Daily Bread for 12.1.19

Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will see scattered snow showers with a high of thirty-seven.  Sunrise is 7:06 AM and sunset 4:21 PM, for 9h 15m 27s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 25% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the one thousand one hundred eighteenth day.

On this day in 1955, Rosa Parks refuses to relinquish her seat in the “colored section” of a Montgomery, Alabama bus to a white passenger, after the whites-only section was filled.

Recommended for reading in full:

Ruth Ben-Ghiat writes In impeachment hearings, lessons on the erosion of American democracy:

Is America becoming a 21st-century-style authoritarian state? The impeachment hearings of the last weeks would seem to provide an easy answer: no. The very fact that such an inquiry can be held, and broadcast on national television, is a sign that our democracy is working and that our institutions are holding.

Yet the impeachment hearings also showed how degraded our political culture has become and how much progress President Donald Trump has made in implementing the authoritarian playbook that he began to write for America during his campaign.

First, the hearings revealed just how much Trump’s cult of personality has tied subordinates to him, and how much of his playbook operates on keeping them in thrall to his singular threat: show loyalty, no matter what I say or do, or else.

A healthy democracy is founded on tolerance of differences of opinion, but is grounded in a shared body of norms. Autocratic governments, in contrast, need to change our opinion about what violates norms and constitutes crime and corruption.

E.J. Dionne Jr. writes What unites Trump’s apologists? Minority rule:

Two questions are asked again and again: How can white evangelical Christians continue to support a man as manifestly immoral as President Trump? And how can congressional Republicans refuse to condemn Trump’s thuggish effort to use taxpayer money to intimidate a foreign leader into helping his reelection campaign?

The answer to both relates to power — not just the power Trump now enjoys but also to the president’s faithfulness to a deal aimed at controlling American political life for a generation or more. Both evangelicals and Republican politicians want to lock in their current policy preferences, no matter how much the country changes or how sharply public opinion swings against them. As a party, the GOP now depends on empowering a minority over the nation’s majority.

This is reflected in its eagerness to enact laws restricting access to the ballot in states it controls. Rationalized as ways to fight mythical “voter fraud,” voter-ID statutes and the purging of voter rolls are designed to make it harder for African Americans, Latinos and young people to vote. The new electorate is a lot less Republican than the old one. The GOP much prefers the old one.

Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons observes The GOP is not the party of G-O-D. Here’s why:

Tonight’s Sky for December 2019:

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