Another Supreme Court decision, another defeat for social conservatives, and a culture war the latter have lost

Updates

  1. Originally published, June 29, 1:00 pm:
  2. June 29, 2:30 pm:
    • Allegheny County has confirmed that the recent spike in COVID-19 cases is due to idiots in bars, not protests.[1]
  3. June 29, 3:46 pm:
    • Allegheny County reported 83 new COVID-19 cases. That’s not as bad as yesterday or the day before,[2] but it will be a few weeks before we see the impact from the decision to stop on-site drinking at bars.[3]
    • At the American Conservative, Rod Dreher responds to the Supreme Court ruling striking down a Louisiana law that would have closed all but one abortion clinic. He admits the culture war is lost for social conservatives.[4]
  4. June 29, 9:58 pm:
    • I was real late getting out today, but for my final ride this evening, I picked up a drunk who lamented the loss of “freedom.” By “freedom,” he meant that to drink in bars, which will end at 5:00 pm on Tuesday, June 30, in Allegheny County.[5] He eventually got around to blaming the kids in the Oakland and South Side neighborhoods, which is largely correct,[6] but then launched off into a conspiracy theory about how “nobody is dying” and “they’re just making it up.” This is a reason I try to avoid the bar crowd.
    • I’d never even noticed dollar stores out in California. They’re all over the place here in Pittsburgh and lots of people shop in them. I won’t—my fear of being marked as poor is too great and I wouldn’t want shoddy merchandise anyway. So now an upper class publication has an article assessing their impact on poor communities.[7] It sounds a lot like what I’ve heard Walmart has done to downtowns and with labor costs,[8] with the addition of corporation-enabled violent crime,[9] and I’m sure it’s right. But I notice a lot of people around here are very familiar with the word bourgeois and I’m pretty sure that’d be their reaction.

In case you missed it, there were numerous updates to the last issue, right up through last night (June 28), including one new blog post and a photograph of a sign I had mentioned earlier. Such a case of constipation in the Irregular Bullshit has recently been unusual; it occurs when I don’t feel motivated to start a new issue and an article I find seems more relevant to one already published. I also am more reluctant to publish when I haven’t even a brief comment on the articles I’ve listed. Finally, there’s the truth to what happened on at least one of the days the issue covered: I simply forgot to publish.

I haven’t decided whether or not to convert portions of that issue into a blog post; it might well happen, particularly if there are further updates on the spike in COVID-19 cases or government responses to it. If there’s one thing that pretty predictably annoys me, it’s idiocy, and that continues to run amok.


Abortion

Many evangelical protestants (social conservatives) supported Donald Trump because they thought he might reverse what more and more looks like their abject defeat (which Rod Dreher admits to[10]) in the culture war[11] despite his abject immorality and corruption.[12] But Trump’s court picks are failing to deliver some of the victories they badly want and Josh Hawley, presumably speaking for many other social conservatives, has expressed his dissatisfaction.[13] The problem for social conservatives with Donald Trump is similar in form to the problem progressives have with the mainstream of the Democratic Party. They lost on abortion, again.[14] But who are they going to turn to? The Democrats?

The bipartisan system, by its very design, constrains progress in any direction.[15] But while the Democrats have been pushing in a rightward direction, the Republicans have also been moving in a rightward direction. It just isn’t fast enough for social conservatives, in part because they have lost.

Marianne Levine, “Josh Hawley warns Trump on Supreme Court disappointments,” Politico, June 27, 2020, https://www.politico.com/news/2020/06/27/hawley-trump-supreme-court-341844

Robert Barnes, “Supreme Court strikes down restrictive Louisiana abortion law that would have closed clinics,” Washington Post, June 29, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-louisiana-abortion-law-john-roberts/2020/06/29/6f42067e-ba00-11ea-8cf5-9c1b8d7f84c6_story.html

Rod Dreher, “Abortion Forever,” American Conservative, June 29, 2020, https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/justice-roberts-abortion-forever-supreme-court/


Pandemic

While still none of this has yet been peer-reviewed, it does appear that COVID-19 has mutated into a more infectious variant. The finding, which I found reported in May,[16] has been replicated by a number of teams, but their explanations for the mutation’s success vary.[17]

Sarah Kaplan and Joel Achenbach, “This coronavirus mutation has taken over the world. Scientists are trying to understand why,” Washington Post, June 29, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2020/06/29/coronavirus-mutation-science/

KDKA, “Allegheny Co. Health Officials: Spike In New Coronavirus Cases Linked To Bars, Not Protests,” June 29, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/06/29/spike-in-coronavirus-cases-linked-to-bars-not-protests/

Teghan Simonton, “83 new cases of coronavirus in Allegheny County, no new deaths,” Tribune-Review, June 29, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/83-new-cases-of-coronavirus-in-allegheny-county-no-new-deaths/


Dollar Stores

Alec MacGillis, “The True Cost of Dollar Stores,” New Yorker, June 29, 2020, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/07/06/the-true-cost-of-dollar-stores


  1. [1]KDKA, “Allegheny Co. Health Officials: Spike In New Coronavirus Cases Linked To Bars, Not Protests,” June 29, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/06/29/spike-in-coronavirus-cases-linked-to-bars-not-protests/
  2. [2]Teghan Simonton, “83 new cases of coronavirus in Allegheny County, no new deaths,” Tribune-Review, June 29, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/83-new-cases-of-coronavirus-in-allegheny-county-no-new-deaths/
  3. [3]KDKA, “‘For The First Time…Allegheny Co. Led The State In The Number Of New COVID-19 Cases’: Allegheny Co. Officials Ban On-Site Consumption Of Alcohol At Local Bars,” June 28, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/06/28/allegheny-co-highest-case-numbers-bans-on-site-drinking/
  4. [4]Rod Dreher, “Abortion Forever,” American Conservative, June 29, 2020, https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/justice-roberts-abortion-forever-supreme-court/
  5. [5]KDKA, “‘For The First Time…Allegheny Co. Led The State In The Number Of New COVID-19 Cases’: Allegheny Co. Officials Ban On-Site Consumption Of Alcohol At Local Bars,” June 28, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/06/28/allegheny-co-highest-case-numbers-bans-on-site-drinking/
  6. [6]KDKA, “Allegheny Co. Health Officials: Spike In New Coronavirus Cases Linked To Bars, Not Protests,” June 29, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/06/29/spike-in-coronavirus-cases-linked-to-bars-not-protests/
  7. [7]Alec MacGillis, “The True Cost of Dollar Stores,” New Yorker, June 29, 2020, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/07/06/the-true-cost-of-dollar-stores
  8. [8]Robert Greenwald, Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price (Culver City, CA: Brave New Films, 2005), DVD.
  9. [9]Alec MacGillis, “The True Cost of Dollar Stores,” New Yorker, June 29, 2020, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/07/06/the-true-cost-of-dollar-stores
  10. [10]Rod Dreher, “Abortion Forever,” American Conservative, June 29, 2020, https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/justice-roberts-abortion-forever-supreme-court/
  11. [11]Elizabeth Bruenig, “In God’s country,” Washington Post, August 14, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/08/14/evangelicals-view-trump-their-protector-will-they-stand-by-him/
  12. [12]Julie Zauzmer and Sarah Pulliam Bailey, “After Trump and Moore, some evangelicals are finding their own label too toxic to use,” Washington Post, December 14, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/after-trump-and-moore-some-evangelicals-are-finding-their-own-label-too-toxic-to-use/2017/12/14/b034034c-e020-11e7-89e8-edec16379010_story.html
  13. [13]Marianne Levine, “Josh Hawley warns Trump on Supreme Court disappointments,” Politico, June 27, 2020, https://www.politico.com/news/2020/06/27/hawley-trump-supreme-court-341844
  14. [14]Robert Barnes, “Supreme Court strikes down restrictive Louisiana abortion law that would have closed clinics,” Washington Post, June 29, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-louisiana-abortion-law-john-roberts/2020/06/29/6f42067e-ba00-11ea-8cf5-9c1b8d7f84c6_story.html
  15. [15]Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present (New York: HarperPerennial, 2005).
  16. [16]Sarah Kaplan and Joel Achenbach, “Researchers hypothesize that a highly contagious strain of the coronavirus is spreading, but other experts remain skeptical,” Washington Post, May 5, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/researchers-hypothesize-that-a-highly-contagious-strain-of-the-coronavirus-is-spreading-but-other-experts-remain-skeptical/2020/05/05/db90d790-8ee7-11ea-9e23-6914ee410a5f_story.html; Ralph Vartabedian, “Scientists have identified a new strain of the coronavirus that appears to be more contagious,” Los Angeles Times, May 5, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-05-05/mutant-coronavirus-has-emerged-more-contagious-than-original
  17. [17]Sarah Kaplan and Joel Achenbach, “This coronavirus mutation has taken over the world. Scientists are trying to understand why,” Washington Post, June 29, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2020/06/29/coronavirus-mutation-science/

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