Dobbs Reveals the Prospect of a Winning Right

Ah, the Babylon Bee once again dispenses news masquerading as satire. Or, rather, it is both satire and news at the same time. “Dems Pause January 6 Hearings To Call For Insurrection.” They don’t even bother to exaggerate anymore. Hark:

After closing down their presentation entitled ‘How Trump Undermined Institutional Authority,’ Democrats raced to join the crowd surrounding the Supreme Court building. ‘Rigged! Rigged decision!’ shouted Senator Elizabeth Warren. ‘Judges must no longer be allowed to hold power! We will never abide by an illegitimate decision by an illegitimate court. Fight, fight!’ she screamed as beleaguered police arrived in riot gear.

Now, as far as I know, Elizabeth Warren did not actually say that. But she might have. It would be in keeping with her behavior. And the always-shy Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did step into Fauxcahontas’ shoes, beaming in the midst of protestors as she shouted angry epithets through a bull horn, demanding, inter alia, that Joe Biden should erect abortion factories on federal land so that her female supporters could get on with the grisly business of killing their spawn. (Take a look at those creatures: one thing most of them will never have to worry about is arranging for an abortion.)

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

I don’t have anything to add to the abundant commentary on the Supreme Court’s overdue decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Honest observers, whatever their view of abortion, understood that the 1973 decision was deeply misguided. Even Saint Ruth Bader Ginsburg thought Roe went too far, was poorly argued, and illegitimately usurped state prerogatives. 

But reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision Friday is not about law, primarily: It is about political theater. Again, the Bee hones in on some salient points.

Despite the fact liberal states will still have the most permissive abortion laws in the world outside North Korea, Democrats helpfully painted the Supreme Court’s decision as a matter of life and death. ‘They are literally going to enslave every woman in America and force them to have 17 babies,’ said Representative Ilhan Omar to a group of mentally unstable lunatics. ‘Which is why the Supreme Court cannot stand! To the streets!’ she shouted, then returned to the House for a speech on why Trump’s words were directly responsible for violence.

Did Ilhan Omar really say that? How can you be sure whether she did or didn’t?

The contradiction between the Democrats’ support of the January 6 show trials, new-job-seeking Liz Cheney presiding, and their calls for what amounts to insurrectionary behavior in response to the SCOTUS decision is partly amusing, partly alarming. It comes from the same cupboard as the contradiction between the regime’s treatment of people who were milling in or around the Capitol on January 6, 2021, and unfunny comedian Stephen Colbert’s band of merry pranksters who did the same thing earlier this month. The former are rotting in a Washington gulag run by the feds while the latter got a slap on the wrist and, if not already released, are sent to a local D.C. hoosegow until the media decides the coast is clear. Why the discrepancy

It’s back to our two-tier system of putative justice. If you are a Deplorable™, you do not have the same rights and privileges that the elite have. 

Compare and contrast, for example, the treatment accorded to Andrew McCabe, FBI malefactor and paid-up member of the protected class, with the treatment accorded to someone like John Eastman, a former member of Trump’s legal team, or Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official who thought it worth investigating the many questions that haunt the 2020 presidential election. McCabe tries to foment a coup against the president of the United States and is punished with a gig at CNN. Eastman and Clark become pariahs, have their electronic devices confiscated and, in Clark’s case, find themselves out in the street in their pajamas after a dawn raid by a squad of heavily armed Stasi agents (that’s the American Stasi, also known as the FBI). 

There are two things worth bearing in mind as we contemplate the political distempers of the times. One concerns the hardening of the Left. Obama’s victory, followed by the incomprehensible victory of Donald Trump, has radicalized the Left. Today, the Left says things they would hitherto only have thought, and does things that they would hitherto only have said. It used to be that there was a certain latitude accorded to opposing views. That’s all over now. What we see is the triumph not just of political correctness but also of visceral intolerance that nurtures a “by-any-means-necessary” attitude. Every issue is an existential emergency for which the Left’s shock troops are willing to go to the wall. Every loss demands that people scream at the sky. We win or we threaten to burn everything down. At least since Trump’s victory, the dominant attitude has been that only the Left is allowed to win. Any conservative victory is by definition illegitimate. 

Until recently, the Right’s problem was that it was too frightened by the Left to respond effectively. Deep down, many on the Right secretly agreed that only the Left was allowed to win. (This feeling was so secret that many on the Right, though acting on that view, did not even recognize their own impotence and lack of thumos.) In some precincts, anyway, that may be changing. Not among the Liz Cheneys and David Frenches of the world, of course. But there are more and more people who don’t mind shouldering the obloquy of the Left and the housebroken Right. And they have just been joined by a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court, which in handing down two major decisions, not just on Roe but also on the Second Amendment, signals that it is sanguine with being deeply unpopular with the regime consensus.

The second thing worth bearing in mind is that this novel exhibition of backbone by the Right is due almost entirely to Donald Trump. The promiscuous desire to be liked is a common character flaw. Donald Trump does not suffer from that disability. What just happened on the Supreme Court would never have happened absent Trump. And indeed the little eruptions of resistance to the Left and emasculated Right are possible only because of his example. This is a reality that many people have yet to take on board. But it is nevertheless an important truth about the political and moral configuration of the United States circa 2022. 

Donald Trump’s governing passion can be summed up in one word: winning. Similarly, his path to that goal can be summed up in one word: fighting. He showed the Right that it was OK to win and that the way to win was to stand up for the things you professed to care about. It seemed like a novel idea in 2016. The Left, and the spineless Right, have done everything that could be done to resuscitate that nerveless impotence. 

The Supreme Court has just reminded us that reinhabiting the status quo ante will not be an easy thing to accomplish. The midterms will reveal whether that toxic ambition is even possible. Of course there’s many a slip ’twixt the cup and the lip, but I expect an historic blow out for Republicans followed in two years by the reelection of Donald Trump. That prospect gives some people unpleasant palpitations. I file that under the rubric of collateral benefits. 

About Roger Kimball

Roger Kimball is editor and publisher of The New Criterion and the president and publisher of Encounter Books. He is the author and editor of many books, including The Fortunes of Permanence: Culture and Anarchy in an Age of Amnesia (St. Augustine's Press), The Rape of the Masters (Encounter), Lives of the Mind: The Use and Abuse of Intelligence from Hegel to Wodehouse (Ivan R. Dee), and Art's Prospect: The Challenge of Tradition in an Age of Celebrity (Ivan R. Dee).

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Support Free & Independent Journalism Your support helps protect our independence so that American Greatness can keep delivering top-quality, independent journalism that's free to everyone. Every contribution, however big or small, helps secure our future. If you can, please consider a recurring monthly donation.

Want news updates?

Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.