People talk of a “constitutional crisis” these days as if we haven’t been in one for years, says historian Jason Tebbe.
The horrifying Kavanaugh saga seems to be hurtling toward its inevitable conclusion: an emotionally unstable alcoholic and rapist getting to make decisions about the lives of hundreds of millions of people for the next 50 years. It remains possible that three Republican Senators will find it within them to follow whatever inner convictions they possess and do something decent and courageous — but we’re not holding our breaths.
Whatever the outcome, the historical facts will not really change. America is not only the country that would bully and humiliate Anita Hill in order to elevate a — let’s be honest — unqualified man to the Supreme Court. It is not only the country that could somehow, against all comprehension, elect an aphasic rich-boy bigot who never did anything in his life to the White House, after hearing him malign whole races of people and brag about committing sexual assault. Maybe that last one, we could convince ourselves, was just a fluke of world-historical proportions.
No — we are the country that will most likely appoint an unhinged man to the Supreme Court, after hearing the gut-wrenching testimony of but one of his victims; the country whose president just led a raucous rally to mock the victim’s trauma, to the uproarious laughter of his followers; the country where Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s courageous and harrowing account actually increased voter enthusiasm among the pro-life, pro-rape constituency of the GOP.
“Trump that bitch,” indeed. This is where we are.
Dr. Blasey Ford has heard the baying pack of misogynists and fanatics at her door; perhaps the unfolding of all this has been even worse than she feared before coming forward, perhaps not. But she is the only person in this whole grotesque circus who demonstrated the dignity and bravery and steadfastness of heart that we hope still remains somewhere in the American character, hidden and muffled as it may be by the barking of the dogs.
Having said all that, we have much to share in our weekly round-up: excellent journalism and fascinating stories that were being published even as this unfortunate week of news paraded past. We have stories of people trying to solve real problems: the unjust conditions of freelancers and graduate student employees; efforts to empower workers and solving the endemic problems they face, such as finding housing or making bail; ways to build a better economy. Then there is an underwater tour Lake Tahoe, plus Frank Lloyd Wright and his crazy cars.
My Rapist Apologized (Atlantic)
A Story Told Twice: 18 Years Ago, Graduate Students Tried to Unionize (Columbia Spectator)
The Real Cost of Working in the House of Mouse (Topic)
How Unions Can Solve the Housing Crisis (In These Times)
In North Carolina, co-ops are building a more democratic economy (Facing South)
Don’t Mess With the Jiu-jitsu Suffragettes (Messy Nessy Chic)
To Hurray for the Riff Raff’s Alynda Segarra, the personal is political (Los Angeles Times)
Assisting the Poor to Make Bail Helps Everyone (NYT)
Going It Solo: The Complicated Financial Lives Of Freelancers (NPR)
This Podcast Can’t Legally Tell You Amway Is a Pyramid Scheme (Vanity Fair)
We Subconsciously Punish People Who Seem Too Nice (Tonic)
New trail gives underwater peek of Tahoe’s past (CNN)
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Lincoln Continental (Car Design News)
A New Magnesium Alloy Developed in Japan – Light, Strong, and Flame-Resistant! (NHK Science View – because why not?)
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