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McFeely: Back from vacation to a changed world

A few days off were book-ended by Roe v. Wade being overturned and another mass shooting. And the right isn't done with us yet, not by a longshot.

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Forum New Service columnist Mike McFeely
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FARGO — Took a vacation and the world changed. Sorry about that. My bad.

Some time away was book-ended by Roe v. Wade being overturned and another mass shooting. Or was it shootings, plural?

It's easy to lose track, which is exactly what Republicans want. Americans being blown to pieces by a high-powered rifle at an Independence Day parade? Nothing to see here. That's the price of freedumb, folks. Don't tread on me, or the dead bodies.

The end of Roe v. Wade was celebrated by the right as a victory for life and morality, and it was neither. It was a loss for women's health care and, in fact, a victory only for a minority of religious zealots who are, with a politically motivated right-wing U.S. Supreme Court, ready to reshape the nation in their image.

It's revenge time for the Christo-fascists, who've stewed for 70 years as women, minorities and LGBTQ Americans gained civil rights and political power. If you think they'll stop at Roe v. Wade, you might want to find your fainting couch.

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Gay marriage, contraception and even private sexual acts between consenting adults are next, friends. Conservatives will challenge their legality, to this point assured by previous Supreme Court decisions, and they'll have a friendly 6-3 majority with which to take their chances.

Clarence Thomas took aim at birth control in his concurring opinion to Roe v. Wade. Birth control. In 2022. We're going backward, fast.

The right wants a "Leave It To Beaver" America, as phony as that was, where gay people are in the closet and women are in the kitchen and the bedroom.

SCOTUS also ruled that states can't have tough conceal-carry permit laws, hypocritcally deciding the federal government trumps state government when it comes to guns but not abortion. The court curbed, too, the Environmental Protection Agency's efforts in fighting climate change. Next will come the EPA's policing of clean air and water.

The goal is to dismantle the federal government's apparatus for regulating, well, much of anything. Pollution, voting, civil rights, education. All of it. The dream is to return America to a place where the federal government is weak and ineffectual, where states decide their rules. Remember Jim Crow and rivers burning and laws aimed at gay people? Yeah, that America.

But wait, there's more. And it's worse.

The Supreme Court also said it would it would take a look at an election law that could open a pathway for Republican state legislatures to subvert federal election results in their states. Moore v. Harper, which will likely be argued the next time the court convenes, would at its core cut state constitutions and judges out of the election process and allow legislators free rein.

Fatalists say GOP legislatures could ignore election results if a Democratic presidential nominee won their state and assign its electoral votes to the Republican candidate. Think Georgia, Arizona and Pennsylvania in 2020.

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But it was a nice vacation. The fish were biting. And how about that price of gas?

Bad news: I'm taking more vacation time next week. Apologies ahead of time.

Mike McFeely is a columnist for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. He began working for The Forum in the 1980s while he was a student studying journalism at Minnesota State University Moorhead. He's been with The Forum full time since 1990, minus a six-year hiatus when he hosted a local radio talk-show.
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