By Larry Levine –
Elections have consequences.
It’s never been more evident than it is now.
In a span of one week the U.S. Supreme Court 1) said government funds can be spent on religious schools and prayer in schools can be allowed; 2) opened the door for guns to become even more pervasive in our communities; and 3) told states they can strip away the rights of women to make their own decisions regarding reproductive healthcare.
So, all you Hillary haters who helped Donald Trump become President in 2016 and load the court with Neanderthals, how do you feel now?
Your actions in either not voting, voting for a minor party candidate or harassing the Clinton campaign on social media throughout the summer and fall of 2016 … those actions are having consequences.
Argue all you want that it’s the fault of the Democratic Party for nominating Hillary Clinton, but that argument further exposes your ignorance and arrogance. Hillary Clinton was nominated by Democratic voters and national convention delegates. Your candidate lost; she won, and you decided to throw a tantrum.
Elections have consequences and you opted to put your hubris ahead of the reality of the consequences we faced in the 2016 election. Donald Trump told us what he wanted to do and you chose to ignore him and tell us what you found wrong with Hillary Clinton instead.
Well, Hillary would not have appointed Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, or Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court and the court majority would now be 6-3 in favor of a more moderate and liberal interpretation of the constitution. We can’t say how each of the three unnamed Clinton appointees would have voted on each of these issues. But it’s a safe bet they would not have struck down restrictions on carrying guns in public, permitted public funds to be spent on religious schools and opened the door for prayer in public schools, or struck down Roe v. Wade.
No, you so-called progressive, Bernie-or-busters, don’t blame Donald Trump for this week’s Supreme Court trifecta. He told us what he was going to do and you didn’t believe he would.
Look, politics is a zero-sum game. The winners govern. The winners make new rules and laws. The winners appoint the judges whose decisions can have beneficial or disastrous impacts. The losers? Well, they get to bemoan what the winners do. And in this case the winner gave us Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Coney Barrett.
In my 52 years as a political consultant I helped scores of people win public office, maybe even hundreds. Not all of them have been perfect. No one is. Nor did they always vote as I would have had them vote. But in every instance they were preferable to the opponent and they made a difference in the quality of life in our state and nation. Some supported a women’s right to have an abortion and a few opposed it. Most worried about the dangers of nuclear power plants and a few supported nuclear power. Most were against the death penalty, or supported restrictions on guns, while some took an opposing position. But they also passed far-reaching environmental legislation, important energy policies, meaningful criminal justice reforms, improvements to our schools and to the rights and working conditions of working people.
Now, we face one of the greatest challenges of our lives. We are stuck with this Supreme Court majority for years and disasters to come. You can continue to pout and rant about how things would be better if your favored candidate had beaten Joe Biden in the 2020 Presidential primaries. You can help make things worse by sitting back and letting Mitch McConnell take back control of the U.S. Senate and letting Kevin McCarthy become Speaker of the House of Representatives. Then you can bemoan how they go about blocking and frustrating the agenda of yet another Democratic President, as they did with President Obama. Or you can marshal all the resources and energy available to you, contribute funds to the level of your ability, direct your criticism at the Republican opposition, volunteer when you can and vote, vote, vote. And stop chanting such silly slogans as Defund the Police.
Elections have consequences and the ones this fall are no exception.
(NOTE: L.A. Times columnist George Skelton used the same opening line in his June 27 column as I used on this piece, which I wrote the previous weekend. After seeing George’s column, I decided I couldn’t post this. I teased George about it during the day and he said I should go ahead and post anyway. No one owns the “elections have consequences” notion, he said. He added that my position also is somewhat different than what he presented in his column.)