Even the Democrats know they’re useless

Gilead

Abortion

It’s bullshit, entirely in line with Democratic Party standard operating procedure:

President Biden struck his most aggressive tone on abortion yesterday [June 30, 2022], calling for the Senate to suspend its long-standing filibuster rules in order to enshrine abortion rights into federal law.

Doing so would be an attempt by Democrats to restore the federal abortion rights that were in place for the last half-century with a simple majority vote. Yet Democrats don’t even have enough members within their own caucus to support such an effort.[1]

Joe Biden is merely responding to other Democratic Party politicians who want desperately to sound more aggressive in their defense of abortion rights.[2] But as usual, “they don’t have the votes,” because they aren’t actually and never are actually a governing party, so they can engage in all the fiery rhetoric they like, perfectly confident that nothing will actually happen. Side note: Even the Republicans are surprised by the lack of Democratic Party pushback[3] on the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.[4]

Even [the Democrats] admit to being in disarray. “What the fuck are we doing?” a Democratic lobbyist fumed. “What the fuck is the D.N.C. doing? I’m on their listserv and I haven’t gotten a fucking thing, have you? Every woman I’ve seen on social media that’s so mad, I’ve seen no link to, hey, here’s where you vote. If this was the G.O.P. side, that whole apparatus would be mobilized. From the Koch brothers to the N.R.A. to big oil, they would be efficiently mobilizing their base right now.” Asked what they expected to see from fellow Democrats, the lobbyist responded, “I think we’re going to see a lot of hashtags, and some rallies, and a lot of useless shit.” . . .

It turns out that telling people to vote and vote and vote some more in a system designed for minority rule, and where gerrymandering requires the Democrats to produce bigger and bigger turnout for smaller and smaller margins in Washington, can start to ring a bit hollow. How can you vote and win—and yet still lose so badly? Through the din of rage on social media and spontaneous protest in the street, even the most dedicated Democrats could hear the unmistakable, echoing sound of defeat.[5]

Which is to say, rather loudly, that if you’re hoping the Democrats are the answer to the forthcoming white Christian nationalist autocracy,[6] even they know and are whispering that they aren’t.[7] Hell, they won’t even pass voting rights legislation that would keep them in the game;[8] how, seriously, can you imagine they’d codify Roe?

Ryan Deto, “Supreme Court abortion decision places higher stakes on Pa. election, experts say,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 24, 2022, https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/supreme-court-abortion-decision-places-higher-stakes-on-pa-election-experts-say/

Matt Ford, “Clarence Thomas Will Wipe Out Marriage Equality and Contraception Next,” New Republic, June 24, 2022, https://newrepublic.com/article/166891/thomas-roe-marriage-equality-contraception

Brent Kendall and Jess Bravin, “Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade, Eliminates Constitutional Right to Abortion,” Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/supreme-court-overturns-roe-v-wade-eliminates-constitutional-right-to-abortion-11656080124

Caroline Kitchener, “Roe’s gone. Now antiabortion lawmakers want more,” Washington Post, June 25, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/25/roe-antiabortion-lawmakers-restrictions-state-legislatures/

Jennifer Calfas and Deanna Paul, “Abortion Providers Confront New Landscape After Roe,” Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/in-wake-of-roe-v-wade-ruling-abortion-providers-confront-new-landscape-11656268445

Hannah Knowles and Josh Dawsey, “Pence leans in on abortion, as Trump, other potential 2024 candidates are more cautious,” Washington Post, June 27, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/27/abortion-2024-presidential-candidates/

Tara Palmeri, “D.C. Insiders Grapple with the Politics of Roe,” Puck News, June 27, 2022, https://puck.news/d-c-insiders-grapple-with-the-politics-of-roe/

Amanda Seitz, “Instagram and Facebook remove posts offering abortion pills,” Associated Press, June 27, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/abortion-technology-politics-health-media-016eb3efd65dafc2b568af1495f5bac5

Julia Ioffe, “The G.O.P. Inside Conversation on Roe,” Puck News, June 28, 2022, https://puck.news/the-g-o-p-inside-conversation-on-roe/

Tatum Hunter, “You scheduled an abortion. Planned Parenthood’s website could tell Facebook,” Washington Post, June 29, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/06/29/planned-parenthood-privacy/

Caroline Kitchener and Devlin Barrett, “Antiabortion lawmakers want to block patients from crossing state lines,” Washington Post, June 29, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/29/abortion-state-lines/

Darryl Coote, “N.Y. AG to Google: Stop directing people seeking abortions to anti-abortion centers,” United Press International, June 30, 2022, https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2022/06/30/New-York-Google-Maps/9871656579373/

Maggie Koerth and Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux, “Even Exceptions To Abortion Bans Pit A Mother’s Life Against Doctors’ Fears,” FiveThirtyEight, June 30, 2022, https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/even-exceptions-to-abortion-bans-pit-a-mothers-life-against-doctors-fears/

Rachel Roubein, “Democrats don’t have the votes to scrap the filibuster for Roe,” Washington Post, July 1, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/07/01/democrats-dont-have-votes-scrap-filibuster-roe/


Pennsylvania

Higher Education

Valerie Myers’ report on the merger of Edinboro University with Clarion and California Universities into Pennsylvania West University (‘PennWest’ for short) is really something of a ‘puff’ piece; it elides entirely the controversy over online learning that roared to life during the COVID-19 pandemic even as students face the prospect of attending classes online when they’re held in-person on other campuses.[9] My hypothesis would be that students who are more academically mature seem to do better in online classes; these classes seem not to work as well as in-person instruction for a majority of primary and secondary students. Even many undergraduates seem to have trouble with online instruction.

I think online classwork requires the very skills that are necessary to succeed in graduate programs; here the story seems different, with a lot more students at least doing okay. That students at lower levels of educational attainment have trouble with online classes would follow from the lack of time and academic experience to develop these very same skills, namely, self-discipline, critical thinking, critical reading, academic writing, and analysis.

But none of this stuff, be it pedagogical theories or the successes and failure of online instruction, very often gets properly studied. This is one reason I’m suspicious of the Ed.D. degree (doctorate in education): My observation has been that its holders too often peddle policies that have not been rigorously studied and that they too often share the very same aspirations as holders of business degrees, whose academic programs probably shouldn’t even exist.[10]

Valerie Myers, “What has changed, what won’t, now that Edinboro University has become PennWest,” Erie Times-News, July 1, 2022, https://www.goerie.com/story/news/education/2022/06/24/edinboro-university-pennsylvania-western-july-1-passhe-clarion-california-education-erie-colleges/65352609007/


  1. [1]Rachel Roubein, “Democrats don’t have the votes to scrap the filibuster for Roe,” Washington Post, July 1, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/07/01/democrats-dont-have-votes-scrap-filibuster-roe/
  2. [2]Rachel Roubein, “Democrats don’t have the votes to scrap the filibuster for Roe,” Washington Post, July 1, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/07/01/democrats-dont-have-votes-scrap-filibuster-roe/
  3. [3]Julia Ioffe, “The G.O.P. Inside Conversation on Roe,” Puck News, June 28, 2022, https://puck.news/the-g-o-p-inside-conversation-on-roe/
  4. [4]Brent Kendall and Jess Bravin, “Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade, Eliminates Constitutional Right to Abortion,” Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/supreme-court-overturns-roe-v-wade-eliminates-constitutional-right-to-abortion-11656080124
  5. [5]Julia Ioffe, “The G.O.P. Inside Conversation on Roe,” Puck News, June 28, 2022, https://puck.news/the-g-o-p-inside-conversation-on-roe/
  6. [6]David Benfell, “Start changing the border signs: ‘Welcome to Gilead,’” Not Housebroken, June 24, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/06/18/start-changing-the-border-signs-welcome-to-gilead/
  7. [7]Julia Ioffe, “The G.O.P. Inside Conversation on Roe,” Puck News, June 28, 2022, https://puck.news/the-g-o-p-inside-conversation-on-roe/
  8. [8]Mike DeBonis, “Senate Republicans block voting rights bill, dealing blow to Democrats’ effort to overhaul election laws,” Washington Post, January 19, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/democrats-brace-for-likely-defeat-of-voting-rights-push-due-to-gop-filibuster/2022/01/19/2f9a734c-792d-11ec-bf97-6eac6f77fba2_story.html; Greg Sargent, “Joe Manchin finally makes it plain: He is in favor of minority rule,” Washington Post, January 19, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/01/19/joe-manchin-filibuster-voting-rights-minority-rule/; Veronica Stracqualursi, Daniella Diaz, and Ethan Cohen, “Sinema censured by Arizona Democrats over filibuster stance that blocked voting rights legislation,” CNN, January 22, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/22/politics/sinema-censured-arizona-democratic-party/index.html
  9. [9]Valerie Myers, “What has changed, what won’t, now that Edinboro University has become PennWest,” Erie Times-News, July 1, 2022, https://www.goerie.com/story/news/education/2022/06/24/edinboro-university-pennsylvania-western-july-1-passhe-clarion-california-education-erie-colleges/65352609007/
  10. [10]Steven Conn, “Business Schools Have No Business in the University,” Chronicle of Higher Education, February 20, 2018, https://www.chronicle.com/article/Business-Schools-Have-No/242563; Johann N. Neem, “Abolish the Business Major!” Chronicle of Higher Education, August 13, 2019, https://www.chronicle.com/interactives/2019-08-13-abolish-the-business-major

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