Apathy and its rewards

Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that anti-abortion protestors enjoyed a special status not accorded to the normal run of protestor.

This week, before the conservative majority scurried out of town, it ruled that a) corporations are persons whose owners’ religious convictions must be accommodated, and b) home health workers in Illinois didn’t have to pay union dues if they weren’t directly members of those unions, even though the unions negotiated on their behalf.

Within a week’s span, the Court has done more to upend women’s and labor rights than any similar span in any other Court session for the past few decades.

But this was a predictable outcome of the 2000 election. Once George W. Bush was ensconced in the White House by a slightly less conservative but no less supine Court, the goal of the conservative movement has been to control the one unaccountable branch of the Federal government. Fortunately, with President Obama’s election and re-election, and with Senator Harry Reid’s filibuster reforms, the lower courts are now majority appointed by Democratic presidents. But the Supreme Court has veered so far to the Right—occasional favorable rulings notwithstanding—that it is almost a caricature of the warnings of a runaway Court those on the Left have bruited.

My best friend, someone I love unconditionally, has fallen into the trap of “both parties are the same”. It’s a common refrain in certain parts of the Left. It is born of a desperation at seeing things unchanged, which leads to an apathy and a “pox on both your houses” mindset.

But let’s have a thought experiment: Does anyone truly think that a Supreme Court with a liberal majority would have ruled on Hobby Lobby, or McCullen, or Harris in the same way as the Roberts Court has? Would those cases have even been heard by a liberal-leaning Court? In this experiment, can one truly say that there would have been no difference in governing philosophies between a President Gore and the President Bush who was foisted on us? To anyone who says “both parties are the same”, all one has to do is to point at the Court.

Conservatives, far from being against judicial activism, have embraced it wholeheartedly, implementing the most fevered wishes of the Right—scuppering unions, controlling women, giving corporations all the rights of natural persons. Who is in the White House and who controls the Congress matters, because the party which does has control over the agenda. And yes, there is a difference between the two parties. If you can’t see it, then despair has overtaken reason, and cynicism is more comfortable than hope.

This year cannot be one of apathy. This year cannot be one of hopelessness. The election of 2012 was monumental. The election of 2014 is even more so. I’m not speaking apocalyptically. I am merely stating fact. If Democrats don’t hold the Senate and gain the House, the rest of Pres. Obama’s two years will be at best ineffectual. At worst, we’ll see impeachment, an unraveling of ACA, a rollback of anything progressive which the President has attempted to accomplish.

To paraphrase Plato, apathy’s reward is to be ruled by your inferiors, by people whose goals are diametrically opposed to yours. In no mature nation should clowns like Bobby Jindal and Louie Gohmert have access to power. And yet there they are, shining lights of an intellectually and morally bankrupt conservative movement. They’re in power because people don’t vote. They’re in power because the media has repeated the lie of “both the same” so often that people just shrug their shoulders. They’re in power because corporations have been so privileged that people struggle to survive, and believe their lot in life is their lot in life and nothing can be done. They’re in power because they set people against each other, frightening them, warning them that “they” are coming to get them.

This November cannot be the same. The Court may remain the same for a few more years, but we have to be in a position to put in Justices who aren’t wholly owned subsidiaries of the conservative movement and corporations. We have to think long term. Anything less and we will again reap apathy’s reward, with no clear way of ever getting out of the hole.

126 Responses to “Apathy and its rewards”

  1. 4 donna dem 4 obama
    June 30, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    OMG I just saw the Washington Post article on the previous thread about #SoSueMe 🙂 😯 🙂

    • 5 Vicki
      June 30, 2014 at 4:06 pm

      And there you were!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • 6 Ycin
      June 30, 2014 at 4:14 pm

      Congrat donna dem 4 obama!!!

      Don’t stop tweeting; a little here, a little there and a little everywhere, causes people to take notice and care.

      Autograph please : )


    • June 30, 2014 at 4:21 pm


      • 8 Ycin
        June 30, 2014 at 4:27 pm

        THIS IS A BFD!!!!

        Chipsticks, you are FAMOUS!!! Hot Damn, got ourselves our own star : )



        26,000,000,000 REAL SOON : )


      • 9 GGail
        June 30, 2014 at 4:53 pm

        Boy am I soooo glad that the Washington Post just focused on the SoSueMe tweets and not our Comments!!

        I liked the article – it’s fair, honest and funny!

        Congratulations to the TOD bt and tweeters.

        It pays to be a member of this TOD family (lukers too) – you just never know where Chips will take us 🙂

        Also congratulations TOD on 26M hits – they just keep coming!

  2. 10 Nena20409
    June 30, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Excellent Piece LL.

    COS congrats on your Gold.

    This nation Needs a Factually based debate on moving FORWARD! A Fact based Revolution in Educating the Population.

    Great Nations have failed over the years for the Public were Not only misinformed, mismanaged, but their rulers….those in power became corrupt, inept and intellectually bankrupt.

    Wake Up. Wake Up. 2014, vote for our survival depends on it.


  3. 11 57andfemale
    June 30, 2014 at 4:10 pm

  4. 12 Vicki
    June 30, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Today has been tough for us.

    That said, it looks to me like PBO is turning the broken eggs he’s been presented with into if not the finest omelette ever made at least an egg dish that will sustain us for now.

    What an admirable man he is. In his position most people would be screaming and spitting like Tweety.

  5. June 30, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Well done, LL! I had this same conversation yesterday with my oldest grandson, who is 25 — smart kid. He doesn’t listen to jackals on TV and researches for his own information. He is an Obama supporter but stated that his vote isn’t going to matter. I corrected him quickly and told him why it is so important. He left with a renewed sense of hope — at least for a while.

  6. 14 mtmarilyn
    June 30, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    Great article LL. I do blame those in 2010 who said don’t vote and we’ll let the Dems know we are mad. What did that gain but the Repubs raining havoc. We must VOTE.

    • 15 Ycin
      June 30, 2014 at 4:34 pm

      Happy Monday mtmarilyn!

      If I live to be 100 years of age, I will always blame Ed Schultz for his 2010 ranting.

      He told the Dem voters to sit home and to not vote, and many listened to those lies, and because of his BS and laziness from the voters, “WE GOT THIS MESS!”

      • 16 donna dem 4 obama
        June 30, 2014 at 5:33 pm

        What has always amazed me (even though it shouldn’t because I believe Ed to be a raving maniac) is that to this day he has denied ever saying the words that were on that tape. People like to say he is just passionate. I say passion like that we can do without!!!

    • 18 Betsy
      June 30, 2014 at 7:53 pm

      I did vote Democrats all down the ballot, and I DO blame my fellow Dems for listening to the punditry and not trusting PBO. Things are MUCH worse than they thought it would be. I hope they get out and vote this time!!

  7. 19 Ladyhawke
    June 30, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    JUNE 30, 2014

    President Obama on Immigration
    President Obama delivered a statement on immigration reform.


    • 20 vcprezofan2
      June 30, 2014 at 4:39 pm

      Thank you LadyH. I just watched that as I had missed the ‘live’ presser, and I always like to hear PBO’s emphases etc.

  8. 21 HS
    June 30, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    This is why the 2016 election is so critical because a Democrat in the White House will ensure responsible Supreme Court appointments. Some of the older conservatives on the high court will soon move on, as will some of the liberals, and a responsible Democrat in the White House will appoint justices to correct some of the lopsidedness of the Roberts Court.

    • 22 nathkatun7
      June 30, 2014 at 8:03 pm

      First things first! The most critical election right now is the 2014 Congressional election. Let’s elect a Democratic House of Representatives and a Democratic Senate. President Obama still has more than two years in office and during this time it’s possible that there could be a vacancy on the court for him to fill. For you to think that the Supreme Court will only matter after 2016 is premature. You would be doing Democrats a greater good by focusing first on this year’s Congressional elections instead of writing off more than 2 years of President Obama’s term.

  9. 23 Dudette
    June 30, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Well dang it, I’m just gonna keep posting this until I finally land on the
    most recent thread…

    Congratulations Chips! ❤ 😀

  10. June 30, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    The one place where I’m often hopeless? The Middle East.

  11. June 30, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    So many congratulations today. To TOD for Washington Post acknowledgement and 26 million hits. Wow! Great work Chips and Co. This is an amazing place to be. Terrific article LL. Best line – apathy’s reward is to be ruled by your inferiors, by people whose goals are diametrically opposed to yours.’

  12. 33 Ladyhawke
    June 30, 2014 at 4:32 pm

  13. June 30, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Live now: President announces Bob McDonald to be new Secretary of Veterans Affairs

  14. 35 Betsy
    June 30, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    LL, this is an amazing post. I wonder, in the Hobby Lobby case, if the employees end up signing up for ObamaCare and we move forward to single payer? I’m so aghast at this court. I wish we could impeach Scalia and Thomas for collusion with the Koch brothers.

  15. 36 dotster3
    June 30, 2014 at 4:39 pm

  16. 38 daisydem
    June 30, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Skipping over the comments to scroll down and agree with one of the first comments: PAST TIME TO TAKE AWAY TAX EXEMPT STATUS FROM CHURCHES!!!

  17. 39 donna dem 4 obama
    June 30, 2014 at 4:42 pm

  18. June 30, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    I’m still trying to wrap my head around the idea that the men on the Supreme Court think that birth control is abortion.

  19. 44 dotster3
    June 30, 2014 at 4:56 pm

  20. 46 anniebella
    June 30, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    I think that dam coward John Boehner and his racists party have some dam nerve talking about the American people don’t trust President Obama. No it’s those racists House members and that racists base of the Republicans who don’t trust that black President.

    • 47 anniebella
      June 30, 2014 at 5:11 pm

      And what could POTUS do to get their trust? Nothing, because as far as those racists extreme radical right wing Tea Party Republicans is concern, Obama should not even be in that office.

  21. 48 sjterrid
    June 30, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    Great post, LL! The only way we can turn around these decisions by this supreme court is to get a bigger majority in both houses in 2014. We can do this! They didn’t expect this president to win his reelection, either. The media and republicans are blind to how much support this president has with everybody but their racist, misogynistic, homographic base.

    Congratulations to your wife on being nominated for healthcare worker for the year.

  22. June 30, 2014 at 5:10 pm


    • 50 Linda
      June 30, 2014 at 5:15 pm

      More like reaching ” around ” to them, IMO.

    • 51 anniebella
      June 30, 2014 at 5:17 pm

      If I’m not mistaken, didn’t President Obama say that he was going to keep reaching out to Republicans? Despite all, he is still willing to work with the Republicans. So Hillary point is what. What was the need of her little comment.

    • 52 GGail
      June 30, 2014 at 5:18 pm

      And F* you Zeke Miller for thinking this was tweet worthy

    • 53 57andfemale
      June 30, 2014 at 5:30 pm

      Well, sure, Hillary, conspiring with Gingrich & Gramm to deregulate the banking industry that led to the 2008 crash – he reached out just fine.

      • June 30, 2014 at 6:00 pm

        Unfortunately way too many Dems and Republicans were in on it.

        Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act final vote

        Senate 90–8
        House 362–57

        A terrible law but there’s enough blame to go around.

        • 55 57andfemale
          June 30, 2014 at 6:07 pm

          Shit. I didn’t remember the vote being that lopsided. It’s no excuse, but the ‘both sides do it’ has some merit sometimes.

          We need more and better Democrats.

        • 56 0388jojothecat
          June 30, 2014 at 7:36 pm

          Thom Hartman says that the part that was so dangerous was put into the bill after the house and senate voted. Bill Clinton signed it in late December before he left office and Al Gore had lost. Either way GWB would have passed it when he became President.

    • June 30, 2014 at 6:10 pm

      High on Triangulation.

    • 58 nathkatun7
      June 30, 2014 at 8:17 pm

      First, this is a stupid tweet/statement by Zeke Miller because it implies that President Obama has stopped reaching out to congress, which is absolutely a blatant lie. Second, Bill Clinton never faced a well organized Republican party determined to reject everything, including their own ideas, because Republicans hated him and felt that he was an illegitimate President. Third, if this is the kind of politics Hillary is going to engage in in order to be a nominee of the Democratic party, she should be prepared for the backlash from some of us Obama supporters.

  23. June 30, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    5:30 EDT: President Obama Hosts a Reception to Observe LGBT Pride Month


  24. 60 lockewasright
    June 30, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    On the on hand, SCOTUS really, REALLY sucks. On the other hand,there is a pork shoulder roast in the slow cooker that’s been scored and then covered in a mixture of fresh squeezed orange and lime juices, evoo, cumin, kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, oregano, crushed red pepper, and fresh diced garlic. It’s been in there for about 2 hours now and the smell is fantastic!

    • 61 57andfemale
      June 30, 2014 at 5:33 pm

      I am stealing this and cooking it this weekend!

      • 62 lockewasright
        June 30, 2014 at 5:58 pm

        I hope yours winds up as good as mine smells right now. We’re about 3 hours into what should be a 6 hour cook in the slow cooker on low. I’ll flip it over once shortly and let it cook the 2nd set of three hours . It’s got me thinking about buying a panini press and cooking some fresh bread for cuban sandwiches. I already have pickles, swiss, sliced honey ham, and dijon mustard.

        • 63 57andfemale
          June 30, 2014 at 6:02 pm

          I’ve never had the greatest luck with slow cookers – maybe I get the liquid wrong. I have a new one now and I’m going to try this.

          The sandwiches sound terrific!

  25. 69 dotster3
    June 30, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    I’m ready to put “Vote or Die—–not kidding this time” billboards up everywhere——to try to motivate every voter to bother to show up to vote in 2014. People need to be made aware how crucial this decision is——–to vote in every election and not just when some ideal candidate is on the ballot——-if I had waited for a fave person to show up on my ballot, I could have skipped most primary and midterm elections. But I vote every time, often to try to prevent a nightmare, as has materialized when not enough ‘good guys’ bother to vote. Everyone needs to feel the need to participate or we lose our democracy and all decency; the country will be owned and run by the rt. wing whackos who are determined and do show up at the polls.

  26. 70 PrayerWarriorforObama
    June 30, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    26 million congrats to Chips, her blog generals and the TOD family!

    • 72 hopefruit2
      June 30, 2014 at 5:35 pm

      57, I take it that you posted this link not because you agree with Daily Beast but because you wanted to highlight the extent to which the media wants to shove HRC down people’s throats!!!

      • June 30, 2014 at 5:54 pm

        Agreed. It’s their way of denigrating the one and only President we have now.

      • 74 57andfemale
        June 30, 2014 at 6:06 pm

        I did not agree with the Hillary comment and the title bothered me. But the description of how conservatives play the long game and what they’ve achieved doing so, was compelling.

        The basic message: if we vote and keep the WH in Democratic hands, we can undue a lot of this damage.

        I’m suspicious of Hillary – and that’s on a good day. A tweet saying that Hillary thought Bill was superior in some way to PBO because he always continued to work with Republicans……..

        I remember reading some really good investigative journalist on this very point: Bill and Gingrich would fight over impeachment in the morning, and Bill would spend his afternoons working with Gingrich and Gramm to deregulate the banking industry, undo the New Deal, and lead us straight to the 2008 collapse. Yeah, Bill worked with the GOP just fine.

        I don’t trust her. I don’t think she has greatness. But if she’s the nominee, she has to be elected. Otherwise we will become the American Fascist Taliban.

        • 75 0388jojothecat
          June 30, 2014 at 7:18 pm

          Hi 57andfemale. I agree that we have to keep our President, House and Senate in Dem majorities to undo this madness. It was not until Bill Clinton left office I learned of what he did to “work with the rethugs”. This is why they hate PBO he won’t do damage to country just to make them happy. I am hoping that Hillary is NOT the nominee. I want to see another dark horse waiting in the wings that the majority of Dems want and will appeal to Independents and sane republicans.

          • 76 57andfemale
            July 1, 2014 at 10:34 am

            I honestly think she would not be a good President. she had a chance to match and show greatness in 2008, and the slid into the gutter, where she was frighteningly comfortable. She is a small person who married lucky. I feel her resentment that she should have been the star in her marriage and her place in history, but frankly I question her assumptions. I think her time has passed, she is pretending she is dealing with the politics of 20 years ago. I would love to see another nominee.

            That being said, if she’s the nominee I will fight like hell to get her elected. A few months ago, I was saying I would vote for her but not fight for her. After the terrifying turn of events, I have to hold my nose and FIGHT. Congress is broken and would continue to be broken. It is all about the Courts and particularly the Supreme Court. It’s the current state of affairs and I’m looking at the long term.

    • 77 Vicki
      June 30, 2014 at 6:00 pm

      Any Democratic President has an equal opportunity? n’est ce pas?
      Mybe I am missing something

      • 78 57andfemale
        June 30, 2014 at 6:08 pm

        Yeah, I HATED that part, but I thought his breakdown of how conservatives work and how they got us here was worth reading.

        In fact there are Dems who could do a whole lot better, but I’ll take any D President.

      • 79 nathkatun7
        June 30, 2014 at 8:27 pm

        Exactly, Vicki! Any Democratic President such as VP Joe Biden, or Gov. Martin O’Mally, or Gov. Duval Patrick; or Sen. Elizabeth Warren, will undo the damage; especially if they have a super majority in the United States Senate. I refuse to join in the Hillary Coronation. President Obama is still my President for the next 21/2 years.

  27. 80 MadameSoph
    June 30, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    Great post LL!

    And thank you Chips for posting the Presidents announcement YouTube above. On days like these, the President’s strong voice, demeanor and steadiness life me up and keep me going; because, if he can go forward in strength, with everything he faces on a daily basis, then certainly I can.

    One observation: The forces that work against this amazing, once-in-a-lifetime leader (and the 21st century progress he is trying to drag this country kicking and screaming into) may have these temporary victories; however, I have noticed that something always happens to put energy and momentum back on the side of PBO and progress. There is something about this man; it’s like destiny is on the side of PBO and he is on the side of destiny. The efforts of these small-minded haters always eventually blow-up in their faces; their temporary victories get detoured somehow and PBO stays strong and on-course, step by step, righting the ship.

  28. June 30, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    And speaking of apathy, Ralph Nader is, surprise, again spewing the “both are the same” nonsense: http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/weigelcast/2014/06/david_weigel_interviews_consumer_advocate_ralph_nader_for_weigelcast.html

    Fortunately, no one has cared what he’s had to say for about 10 years.

    • 84 MadameSoph
      June 30, 2014 at 5:30 pm

      God, he’s become like that Uncle no one wants to listen to at Thanksgiving… 🙂

      • 85 0388jojothecat
        June 30, 2014 at 7:24 pm

        Ralph Nader is just an old fool screaming at the moon. He has no ideas and can’t get elected as dog catcher. No one cares what he thinks therefore the media goes looking for him because it’s a guaranteed “they both are awful” meme

  29. 86 Paulita
    June 30, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Hi TOD!! Congratulations on the big hits, tweets, and all the record setting. Finally caught up but I lurk constantly and share in the excitement of the World Cup and enjoyed immensely the #so sue me meme. You guys rock!! This site is an oasis in the madness that occupies the media these days. My heartfelt thanks to all the bts and commentators; you keep hope alive and this is much needed to counter the loud bullshit from the msm, Forever grateful.

  30. 88 MadameSoph
    June 30, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    Mighty Pamela will appreciate this:
    This awful Hobby Lobby decision by SCOTUS to take us back to the dark ages came down on the last day of Mercury Retrograde! How fitting! On the plus side, decisions made during a retrograde period usually do not last. This decision will be challenged and will not stand. Plus, I bet PBO already had some sort of ACA-related fix in mind in case this happened…. stay tuned…. Trust PBO and vote in 2014!

    • 89 MightyPamela
      June 30, 2014 at 7:03 pm

      Amen, and Amen, MadameSoph. A vast number of astrologers on all levels of mastery all unanimously concur this was once of the mst challenging, complex experiences of Mercury retrograde! On the humourous side, my iPad flipped upside down and suffered a crack in the screen. So, now I have turned it upside down so the chip and spider cracks are upside down, and they’re not in my face or line of sight as much. iPad working fine (sorta) ;( 🙂

    • June 30, 2014 at 7:05 pm

      Thank you MadameSoph. I have not been watching teevee news stations and only been reading here and listening to progressive stations all day. I heard Thom Hartmann mention some law that Congress passed in which it stipulated that SCOTUS could over turn it. I don’t recall which one. This could never happen today or in the future. I agree, PBO will have a fix or this will lead to single paying by expanding medicare.

  31. June 30, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Ok folks, I have a bad feeling. Netanyahu has become unhinged over the killing of the three teenagers.

    I hope I’m wrong, but he may just unleash Hell and fulfill all the fundie wishes of an Apocalypse.

  32. 100 desertflower
    June 30, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Heavy snarkage here!

  33. 101 dotster3
    June 30, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Bobby Jindal thinks he’s the man——look how he’s feeding the demented haters——-So Clever in the Who Can Hate Obama The Most contest!

    • 102 anniebella
      June 30, 2014 at 5:59 pm

      The little punk Jindal just what some attention from those racists I Hate Obama crowd. Because Jindal knows he can’t stand on the same stage with Barack Obama.

    • June 30, 2014 at 6:04 pm

      As I recall his one attempt at the big time, the rebuttal to the SOTU was an abject failure. TV stations around the country reported an overload of emptiness that forced some outlets to show a blank screen.

  34. 105 dotster3
    June 30, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    It sure helps to have a Democratic governor……

  35. 106 vcprezofan2
    June 30, 2014 at 5:57 pm

  36. 111 dotster3
    June 30, 2014 at 5:58 pm

  37. 112 vcprezofan2
    June 30, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Wise, and practical advice any time ….

  38. 113 GGail
    June 30, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    Work has interrupted my Soccer watching today!

    Is it true – has Nigeria and Algeria been eliminated today?

  39. June 30, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    • 119 GGail
      June 30, 2014 at 6:17 pm

      While the Repugs & Justices of Darkness are hiding in their bat caves, POTUS is taking names & planning while out on a stroll.

  40. 120 globalcitizenlinda
    June 30, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    anger can be good fuel for politicall activism

  41. June 30, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    On a much lighter note:

  42. June 30, 2014 at 6:25 pm

  43. 126 Nena20409
    June 30, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    WH presser 6-30-14 by Josh “The Voice” Earnest.

    HL was the 1st question by Julie Pace

    Good Evening TOD

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