Weve Entered The Era Of ‘Total Politics

© Illustration by Ben Hickey

On April 6, the Tennessee House of Representatives voted to expel two Democratic lawmakers from the House of Representatives to vote on gun violence. The Republican move to punish two young black men for refusing to follow the rules of rectitude was an exercise in brute political force.

On Monday, the Nashville Metropolitan Council voted for Justin Jones for the newly opened seat. On Wednesday, Shelby County Commissioners resumed their duties and reappointed Justin Pearson. That was the response from two progressives to lawmakers.

Conflicts between different levels of government are nothing new, but the fact that both sides want to annoy their opponents is an example of what we call absolute politics. In the late 20th and early 20th centuries, they pioneered “total war” in which all sectors of society mobilized and became fair game for military operations, where the goal was easy to win. General politics takes a similar approach to party conflicts. Those in power will use any legal tool at their disposal for their own personal gain, regardless of their long-term harm. Absolute politics excludes the existence and value of independent institutions; He (primarily) obeys the rules, but he doesn’t obey the rules. What matters is what is possible, not what is reasonable.

[Read: Tennessee Elimination Is Just The Beginning]

Comprehensive policies wherever you look. In the last week or two, Austin, Texas, has seen Governor Greg Abbott announce plans to pardon a man accused of killing Black Lives Matter protesters before his trial ends. Elsewhere in the state, in Amarillo, conservatives are trying to put the abortion issue in the hands of a federal judge, who will give them the ruling they want. It’s all politics in Manhattan, where District Attorney Alvin Bragg is bringing 34 felony charges in a controversial case against former President Donald Trump. A progressive candidate defeated a conservative in a race marked by a rare partisan campaign fueled by foreign money and in which legislative Republicans responded by threatening more penalties. Before I heard anything. This was in Montana, where GOP lawmakers wanted to rewrite the one-round, one-race election law to allow Democratic Sen. Jon Tester to win. In Washington, several Republicans in the House of Representatives are pushing to repeal laws that allow them to target some federal workers with pay cuts.

This type of behavior is often called “strong standing”, but this term is incorrect. It sounds like a good thing, besides remembering former MSNBC host Chris Matthews (something with that association): Who doesn’t want their agent to play hard? The label “political absolutist” reflects how these movements have absorbed all elements of government, including seemingly bipartisan ones, into an all-out struggle. The essence of all politics is that criminals use real power under the law, even if they sometimes use other means.

In general, the recent development in politics probably stems from the feeling that politics is a matter of life and death and that every election poses a threat to the government as one party or another. If all decisions and battles are treated as apocalyptic, then the logical decision is to use whatever means available without considering the long-term consequences – if you lose (think), the long-term consequences don’t matter.

This trend is particularly pronounced on the right, where Trump is the only force that can save America as conservatives know and love it, and supporters liken the election to Flight 93. over here. . From the Republican Party, although the Democrats are not free. In recent years, some Democrats have openly called for progressives (but not politicians) to adopt the tactics of far-right factions like the House Freedom Caucus.

Tennessee is a clear example of how all politics can use existing power but create new and negative consequences. The DPD has an implemented method of releasing its members. Although the drafters did not intend to reinstate the expelled member of parliament, the law provides for the filling of local committee seats. It is about what is politically correct and reasonable. Since 1800, the House of Representatives has used the power of impeachment only twice. This last example shows the racism at work when MPs refused to expel a third MP, a white woman, when she protested with two displaced people. As my colleague David Frum tweeted, “Tennessee Republicans are now being exposed as fanatics and Ku Kluxists. Maybe they deserve it. If not, they are fools.

Tennessee, as my colleague Ron Brownstein writes, is more than a warning. One of the reasons they feel safe moving the Legislature ruthlessly is that the majority that Republicans control is not immune to challenges. This in itself is largely a political result: Insurgents in states across the country (especially within the Republican Party) have taken action against the most violent thugs they can legally defend.

Plaintiffs are also allowed to manipulate the federal justice system to win favorable judges. For example, the anti-abortion advocates who sued the federal government over the abortion drug mifepristone knew that if they sued the Amarillo division, they would be sued by powerful Trump operative Matthew Kachmari. . Anti-abortion view. Kachmaris saw this and decided that the FDA’s decision was wrong. So-called jury spending is a loophole in the system that has occasionally been exploited by conservatives with great success in recent years, but has been exploited by whistleblowers in many political cases. But it clearly mocks the idea of ​​independent judges and the idea that the judiciary is more or less equal to the federal courts in the United States, thereby legitimizing the judiciary.

[Mary Ziegler: Texas abortion pill regulation signals next pro-life push]

What politics means and what is a reasonable response to a new situation is in the eye of the beholder. For example, some Republicans argue that the investigations into special counsel Robert Mueller and Donald Trump’s first impeachment are legitimate but offensive tactics. (Never mind that Trump-appointed Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller.) Proportionality is a serious challenge: Trump has been accused of trying to discredit Ukraine for political gain. Tennessee legislators use loudspeakers in the legislative chamber. Which of them deserves extraordinary punishment?

Donald Trump’s attempt to stay in power after the 2020 election is a good indication of the limitations of politics in general. In an attempt to overturn the election, Trump and his allies have used a variety of political tools, including incriminating lawsuits and investigating whether state legislatures can use existing laws to suppress the popular vote. As they were quick to point out, some of these measures mirror what Democrats have previously considered or implemented. But in his quest for victory, Trump went further by not only pushing the rules to the limit, but actively breaking them. The campaigns aim to seize voting machines, pressure election officials to falsify the results, and shift the power of results to the vice president.

All of politics is interesting because it is about being able to destroy the enemy without breaking any laws. In practice, this not only undermines the legitimacy of the system and its results (see Kachamarik’s detailed critique of the decision), but also encourages the cycle of the process. When the two lawmakers return to Nashville, the Tennessee Council will escalate a conflict they have already had with the state government. To be fair, the Nashville Metro Council is on bad terms with the state legislature, which blocked the 2024 Republican National Convention in favor of Music City in political efforts to reduce the council’s size.

The repetitive nature of this troubling approach and general politics detracts from its purpose, making it more ubiquitous. The boundaries of decency and reason are weakening, the fruit of independent judiciary and the rule of law is diminishing. It is difficult to imagine that the entire political cycle can be interrupted except by certain types of crises, and crises are the result of these cycles.

You’re Playing It Wrong 1 Full Lotta Love Riff – Led Zeppelin #short

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