such counterproductive burdens on the “vigor” and “energy” of the Executive. The Federalist No. 70, at 471–472. […]

        For TRUMP, this is a big dose of Cialis.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Gaslighting horseshit. Roberts is using invented history and fears, and language borrowed from the school of dictators to justify his insurrection. He’s not writing about the law or American history. He’s inventing both.

          His fiction describes no American president. He knows it. He must think his robes and status will protect him. That’s often true with dictators who remember how they came to power. But they soon forget. And has he examined Trump’s notion of mutual loyalty?

        • SelaSela says:

          The Federalist no. 70 addresses the debate between having a single man [sic] as the head of the executive branch, vs having two or more people with equal authority. Hamilton argues that we need to have a single president because the president have to be “vigorous” and “energetic”, and having two or more people would lead to indecisiveness. Roberts is cherry-picking the Federalist papers here, and taking it completely out of context.

          It is baffling that the supreme court justices are so quick to throw down the drain all of their principles when it suites them. This decision is not based on textualism, because there is nothing in the text of the constitution or the Federalist papers that grants a president such rights. It is also not based on Originalism, because the fear of having a president that would become a king is one of the main principles of the founders, and here they just say that the presidency doesn’t need any checks and balances. And of course, Roberts stopped caring about “judicial restraint” once the conservatives got a super-majority. And the Separation of powers that they somehow se to justify for this decision was the least of their concerns when they decide to gut the Chevron Doctrine last Friday.

        • Rayne says:

          Reply to SelaSela
          July 3, 2024 at 12:08 pm

          Ugh. The president needed to be “vigorous” and “energetic” at a time when he might have to ride a horse or a horse-drawn carriage for hours a day and he might even have to campaign in districts where hostilities were likely, ex. along the frontier or when the British attacked Washington in 1814.

          Now the president can simply ride a golf cart to support his bloated ass around his golf course so he can vigorously and energetically apply a foot wedge to his lousy golf ball.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      About as far-fetched as Donald Trump. If anything she’s understated her concerns. As Trump’s vicious addled mind sinks further into dementia, his extremism and disregard for consequences will only grow.

  6. thesmokies says:

    Ed, I am impressed with your list. This is no easy challenge. Under category one, I will repeat an idea I have mentioned before: The leading progressive media voices such as those at Emptywheel should come together for a COORDINATED, persistent challenging of the MSM. You all have produced many good critiques of the media, but individual challenges can be brushed off. Come together and in unison go after and stay after them on some point. For example, I watched the ABC, CBS, and NBC nightly news this past Monday. All devoted time to Biden’s “poor” or “disastrous” debate performance and the fallout from it, but none of them spent any time talking about Trump’s disastrous lying, egomania fest or the lack of fallout from it on the other side. Ask them why? Again and again, until you get an answer. Work together.

    • Geddy Myung says:

      Yes to this. Even some of the MSNBC commentators who I thought were made of sterner stuff are doing this. They all need pushback.
      On Monday, I changed my voter registration from “independent/undecided” to Democrat. I’ll start looking for ways to contribute my skills to pro-democracy nonprofits after Independence Day. Might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb.

  7. Jim Luther says:

    The American people/culture is the problem. We all need to discard the patriotic fairy tales wew were taught as children. Our founding coincidentally occured at the same time as a genocide. Our early success was on the back of slave labor. The post WWII success was probably more related to the industrial capacity of the world being bombed into the stone age than: unions, protestant work ethic, quality products, God’s will, democracy, blah, blah, blah.

    For nearly a century we (about 5% of the world’s population) have consumed about 25% of the world’s consumption. In 1980, we switched to a debt financed economy – at the personal, corporate, and governmental level. Many currently retired people spent their entire working lives in an economy turbocharged by massive stimulus and attributed to fairy tales. As a country, we have yet to figure out how to respond to the 1972 Arab Oil Embargo
    Guess what – the debt is coming due.

    The problem is that the politicians are well aware that the only way to get elected is to tell enough people what they want to hear. American society is unsustainable and failing, and the political/media mess is a symptom that will not heal until the underlying cause is.

    • Rayne says:

      Are you cognizant at all that positive narrative is necessary to encourage engagement, and the mythos built so far has been effective in moving Americans?

      How does your comment build a more constructive mythos to exhort people to defeat fascism? I just don’t see how telling people “everything you are is a lie” will move them toward effective anti-fascist action.

    • Magbeth4 says:

      “American society is unsustainable and failing…”

      Your attitude is unsustainable because it is un-American. America stands for possibilities and re-birth, as every one of us is descended from an immigrant from places where oppression and lack of economic resources forced them out. There are still enough of those with recent immigrant history (or family member) to remember why they came here.

      Folks exposed to tyranny in their native countries won’t stand for that in this country. And those Immigrant Citizens who had to study the Constitution and pass a test to become Citizens will respect the Laws which the Constitution
      guarantees. My father kept those instructional materials his whole life as a valuable resource in his library. Unfortunately, many Americans born in this country, several generations removed from their Family history of immigration, have not been schooled in what those documents mean.

      It is time for a National “crash” course in how our Republic works. THAT is the underlying cause: ignorance and laziness, i.e., letting Media “think” for us. Or, as the NYT is so guilty of, telling us how to think via headlines and specious reasoning.

      • JAFO_NAL says:

        There are still media sites like this one that actually inspire rational thought and critical thinking. This point could yield batches of potentially deadly political attack ads against Trump:

        “5. Special Counsel Smith indicts all the unindicted co-conspirators using speaking indictments, setting out all the evidence, all of it. This makes the evidence public.”

  8. SelaSela says:

    One thing we need to do is to have a true alternative to MSM. I don’t want it to be partisan one, I don’t want a progressive-liberal version of Fox/Newsmax/NY Post. I want a fact based, reliable, truly unbiased media outlet that would do what the MSM was supposed to do, and they don’t.

    Unsubscribing from NY Times and WaPo is one thing, but it would be much more effective if we had a real alternative.

    • Ed Walker says:

      The Philadelphia Inquirer is as independent as they come, and features a sane editorial board that called for Trump to withdraw, and the excellent columnist Will Bunch. I’m sure there are drawbacks but that’s where I’m going. I also have a subscription to the Boston Globe, but it’s linked to the Times.

      • SelaSela says:

        I used to live in Philly for almost 6 years, but its been a while, and I haven’t followed the local newspapers there for a while. I really like the Atlantic, but it’s not a news outlet. It’s mostly opinions columns that I don’t always agree with, but are always interesting. I also appreciate ProPublica, but they are also not really a news outlet.

      • synergies says:

        Thank You. I bookmarked both. I live in West Hollywood (Los Angeles, Ca.) The LA Times online is now stagnant. Almost no new articles appear on the weekend. You know people don’t read on the weekend.
        I just have a low amount of news organizations I read online. At Biden bend over & exit nonstop for days on end flood at the NY Times recently, I stopped clicking. I don’t subscribe to any. I wish I could, it’s not the money, it’s that then I get the new advertising flood with articles squeezed in between. I think they call it $ome kind of sandwich. It’s astonishing that these news organizations didn’t get the simple reality of the instant news of whatever the hell elmo calls the deceased bird site and still don’t.
        I used to read The Guardian but gave that up during brexit. Would anyone recommend I take another look? I liked that it covered Europe.

        • Ed Walker says:

          I read the Guardian UK and US newsletters every day, and click through to articles that seem interesting. They give a short discussion of the matter and I can look for more if I need to.

          I do subscribe and I use Firefox with reader view so my screen is easy to read as quickly as I can with my bad eyes.

      • Knowatall says:

        I’ll second the support for Bunch. And a ‘big up’ for Robert Hubbell (Substack). Having twits like Barrasso, Lummis, and Hageman for representation is so frustrating, so it helps to hear clearheaded voices from elsewhere.

  9. Steve in Manhattan says:

    The speaking indictment for any and all eligible is a great idea. Maybe some wild cards: Ginni Thomas? Anyone close to Trump at the relevant times? Being indicted in the Poolshed Papers case doesn’t mean you can’t indict them in the Jan 6 case. Every ugly thing must be on full display.

  10. dimmsdale says:

    Ed, I love your list! I don’t know how much of it is workable (even IF we could get buy-in on it from people who could actually DO it) but I love the guerilla-war aspect of it. I think this is the last great smash-and-grab from the oligarch class, unfolding on multiple fronts. That quotation from the Heritage Foundation tool (“We are in the process of the second American Revolution, which will remain bloodless if the left allows it to be”) is a stark promise of violence no matter how the election turns out; that needs to be prepared for. But in addition to violence, the vast oligarch class is prepared to fund thousands of lawsuits too, if necessary, and looking at your list, I’m thinking “YEAH–let’s tie those f ckers up in court for the foreseeable future.” One of the difficulties at the moment is, we don’t quite know what OUR weapons are yet and we’re all still figuring it out, but your post here is exactly the kind of thinking that’s needed. I’ve felt for a long time that the Democratic Party needs a guerrilla operation to offset the Marquis of Queensbury mainstream; maybe it’s time to create it.

    • Ed Walker says:

      Have you read Kim Stanley Robinson’s Ministry For The Future? You might find it interesting.

  11. P-villain says:

    A provocative and creative list of legal gambits, much better than what the community’s comments to prior posts have come up with. Thank you.

    • Rayne says:

      Have you thought at all how an imperial president could prosecute and convict opponents so that they couldn’t run for POTUS?

      How should Biden address your demand without also being an imperial president?

      • Challenger says:

        Yes, this is an example of using a bad new set of laws for good, on the path of reversing them, this is mild compared with what will happen if Trump gets back in

    • Sherrie H says:

      I don’t think a president could unilaterally add to the constitutional requirements, I think you’d need an amendment.

      • Challenger says:

        I think a bad President could do whatever he or she wants to do Now, by decree, and be completely immune, it’s a whole new game

        • c-i-v-i-l says:

          No. A president now has “absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for actions within his conclusive and preclusive constitutional authority. And he is entitled to at least presumptive immunity from prosecution for all his official acts,” but immunity from prosecution does not imply that whatever he wants will be enacted. A decree that “being a convicted felon a barrier to being President” does not imply that any state is going to refuse to place a convicted felon on the ballot. And an illegal order does not have to be acted on by the person receiving the order; it’s still illegal, and that person is not immune from prosecution, though s/he can be pardoned for federal crimes.

        • Challenger says:

          Reply to civil, I am not sure you are correct, I imagine Trump Presidency with Stuart Rhodes as head of his military, etc, yes he could and would do anything, or should I say Pardon Me

  12. thequickbrownfox says:

    Masha Gessen’s Rule #3

    “Institutions will not save you”

    The belief in the courts’ ability to defend the rule of law and the resilience of our institutions is the refuge of fools. The courts will not save us. The ‘law’ is not what those with JDs have been taught that it is — the law is what people with power say that it is. This is something that Heritage and Leonard Leo have understood from the beginning of their campaign to remake the judicial system.

    Forget the courts — it’s too late to argue the ‘law’, because the rules have been changed.

  13. Zinsky123 says:

    First, Ed, thank you for your writing on this blog. It is so sincere and gracious, compared to some of the written gnarling and gnashing that goes on around here. Second, I love your ideas and may adopt and/or adapt a few to use in my locale. Finally – here is an idea that requires TV production, but how about a series on the History Channel or YouTube TV called The Sex Crimes of Donald Trump? Each week, get one of the 26 known women who have been [allegedly] sexually assaulted by this creep, to tell their story either openly or in silhouette with voice garbled. Of course, have sinister music in the background and shoot it like a crime drama. People LOVE real life stories and you could significantly add to his legacy as a personal monster.

  14. freebird says:

    We have to be prepared to work if Biden drops out. I support Biden, but the stakes are too high if he falters after a point of no return. Like many maladies they manifest slowly, rapidly and then devastatingly. I say this as a campaign donor.

    • Rayne says:

      We have to be prepared in real life, face to face, not bleating this defeatist stuff in public where it can be used against us, and where the steady drip of such talk damages both the confidence of others and the prospects of winning.

      Seriously, take this shit off line and do something constructive with this energy. Your primary effort should be to ensure Biden wins.

        • Ciel babe says:

          Thank you. The R’s brushed off Regan’s obvious Alzheimer’s dementia (including during at least the 2nd campaign). It can be done.

  15. PeteT0323 says:

    There has to be effective action that Biden can take with his newly SCOTUS ordained immunity somewhere between his apparent statement to do nothing based on principle and send SEAL Team 6 to assassinate Trump ( which I do not condone).

    He may have to dirty up some 1A rights but BeJebbus throw some of these assholes in jail if not Trump himself. They are tantamount to advocating the overthrow of the foundations of our democratic republic.

    Congresspeople that hide behind Speech and Debate – make them pay.

    Decree +4 SCOTUS justices even if they can’t be sworn in. Clearly investigate Justices (noted by others) for all of their transgressions; lying, tax evasion, lack of gift reporting candor. He’ll remove them from SCOTUS.

    In shor, Joe, do something. This is no time to be old. Instead be bold.

  16. Critter7 says:

    One thing each of us can do: Keep our eye on the ball and speak of where we are at, where our democracy is at, to those around us.

    Keep your eye on the ball means keep your facts straight, the important facts about the path that brought us to this perilous time. The fog of war can blur the mind. And we in a war, under constant siege in an information war at least, where democracy’s opponents “flood the zone with shit” and subject us to a constant firehose of falsehoods, as part of what sure looks to me like a deliberate strategy.

    When talking to those around me, good people who are occupied by keeping their lives on track in 21st century America, I am often struck by the difficulty that so many have in recalling essential details about our recent history. For example: Collective recall of how Vladimir Putin’s minions screwed with the 2016 election to help put Trump in office is fading fast; and the Trumpers are doing everything they can to make sure that their leader’s coup attempt is next.

    Being here, a reader of this blog, helps me with that. Thank you all.

  17. SteveBev says:

    Dear Ed

    Thank you for your creative and imaginative piece

    I should like to propose an addition/amendment to your list under heading

    I Before all else Judge Chutkan should consider inviting her colleagues to deal with the recent constitutional conundrums posed by the recent SCOTUS decisions of Fischer and Trump, by convening an En Banc conference of the DC district court Judges
    II And that conference should consider whether to deal with each of those cases when remanded back to the District Court by En Banc or panels for pre-trial motion practice and hearings, and for the trials themselves.

    The basis for such approach by the DC District Court Judiciary as a collective may be found by considering

    2022 Fordham Law Review Vol 90 pp1541-1609

    Which I commend to your attention

  18. Saeomon+1 says:

    A public airing of all the evidence should absolutely happen. There’s no reason for it not to and nothing prevents it. Hearing the details of what actually happened is really more important than the outcome of any trial.

    It should be on TV 24/7. It should be broadcast over the radio. It should be uploaded to the Internet. Hell, they should send it all to the GPO and mail copies to everyone in the country.

  19. Grain of Sand says:

    Ck out Indivisible. Build solidarity and community. This will help in the short and longer run.
    Thanks, Ed, for starting this discussion.

  20. JanAnderson says:

    Wear plain black armbands. Someone is sure to ask for an explanation. You are in mourning for the death of America’s democracy.

    • Rayne says:

      I’m not comfortable using symbols which imply we’ve already given up when we are in the middle of an existential battle.

      • JanAnderson says:

        Ok, but an explanation of what is happening doesn’t need to be partisan. I do wonder how many people are not paying attention, have no idea. It’s a small thing that anyone can do to raise awareness.

        • Rayne says:

          Perhaps I should have added Americans are weird about death — they don’t confront it, they tend to run away from it. It’s unlikely someone wearing a mourning band will be asked about it, more likely to be treated as if they’re contagious.

          Heck, look how Americans are handling mask wearing these days.

        • ggonsbutlongenough says:

          Not rainbow, because it’ll incite feelings among folks who otherwise might protect democracy.

          Recommend orange: it’s an alert color and unaffiliated domestically.

        • Rayne says:

          That might actually work — it has a precedent in the 2004 Bush administration when the White House elevated the terror alert to orange periodically to boost Bush’s approval rating (at least until they were caught at it).

          Code orange for impending terror, take action.

    • paulka123 says:

      Wearing armbands has a horrible historic precedent and echoes of stars on chests, so, yeah, probably a bad idea.

        • JanAnderson says:

          Ach, it all sounds silly now.
          Red is danger.
          It doesn’t have to be an armband, I do get the historic references. A ribbon is less volatile?
          I really do believe that outside of this place, and many others, there is a complete lack of awareness. This here and elsewhere, would be considered political Wonksville to, I would wager, is a whole lot of people.
          Sleepwalking into autocracy, and that’s in many respects, how it happens.
          Anyhow, thanks for being kind.

  21. Error Prone says:

    A vote for Joe Biden is a vote against Project 2025.

    If you want a slogan, that’s a slogan. Project 2025 is a detached and inanimate villain, the work of lobbyists, to describe and promote an ideal world for lobbyists and their most malignant clients. That’s an explanation hard to beat for any even half-cogent person who reads any of the many pages.

    And speaking against Project 2025 is not a personal attack, directly, against Trump. It is an attack at his weakest flank. It is Heritage Foundation, kept whores (perhaps better termed “apologists and sophists for an agenda against us, while favoring those signing the paychecks and putting food on the tables of those who’d misadvise us in exchange for money.”). Enough. I could go on and on.

  22. RitaRita says:

    At one point early in this election cycle, Biden said that he would drop out if Trump dropped out.

    I think the news media should be confronted with their hypocrisy and double standards every time they suggest Biden is too old. By their standards, both candidates are too old. Trump’s cognitive decline is much more pronounced. If the news media calls for interviews and press conferences to test Biden’s acumen, they should ask for Trump to do the same. If he doesn’t comply, the media should bang the drum for his withdrawal.

    Before Biden ends his tenure, he should test the limits of the Supreme Court’s absolute immunity for official acts. He should look at what Trump is promising to do and then turn the tables and send out proposed executive orders that would do what Trump is promising to do. Maybe for starters, he should propose a loyalty test for federal employees and then propose filling vacancies with members of his extended family. After the media goes through its pearl clutching, he should say that he is not going to do any of that because he lives by the letter and the spirit of the Constitution.

  23. Grain of Sand says:

    In addition to joining an Indivisible group (I am signing up for eastern Washington), consider joining the League of Women Voters. Nonpartisan, but what I like about it is the opportunity to sit at a table and register voters. And have some good conversations. I also plan to rejoin the ACLU.

    • dimmsdale says:

      thanks for the tip, gonna look up LWV to see about that registration table business, sounds exactly like work that needs to be done. My mom was a member in the 60s, I’ve kept up a membership too, but had no idea about that kind of outreach. thanks again!

      • Grain of Sand says:

        They do more than that, but I can see myself doing that. Door knocking is effective, but I am past that. Hire the youngsters. I dont’ think LWV does door knocking in any case.

        I am a new Spokanite, so it’s also going to be a good way to come up to speed on other elections and policy matters. I joined/paid my dues just a few hours ago.

  24. Dark Phoenix says:

    “Rep. Jared Golden, a moderate Democrat from Maine, said in a local newspaper column Tuesday that the debate “didn’t rattle me as it has others, because the outcome of this election has been clear to me for months: While I don’t plan to vote for him, Donald Trump is going to win. And I’m OK with that.”” – https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2024/7/3/2250934/-Biden-plans-public-events-blitz-to-push-back-on-pressure-to-leave-the-race

    That TOTALLY helps, Jared! Glad we’re all on the same page here…

    • Rayne says:

      Damn it, I hate that Maine’s primary was on March 5 because I would send his Democratic opponent money — that specific kind of cis-het white liberal male privilege is what’s killing this country.

      Literally, “While I don’t plan to vote for him, the NAZI candidate is going to win. And I’m OK with that.” Golden is OK with a Day One dictator. Fuck Golden’s bullshit; I hope the Dems in his district show up on his doorstep and give him hell for that.

      ADDER: [insert epithet] Golden ran unopposed in the Democratic Primary. No wonder he could give a shit about saying crap like that.

      • Error Prone says:

        Wetted finger to the wind. No need to swap me for a Republican, I’m okay. Let’s build seniority for the good of the district.

  25. Error Prone says:

    Some have the attention span of a two year old – a/k/a Why are our mainstream pundits not impressed enough to mention but once, Trump pardoned Flynn, Stone, Jarad’s dad, and Bannon’s wall building fraud. Biden, out of respect for decency and propriety, declines to pardon his son.

    Which should we trust is the least they could say. Moreover,
    https://apnews.com/article/steve-bannon-trump-pardons-broidy-66c82f25134735e742b2501c118723bb — adds:

    “One pardon recipients was Elliott Broidy, a prominent Republican fundraiser who pleaded guilty last fall in a scheme to lobby the Trump administration to drop an investigation into the looting of a Malaysian wealth fund. Another was Ken Kurson, a friend of Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner who was charged last October with cyberstalking during a heated divorce.”

    “Hours later, the White House announced one last pardon, for Al Pirro, the ex-husband of Trump ally Jeanine Pirro, a Fox News Channel host. Al Pirro had been convicted in 2000 of tax charges.”

    “Bannon’s pardon was especially notable given that the prosecution was still in its early stages and any trial was months away.”

    On that Pirro pardon, convicted of tax charges rings a bell.

  26. ggonsbutlongenough says:

    1. Looks like we might get an update from Biden tomorrow. There’s an all hands at 12:30. It’ll either be double-down to stay in or an exit announcement. If encourage you all the be more open minded about replacing Biden. It’s not the end of the world and there are reasonable upsides. If he died, what would you do? You wouldn’t give up.

    For the supreme court:

    2. In this world, I’d recommend setting up common patterns that make the easy for people to get involved. Set up a shared Google doc that’s public, read only with strategies like: meet on Saturday evening by 5pm at the school closest to your city center, wear a blue shirt, if you can bring portable food and water that you can share, begin marching at 6pm towards (something every city/town has). Use the Google doc to distribute talking points, signs etc
    3. Post the Google doc everywhere you can. Hang a QR code in local coffee shops, email, Facebook. The goal is to go viral by activating groups of people.
    4. The doc should contain a scord server so that like minded people can chat all day, recommend strategy updates and ensure that folks who want to start a march can do so.
    5. There needs to be a way to sign up that’s easy for people who attend to receive further invitation to action.
    6. If you know like minded young people/influencers, get them doing the same thing on tic tock/the Graham

    It has to become a weekly ritual. The more this feels like religion, the more likely it is to be successful. If it’s not relentless, it will fade

  27. Jaybird51 says:

    Thanks for this column! I rant back & forth with several friends along these lines and share our outrage. I glean a lot from my friends.

    There is a quick TikTok video by Keith Edwards called No One is Above Law (which I don’t know how to embed here.) Basically a montage of Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Roberts, Barrett reiterating No One is Above the Law at their confirmation hearings. Roberts directly says not even the president. Kavanaugh cites Federalist 69. Is this then perjury? Why isnt a montage such as this being broadcast right now via campaign advertising? Why can’t Joe Biden do a presidential address using this montage to make his case that the Supreme Court made a dangerous mistake. Isn’t this an official act? As president he can do televised addresses confronting lies as part of election integrity. These presidential addresses should be about the soul of the country. Truth to power. From the Executive Branch.

    My friends and I are aghast at media cowardice and spin. But also don’t understand lack of aggressive messaging by Democrats. If we, and those here, get it and have good ideas to fight back, then why not the Democratic Party??

    • JanAnderson says:

      Ask myself the same question. They seem to be spineless. Biden is tired, he has good days and bad, but I don’t believe his mind is lost or something. I’m up in years too, younger than him though, but I could never ever keep up the pace required as a president in an election year. Why do we expect perfection from him? Why do we not instead see what this elder man has accomplished? My answer to that is the media.

    • c-i-v-i-l says:

      I proposed one ad to the Biden campaign, and it looks like I should propose another. Thinking through what it might look like (just initial ideas right now): the montage of Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Roberts, Barrett saying “no one is above the law” juxtaposed with the words “Presidential power entitles a former President to absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for actions within his conclusive and preclusive constitutional authority” over images of the six conservative justices and “Today’s decision to grant former Presidents criminal immunity … makes a mockery of the principle, foundational to our Constitution and system of Government, that no man is above the law” over the images of the three liberal justices, then keeping those images of the 6-3 split but shifting to “nominated by Republican Presidents” and “nominated by Democratic Presidents.” Then perhaps a brief image of the polling that shows that 70% of Americans do not want the President to be immune for actions taken while in office (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-immunity-presidents-poll-06-13-2024/). Then shift to analogous images / quotes / poll for Dobbs, ending with something like: vote for a Supreme Court that represents the values of the American people, vote for Biden.

      What do you think? How can that quick sketch be improved?

      • JanAnderson says:

        I ask because I used to be, but with tech advancing every 6 months or so, and me in retirement, haven’t ventured there in years.
        If you, or someone you know can publish a video, a meme even – go for it
        Upload it to as many sm platforms as you use. Don’t wait for Dems to do it, they’re wetting the bed at the moment.

        • c-i-v-i-l says:

          Unfortunately no, or I’d do as you suggest, and other than the comments sections of a couple of blogs, I’m not really active on social media. You do help me realize that I don’t have to limit my suggestion to the Biden campaign, though I’ll have to think about who else to reach out to.

    • c-i-v-i-l says:

      I don’t see much suggesting what to do now, but if you click through a couple of links, you get to https://peoplesparity.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/REPORT_Protecting-Workers-Rights-and-Democracy-from-the-Courts.pdf, which does propose specific court reforms:

      1. Court expansion: Adding justices to the Supreme Court.
      2. Jurisdiction stripping: Removing courts’ ability to hear challenges to a specific law or regulation, or more broadly to all federal laws and regulations.
      3. Jurisdiction channeling: Designating a specific court, agency, or other body to hear specific types of cases.
      4. Supermajority requirements: A rule that a court can only strike down a law or regulation on constitutional grounds if a supermajority, or all, of the court’s members agree.
      5. Fast-track congressional fixes to statutory interpretation decisions: An efficient process for Congress to overrule a court decision misinterpreting a federal law or regulation.
      6. Other complementary reforms: Ethics reform, shadow docket reform, lower court expansion, term limits, and laws to correct antidemocratic judicial doctrines. These would complement other reforms, and would be helpful, but not alone sufficient, in addressing the problems of the federal courts.

      Lithwick and Stern do say “Find someone working on court reform and lend an oar.” I wasn’t familiar with the People’s Parity Project, but quickly skimming parts of their website makes it look like a good organization. Demand Justice is another. Do others have additional suggestions re: court reform efforts?

  28. JanAnderson says:

    Obama’s ‘circular firing squad’ warning.
    If you can’t rally around Biden now Democrat Party – at the very least rally around your Republic.
    Do it now because you’re about to watch it slowly sink into a wee notion of bygone days.

  29. Sue 'em Queequeg says:

    Incurably left/progressive I may be as a citizen, but as a communications professional I feel compelled to mention that the media’s Biden-must-step-aside bandwagon is as much an acknowledgement of how much image means to so many voters as of any wish to parrot right-wing views. It’s consistent with the larger MSM view — sadly not inaccurate, as far as I can see — that they need to follow cultural trends to stay in business. They believe the rise of perception as reality (in fact superior to reality in many of the conveniences it offers) is the main trend that concerns them. Their response has been weak and craven, but I can’t say they’re wrong.

    In light of this one must allow the possibility that at least some of their concern is for Biden’s electability in an appearance-based world. They are correct, in any case, that no amount of facts and figures can counter the former president’s popularity among those with whom he is popular, because facts and figures are specifically what that audience is committed to ignoring.

    The debate prep Biden needed was to point out that virtually everything TFG said was a lie, and to keep saying that over and over again. That was the issue at hand. And in a situation that cries out for a strong response, that’s the one option that is both strong and not an attack, merely standing one’s ground. To anyone whose decision is still in any way up for grabs, Biden’s stream of facts and figures made him seem like a general fighting the previous war.

    • David F. Snyder says:

      Yes, but those facts and figures reflect what’s real in voter’s lives: stability and prosperity.

      • Sue 'em Queequeg says:

        No question. The problem is that a significant percentage of voters pay no attention to facts and figures, and are not about to start. To reach people, you have to meet them where they are. That doesn’t mean buying guns, spreading lies, making threats and generally being insufferable. But it might well mean taking a strong stance against the right’s entire m.o. rather than simply focusing on content.

  30. Depressed Chris says:

    Sorry to yell, but THERE IS NO TIME LEFT TO DO ANY OF THIS.

    My idea requires President Biden to have real fortitude and immerse himself in “Calvin-Ball”. First, he should have his team find all Executive Branch options to secure a fair election and, with the SCOTUS ruling of “immunity and no judicial review” of Presidential decisions, provide a slew of Executive Orders related to that and promoting “daily life” benefits for all of us. For example, H.H.S. could provide Federal access for abortion and Education could absolve student loan debt.

    For fair elections, he could cite the evidence in Trump’s trials as proof of fraud and order the I.R.S. or Treasury to freeze his personal and business assets. Similarly, he can cite the evidence in the documents case as proof of Trump as a threat to National security and order the State Department and the Treasury to put him on the “Sponsor of Terrorism” list, again freezing his assets. The laws attached to this will also forbid anyone from giving him money.

    The next part is key. His stance will be that he is protecting the elections, WITHOUT anything to gain. He will then end his bid to be reelected, like LBJ. He will say that he leaves it to the American people to decide on the future of the country. He does NOT jail Trump. This puts all the MAGA anger on him and leaves other Democrats to run on their criticism of his scheme and to promise to return all to normal after the election.

    Again, this will need an ability to ignore the old ways and apply (yuck) Kissinger-esque Realpolitik.

    • Rayne says:


      No. Do NOT tell people it is too late when you don’t actually have any proof that taking action — especially collective action — won’t work.

      If you start a comment like that again I will bin it, ESPECIALLY because you are a first-time commenter with no cred in this community who thinks they can just sky rat into this community and foist an opinion on it as the only thing which will work.

      • Depressed Chris says:

        Not yelling here… I didn’t say it was too late. My opinion is that the situation is now too extreme, time is too short, and the stakes are too high to continue to employ the usual grassroots tactics of rally around the party, donate money, public pronouncements, and waiting that the democratic process works a miracle. We are at this moment because of the unchecked abuse of the democratic process and our collective willingness to think that “the other side would never do that”, when it is obvious that they will.

        I hadn’t looked at your respective bios until now. My story is much different (not better) than yours. First, I’m not an academic or journalist. I’m a white, 60 year old man with a B.A.. I enlisted in the Navy for six years, then went to school after. I remember Watergate and the Summer that Nixon resigned. Being from the Boston area, I remember the horrible racism of school desegregation. My grandfather was a union organizer in the shoe factory where he worked most of his life. In one way or another, I have been working for the Department of Defense for most of my professional life. Currently, I work in the area of Information Warfare. I have also worked in Cyber Warfare, Nuclear Arms control, and chemical and biological weapons protection. It is also possible that, after January, I may be put on some kind of “list” for these and other posts.

        Back to the subject… My opinion is that action by legislative means is precluded by congress’ own chaos and planned impotence. The judicial branch has already had its say. The one left standing is the Executive Branch. We can only try to influence the Executive through the means you have all suggested. However, Biden is a nice guy and has more in common with my mother’s generation than mine and, presumably, yours. This means that like my mom, his instincts are to trust in the email that exhorts you to “click on this link” because your browser is out of date. He is not of the “so called” greatest generation of WW2. He was not drafted to fight in Korea or Vietnam, nor denigrated after the latter. He is a professional politician whose primary tools were horse-trading and coalition building. They are of no use here. He must take bold, tactically risky, and unexpected action if he is to save this country. Words, thoughts, prayers,hopes, or money will not win here.

        • Rayne says:

          This, “stakes are too high to continue to employ the usual grassroots tactics of rally around the party, donate money, public pronouncements” still needs to be done. Campaigns aren’t won without them — NO campaign can succeed without money and human power — and they must be done in a way which encourages voting blue up and down the ticket.

          In other words, we’re going to have to walk and chew gum at the same time. I’m pretty sure Ed Walker’s expecting that; his list here isn’t an alternative but in addition to what we know works and is necessary to win.

          WRT Biden as professional politician: take a fucking look at what he managed to do as president. Much of his success was because he was able to put to use his nearly 40 years as a politician who believes in organized labor, public transportation and other infrastructure, the use of government for greater good and not just profitability. He still had to build coalitions even within his own party; what he couldn’t achieve was more often due to the irrationality of the GOP.

          Some individuals are called to be politicians their entire careers if not lifetimes, like John Dingell. Others should never become politicians, like Donald Trump. The problem before us is Donald Fucking Trump, racist, rapist, fraud, and felon. As long as people’s attention is focused on bullshit about Biden they will lose sight of the fascist monster.

        • Depressed Chris says:


          YES, Trump is the problem. Neutering him is critical. But he is also the manifestation of decades of cynical political and social malfeasance. My fear is also for what takes his place after he is expurgated from the landscape.

          Being a professional politician is not a bad thing. I just feel that, in general, politics and politicians move at a glacial pace. Biden has done some good heavy lifting against fervent hostility. Can he still do that now, especially so close to the election? What tools can he use? Can he both run for re-election and keep the country from bifurcating?

          I agree that money is important. That’s why I want Biden to freeze Trump’s assets.

          Lastly, I live near Washington D.C. and I haven’t yet seen any sizable public demonstration, overt protest action, or civil disobedience over the SCOTUS decisions. Given that it is now July 4th, I sadly wonder why?

        • Rayne says:

          Reply to Depressed Chris
          July 4, 2024 4:27 pm

          Do you know how long it takes to organize “sizable public demonstration, overt protest action” let alone civil disobedience? The 2017 Women’s March took 2-1/2 months.

          The Floyd murder protests popped up more quickly but they were not a single protest and they piggy backed off a movement which had built up steam over five years’ time and too many dead Black bodies.

          You want an organized protest? Knock yourself out and begin organizing. That’s exactly what one woman in Hawaii did in November 2016 and it snowballed. She didn’t go online and ask where the protest was. She made it happen.

          Now stop asking people here to do shit you’re not doing already. But be prepared to deal with reality that protests take energy away from getting out the vote, and they too often don’t make change happen, ex the 2017 Women’s March didn’t stop the Dobbs decision.

        • Ciel babe says:

          I hear you. Many white family members Navy, and white 69 year old spouse who enlisted in the Army long ago then went on to BS, PhD, fed job later. Sitting in Boston, just visiting now but lived here for years. Felt resigned when Biden announced as I feared everything you wrote and (as a neurologist/neuroscientist) the unequal negative impact of aging into 80s in public was going to have on Biden campaign vs Trump campaign. Still, especially at this point, see Rayne’s reply to your not-yelling reply: THIS YES THIS ALL DAY

        • harpie says:

          Rayne: “what he couldn’t achieve was more often due to the irrationality of the GOP”

          Yes to all of your comment above,
          but I would replace “irrationality” with “actual malice”.

        • Rayne says:

          Yeah, my bad, I forget GOP’s malignant asshats like MTG, Boebert, Gossar, Gaetz, Massie, and more. Of course some of them are just plain fucking stupid, and some are corrupt — owned and bought.

  31. OccasionalObserver says:

    I’ve put together a four-part petition to Congress asking it to do the following:

    1. Hold hearings on whether the justices who voted for immunity committed perjury at their confirmation hearings. My understanding is that any who were asked said the president is not above the law. Three things lead me to wonder if they actually believed this at the time:

    a. The main question they certified for appeal in Trump v. US—“Whether the doctrine of absolute presidential immunity includes immunity from criminal prosecution for a President’s official acts, i.e., those performed within the ‘outer perimeter’ of his official responsibility.”—took many by surprise and seemed out of the blue. Yet the ruling directly answers the question. That suggests the justices to granted cert harbored a preexisting theory of the case. Since when?

    b. Questions at oral argument steered clear of the facts of Trump’s case in favor of remote hypotheticals advanced so the Court could “write for the ages.” While we took that as dodgy, a sign that they couldn’t admit that they were accommodating Trump’s case, there’s an alternative account: they had a pre-existing theory of presidential immunity in their desk drawers they were just waiting to put on the books on whatever facts happened to put it in issue. Well, which is it?

    c. In a post-ruling interview, Nina Totenberg suggested that the pro-immunity justices came of age when presidents were being hounded. I could only think of Nixon, who famously told David Frost, “Well, when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.” That sounds a lot like what was just handed down and suggests an even longer through line than do the previous points.

    In short, it’s not unreasonable for Congress to wonder if they were given honest testimony from the pro-immunity justices at their confirmation hearings. Let’s find out.

    2. As a co-equal branch, Congress is entitled to its own view on the Constitution. I can think of no better occasion than this one to express it, in the form of a “sense of the Congress” resolution that rejects the immunity ruling as, in their view, unconstitutional. Alternatively, a “sense of chamber” resolution could be introduced in the Senate, though keep in mind that a discharge petition could be circulated in the House.

    This would put Republicans on the spot. After Jan 6, many assumed, and some stated, that Trump could be held criminally liable for what he did with nary a suggestion of immunity for “official acts.” It would be interesting to know if any of them still think the same.

    This resolution could and should be extended to the Fischer case, stating in effect that Justice Barrett was right when she said Congress meant what it said when it included “other” obstructions in the criminal mix.

    3. In conjunction with 2, Congress should introduce a legislative package itemizing the standards of presidential conduct Trump is alleged to have violated in his coup attempt, in defiant disregard of the Supreme Court rulings in Trump v. US and in Fischer, referencing the “sense of” resolution in its preface. That would bring the facts of the case against him into public view pre-election, in lieu of a trial. The laws would be forward-looking, hence not ex post facto, though the very idea would be sure to get the Right up in arms and usher in a bevvy of rebuttals to help keep the process in the public eye.

    4. Congress should introduce a constitutional amendment nullifying the immunity ruling, to take effect retrospectively to the date of its introduction and tolling any statutes of limitations that might otherwise take effect before its ratification. This would enhance awareness of the ruling and help keep it in focus between now and Election Day.

    Happy Fourth, everyone!

    [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the SAME USERNAME and email address each time you comment so that community members get to know you. You attempted to publish this comment as “Pennywiser”; it has been edited to match your established username “OccasionalObserver.” Make a note of your correct username and check your browser’s cache and autofill. Future mismatches in username or email address may prevent your comment from clearing moderation. /~Rayne]

  32. Ciel babe says:

    Staying with a friend who is letter writing for Vote Forward (votefwd.org) to increase voter turnout. Non partisan. Doesn’t address the “like its a reality show and we are the on line judges” problem but in my opinion getting voters out by engaging with real “why I vote” motivations from voters is worth the effort.

    To make it fun (and affordable) to do many many letters she is using a real postage related law to send each letter out w 2-3 cent stamps. Several rules such as must write out all words in address such as Boulevard or Michigan, no zip code, must walk letter in to post office and put it through the slot inside the post office… and must write the following on the envelope – she had a stamp made up so she just stamps it on: First class non domestic without prejudice USC-1-207 bk 12 statutes at large chapter 71 section 23 37th congress session 111. Test letters back to self have been received! It takes her an hour to hand write additions onto 60 of the letters and stuff envelopes.

    I’m putting this under “least I can do” column plus looking for more opportunities. Thanks Ed for this energizing post.

  33. thequickbrownfox says:

    That the Heritage Foundation already has a cadre of lawyers keyed up to KEEP Biden on state ballots, even if he defers to someone else, tells you what?

Comments are closed.