^^ protecting his molecules : Joe Biden receives the coronavirus-19 vaccine

If there’s one arena in which we are all on time together, it is that of public health. Hermits perhaps excepted, we all live together, in community whether we commune or not,, and we all have a body, and that body is made of organic material which lives. Some people who have a faith believe that that that faith operates their body. The problem is that the molecules that comprise a body do not have a faith. They operate by the rules of their chemistry. That chemistry can be observed, and to an ever greater extent understood; and from those doing the understanding, all of us who have a body ought to take advice on how to keep our molecules working cleanly.

If some of us do not heed the advice of our molecule-watchers, all of us suffer when those molecules are kidnapped by a virus that can turn our molecules into death stars and occasionally does so. In the present crisis, more than 339,000 of us have been thus turned. That’s more than one out of every thousand of us. Public health doctors call this a “pandemic,” “pan” being the Greek word for “everywhere”; and the current viral pandemic has become as much an everywhere as we ever want to experience again, hopefully. This being upon our molecules, and thus upon us, we are all charged with taking such measures a swill rescue our molecules and those of everyone around us, because if we do not do that, many of us will suffer and some will die.

We all owe each other our best efforts to keep ourselves, and all of us, safe from known harm. I do not know how else to say it : take the vaccine. Over the next few months, we will all be offered it. Thank goodness !

It is not compulsory that you take it, although it ought to be, yet to not take it is to risk making oneself an accomplice of the virus, an accomplice in suffering and even death. It is to take a gamble upon one’s own suicide.

There is a difference only of degree between the act of not taking the vaccine and blowing oneself up on a downtown street as did Mr. Anthony Quinn Warner.

The above sentence may shock you ? I intend it to. Not taking one of the now three available coronavirus vaccines is an unsocial act. I know no other way to make my point.

We will almost all of us be taking the vaccine, rescuing our molecules and, without charge, rescuing those of the few who refuse do their community part. So now to the mask.

Wear the mask that doctors ask you to wear. That President-elect Joe Biden ask you to war. If he can wear a mask, so can you. The virus may be in you without your knowing it. It may be in those around you. The virus doesn’t care about who you are, but it sure does care about your molecules, the ones it requires to link with in order to replicate and thus increase its chances of species survival. As it enters your body via the mouth and nose chiefly — because it seeks your respiratory molecules — by wearing a mask, you can block it from its food, which is you. If you really want to defeat the virus, you will also, in addition to masking, wash your hands with soap, often, and you will “socially distance.” It’s what my family and I do.

We are at war with the virus, and like mafia gang fighting a mafia war, we have gone to the mattresses : isolating in our bedrooms,. keeping our molecules away from the virus until it can thrive no more. Yet who wants to live in a perpetual war ? Thus the vaccine, a kind of carpet bombing from which the virus has no escape.

Do I make sense ? If I have yet to sense-ify you, consider this : if the virus gets into you, even a mild occupation by it will leave you physically impaired for months, Months whose impairment you could have avoided merely by doing the minimums that I have suggested : mask up, wash hands, socially distance, and take the vaccine.

Remember : we’re all in this together, as in any total war against a lethal enemy. This is an event which proves to us the declarative confidence of our Declaration of Independence : “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…”

All means all. Not just all “men,” but all of our body’s molecules.

Do your part, as I do mine, as your neighbors do theirs. All mollecules means all.

—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere



^^ a mob of “Qanon” crazies instigated by a crackpot, bigot conspiracy p0ublsiher who goes by the name of “Q”

—– —- —-

On January 20, 2021 Mr. Trump will depart the Presidency, and every tentacle of his corruption will trouble us less. That is a good thing. The basis of his rise to power, however, will remain untrimmed, unfettered.

Of right-wing media I speak. You know what it is. It began with talk show hosts, who pretty quickly realized that they could attract a sizeable following — and bushels of ad dollars — by saying outrageous things. It became a devilishly profitable shtick. Say crazy stuff — none of which you had to actually believe — and millions would come flocking to take the bait. People who should have known better than to respond, responded. Some of talk radio’s greatest hits were when ordinary people would call in, and their (naively “Liberal”) conversation with the host was broadcasted and laughed at.

For as long as that was all that talk radio was — crazy commentary, slapstick political, and zany callers taking the bait — it was fun entertainment, a kind of Sid Caesar – Howard Morris, Your Show of Shows version of political campaigns. Unfortunately, a new wave of shtick practitioners soon sought graver, angrier ambitions.

They believed their own crap and sought to influence actual politics with it.

Thus right -wing talk became a vehicle for loony theories, purposely false accusations, crackpot narratives, and — incongruously — worship of Trump, who eats up bad entertainments for lunch and spits out his loonier versions of them after dinner. It has gone from a slimy sideshow to an actual driver of actual votes in actual campaigns, — much of it pornographically racist or plastered with other kinds of bigotries — and, as we have seen, it has enabled Trump to contest an election he lost by 7,060,000 votes and be believed. It has also had consequences deadly, vigilante cosplay including recklessly lethal Covid behavior, and is still having them.

Doing so, it has hyperbolically increased its following and thus its profits. It is, as my cousin Chris Mugglebee calls it, “hate profiteering.” It is more dangerous still It now aspires to take over the Federal government, to overturn an election, to in effect install a dictator for life who will wreak its hallucinatory revenges upon everybody who the disinformers have schooled its followers to hate.

What do we do about this ? Can we do anything about it ?

I think we can.

First of all : every broadcast medium is licensed by the FCC. Congress should restore the “fairness doctrine,” by which media are required to tell, or give time to, all sides of a story.

Second : there is no First Amendment protection for defamation, lies, or disinformation. Broadcasters — including intermediaries like facebook, twitter, parler, and gab — must be found just as liable for defamatory or disinformatioonal content carried by them as are the person who input the content.

Third : the criminal law should import the tort law notion of “proximate cause,” so that those who publish lies, disinformation, and defamatory content are prosecuted for resulting violence just as surely as the actual perpetrators of said violence. There can be no “get out of jail free” card for public enabalers.

Fourth : to the extent that the trail from publisher of disinformation, etc. to the perpetrator of violence runs across State lines, the disnformation, lie, or defamation should be a Federal offence prosecutable by the Department of Justice.

(I speak of course of published material that the content maker knows (“scienter”) or should know to be false. This is the same principle as “ignorance of the law is no excuse.”)

Fifth : punitive damages should be foremost. There might not be much economic damage in a defamation case — such as the ones being brought by Dominion Software and its chief officer — but there is loss of reputation to the aggrieved, but what is much more, the conduct complained of is enormously widespread, or looks certain to be, and such conduct can be cut off at the knees by a punitive damage award that leaves the defendant(s) bankrupt or almost, and having to issue a public disclaimer fir its conduct.

Sixth : the publication of doctored, altered, or selectively edited videos should be classified as disinformative and actionable at law.

Seventh : entry onto a premises without explicit permission, for the purpose of obtaining a video which later ends up doctored, altered, or selectively edited, or which is obtained without express permission to record it, even if not altered, should be a criminal trespass punishable by a fine proportionate to the scienter and consequences. This will end the practices of such as Project Veritas, a name which cloaks exactly the opposite.

I am sure that the above hardly exhausts the methods at law by which the wrongs of right-wing media are to be put to rest, but for discussion’s sake, these proposals will do. I invite my readers to offer their own suggestions. Because this nation cannot survive as a participatory democracy if a substantial numbef of us take our politics from lies, disinformation, and defamation.

One thing more to note : these abuses are so far specific to right-wing politics. There is no equivalent left-wing media broadcasting loony conspiracies, idiotic non-events, “truthers,” and the like nor defaming businesses and persons. The left does engage in “doxxing,” and it certainly practices street violence, arson, looting, and harassment of officials at their homes, but these are standard criminality already punishable by ordinary means. To my knowledge there are no mediums of the left misusing broadcasting in the way — much less the degree — that right wing tortfeasors are doing.

So no, there is no equivalence. The problem I am writing about is entirrly a right-wing, anti-democratic event.

—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere



The above is a map of Massachusetts’s 19th Suffolk House District. As you see, it covers all of the Town of Winthrop and the southeastern one-quarter of the City of Revere.

This is the District that has elected Robert DeLeo since the 1990s. As DeLeo became House Speaker in 2010, the District has had the singular luck to have the most powerful man in our government as its voice — yes, more powerful even than the Governor. That’s because the Speaker controls the movement of all legislation. The Governor may want a bill passed, but if the Speaker isn’t aboard, it won’t even be sent to the floor for a vote.

Let’s look a bit closer at the Speaker’s power, and you’ll see what I am saying. First, the Speaker appoints ALL committee members, even those of the minority party, and perforce he appoints all committee chairs. If you are not on good terms with the Speaker, you’ll get the worst committee assignments — and you’ll be given the worst State House offices.

The Speaker cannot, of course, become too arbitrary in his treatment of his members. They can rebel, and the House has rebelled against Speakers. One legislator, Charles Murphy, rebelled against DeLeo a few years ago; his rebellion gained no backers, and not long after that he resigned his seat.

DeLeo has amassed even greater power than the usual Speaker because since 2015 he has established, and held to, a solid partnership with Governor Baker. Rarely do he and Baker go separate ways on legislation. This partnership has boxed out the Senate President — who in the 1980s and 1990s (William Bulger, Tom Birmingham, Robert Travaglini) was more powerful than the Speakers — who has tended, since Therese Murray took that office, to pursue a more “progressive” stance toward legislation than either Governor or Speaker. That partnership continues today, although the House’s police “reform” bill proceeded without the Governor joining in. On budget matters, DeLeo and Baker have marched as one: no new taxes, prudent allocations of funds.

DeLeo’s leaving office threatens this partnership and, indeed, opens the possibility that the “progressive” State Senate will now call the legislative shots. The police “reform” bill shows it. The bill includes several provisions that undermine policing and also violate the State’s civil service and union contract agreements. The bill might not even have happened had the State Senate not acted first, forcing the House to respond. The House did respond, but with a bill much less invasive than the Senate version. It was styled “emergency’ legislation,. yet after passage in July the two versions sat in committee until last week. (Some emergency !) Governor Baker vetoed the committee compromise bill, and his veto stands because enough House members voted No the first time to assure there will be no veto override.

All that now stands to change. Who will be the new House member from Winthrop and part of Revere ? Who will be House Speaker ?

The first question is of merely local interest. Whoever wins the office will be a rookie. (More about the contest later.) Who will be Speaker matters to everybody. As I see it, there are three potential Speakers : Ronald Mariano of Quincy; Patricia Haddad of Somerset on the South Coast; and the North End’s Aaron Michlewitz, currently the chairman of ways and Means, the committee that works out the annual; State budget.

All three have moderate to conservative voting records; yet it is not clear how much of their moderation arises from loyalty to DeLeo. Yet every Speaker since I can remember, except Salvatore diMasi, has plotted a very conservative course: Tom Finneran, Tom McGee Sr. and John Thompson especially, but even Charles Flaherty, David Bartley and George Keverian, though big builders of State institutions, tried nothing too bold. Their worst failings were budget lassitude : none cared to challenge the demands of public employee unions or construction trades. That hasn’t been the case with Deleo. If anything, he’s a budget hawk. His support for Baker’s sweeping MBTA reforms got them all enacted and sustained. DeLeo also chose to support casino legislation, unlike the two Speakers before him. (Casino legalization seemed destined to be a big deal back in 2012, when it finally was enacted. It hasn’t been that at all. the big dal has been legalization of marijuana sales — also accomplished by the Baker – DeLeo partnership.)

Also credit the Baker – DeLeo partnership with enacting prudent criminal justice reform; a sweeping update of our school funding standards; the end of using Framingham women’s prison as an addiction treatment facility; two major opioid addiction prevention reforms; and full rescue of the Stater’s rainy day fund. Can DeLeo’s successor follow suit ?

We really won’t know until he or she takes office, probably some time in January. Nobody expected Sal diMasi to follow the liberal path, yet he did so. Might Patricia Haddad, a veteran of many terms., now change course ? Unlikely; her District is one of the most conservative-voting Democratic seats in the State. Much the same can be said of Ron Mariano’s Quincy. Even a Speaker can’t move against the sentiments of his or her particular District, and the Districts that elect Mariano and Haddad are in no way hot beds of left-leaning activism. (nor is DeLeo’s Winthrop-Revere. If anything, his District is more conservative than the State as a whole.)

The wild card is Michlewitz. He represents Boston’s North End, Chinatown, Waterfront, part of the South End, and half of loser Roxbury. It’s the same district that elected Sal diMasi. If anything, lefty-leaning sentiment is more widespread in the district than in diMasi’s time just ten years ago. Yet Governor Baker in 2018 carried almost every precinct in Michlewitz’s district, most by big numbers. So there is a case to be made that Michlewitz’s voters want him to follow the kind of prudent yet innovative course that baker exemplifies. If Michlewitz becomes Speaker, I shall certainly call for him to be a Baker — or a slicker, younger DeLeo — rather than a diMasi.

As for the 19th Suffolk District itse4lf, several hopefuls are already calling around for support. There’ll be candidates from Revere and from Winthrop, probably more from Winthrop, as the seat is designed to elect a Winthrop ;person. The Democratic primary will of course be the venue of decision. I have a personal favorite, to whom I committed years ago, but his election is not assured. If there’s five Winthrop candidates and only one from Revere, it could be a close run thing. Thus “clearing the field” will be critical. Can my favored candidate, who has a powerful following, get other ambitious Winthrop guys to give him a clear shot ?

Upon the answer to this kind of question are more offices elected than most of you readers suppose.

— Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere



Yesterday, one Marco Rubio, purportedly a Senator representing the State of Florida, tweeted this :

“According to the left & their partners in the legacy media, the Supreme Court was the appropriate place to legalize abortion & redefine marriage, but it has no business taking up claims regarding a presidential election.”

I shall refer to this tweet quite a bit in the column that I am now writing; but before I come back to it, let me state my present case : the lawsuit filed by Texas’s supposed Attorney General and collaborated in by 106 purported members of Congress and 17 purported State Attorneys General — a manoeuver which we all know about now — is nothing less than an attempt to overturn our November election and hand the office of the person who lost, Donald Trump. it is sedition and worse; it is an outlaw attack upon the Constitution, a violation of the Oath of Office which all the 124 supposedly swore to.

It is a coup masquerading as a lawsuit.

The 124 who filed and supported this coup should be expelled from office, assuming that they hold one, or recalled, and then prosecuted for their crime pursuant to the Federal sedition statutes, 11 USC 115 and 2384.

Their attempted coup won’t succeed, but that doesn’t in any degree excuse its seriousness.

It’s a far more radical attack than the rebellion of 1860. The Southern States who voted to leave the Union at least never contemplated usurping its government. But then the Southern secessionists were honest men. They did what they did to preserve the institution of slavery and made no bones about it. They didn’t attempt to cloak it as a “concern” about “voting irregularities” or the rest of the bullshit shat into the 124’s lawsuit briefs. They did what they did in the open and challenged us to do something about it.

The 124, on the other hand, show themselves to be liars and cowards, fakers and deceivers. They merit the bitterest contempt.

Let me now offer a minority opinion : I do not think most of the 124 have done what they’ve done for the sake of Mr. Trump. I think most of them know who he is and what he is. Their actual motivation is plainly stated, however, in Marco Rubio’s tweet.

In Rubio’s mind — so he points out — overturning a national election is no different from assuring LGBT people full civil rights or assuring that women shall; have the right to control their own bodies.

Why does he think so ? Simple. He thinks so because that is what is insisted upon by the constituency that wishes to impose its radical religious zealotry over the nation b\y every means it can, including erasing the Constitution (substituting for it a “:Christian Constitution,” in the words of Mr. Trump’s quack lawyer Jenna Lyn Ellis) and even murder : anti-abortion zealots have murdered doctors, as we have seen, and they threaten every abortion clinic worker every day. That they have no right to interfere in the private decisions of another is no matter to these furies; and their viciousness is matched by pastors and talk show mountebanks who every day abuse the airwaves to call for murdering LGBT people.

Religion furies have spent 40 years working to take over Republican party organizations in the States where they have a critical mass of numbers. They have succeeded. Most Republican precinct and county organizations in the most zealot-heavy States now belong almost exclusively to the furies. Of all voter groups, these “evangelical” zeloats gave Trump the highest percentage share of votes — as high as 80 percent.

These are the people that Rubio had in mind when he said that overturning a national; election was no bigger deal than assuring civil frights to LGBT people.

I don’t mean to excuse the others in the 124’s clique who have other motives. A large part of their reasoning arises from vote suppression: to the 124, the only legal votes are votes for Trump. Votes for any other candidate are, so they want to tell us, illegal. That Is what they are saying, isn’t it ?

They want RETROACTIVELY (!!) to outlaw voting by mail, not because it is open to fraud, as they claim — it isn’t — but because mail voters voted three, four, five, even ten to one for Joe Biden.

Their insistence that votes for Biden are illegal isn’t new. Republicans in religion States have been vote-suppressing for at least two decades, in line with the many types of vote suppression — even vote refusals — practiced in the South ever since the 1880s. Then, it was a desire or a need to keep Black citizens from having political rights. Today, attempts to suppress votes, most of them Black votes, is done because 80 to 90 percent of Black voters vote for Democrats, and the Democratic party insists on civil rights for LGBT people, rights for women, and the prevention of imposed religion. Today’s vote suppressors are quite happy to welcome Black voters who vote for the zealotry agenda. We see this in South Carolina’s election of Senator Tim Scott, and his re-election; and we see it in several other elected Black Republicans, most of them religion zealots.

Until political religion is ousted from our elections, we can expect more and more attacks upon Constitutional norms. Trump may be gone soon, but smarter and younger zealots are waiting to ride the horses that have been offered up to Trump of late.

The incoming Joe Biden administration can expect absolute obstruction from sedition zealotry in Congress, limitless smears from fright-wing media, paid subVersions by Project Veritas and its slime sisters, and outright terrorism from the vigilante wing of the anti-Constitution forces. (Note : most of the terrorism we have seen does not come from the religion furies but from bare bigotry — for immigrants, for people of color, for Jews and for urban elites.) The bigots draw much more attention than their actual numbers merit, but they are there, and their chief effect (except upon the people they harass or injure) is to shield the actual danger, organized religion fury, from easy view.

In that respect, Marco Rubio has done the nation a big favor. he has made it plain who the real danger to Constitution democracy are — and who we must commit to fight all along the line, politically and, if it comes to that, legally and with our bodies. My ancestors — and yours — did not immigrate here to live in a religion tyranny. They came here for freedom, opportunity, and right — as Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman said so well during the impeachment hearings last year, “here, right matters.”

That is what we fight for. What we MUST fight for, or we are doomed.

But now back to Marco Rubio.

Mark his tweet well. Memorize it : “According to the left & their partners in the legacy media, the Supreme Court was the appropriate place to legalize abortion & redefine marriage, but it has no business taking up claims regarding a presidential election.”

—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere



^^ the incoming President has a big decision to make about Mr. Trump. What to do and what not to do ?

—- —- —- —-

Mr. Trump’s actions since November 3rd — before that date as well — require a prosecutorial response. No President should ever be allowed with impunity to do the abusive things, or make the false claims, that Trump has done. The difficulty is, what actions should the Biden administration take ? What actions not ?

President-elect Biden has averred that he does not want his administration to be about Trump. Correct. His administration should be about all Americans. That said, he cannot ignore what Trump has done. The following Trump acts, at the least, require response :

( 1 ) Trump attempted to blackmail a foreign country into concocting and heaping dirt upon Mr. Biden’s candidacy. For this Federal criminal act he was duly impeached.

( 2 ) Trump refused, with no justification, to respond to innumerable Congressional oversight requests, and he forced his administrators to do the same. He fired m any who did comply with Congressional; subpoenas, and then heaped insults upon them.

( 3 ) Trump misappropriated legally allocated funds to build his stupid “wall.”

( 4 ) Trump has, in violation of the Constitution, directed hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to his hotels and other businesses.

( 5 ) Trump has vilified almost every branch of our government and those who manage them, terminating many such people with no good cause.

( 6 ) Trump has attempted, time and again, to persecute and deport immigrants who have an established expectation of forbearance.

( 7 ) Trump has threatened to withhold Federal funds from States whose leadership criticizes him.

( 8 ) Since November 3rd, Trump has moved every move he could think of to try overturning the election and deliver the electoral college vote to him, in violation of law, Constitution, custom, and foundation; and he has done so without a shred of cause, has lied without stop, has engaged the services of quack lawyers to work his scheme, and has tried to blackmail State legislators and even Governors to do his seditious bidding with no justification.

( 9 ) His seditious, lying interferences continue even as I write on December 9th, 2020. He has incited his followers to sedition, and they have done so.

( 10 ) He has impeded the work of the Biden transition team despite saying that he would authorize every agency to co-operate.

( 11 ) he has subverted our military, betrayed our allies, insulted our alliances, and hollowed out ther Department of Defense, National intelligence, and State.

( 12 ) he has abused the pardon power.

( 13 ) just yesterday, in a recorded phone call, he and his Chief of Staff bullied and extorted the Secretary of State of a sovereign power, the State of Georgia, to overturn its election results from November.

I could go on, but the list of crimes and subversions is long enough already. What, then, should a Biden administration do ? Here is my list of steps I hope they will take :

A — remove the Department of Justice policy directive that prevents the indictment of a sitting President.

B — encourage Federal Courts to impose severe monetary sanctions upon the quack lawyers who file Trump’s frivolous, subversive lawsuits challenging his election defeat. Frankly, I am surprised that Courts have not already done so.

C — initiate prosecution of the many Federal crimes, including election crimes, enumerated in Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel report. Initiate prosecution, also, of Trump’s acts of sedition beginning on November 4, 2020.

D — investigate, and prosecute where feasible, Trump’s many money transactions, including those that appear to violate the Constitution’s Emoluments clause.

E — The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice should make it a priority to enforce voting rights for all citizens. The Voting Rights act of 1965 should be updated by legislation and its jurisdiction expanded to all 50 States.

F — enact legislation curbing the President’s Executive Order power to alter or supplement Congressional legislation. Pass legislation also to curb the President’s power unilaterally to impose tariffs or declare national emergencies.

G — require that all candidates for Article 2’s office must publish their Federal tax returns for the ten years prior to commencing said candidacy.

H — prosecute any executive branch officer who is found to have destroyed, hidden or altered an executive department’s public record.

I — Prosecute official(s) responsible for DHS’s ordering or carrying out family separation actions at the border.

It seems a long list, but it’s not as sweeping as you might want. I do not suggest that a Biden Department of Justice pursue every person, or every act, that could sustain a prosecution. One must pick out the unusually egregious. One cannot just brand every Trump flunky a criminal or assault his or her career. That said, my list of actions Biden should take is quite enough to keep Trump and his chief enablers very busy for the next four years or more, and it is a very powerful signal to future aspirants to the presidency not to engage in the wholesale criminality and abuses of power with which Trump has demeaned the nation.

One other action that President Biden must NOT take : he cannot, must not, pardon Mr. Trump. President Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon was justified. Nixon resigned his office. He did not set the nation aflame with hate. Trump has done that and more than that. He has every burned his bridge of custom or respect, his link to any mercy or consideration and must face the bitter music that is coming his way — indeed, that MUST come his way.

—- Mike Freedberg /Here and Sphere


Trump campaign drops lawyer Sidney Powell

propaganda force for Mr. Trump’s would-be, incompetent (but still dangerous) coup : Rudy Giuliani and two quack lawyers challenge the Constitution

During the past month we in America have witnessed nothing less an attempt to end democracy per our Constitution and substitute for it a dictatorship, a Presidency for life or some such, directed by a readily identifiable clique of plotters hell-bent on imposing their political addictions on the rest of us.

Chief of the plotters, as we all see, has been Mr. Trump. He has wanted to end Constitutional democracy here in America since he first realized that he had some power to seek it. No later than May of 2017, when he fired James Comey, Director of the FBI, for investigating Trump’s relations with Russian subversives, Trump has sought to set the Constitution aside, if occasion arose, and commence an endless Presidency in which he could, as he himself put it, “do what I want.”

The rest of his work, we all know only too well.

We also see that he has a large posse of supporters willing to go wherever he leads them, people who have come to hate Constitutional government and want it to end, want Trump as their caudillo for life (or some such). The question is, who are these enemies of democracy ? Why are they committed to subverting our government ?

I shall, admittedly, be making a judgment of my own, based only on what i see and on my fifty years involved in campaigns that have taken place pursuant to Constitutional governance. As committed as I am to the Constitution and its express limitations, all of which I applaud, I am a partisan in this battle. Those who would end Constitutional rule are my enemies, and I am not shy to call them that. There is no compromising, on my part, with these folks; only their utter defeat will do. So take what I am writing in that vein. This column is an act of combat which I hope will contribute mightily to the utter destruction of my opponents: because as I see it, they are your opponents too; your enemies. They want you and your commitments to be destroyed. They shall not succeed.

( 1 ) the racists

Trump has made it plain, in his subversion mode, that “the others who were here” are his enemies and the enemies of his fellow subversives. After all, it was in majority-Black counties that huge numbers of voters chose Joe Biden, not him; and that he counts such votes illegal and to be thrown out. There has never been any doubt in his mind, or in his clique’s minds, that Black voters are the major voting enemies of Trump dictatorship.

( 2 ) the grifters

Trump’s plot has attracted many adventurers who see in it an opportunity to get rich, or to acquire fame that will assure them of long-term jobs in right-wing media, of which I shall speak below. we see these grifters aplenty, headed by Rudy Giuliani, quack lawyers Sidney Powell and Jenna Lyn Ellis, ugly pugs like Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing, conspiracy liar Roger Stone, assorted oddball “experts — including Massachusetts’ own clown-didate Dr Shiva Ayyadurai — and a platoon of election lawsuit “witnesses” who have lent their attention-seeking quackery to ridiculous court filings.

( 3 ) right-wing media

These actually belong to “the grifters” faction. The business model of right-wing media is to gather up all the supporters of Trump’s coup, to increase their numbers where doable, and to glean big advertising dollars from sponsors (not the least of whom is Trump himself) seeking to bilk the many who tune in to or read their productions. Dishonest and scurrilous publications have existed in this nation since the early days, and they do not improve with age. As there is no First Amendment protection for lies, libel, and disinformation, most right-wing media can be and probably should be driven from the air waves. Racist publications and their despicable ilk do have First Amendment protection, but the blatancy of their work limits their reach to an outlaw fringe. Thy will continue, as will right-wing disinformation, for a time at least, and the rest of us will just have to fight it without mercy or quarter wherever it sprouts.

( 4 ) religious zealots

Here’s the root problem. White Evangelicals number in the tens of millions. They are politically organized top to bottom and have spent 40 years perfecting their control of Republican party structures in many States. They of course enjoy full First Amendment protection, as do their pastors and their televangelists who preach sedition — or Trump worship — and sometimes racism and/or homophobia — not to mention opposition to women having the right to control their own bodies — to millions of followers every Sunday. These zealots are entitled to their religious devotions, but not to political imposition, and because it is difficult for Courts to draw any line between protected religious expressions and Constitutionally impermissible political demands, these devotions are hard to check —but easy for ambitious politicians to become mouthpieces for. Religion also is a realm of belief, not of fact; indeed, redeed, evangelical religion embraces faith for faith’s sake, which it avers triumphs over facts. What else are miracles if not triumphs of faith over fact ?

Plus, religious zealotry has a long political history in America’s voting customs. The South and Plains States have been roiled by religion-based politics since the 1890s at least. I see no end to this long habit : yet it can overreach and sometimes does, at which point the rest of us fight back and win.

This 2020 election has seen such a fight-back victory, yet unlike at any time since the 1890s, the zealotry faction has had allies ready to overturn democracy itself; and it has what it had never had before — a media network eager to abet its plans (and to profit from them). We have escaped their schemes this time, thanks to the Courts, which rule by facts, not devotions, and to local Republican election officials, who owe their offices to State power, not Federal.

Our Constitution stands upon State power. The central government — and its Presidency — are ITS creature, not the other way around. The Tenth Amendment confirms it. Our elections are run entirely by the States; Congress has no role. Though voting rights are guaranteed by the 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution, the actual administration of elections — indeed, the decision to have elections at all — are matters of State law. We may cavil at the Electoral College and at “States’ rights” in this context, yet can there be any more convincing proof of their essentiality to ordered liberty ?

The Framers were incredibly wise.

— Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere