The Mahablog

Politics. Society. Group Therapy.

The Mahablog

Guns! Abortion! Trump! Republicans In Disarray!

Today Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg filed a lawsuit against Gym Jordan to keep him from further interfering in the Trump case.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Republican House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, asking a court to block elements of the congressional inquiry into his case against former President Donald Trump.

Calling it an “unprecedently brazen and unconstitutional attack” of an ongoing investigation, Bragg said in the suit that allowing Jordan’s demands, including subpoenaing former Assistant DA Mark Pomerantz, would cause “imminent irreparable harm if the secret and privileged material is compelled to be disclosed.”

Bragg’s suit asked the court to block Jordan’s subpoena of Pomerantz. Jordan, R-Ohio, wants Pomerantz to sit for a deposition as part of the Judiciary panel’s investigation into the indictment of Trump. 

Gym is whining that the suit is an attempt to block congressional oversight, but since when does a U.S. House committee have oversight over a local District Attorney? Since never, I’m pretty sure. The suit was filed in in federal court in the Southern District of New York.

Speaking of courts — the abortion pill decision out of Amarillo highlights a big problem for Republicans. For years they strove mightily to seed the judiciary with right-wing zealot judges.  And the problem they have now is, they’ve succeeded. Jennifer Rubin writes,

Given that Kacsmaryk’s decision has heaped fuel onto the conflagration caused by the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Republicans might want to ponder: Is the right-wing judiciary as a whole a threat to the MAGA movement’s viability?

It is one thing to gin up the base on invented threats from critical race theory or the “great replacement theory.” But when the MAGA movement’s judges begin to inflict radically unpopular edicts on those outside the right-wing audience, that risks sparking a counter-response: a determined, broad-based movement insistent that the United States not turn the clock back on decades of social progress. …

… Republicans cannot very well tell their appointees to cool it; they certainly cannot contain the blowback their judges unleash. The greatest irony of Donald Trump’s presidency might be that the “accomplishment” that most thrilled right-wingers may accelerate the vanquishing of a movement that is at odds with the values and sensibilities of most Americans. And the power of the judiciary itself may be one of the casualties.

Maybe we’re about to see what Shakespeare meant by “Hoist with his own petard.” It’s also notable that the media narrative has flipped from “abortion is a difficult issue for Democrats” to “abortion is a difficult issue for Republicans.”  And it looks like the same metamorphosis is happening on the issue of guns.

Republicans have, over a period of decades, cultivated a base of screaming zealots who will accept no compromises. Republicans are just now waking up to the difficulty of keeping the base happy while not scaring off the less extremist majority. Jonathan Weisman writes at the New York Times,

Republican leaders have followed an emboldened base of conservative activists into what increasingly looks like a political cul-de-sac on the issue of abortion — a tightly confined absolutist position that has limited their options ahead of the 2024 election season, even as some in the party push for moderation. …

… The problem goes beyond abortion. With each mass shooting, the G.O.P.’s staunch stand against gun control faces renewed scrutiny. Republicans courted a backlash last week when they expelled two young Democratic lawmakers out of the Tennessee state legislature for leading youthful protests after a school shooting in Nashville that left six dead. Then on Monday came another mass shooting, in Louisville, Ky.

Republicans thought they had a lock on two safe issues — abortion is always bad, guns are always good. Keep restricting abortion; stop all restrictions on guns. What could go wrong? Well, what went wrong is the messy, complicated, real world, which refuses to behave in accordance with right-wing talking points. More guns do not result in less crime. In the real world, the opposite is true. People are starting to notice. And abortions often are medically necessary, in spite of decades of anti-abortion propaganda saying otherwise. Again, people are noticing.

If the abortion pill case is reviewed by the Supreme Court, the wingnut majority may want to let it stand, but they are in a precarious place now. Justice Clarence Thomas’s open corruption is just part of it. Justice Kavanaugh’s concurring opinion in Dobbs was all about how the courts could wash their hands of the abortion issue now that it had been returned to the states (again, the real world is not cooperating). Let’s see Beer Bong Brett wiggle out of that. And I suspect John Roberts will want the court to not do anything that rocks the boat or scares the chickens right now.

Speaking of scaring the chickens, Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton appears to have more or less admitted his primary residence really isn’t in his district. I can’t tell if his story is getting much traction in Tennessee yet, but surely someone is already planning the television ads for the 2024 statehouse races …