Juxtaposed headlines in today’s papers are two stories of singular importance to the fall midterm elections and the future of American democracy.
The first was about the stunning victory for women in the Kansas election result, a harbinger of what this November’s elections will be like, and the second is the report that not only did the Secret Service and Homeland Security erase relevant emails pertaining to the January 6 insurrection, but so did the Pentagon, proving that what was underway then was a full-blown coup that probably remains, if for now, an idled but ongoing threat.
On another note, the Washington Post article Wednesday by Dan Zak, “A New Outbreak and Old Fears,” that equates the monkeypox outbreak with the onset of the HIV/AIDS epidemic is so egregiously off base that it begs for a correction. No one who lived through the AIDS epidemic and the sheer horror that it visited upon the gay community would ever equate the two.
The article quotes someone in its second paragraph who begins, “While monkeypox is not deadly….” That’s the beginning and end of any connection with AIDS, and the horribly painful and 100 percent fatality rate associated with it that the gay community had to contend with from its first case in 1981 until 1995 when a “cocktail” of drugs could end its deadly scourge, some 600,000 painfully lost lives later.
But I digress. Everyone is going to have a lot to say about the Kansas vote, and forgive me if I found it odd that it came as a surprise except for the still existent incapacity of our society to take women and their rights really seriously.
After all, we have never had such a blatant assault on basic human rights imposed on over half the adult population of this nation as the Supreme Court’s repeal of Roe Vs. Wade this May and the extent to which that has been taken by some lawmakers in its wake to violate the ordinary rights of women to exercise their personal behavior in non-offensive ways.
Trust me, had anything like a similar prohibition been placed on males, the reaction would have been far, far more immediate and angry. Forget hanging Mike Pence, the majority of the Supreme Court would have been tarred and feathered and future reproductive prospects swiftly and painfully curtailed by blunt instruments.
But no, this was about women. If Justice Alito and his ilk wanted to do this by appealing to outrageously male chauvinist 14th century laws, they should have repealed women’s suffrage first. Indeed, there is going to be a growing rage among women as the election approaches this fall, and vengeance will come at the ballot box.
Last year, Republicans considered the “suburban woman” vote vital to their success, but they did it only by ineffectively appealing to a fear of outsiders and persons of color invading their lily-white pristine neighborhoods.
Now, Republicans have dug themselves even a deeper hole, if not a hopeless pit, with that constituency on the abortion question.
I’ve concluded that many of them are clueless males who have no idea how repulsive their antics are to a preponderance of suburban women, who are anything but ignorant of the nation’s vital issues at stake.
Indeed, a ban on abortion is akin to the most serious form of slavery, leaving a majority of Americans, no less, in proverbial chains.
Certainly, the Republicans can do this if they have the legal right and political will, but it is done at a cost of the loss of support, in fact, the sincere enmity, of perhaps generations of the nation’s angry freedom-loving best and brightest.
Then, on the question of the January 6 coup attempt, the discovery that top officials at the Pentagon were in sync with leaders of the Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security in a coordinated and premeditated plot to wipe out all electronic evidence of their roles in the January 6 insurrection proves to any thoughtful observer that they were complicit in that was clearly an attempt at a full-scale coup against the U.S. and its rule of law.
It failed only because of amazing heroism by a wide array of people, but I fear it is not over by a long shot.