The Horribles Parade


I grew up in a small New England town that celebrated the Fourth of July with special vigor. Among the festivities was (and remains) something called the Horribles Parade.

We didn’t move to Marblehead until I was within a few months of my tenth birthday, so I was at a more or less perfect age to attend my first Horribles Parade in a state of total ignorance: old enough to know that any town-sponsored event taking place on the town’s main thoroughfare couldn’t really be horror-movie awful, but still young enough to fear looking uncool by asking any of my friends what the hell it was.

I was therefore disappointed to discover it was just a costume parade with an emphasis on historical characters. I don’t know why it’s called the Horribles Parade. (You can read a little about the parade here, but it doesn’t explain the name.) There’s nothing horrible about it. On the contrary, it’s such a Norman Rockwell bit of Americana I was pleasantly surprised to find the parade was still a tradition.

Marblehead Fourths of July aside, the nomenclature has stayed with me over the years as a mental framing device: whenever I observe a series of terrible events, or people, I can’t help thinking of them as a Parade of Horribles.

For example, the years 2020 – 2022 have been a Parade of Horribles.

The Academy Awards have been a Parade of Horribles dating back to at least the 1990s.

There is no more apt usage of the phrase, however, than as a description of the freaks and crazies that come out of the woodwork as part of the predictable GLOB response to every political issue—although DR’s coverage of American politics and culture is a strong also-ran. Put them together, and you get this:

DR at abortion demo in the USA: The Supreme Court is under attack because the majority supports the right to choose for themselves
Lillian Gjerulf Kretz,, May 9

Kretz’s article sets out to do two things: to persuade Danish readers that the U.S. Supreme Court is an anti-democratic institution in the hands of vicious maniacs, and to humanize the story with the personal testimony of American women who share that belief.

The bulk of the article’s text is dedicated to an interpretation of the structure of America’s Constitution and government that would have served its readers well if it weren’t presented with such childish credulity of leftist tropes.

Her case is built as follows:

The leaked majority opinion of the Supreme Court removes women’s Constitutional right to abortion.

The majority behind that opinion, Dobbs v Jackson, appears to have five justices behind it.

Three of those five justices were nominated by Donald Trump and confirmed by a Republican Senate.

Donald Trump did not win a majority of the popular vote.

The senators comprising the majority represented states whose cumulative population is a minority of the overall American population.

Polling shows that a majority of the American population supports a woman’s right to abortion.

The Supreme Court majority behind Dobbs v Jackson, and the removal of women’s right to abortion, is therefore undemocratic.

That’s her case.

First and foremost, the reversal of Roe v Wade does not outlaw, ban, remove, or anyway restrict American women’s access to abortion. It does nothing like that. It simply says that the federal government has no business guaranteeing such access, and that the question of abortion (a mere medical procedure, from the left’s point of view, since no human life except the mother’s is involved) is therefore a question to be settled by the people and the states.

Secondly, American presidents aren’t elected by popular vote. They never have been. They were never intended to be. Although it’s relatively rare for presidents to win the Electoral College without winning the popular vote, in the modern era it’s entirely ordinary for presidents to win both the popular vote and the Electoral College without winning a majority of the votes: only half to two-thirds of eligible voters actually vote, and in the last 8 presidental elections, only half got a majority of the popular vote: in fact, no president since Woodrow Wilson in 1912 ever got less of the popular vote than Bill Clinton did in 1992, with 43%—considerably less than Trump’s 46% in 2016. (Clinton improved to 49.2% in 1996; better than Trump’s 2016 performance, but still a minority of the popular vote.) The best candidate over the last 8 elections was Barack Obama, who got 52.9% of the vote in 2012. (You can see all the numbers here.)

In fact, since 1960 only three presidential elections produced winners who got more than 54% of the popular vote: LBJ in 1964, Nixon in 1972, and Reagan in 1984. No other presidents of the modern era have had much of a majority from the popular vote—which is subordinate to the Electoral College anyway.

Thirdly, as Kretz herself points out:

The US Constitution wanted to ensure that the interests of the minority would also be protected. That meant each state got two senators in the Senate. But in today’s United States, that means a state like Wyoming with about 580,000 inhabitants has as much power and representation as California with about 39.5 million inhabitants.

That’s all correct but a fair reading leaves one scratching one’s head at the “but” with which Kretz begins her third sentence.

What sense would it make to say “I prefer my drinks over ice, but I put ice in this one”?

Or “Traffic law requires we stop at red lights, but when Jens came to the red light he stopped”?

That’s what Kretz is doing. She’s saying: they designed the Constitution to give states equal standing in the Senate, but today Wyoming has equal standing to California in the Senate.

That’s the whole fucking purpose of the Senate, idiot.

It’s not a but, it’s a therefore.

California has 52 representatives in the House; Wyoming has one. Cry me a river for California’s lack of representation in Congress.

The House was intended to represent population and the Senate was intended to represent states. It’s not an accident. It’s not an oversight. It’s also exactly the way power is delegated in the EU, as I’ve pointed out repeatedly.

Kretz doesn’t explain any of that: she simply follows the GLOB talking points and makes it clear that the whole process is terribly unfair.

(Funny how you can shout all day that the entire American system is illegitimate from top to bottom, but you’re not allowed to say that one particular election was in any way imperfect. How did such a broken and disgusting system produce such a perfect election? Another head-scratcher.)

Kretz’s main thrust is consistent with the article’s headline: that the Supreme Court is under attack because “the majority” favor legal abortion.

The headline and her thrust are wrong.

The majority of the adult American population does indeed support legal abortion, but that’s not why the Supreme Court is under attack. SCOTUS is under attack because the shock troops of the GLOB have been mobilized to attack it. Not to attack the decision, although of course they’re doing that too, but to attack the institution itself—and, horribly, the individual justices supporting the majority opinion in particular.

“Controversially,” Kretz writes, “activist groups have chosen to publish the private addresses of the Supreme Court justices who, according to the leaked memo, are ready to remove American women’s constitutional right to abortion.”

She doesn’t say why the activists’ publication of the justices’ home addresses is “controversial.”

I’ll fill in that blank: it’s controversial because it’s illegal, and for very obvious reasons. You cannot have an impartial judiciary if your judges are going to be bullied by the mob.

So if you’re an American citizen who heads over to the home of a Supreme Court justice to disrupt his or her life with your hysteria, then you’re a bully and a felon.

And a Horrible.

Lillian Kretz caught up with a couple of these Horribles and DR has seen fit to parade them before us.

First up is Nikki Enfield.

The article only includes one quote from her: “They’re about to take my personal freedom away from me. So now they get a personal visit from us.” But an embedded video gives us a little more—it’s obviously in English, so give it a go, but here’s my own transcript.

Nikki Enfield: My name is Nikki Enfield.

Kretz: Why are you here today?

Nikki Enfield: Uh… this is bullshit. Like, this is unacceptable. And you don’t get to, to, to take away women’s rights and dehumanize half the population and enjoy your Saturday evening. And if, uh, people find that impolite—(pause, shrug) they can go fuck themselves.

Kretz: (Kretz’s question is hard to make out from the audio: I therefore transcribe only the text of the Danish subtitles) Are people right, that it’s harassment to troop up to the judges’ homes?

Nikki Enfield: Yeah, harassment is taking away my rights. You want harassment, that’s harassment.

The second horrible is a paired set: Dorothy Bayer and her granddaughter Clara Glenn.

“This is the first step to removing the rights that we’ve fought so hard to achieve,” the text quotes Dorothy as saying. It also notes that Clara is horrified.

The pair have a little more to say in the embedded video (through their masks, because of course they’re in masks outdoors):

Dorothy: It will be taken away, I don’t think there’s any question. (To her granddaughter) You will have it taken away. (Back to the camera) And this is just the beginning of all the rights that we fought so hard for that are gonna be lost and we’re gonna be in primitive times again.

Kretz (to Clara): You know what your grandmother fought for, how do you feel about what’s about to happen?

Clara: Terrified, to put it in a single word, ’cause it feels like, um, it feels like people just telling you, “Oh, you’re disposable. Like, we don’t really care about your health, we don’t really care about your longevity, we just, you know, want things our way.” And that’s a terrifying thing, to have someone with so much power tell you.”

(It’s a little gross to complain about feeling “disposable” in this context, but whatever.)

Those are the featured horribles.

The article also features photographic evidence of many more—including a nose-ringed woman bearing a sign that says “Dear Supreme Court, SUCK MY CLIT,” and a woman in a pussy hat whose tee-shirt proclaims “I am a vagina voter.” Another pussy-hatted felon totes a “My body, my choice” sign.

(Kretz neglects to mention that pussy-hats were declared transphobic several years ago, or that “my body, my choice” went out of fashion back when vaccine mandates were all the rage. What’s old is new again!)

From the context of the article, we know only that these horribles are camped out in front of the home of an unnamed Supreme Court justice “in a suburb of Washington, D.C.”, but from the photo captions we know they’re camped out in front of the Maryland home of Brett Kavanaugh. Maryland is Joe Biden’s home state and about as likely to outlaw abortion as Texas is to outlaw rifles.

So unless these Horribles came from way out of town, these women are breaking federal law to bully Supreme Court justices who’ve done nothing more egregious than kick responsibility for abortion law out to their state—where legislators were already expanding abortion rights back in April.

Nikki Enfield says Kavanaugh has it coming because “you don’t get to dehumanize half the population and enjoy your Saturday night.”

Dorothy Bayer says “we’re gonna be in primitive times again.”

Clara Glenn says it feels like people with power are telling her she’s disposable.

The Supreme Court isn’t dehumanizing anyone. They’re not telling anyone they’re disposable. They’re not taking America back to the stone age. What the (draft) majority opinion (appears to have) decided is that, as a matter of law, the legality of abortion was an issue to be decided by the states rather than the federal government: that the “Constitutional right” asserted by Roe v. Wade was no such thing. It’s a proposition that even the activist justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg considered reasonable as a matter of black-letter law.

If the constitutional right (to abortion) falls, it will be up to each state to decide. The political reality in Washington DC means that it is impossible to pass a national abortion law with the required majority in the Senate.

So the divided United States will be even more divided. Abortion will be banned or severely restricted in the Republican-governed states. While it will continue to be legal in states with a democratic majority. In other words, a USA divided into two very different worlds.

A USA where women do not have equal rights—and where that inequality will greatly affect the poorest in society. Women who do not have the means and opportunity to travel to a state where it is allowed, in other words, largely blacks and Latinos.

America’s not two different worlds: it’s fifty different worlds. That’s its architecture.

I’m not sure where equal rights enters into this, but I always find it interesting the way leftists assume that Americans without means are necessarily black and Hispanic. There were roughly 8.5 million American blacks in poverty in the United States in 2020 (see table B-1), and 16 million “non-Hispanic” whites. (As usual the metrics are a muddle with respect to Hispanics, who can be counted either as the difference between “White” and “White, not Hispanic,” or the redundant category of “Hispanic (any race).” But the number of impoverished Americans of Hispanic ethnicity would appear to be about 10 million, with some overlap among the whites and blacks. Suggesting that the “poorest in society” are “largely blacks and Latinos” is simply inaccurate.

Kretz concludes her article thusly:

Supporters and opponents of Roe v Wade have been demonstrating in front of the Supreme Court, which is now barricaded from the public. But the protests will continue and find their way elsewhere. Like here in the streets where Supreme Court justices live.

Ah! Both sides are doing it! Excellent!

When can we expect the fawning article about the pro-life demonstrators?

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Soren Rasmussen
Soren Rasmussen
2 years ago

Ah, yes, the Kretzes are always amazingly reliable DNC relay stations. One wonders if any of them ever submit a piece that is NOT in line with a Democrat talking point.

Regarding the origin of the Horribles name, Wikipedia has this to say:

The oldest known Ancient and Horribles Parade in New England occurred on July 4, 1851, in Lowell, Massachusetts and was named as a parody of the more somber Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts, the oldest military organization in the United States. New Englanders in several cities started parading in concert with other New England towns in the middle of the 1800s in “Ancient and Horrible” or “Antique and Horribles” parades. The dress was meant to satirize politicians and other public figures.

Marblehead thus appears to be one of a series of New England towns with the tradition.

Your own link sort of mentions this as well, though less directly, but it can be inferred that the name is apparently a morphing from “honorable”, and as a satirical exercise aimed at public figures that makes very good sense.