Lessons from the left’s implosion

It seems to be only now occurring to progressives how heavily they had leaned on the Supreme Court to act as their cat’s-paw — and how little work they have done to try not only to secure the maximum possible number of Democratic appointments to the Court but, more important, to defend and fortify the intellectual position that made those activist judges such reliable progressive policy-makers for all those decades. And it only now seems to really be becoming clear to them what they have lost by failing to defend that intellectual ground: not only the Roe regime but also much of the progressive activist thinking that made it and similar decisions possible, far-reaching regulatory power and a practically unlimited administrative state. If progressives are shocked by this — and they are shocked — it is because they made the mistake of thinking that convincing the editors of the New York Times was sufficient.

As John Steinbeck once observed, the United States “doesn’t have any self-admitted proletariat.” In some parts of the world, the Left is a genuinely working-class political coalition, but, in the United States, it isn’t: Our working classes, if you will forgive the phrase, are a good deal more socially conservative than the women-with-penises claque that wields such outsized influence within the Democratic Party and other organs of the Left. That disconnect is partly responsible for the election of Donald Trump in 2016, the political development that enabled the most recent transformation of the character of the Supreme Court.

The Left’s woundedness after Dobbs is only partly about abortion politics — it is in a much more significant way an expression of the fact that the Left thinks of the Supreme Court as its own territory.