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writing for godot

What Doth it Profit Amy Coney Barrett to Gain the Supreme Court?

Written by Carl Peterson   
Sunday, 18 October 2020 00:11

At Amy Coney Barrett’s (ACB) Supreme Court confirmation hearing on October 14, 2020, California US Senator Kamala Harris asked the nominee if she believed that COVID 19 is infectious.  The nominee affirmed that she did accept that it is infectious, and that “we take judicial notice [of that as] an obvious fact.”  

However, many Americans, as shown by videos and photos of the president’s very recent rallies showing attendees seated very closely together and very few wearing masks, possibly do not share ACB’s view that the infectiousness of COVID 19 is “an obvious fact.”  And a February 28, 2020 public reference by the President of the United States to the subject of COVID 19 as the Democrats’ “new hoax,” suggests that very early in its American history the infectiousness of COVID 19 was rendered controversial by the president himself.  More recently, disbelief in the infectiousness of COVID 19 among top Trump administration officials, and nationally known Republican leadership, including Republican US Senators and the president himself, was publicly evident at ACB’s nomination ceremony in the White House Rose Garden.  Even after over 200,000 Americans had been killed by COVID 19, few attendees in the Rose Garden wore masks, or socially distanced; the nominee's own children were photographed seated in a closely packed row, not wearing masks.  

(The September 26, 2020 scene at the White House Rose Garden seems to show that the infectiousness of COVID 19 is indeed controversial, and not “an obvious fact,” at least among top Republican leadership.  Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, photographed at the Rose Garden ceremony with his arm around another unmasked attendee (Christie apparently became infected at that ceremony, or earlier at debate preps with the president when Christie also did not wear a mask) soon after fell ill with COVID 19 and spent a week in a hospital intensive care unit.  After being released from the hospital, Christie admitted that he was wrong not to wear a mask but said that he had thought he was in a “safe zone,” in the White House Rose Garden.  Then he urged Americans to take COVID 19 seriously and wear a mask.  (This suggests that for Christie at least, the politicization of COVID 19 had made the infectiousness of COVID 19 controversial enough that on September 26, 2020, 10 months into the pandemic, the former governor still did not believe that he should wear a mask and practice social-distancing.)  

Harris followed her question about the infectiousness of COVID 19 with the question, “Do you accept that smoking causes cancer?”  Perhaps sensing some kind of trap, remembering Harris’s past performances showing that the senator knows how to quickly and efficiently lay open the duplicity of Republican testimony, including that of Bret Kavanaugh and William Barr, the nominee hesitated, wanting to know what Harris was getting at.  Pressed however by Harris to just answer yes or no, ACB indicated that yes, she believes smoking causes cancer and referred to the cancer warnings on cigarette packs as the basis for her belief.  

Harris then asked ACB, “And do you believe that climate change is happening and it’s threatening the air we breathe and the water we drink?”  ACB responded, “Um, Senator, again, I was wondering where you were going with that.  You have asked me a series of questions like that are completely uncontroversial like whether COVID 19 is infectious, whether smoking causes cancer, and then trying to analogize that, soliciting an opinion on me that is a very contentious matter, opinion from me, that is on a very contentious matter of public debate, (Here ACB’s emotions appear to have risen and provoked a Freudian slip of the tongue: “soliciting an opinion on me,” [a flub arising out of ACB’s subconscious, driven by her fear that Harris was trying to “hang something on her,”] but ACB’s naturally quick mind corrected the slip within the same sentence) “and I will not do that, I will not express a view on a matter of public policy, especially one that is politically controversial because that is inconsistent with the judicial role as I have explained.” (ACB had become rattled, showing more of her underlying defensiveness than she had in her testimony in the days before, which suggests, that as with Kavanaugh and Barr, Harris had hit a point of vulnerability.)  

ACB accused Harris of “trying to analogize” the issue of climate change, (which issue is, according to ACB, “a very contentious matter,”) with the (according to ACB) uncontroversial facts that COVID 19 is infectious and smoking causes cancer.  However, as noted, the infectiousness of COVID 19 is controversial enough to have led many top-ranking Republicans, including the president of the United States, a Republican former governor, several Republican senators, and the President of Notre Dame University, among many other presumably responsible adults who should have known better, to behave at the Rose Garden ceremony as if COVID 19 is not infectious.

It was not Kamala Harris attempting to make fallacious analogies, but ACB afraid to answer a simple question about whether she believes climate change is real, and forced by this fear to dissemble.  In fact, the infectiousness of COVID 19, the cancer-causing dangers of smoking, and climate change belong together in an epistemological category:  All three have been demonstrated scientifically and all three have been accepted by consensus of the relevant scientific community.  In 2020 there would be no breath of controversy about climate change had ACB’s masters in the fossil fuel industry and dark money funders of the Federalist Society not spent years and hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars lying to the American people about it.  Of the three issues, ACB found only climate change to be so controversial that she would not even say whether she thought it is real.  Of the three issues: COVID 19 infectiousness; the carcinogenic effects of smoking, and climate change, ACB’s corporate masters are now--because it is a threat to their profits and corporate existence--only concerned to prevent widespread acceptance of the reality of human-caused climate change.  For this reason ACB is free to state her opinion that COVID 19 is infectious and smoking causes cancer, but must claim ignorance about whether climate change is real.

At another time the American tobacco industry waged a long propaganda war to cast doubt on the science proving that smoking is carcinogenic.  That corporate war against the truth was eventually lost.  Now, humans in charge of the fossil fuel industry have the same disregard for human life as the humans in charge of the tobacco industry--but with an uncanny, expanded disregard extending to the lives of their own descendants and the life of humanity itself.  And these humans have the newest nominee to the Supreme Court firmly in hand.  

ACB has been forced by the positions she agreed to take when moving through the plutocratic, dark money-funded Federalist Society pipeline to the Supreme Court, to attempt to appear to be highly intelligent and eminently qualified to be on the Supreme Court, while using the absurd Republican talking-point and implied excuse that because she is not a scientist she is unsure about climate change.  So, because ACB is not a plumber she would not be willing to accept the consensus opinion of the best plumbers in the world about what is the problem with her pipes?  Because she is not a doctor she would not be willing to follow the consensus opinion of the best doctors in the world about whether or not she has a life-threatening disease?  Yes, that is how low the intellectual level of political discourse has sunk in America, and how idiotic bordering on lunatic it is.  This pervasive and dismal condition can be traced to the enduring and extremely well-funded lies told for decades by the plutocratic masters of the United States, who in a democracy cannot defend their status quo and promote their preferred future without lying, lying, lying.

Congratulations, Amy Coney Barrett, you made it. your social media marketing partner
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