Opinion: Should We Be Polite as the GOP Stomps on Our Democratic Rights?

When a fox attacks a hen house, is it uncivil for the hens to raise a ruckus?

Two Supreme Court justices say it is. Elevating collegiality above social justice, right-wing extremist Amy Coney Barrett and progressive jurist Sonia Sotomayor have jointly been hailing America's top court as a model of genteel political discourse, claiming that the six Republicans and three Democrats disagree agreeably. "We do not interrupt one another, and we never raise our voices," Barrett primly lectured to a recent conference of civics teachers. Sotomayor chimed in that court decorum frowns on any internal comments that "could be viewed (by other justices) as hurtful."

How sweet that the Supremes are so judiciously cordial inside their marble sanctuary. But how bitter that the court's lockstep Republican ideologues are so crudely slapping down women's rights, running roughshod over our environmental protections, stomping on voting rights, enthroning plutocracy, imposing theocracy ... and so awful much more. Yet, when any of the three progressive justices do publicly assail these blatantly partisan, anti-democratic edicts, Barrett decorously decries their "stridency," demurely chiding that "the court should turn the national temperature down, not up."

Yoo-hoo, Madame Supreme, can you even hear yourself? Your very elevation to the High Court was a strident affront to our democracy and to the very idea of justice, rammed through in a flagrantly partisan power play by a lame-duck president and a corrupt Republican senator. Please, spare us your phony lectures on judicial propriety!

America would still be an English colony if the rebels of 1776 had not "stridently" risen up and impolitely confronted the kind of elitist governmental authoritarianism that Barrett & Co. wants to re-impose on us. Come on, progressives -- get rude! Democracy demands that we be confrontational ... not courtly.

HOW OILY IS BIG OIL'S LATEST PR CAMPAIGN?

If you're concerned about fossil fuels and climate change, consider an energy source that, according to its backers, will make everyday living "comfortable and healthier."

What is this miraculous substance? Oil.

Huh? Yes, that filthy scourge of our planet and health is being ballyhooed as our globe's energy and environmental salvation! By whom? Of course: The American Petroleum Institute, the powerhouse lobbying front for ExxonMobil and other petro-profiteers. API recently bragged that it will pour tens of millions of dollars into a PR blitz during this year's presidential election to demonize clean energy sources and demand that government promote more fossil fuel production.

API's campaign slogan is "Lights On Energy" -- but the luminosity of its media message is mighty dim. Start with the fact that Big Oil has zero public credibility, having routinely gouged us on prices for years and knowingly lied to us for decades about not causing climate change.

Second, the demand by oil barons that government "quit intruding into the free market" by encouraging alternative energy is a whiney embarrassment. Hello -- for more than a century, oil corporations have gorged on billions and billions of dollars in taxpayer handouts, and the fossil fuel industry received $757 billion of incentives in 2023! (Didn't their mommas ever teach them not to talk with their mouths full?)

Also pathetic is their partisan wail that President Joe Biden is restricting their production and profits. Hello again: U.S. oil production reached a record high last year, Big Oil's profits are soaring, and they're now jacking up our gas prices again. Meanwhile, 2023 was the hottest year our globe ever recorded.

Let's reflect the heat back on these greedheads. For facts and action items, go to fossilfree4health.org.

To find out more about Jim Hightower and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.

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