It’s already been a terrible week to be a Democratic Party boss, a week of emotional pain, sighs, sadness.
And though it was bad from Sunday on, things got even worse on Wednesday.
Democrats lost the Janus v. AFSCME case in the U.S. Supreme Court. The 5-4 decision strips vital public union political muscle away from the old-line bosses in states like Illinois.
“Public-sector unions have been able to wall people in by the coercive power of law, but that’s changed thanks to this Supreme Court decision,” said John Tillman, CEO of the conservative Illinois Policy Institute that organized the lawsuit started by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.
“Unions won’t have that monopoly control over the political process that has created fiscal nightmares in Illinois and other states. It’s a new day,” Tillman told me.
It might be too late for Janus to have an impact on politics in November, but studies show government workers peel away from left-leaning public-sector unions when they’re given a chance to keep their own money.
In some states, where government workers are freed from their public-sector unions, the Democratic vote drop has been estimated at between 3-5 percent.
So Janus will have an impact in 2020.
If that wasn’t bad enough, after the Janus decision was announced, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement. Though an appointee of conservative President Ronald Reagan, Kennedy worked with the liberal side, too, protecting abortion rights in Roe v. Wade and supporting other liberal social issues, including LGBT rights and gay marriage.
Now President Donald Trump gets to pick another Supreme Court justice, which is not good news for the Democrats.
Trump said he would “begin immediately.” That means immediately. If he’s smart, he’ll get it done and have a new justice sworn in before the Mueller report comes out.
The Kennedy retirement news hit hard at a Democratic National Committee conference on rules. Politico reporter David Siders shared some audio on Twitter.
It was rather bleak and sad, like an Ingmar Bergman movie where the knight plays chess with death and the waves crash on the rocks and the finality of all things is understood. Or the despair in Germany after they were bounced from the 2018 World Cup.
Among Democratic bosses who weren’t watching soccer, laments and cries were heard when Kennedy’s retirement was confirmed.
Once one of them read the news aloud, several others let forth a series of “Ohs!” and “Ahs!” and at least one said simply, “Oh my God!”
I don’t know if the “g” was capitalized, these are professional Democrats, after all, and political ones to boot, so I’m taking license.
Audio can’t tell you if any hair was pulled, or any tears were shed. But one Democrat, with the wisdom of a sage upon a mountaintop, reportedly uttered these words:
“This is not good news.”
As things stand, Trump will now be able to use his pending appointment of a new Supreme Court justice to energize the Republican conservative base and keep them close. It could cement the Senate Republican majority, and even shrink that once-vaunted blue wave in the House that Democrats were hoping for in the 2018 midterm elections when they pretended not to care about impeachment.
But weeks don’t begin on Wednesdays. Already by Monday, there were sad sighs.
Angry U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters became their cheerleader on various mob action issues. And many reasonable and seasoned Democrats would rather have a maniacal giggling Mitch McConnell pull out their toenails with pliers and rub the stumps in lemon and salt than see Waters and her odd mix of seething discombobulated rage anywhere near a TV news camera until well after November.
By Tuesday, there was more bad juju. The unthinkable happened to the Democratic establishment when 10-term New York U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley lost his Democratic primary to socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a former campaign organizer for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential run. She’d never run for office before.
Crowley out? He was pushing to become speaker. His loss shocked the establishment world.
Her platform? No borders. The abolishment of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. And guaranteed government jobs for all.
Oh, to live on that Big Rock Candy Mountain, with no borders, or border cops, and the lemonade creeks and the cigarette trees.
Ocasio-Cortez’s victory might be a shocker for the clueless Democratic establishment and their jesters but not Sanders supporters.
Some Democrats might even blame the media. All we’ve heard from the prattling loyalists of the Democratic Media Complex is Russians this and Russians that. This allowed rank-and-file Democrats to ignore the reasons Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election.
The town criers filled the air with borscht and Putin and other root vegetables (and emoting CNN anchors) as they tried to stitch left and center together.
But the Bernie Bros weren’t so easily duped. They knew Sanders was ripped off during the presidential primaries, the DNC rules and establishment media stacked against him. They took Crowley out, and more will fall.