Justice Kennedy has left no doubt that he is mostly a scoundrel, and it is way past time for Democrats to close ranks and gird up their loins. And it is time for Democrats in Congress, especially the Senate, to stop talking like Mr. Spock. If I don’t hear some outrage, preferably profanity-laced outrage, coming from our “leaders” in the party over the next few days and weeks, I will blow a fuse.

I beganImage result for roe v. wade the day pissed. I’m pissed now. I’ll be pissed when I go to bed. And I’ll be pissed when I get up tomorrow. What I want to see, in this critical moment, is some pissed-off Democrats in the Senate and elsewhere express the outrage most of us feel. And I want to see some kind of never-tried-before strategy designed to make a last-stand effort to stop a disturbed man who lost the popular vote from pushing us further down the road to our own version of The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s that simple. I don’t know what that strategy might entail, and whatever it is, it might fail. The devils may win. But there is no other rational choice here. None.

I tweeted Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who today has shown some desire to do more than talk, the following:

Thank you for starting this fight. And tell your colleagues there had better be a damn fight, a brawl not a disagreement, a ruckus not a fuss, a war not a scuffle. This is now scorched-earth time for our side. We’ve effing had it.

I plan on sending similar messages to other Democrats in the Senate. Join me. Enough is enough. Let your outrage be heard felt.


  1. Anonymous

     /  June 27, 2018

    Just a matter of time before Roe vs. Wade is overturned. LGBTQ will be back in the closet. Immigrant children seeking asylum, to the kennels while waiting for their parents to be deported, unless the GOP decides the 5th or 14th Amendment doesn’t apply to them as the Constitution guarantees. Then they would be met at the border by armed men to turn them around. This is Trump’s America, no heart, no soul, just what’s in it for me.

    Most of the MAGA supporters are unaware of where their 40 hour work week came from, or what a sweat shop is, and their ignorance will doom them. Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it. According to a report from the Federal Reserve, 40% of Americans can’t afford a $400 emergency expense. Anyone making minimum wage can’t make rent, and the GOP’s whores on the Court will tie the party line.


  2. Anonymous

     /  June 27, 2018

    Think there is any chance that Flake or Corker turn?
    Kevin Beck


  3. I just finished reading “The New Jim Crow”. That’ll enhance your shitty mood. Kennedy was a prick. Not the worst, but a prick nonetheless. You are correct, Duane: it’s time to saddle up.
    Flake and Corker and McCain could string this out — especially if they want one more chance to push a thumb into Trump’s eye. Do I think they will? Nah


    • I’m not even sure McCain will ever cast another vote, but of the three, I would put more money on him, though not much (he could have resigned earlier this year and forced a special election; he chose not to, which means if the inevitable comes, the far-right GOP governor will appoint another freak).

      Flake and Corker will not stop another Gorsuch-like nominee from becoming a forty-year cancer on the country. Won’t happen. Unfortunately, Chuck Schumer is not up to this moment emotionally. He sounded sleepy when he first addressed this issue on the Senate floor. And unfortunately, too, we are now at the mercy, assuming McCain cannot vote and assuming all Democrats stick together (far from certain at this point), of either an unreliable Republican senator from Alaska or a fool-me-once-keep-fooling-me Republican senator from Maine. It appears the Democrats have no strategy but expressing mostly mild objections and stupidly hoping Mitch McConnell can be shamed into decency.

      We have to face it, the Court is lost for a generation, just as many of us warned dumb-ass purist third-party voters or non-voters who couldn’t fucking figure out that Hillary Clinton, as flawed as she was, was no Tr-mp. 

      Having said that, again, despite the apparently impossible odds, I expect Democrats to fight this fight as if it were the last fight they will ever fight. 


      Liked by 1 person

  4. Here is an excerpt from an Op-Ed I submitted to the Globe this week. Don’t know if Carol will publish it or not. But it seems to me like the following sort of speaks to your last few posts. Perhaps it will aid the discussion.

    Philosopher and political theorist Hannah Arendt published “The Origins of Totalitarianism” in 1951. There, she writes, in part, “The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e., the standards of thought) no longer exist.”

    Ms. Arendt’s description seem to fit the supporters of our current president and many in his administration. Never before in the history of our country has a president been the subject of so much litigation and controversy.

    As a result, many Republicans are abandoning the party, saying the party has abandoned them. Prominent Republicans who have left include Steve Schmidt, former campaign manger for John McCain, Mary Matlin, former chief of staff for VP Dick Cheney, Bill Kristol, neo-conservative founder and editor-at-large of The Weekly Standard, David Frum, former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, and the entire Bush family among many others.

    Uber conservative and former Republican George Will (he left the party in 2016) in a recent op-ed in the Washington Post titled “Vote against the GOP this November,” excoriates House Speaker Paul Ryan and the Republicans in Congress for their cowardice. And he calls the president the “Vesuvius of Mendacity.”

    And Schmidt tweeted, “It [the GOP] is corrupt, indecent and immoral. . . . it is filled with feckless cowards who disgrace and dishonor the legacies of the party’s greatest leaders.”

    Hanna Arendt again: “Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion, fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it.”

    Liked by 3 people

  5. ansonburlingame

     /  June 30, 2018

    A few weeks ago Duane asked me “Where is your outrage?” I have tried a few times to offer a reply but am still unable to do so, concisely. I suppose the simple fact is I do not feel outrage but rather deep and abiding concern for my country. Something, exactly what I do not know, is going on that is shaking the foundations of America and I have no idea how to stop “it”, whatever “it” may be.

    Like Herb, I have considered writing some sort of column in the Globe about the current state of the utter lack of constructive, political discourse. But that would be like an attempt to offer views herein today. For sure I would be unable to change anyone’s mind that routinely comments herein.

    You see, to take a political position on most raging controversies today, I would ultimately be compelled to support trump OR Maxine Waters, E. Warren, etc. As well, once I take a position, I would then feel “authorized” to get into Duane’s face at a local restaurant or gas station and tell him there is no place for him in “my” community.

    The simple fact is I rarely, if ever, support trump OR the flame throwers from the left. My solution would be to put them all in a cage (on the border?) and drop a veil of silence on all their crazy heads.

    So then who do I support? Well neither Party is my simple answer as neither Party has a lock on “truth” or “the next right thing to do”. Each Party, each political “side” is hell bent for leather to “win”, all all costs today and never, ever back down, or even TRY to compromise.

    There, Duane, is my extreme frustration, but not outrage, yet. When will I cross that line, a line you certainly have crossed? If or when I do turn to outrage in public or semi-public discourse, I can assure you it will be against both political parties however. Left to chose between socialism (communism, etc.) or authoritarianism (Nazis, etc.) I will rise in outraged objection to both and refuse to pay homage to either.



    • Anson,

      Well, I don’t really know what to say. But I’ll give it a shot.

      Your criticisms here mostly could have been expressed during the Obama years. I am sure I could go back and find similar things you said back then. Essentially, your problem is with what you think are two extreme political parties. But that analysis is clearly wrong. There is only one extreme political party, if one judges by how Republicans are actually governing and how they obstructed Obama when he tried to govern. Speaking of which, Obama and the Democrats did not govern from the extremes, despite your insistence they did so. But I dont’ want to get into that old argument again.

      As to your mention of Maxine Waters, you may have noticed that the two Democratic leaders in Congress immediately came out and criticized what she advocated. Now, whether they should have or not is not my point. My point is that if the shoe were on the other political foot, Republican leaders would not have done what Pelosi and Schumer did last week. Not a chance. We have had plenty of opportunities for Paul Ryan and McConnell to criticize extremists, including Tr-mp, but they always seem to pass, or offer some gentle excuse for the behavior. Over and over. In fact, far from criticizing extremists, they are actually extremists themselves. So, there’s that.

      In any case, I remain amazed at your lack of outrage over Tr-mpism. Especially on the international front (I won’t even get into the debt issue, which outraged you for years and is now on a much worse trajectory and you seem to be at peace), with damage being done everywhere, including a rising Russia and China, and with a clear embrace by Tr-mp of ruthless authoritarians and dictators. 

      Wow. I have fairly severely misjudged your priorities. Or maybe you are just reluctant to admit the obvious because, as you suggest, that might appear to put you in accord with people you don’t like. I guess you don’t understand that you don’t have to embrace Waters or Sanders or Warren or any other Democrat in order to express proper outrage at what has done and is doing. There are a few conservatives out there, including George Will and the late Charles Krauthammer, who have done so. It’s too bad you are content to remain, essentially, on the moral fence.



  6. ansonburlingame

     /  June 30, 2018

    For what it is worth, I suggest you watch a new series on Netflix, entitled “The Staircase”. It is a (true?) story of criminal case that was strung out from 2001 to 2016. Huge flaws in the criminal justice system are revealed in the documentary of a real case in Durham, NC. The fundamental flaw in that system so revealed is the inability to find “the truth” once the “wheels of justice” are set into motion. It is a “win at all costs” example where winning is more important that truth.

    Anson, again


  7. Jim D Hight

     /  June 30, 2018

    I am sick of Schumer. He has no backbone and only gets on the Senate floor and ask for civility, which is ridiculous with the likes of McConnell, Blunt, Cornyn, and all the others. As you state, it is time for Democrats to raise hell, but will they? McCaskill will not since she is concerned with reelection. Neither will Tester for the same reason. Maybe Warren and Boker will, but I would not count on it. The party is full of hand-wringers who are so afraid of offending someone. Well, to hell with that. They need to offend Trump, McConnell, the tea party, moderate Republicans, the KKK, the alt-right, Hannity and Fox Noise–everyone. The time of playing fair passed after the Republicans took control of the House and Senate while Obama was president, but who has the backbone to start yelling back, to organize a mass demonstration, to walk out of the Senate or House so that there is not a quorum and votes cannot be cast? I cannot think of one who will speak up and take action–all in the name of civility.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jim,

      It is clear that most Senate Democrats are just not emotionally or rhetorically up to this moment. You can’t go out and tell people the sky is falling—with a normal voice, . People will know you actually believe the sky is falling when you fucking act like it, which means raising your damned voice and stop playing “my friends on the other side” games in settings like CNN interviews. Our side simply doesn’t yet feel unprecedented pressure from the grassroots, is all I can figure. Otherwise, I can’t explain why so many Democrats are, essentially, treating this like a thousand controversies that proceeded it.

      As for McCaskill, she can’t hide. She’s going to have to take a stand. A good way for her to damp enthusiasm in November is try to play this too cleverly. She should take a strong stand and express outrage at the stolen Garland seat, as well as conspire with other Democrats to do what they can to gum up the entire work of the Senate (which isn’t much) until the fight is over, one way or the other. Sure, she will piss off a few independents who might vote for her. But if she is going to win she has to energize Democrats in this state, not try to appeal to people who still haven’t figured out that Tr-mp is an asshole and the sky really is falling on women’s rights.

      She should remember that her last victory came partly because of Akin’s threat to women’s reproductive choices.


      Liked by 1 person

  8. jdhight01

     /  June 30, 2018

    I have commented on many posts from R. Duane Graham, but my comments do not appear. What the hell am I doing wrong? Jim Hight

    On Wed, Jun 27, 2018 at 5:32 PM The Erstwhile Conservative: A Blog of Repentance wrote:

    > R. Duane Graham posted: “Justice Kennedy has left no doubt that he is > mostly a scoundrel, and it is way past time for Democrats to close ranks > and gird up their loins. And it is time for Democrats in Congress, > especially the Senate, to stop talking like Mr. Spock. If I don’t hear” >


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