At his very successful town hall, Joe Biden was asked whether the Democrats will pack the Supreme Court if he wins the Presidency and they win the Senate.

You might've expected him to dodge the question outright. He didn't. What he said instead was very interesting.
Basically, he's giving the Republicans enough rope to hang themselves with. The unseemly, cynical haste with which they're rushing through the nomination of someone bought and paid for by the (not) Christian (not) right will be used by Biden as justification to pack the court.
He's not said that yet, of course. He said he was waiting to see what happens (ie. whether Barrett is confirmed) - but will make his position clear before election day.

What will that position be? "We will not allow the Affordable Care Act or Roe v Wade to be struck down".
"Healthcare is on the ballot. Women's rights over their own bodies are on the ballot. Democracy itself is on the ballot".

I think it's *likely* he'll say "we'll look at other ways to protect the ACA and Roe without packing the court"... but no question, it's the only option.
Laying out his position before election day is a calculated risk: lessened by how many Democrat voters will have already voted by then. But it avoids him being accused of lying if he goes on to pack the court: which I'm quite sure he will. Because Republicans are impossible.
If the Democrats do pack the court, it'll likely be treated as a constitutional crisis. But that crisis has to happen.

- The electoral college is wildly unrepresentative
- The Senate is wildly unrepresentative
- The House is gerrymandered
- The Census is being gerrymandered
And as a result, despite the Republicans having won the Presidential popular vote just ONCE since 1988 (!)...

- The Supreme Court is wildly unrepresentative - and as @SenWhitehouse explained brilliantly the other day, has been corrupted. By the darkest of dark money.
There is every chance imaginable that the nightmare of the last four years will be repeated in the future - probably under a populist who's much more dangerous and much smarter than Trump - unless the United States remembers that it's *supposed to be a democracy*.
Democracies do not silence the minority but they sure as heck aren't run by the tyranny of the minority either. And that over-represented minority is exactly WHY the Democrats have been so scared to be more radical. Because it's electoral suicide.
It wouldn't be electoral suicide in a genuine democracy in which all votes count equally. There's been a natural Democratic majority in the US for quite some time now; demographics and immigration are why (which is why the Republicans are so anti-immigration).
And no, that natural Democratic majority wouldn't mean permanent Democratic rule in a genuine democracy. It'd mean the Republicans would have to become a reasonable, reasoned alternative governing party: encouraging consensus, penalising polarisation.
Countries in which the tyranny of the minority rule (Exhibit B: the UK) don't just end up with toxic, poisoned, corrupt politics. They end up with disastrous policies which harm almost everyone.

The majority of the American people do NOT support the end of the ACA or Roe v Wade
Not only that - but no modern country which fails to properly separate Church and State is going to implement policies based on science, reason or evidence. Yet Barrett's nomination means the US is perilously close to enabling the Church to determine its laws.
Not because she's Catholic: Biden is Catholic too! But because everything in her record (and her non-answers during the hearing) says: her extreme interpretation of her faith determines her decisions. That is completely unacceptable and anathema in any secular country.
Yet that is where America's system has got it. To a dark, dangerous, frightening place.

So addressing the root causes of Trump means changing the political system and everything that follows from it to one which represents THE PEOPLE.
And in many ways (the point about the Church notwithstanding), for the US, read: the UK. Addressing the root causes of Brexit also means reforming the voting system and finally having a written Constitution: which guarantees the rights of all.
Starmer has made no moves towards PR at all so far. It's still early days - but he'd better...!

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More from @shaunjlawson

17 Oct
Now then, Rosie Duffield. And this whole sad, sad issue. Which, online at least (but offline too) is pitting one group of people who are oppressed (trans people) against another, larger group of people who've been continually oppressed. Women.
If there isn't room in the Labour Party for both women and trans people - if both women and trans people don't feel welcome, or that they're being heard and understood - then something is wrong. VERY wrong.

Just as something is VERY wrong on this platform over all of this.
An awful lot of people, naturally, are bewildered onlookers. People who don't have a bone of hate in their bodies - but who don't understand how everything they were taught at school about male and female biology and sex was apparently wrong... because other people say so.
Read 35 tweets
16 Oct
Here's what a credible media would be asking the Prime Minister:

- Why did you lie to the British people at the election? How was that election legitimate given you won it because of that lie?

- Why have you ignored your own scientific experts? How many will die as a result?
- Why are you imposing massive fines on ordinary people while your advisor gets away with it?

- Why did your advisor avoid council tax?

- Why have you spent billions of public money on a track and trace system that doesn't work and is run by your cronies in the private sector?
- The polls suggest Joe Biden is heading for a landslide victory. He's already said he won't give the UK a free trade deal if we have no deal with the EU. What are you going to do about that?

- Do you think a nation of 67m is more powerful than one of 330m and a bloc of 445m?
Read 4 tweets
16 Oct
From my book last year.

Where was the media? What the hell was it doing?
Seriously. How can you spend an entire referendum campaign ignoring anything that actually matters and obsessing with everything that doesn't - and then spend the shambolic years afterwards doing the exact same thing, again?
In the campaign, there was:

- No mention of the impact on Northern Ireland
- Nonsense that we could be like 'Switzerland' or 'Norway'
- No mention of what a customs union even was
- No mention that we can't have tariff-free access AND leave the single market
Read 5 tweets
15 Oct
This is very very good.…
This resonated in particular:

Since 2008 the number of American men under 30 reporting no sex has nearly tripled... [in an] increasingly winner-takes-all sexual marketplace generated by the retreat of monogamous norms and an increasingly polygynous, app-dominated hookup culture"
"While it’s important not to slip into victim-blaming rhetoric that sees the problem as women’s sexual freedom, the challenges facing unattractive, low-status men seem hardly to register on Bates’s radar".

Indeed. And it's not just a challenge there either. It's emotional too.
Read 11 tweets
15 Oct
This is a really interesting discussion. Kudos to both Grace and Aaron for that. 👍

But there are questions and doubts in my head. Aaron refers to the first one here: is there some limit we face in terms of debt, or isn't there?
There isn't if you control the world's reserve currency, like the US. There probably hasn't been while the UK economy was a safe haven from the euro, and one of the four or five strongest economies in the world.

But now? After the disaster of austerity and with No Deal Brexit?
Grace talks about power relations. Ratings agencies have absurd, unaccountable amounts of power... but won't the UK automatically face problems, big ones, if the agencies downgrade us?

At a much much lower level, Uruguay would be screwed without its investment grade rating.
Read 27 tweets
14 Oct
Christ, this is flawed. You see: I'd have done what Aaron would've done. But we're both wrong. VERY wrong.

What happens to children when you remove all daily structure and social contact from their lives?

What happens to children whose parents don't have internet access?
What happens to children when you spend THIS length of time making them feel afraid of everything?

What happens to children whose parents can't magically keep them homeschooled over this length of time?
What happens to parents who can't work because their children are never at school?

How can the left - THE LEFT! - be this oblivious to what would happen to poorer children if none of them went to school until a vaccine had been distributed?
Read 12 tweets

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