Tuesday, May 10, 2022

The age of elite impunity

I really think that the defining characteristic of our time is the idea that the rich and powerful should never face any consequences, broadly defined to include even any non-polite public criticism, for their actions.

How else can you explain the Senate's unanimous passage of this bill in response to a peaceful crowd of people holding candles in Justice Kavanaugh's neighborhood at the invitation of Kavanaugh's neighbors. The Senate doesn't pass much unanimously these days. But this bill's easy passage makes clear that Senators are identifying with Kavanaugh, not the protesters, even the ones whose politics more closely aligns with the protesters. The thought of people standing with candles across the street from your house is a threat.

While I don't know if protesting outside a Justice's house is an effective way to cause change, I also don't know if there is anything protesters can do to influence the Supreme Court. And yet when the public increasingly views the Court as illegitimate, while it tosses aside precedent to rule in favor of unpopular policies, there is going to be a public backlash.