Probably the best, and certainly the most popular, definition of democracy was given by Lincoln: “government of the people, by the people and for the people.”
By that definition, democracy has been dying a slow death in the United States of America for decades, and now, in the Divided States of Trumpistan, it does not exist and never has.
The latest proof is in one of those divided states, South Dakota. It voted heavily for the Bannon-Trump regime, but it also voted, by a 51 percent majority, for the South Dakota Accountability and Anti-Corruption Act. The act would have ended South Dakota's status as the only state that allowed lobbyists to give politicians unlimited and undisclosed gifts, also known as bribes.
But South Dakota’s legislature, in one of history’s greatest piss-on-the-people acts, voted yesterday to repeal the law enacted by the people.
So much for “government by the people.”
Other accepted definitions of democracy assume that a nation-state so governed has a viable political left, center and right.
In the Divided States of Trumistan, there is no left and no true center.
Heitkamp doesn’t even identify as a “Democrat.” Her party affiliation is with something called the “Democratic-Nonpartisan League Party.” She’s in favor of guns, gas and oil drilling and Exxon. Manchin favors firearms, female serfdom and Exxon. Warner is the closest to the center of the three; his pro-Exxon vote was especially disappointing to Democrats who hoped that, as vice-chair of the Senate Democratic caucus, he might become a pillar of the effort to filibuster the regime’s far right-wing nominee to the Supreme Court.
“Loyal opposition” is in the noblest traditions of democratic government. While deeply rooted forms of loyalty exist in the Divided States of Trumpistan, its operational model would be better termed “cronyism.” The other half of the phrase, “opposition,” is feeble at best, and generally spineless.
Neither Manchin nor Heitkamp will join the filibuster effort against the Bannon-Donnie SCOTUS nominee. Warner will probably support that nominee as well.
The nominee — Circuit Court Judge Neil Gorusch — has been a dangerous ideologue since prep school, where he railed against liberal faculty members and founded a “Fascism Forever” club. He is young — not yet 50 — and so would be in position for decades to impose upon the country his views in favor of widespread gun ownership, inferiority of women, destruction of the establishment clause in the name of “religious freedom,” and other legacies of his idol, the late Antonin Scalia.
A Supreme Court with a majority led by Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorusch would assure the removal of the judiciary as a balance against the despotic chief executive embodied in Alt-Pres. Bannon and his lap dummy, Donnie. With people like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell keeping the right-wing Congress in lock step, the descent into a fascist dictatorship would be absolute and irreversible.