One of the most maddening lines I hear from people who would otherwise vote Democratic is that "the two parties are too similar/corrupt/conservative/etc." To me, that's simply a denial of reality. I don't recall any large-scale Democratic effort to curtail the voting rights of minorities, the reproductive rights of women, or the rights of LGBTs. Now has our party been too soft on Big Oil, the growing gap between the rich and the poor, the military-industrial complex, Wall Street, and other major issues? Of course it has. I don't think any self-professed Democrat denies all that. But none of these are excuses not to vote, simply because of one other issue. This one issue should, even for the most jaded, pessimistic progressive, be more than enough to report to the polls this fall. The issue is this:
The Supreme Court.
5-4 split decisions on major court cases seem to have become the norm: Obamacare survived by one vote, and Medicaid expansion failed by one vote. DOMA was struck down by one vote. Citizens United was a 5-4 decision. So was the ruling that gutted the Voting Rights Act. Bush v. Gore was as well.
Get my point? Now let's not forget how Supreme Court justices are appointed: From the president, through the Senate. This is important for two reasons:
1. The current justices aren't getting any younger. Nearly half the Court--Scalia, Kennedy, Ginsburg, and Breyer--is at least 75 years old. That's two left-leaning justices, one conservative, and one swing vote. Remaining on the Court would be two left-leaners and three conservatives. Imagine Roberts, Alito, and Thomas, not including whatever justices joined them, running the Court. How can we avoid this? By considering the next point:
2. We are almost certainly going to lose a couple Senate seats this fall. How many seats we lose is going to be up to the voters, particularly in tight races such as those in Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Alaska, Michigan, and Colorado. If we want to preserve the razor-thin edge over the Far Right faction of the Supreme Court--and that's painting swing-voting Kennedy in the kindest possible light--we MUST GOTV. The odds are not entirely in our favor right now, but there is plenty of time between now and November.
No more excuses, even for those of you who can't stand the Democratic party. Now GOTV!
EDIT: If today's 5-4 Supreme Court decision doesn't further drive home my point, then I don't know what will.