Margaret Atwood says the Supreme Court is making The Handmaid's Tale a reality in the U.S

A to-the-point, vociferous condemnation of the leaked Supreme Court draft.

It is now the middle of 2022, and we have just been shown a leaked opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States that would overthrow settled law of 50 years on the grounds that abortion is not mentioned in the Constitution, and is not “deeply rooted” in our “history and tradition.” True enough. The Constitution has nothing to say about women’s reproductive health. But the original document does not mention women at all.

Women were deliberately excluded from the franchise. Although one of the slogans of the Revolutionary War of 1776 was “No taxation without representation,” and government by consent of the governed was also held to be a good thing, women were not to be represented or governed by their own consent—only by proxy, through their fathers or husbands. Women could neither consent nor withhold consent, because they could not vote. That remained the case until 1920, when the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified, an amendment that many strongly opposed as being against the original Constitution. As it was.

Women were nonpersons in U.S. law for a lot longer than they have been persons. If we start overthrowing settled law using Justice Samuel Alito’s justifications, why not repeal votes for women?


Oh, repealing the franchise for women, POC, and anyone else that threatens the GOP’s planned demise of democracy in the US is certainly in the works. The theocrats want their theocracy, their slim demographic numbers be damned.


Exactly this. Remember when one of them said the quiet part out loud last year?


One of the serious blockers to the Dems being able to do these things (even if they had the backbone) is that the senate is very undemocratic in it’s representation and will always lean Republican party. And so long as Dems have a minority in the senate, they can’t do much.

The root problem is that people in those red states keep voting in red senators. How you get people to not do that is a very hard problem to solve.


I have a different idea, but then, I am an European who believes in the power of political participation.

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Don’t forget the voter suppression, too. Lots of that to go around.

Oh, I’m with you. But we’re at the stage in the US when regular participation is necessary but insufficient. We need direct action. We need protests. We need everyone to pull together, not get tired and take a nap on the verge of fascism.


That’s right; it’s why she has always pushed back whenever someone characterizes her work as “science fiction” or a “futuristic dystopia.” Nothing fictional about the technology or the social constructs depicted in her book.


I was literally just thinking “the problem is that the people who are cheering SCOTUS’s decision see the Handmaid’s Tale as aspirational, not cautionary, so to them this is just validation that everything is going great”.


They do seem to be going out of their way to avoid the whole civil war being fought outside of the repressive enclaves. Which is weird because the far-right seems to really want one. :thinking:


it’d almost be fine if it were merely undemocratic in representation. the states - setup like they were in part to keep enslavement a thing. but then add the need for a super majority?

if we are lucky enough the democrats squeak by and hold on to the senate, they have to remove the filibuster. ( better even if they do it now. ) there’s no way they’ll ever gain the 5 states at 2 senators a piece needed to pass legislation. that’s surely an impossibility


I go through the ritual of voting every year.

The problem is that the current winner take all voting system leads directly to a two party system. A two party system is very little better than the sham elections in countries like Russia where people can vote but there is only one candidate on the ballot.
Layer on top of that the electoral college, gerrymandering, the filibuster, corporate money being labelled as political speech, no transparency on donations to PACs and it is very hard to call the U.S. system a democracy.

I would like a ranked choice voting system, multi-party elections and 1 person-1 vote style democracy. Then democracy would not be hard.


You do realize that the Supreme Court wouldn’t have been able to ban abortion this year if voters hadn’t ignored all those other warnings about what would happen if people voted in Republicans, right?


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I would like all those things, and a pony.

Democracy will still be hard. Look at the UK. They check all or most of those boxes. Still have a proto-fascist government undermined by Russian oligarchs.

I hate to break it to you, but the best path to breaking the duopoly is to break the GOP. Splinter it back into its coalition parts. And the best way to accomplish that is for Dems to win the next couple of elections decisively. The only reason the billionaires and bigots work together is when they can succeed electorally.


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Honestly though, they can and do get the power, then do nothing with it. In Obama’s first term they had the house and a supermajority in the senate! They did… nothing. Until the following midterms, they could have passed anything they goddam wanted and they did nothing. Sigh.


The ACA is not nothing. It’s not all I wanted, but providing for health insurance for an additional 40M Americans is Not Nothing. Especially when you consider major health expenses are the #1 reason Americans lose housing.


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Thanks to lack of MSM coverage, many people get the impression that new legislation has ground to a halt. That is not true:

I wish they would bring more attention to GOP obstruction (especially professional bill-blocker, Rand Paul), and how damaging and self-serving that is:

This is why every news story involving the GOP attacking businesses fills me with hope!

We have very different definitions of nothing…

There’s another view here, with 69 more pages after this one:


Fair enough, but it’s immensely frustrating that they couldn’t get the public option through. They made the system better, but again, with total control of the entire congress, they could have done anything. Meanwhile Republicans can barely get elected, yet manage to roll back Roe, get Citizen’s United decided in favour of total corruption of the US government, get the VRA overturned, gerrymander the hell out of everything, and on and on. I’m not even American yet it’s still maddening to watch.


Me, too. Joe Lieberman can rot in hell.

They didn’t, though. They were hamstrung by the centrists, a curse on their middle-of-the-road houses!

It helps if you’re willing to lie, cheat, and steal. But mostly cheat. I would like Dems to get more ruthless, but ultimately if they went as rogue as the Rpubs, we wouldn’t want the Dems, either.

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ETA: Thank you @PsiPhiGrrrl for the links to Obama Admin accomplishments!