guilty guilty guilty but of what?

Es­ti­mated reading time is 3 min­utes.

SECTION 4 OF THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT OF 1965 sub­jected the voting laws in ju­ris­dic­tions with a his­tory of dis­crim­i­na­tion to Jus­tice De­part­ment scrutiny. This act was a pos­i­tive part of the Johnson legacy that is too often for­gotten be­cause of Viet Nam. Al­most im­me­di­ately fol­lowing this de­ci­sion, sev­eral states—mostly Southern, mostly al­ready noted for racism—moved to begin al­tering ex­isting laws so that they would make voting more dif­fi­cult for people who don’t vote a cer­tain way.

In today’s Seattle Times (July 30, 2013), po­lit­ical pundit E.J. Dionne Jr. gives us “Fighting back on voting rights.” He then dis­cusses the Supreme Court’s 5-4 de­ci­sion to gut the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by jet­ti­soning Sec­tion 4.

Midway through his column, Mr. Dionne states, “It would be better still if Con­gress re­in­stated a re­vised ver­sion of Sec­tion 4. In the mean­time, the hope is to limit the damage of the high court’s folly . . .”

I cringed at his choice of words there: folly has al­ways meant to me a mis­take or an error in judge­ment that bor­ders on being silly.

And the five Supreme Court jus­tices are any­thing BUT mis­taken or er­ro­neous in their rulings—they know ex­actly what they are doing!


Doonesbury GuiltyGuiltyGuilty 1000

The ongoing class war

There is an on­going “class war” in the United States; this has been no se­cret to anyone with even a wee bit of po­lit­ical savvy. But if polls and the voting habits of tens of mil­lions of Amer­i­cans are used as ev­i­dence, that wee bit of such savvy is as rare as common sense.

While al­most all civ­i­liza­tions have prob­lems with strat­i­fied pop­u­la­tions, our founding fa­thers, no­tably Thomas Jef­ferson, were mightily op­posed to their new country de­vel­oping a landed gentry that evolved into an upper class and, ul­ti­mately, an aristocracy.

The class war in this country against the ma­jority as we know it today ger­mi­nated in the 1970s as a re­sponse to ‘the Six­ties’ and its civil rights and free love—and its com­panion, free sex—and and its ‘up yours’ at­ti­tude to au­thority. The ‘theys’ were es­pe­cially con­cerned as it seemed to be af­fecting even their own offspring!

The class war took wing—as did so many other re­volting developments—during the Reagan Rev­o­lu­tion and has been an on­going event ever since. It is, in fact, every­where—ex­cept in ar­ti­cles and ed­i­to­rials in the main­stream media.

There, it does not exist . . .

Just as J. Edgar Hoover for­bade his FBI from ac­knowl­edging the ex­is­tence of or­ga­nized crime, so it is within the stric­tures of those news­pa­pers, mag­a­zines, and radio and tele­vi­sion news and talk-shows that make up the cor­po­rate, that the near-ubiquitous class war­fare of the upper classes of the US upon the less for­tu­nate, mostly non-white classes are never ever mentioned.


ThomasJefferson 1500 crop

Thomas Jef­ferson.

Criminally or tragically foolish

So, when I read Dion­ne’s use of “folly,” I as­sumed that he was avoiding the topic of class war­fare, re­ducing the heinous­ness of the five more-than-conservative jus­tices to a mere act of misjudgment.

I stand cor­rected: Merriam-Webster On­line de­fines folly as 1) a “lack of good sense or normal pru­dence and fore­sight,” and 2) “crim­i­nally or trag­i­cally foolish ac­tions or conduct.”

It also lists the word’s ob­so­lete meaning as “evil, wickedness.”

Ei­ther of the two major de­f­i­n­i­tions is very dif­ferent from my ini­tial in­ter­pre­ta­tion; ei­ther de­f­i­n­i­tion makes those five jus­tices look, at the very least, less than pru­dent. So, it was both an ac­cu­rate choice of words by Dionne and a safe choice.

Me, I’m gonna go with the be­lief that Mr. Dionne looked up folly and saw the ob­so­lete de­f­i­n­i­tion and knew that he could get away with that word. Hope­fully, a few of his readers would know the cor­rect de­f­i­n­i­tion, and hope­fully, a few who did not would take the time to look the word up.

So, I am choosing to be­lieve that E.J. Dionne Jr be­lieves that Jus­tices An­tonin Scalia and An­thony M. Kennedy (ap­pointed by Ronald Reagan), Clarence Thomas (ap­pointed by George H. Bush), and John G. Roberts Jr and Samuel A. Alito Jr (ap­pointed by George W. Bush), are ca­pable of crim­i­nally foolish ac­tions that border on evil and wickedness.

That they are, in pop psy­chology, en­ablers in the class war.

As Mark Slack­meyer aka “Mega­phone Mark” of Doones­bury fame de­claimed with glee in while pro­viding his radio lis­teners with a pro­file of John D. Mitchell during the Wa­ter­gate hear­ings that Nixon’s At­torney Gen­eral of the United States was “Guilty! Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!”

And he was.

And they are.

Guilty guilty guilty but of what?

And this is only one of their transgressions . . .


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