I was dead wrong about the Supreme Court and Obamacare. Never in my wildest dreams did I think Chief Justice John Roberts would side with the left. But apparently he's been vitiated by the inside-the-Beltway mentality. He wants to be popular with the media and the establishment elites. He feared demonization if he were to overturn Obamacare.
Having been working all day, I have not had time to read any of the opinions or dissents, but I did hear one radio commentator quote Roberts as writing something to the effect of, "it's not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices."
Oh yeah? What about Brown Vs. the Board of Education, Loving Vs. Virginia and other cases in which the court ruled against racist, misguided legislators? In my humble non-barrister opinion, it is most certainly the Supreme Court's job to protect us against the consequences of our political decisions if our lawmakers flagrantly violate the constitution. And I will go to my grave believing the Obamacare mandate is a constitutional violation, not to mention that it sets a horrible precedent. (What ELSE will Uncle Sam mandate in the future? Calory limits? No Big Gulps? No transfats?)
So let's see, a few weeks ago in "Conservatism in the Batter's Box" I predicted our side would go three-for-three. We got a hit with Gov. Scott Walker's victory in Wisconsin a few weeks ago; the Arizona immigration case was something of a glass half full ("Show us your papers" provision, the most important, was upheld; others were struck down); and we clearly struck out today. I'll count Arizona as a walk: We got on base, but it wasn't a hit. In baseball, a walk doesn't count as a hit or an at-bat. So effectively, we are 1-for 2, or .500.
Roberts has done what other Republican-nominated justices — e.g. Sandra Day O'Connor, David Souter and Anthony Kennedy — have done way too often: throw government restraint down the toilet in favor of an ever-expansionist central authority.
But after an hour or so of feeling depressed, angry and disgusted this morning, I gradually began to cheer up and even feel better than ever about this fall's election. Today's ruling will energize conservatives and the Tea Party as much as Obama's spending orgies and Obamacare did two or three years ago. Mitt Romney can have a field day picking apart the flaws of Obamacare.
This gigantic, complicated and convoluted legislation is still loathed by far more Americans than support it. The potential for a stifling, all-encompassing bureaucracy to expand ever outward to run and oversee Obamacare is huge.
It is not at all out of the question that Republicans will take back the Senate in November and Romney will win the presidency. That is what I hope for, and I'll go out on a limb and predict it here and now. Democrats have overplayed their hand, and the economy will continue to suck. They own the anemic growth, high unemployment, failed stimulus, crony capitalism, and overkill of Dodd-Frank regulations. The American people are not stupid, and this fall's election could be a replay of 2010.
Now, let's indulge in some devil's advocate talk... Let's say the GOP retains the House (highly likely) but the Democrats keep control of the Senate (possible). Regardless of who wins the presidency, substantial changes to Obamacare probably are not in the cards.
But there's one thing that, although it will take longer, is guaranteed to turn public sentiment against this Orwellian legislation in an even more powerful way: The actual implementation of Obamacare. When people start realizing they cannot keep their old insurance plans, doctors and dentists; when scores of doctors throw up their hands in frustration and elect to stop practicing medicine because they've had it with the headaches (this will exacerbate what is already a shortage of doctors); when patients are put on hold for 45 minutes, wait in long lines and deal with mindless paperwork; when ardently pro-life people realize their tax dollars are funding abortion and abortifacients; when senior citizens find out they need to pay out of pocket or go to another country to have certain treatments done or medications prescribed... THAT is when the public will wake up once and for all and recognize that the devil is truly in the details.
Bottom line, I am still angry at John Roberts. But I am even more appalled that the naive sell-out, former U.S. Rep. Bart Stupek of Michigan provided the vote that pushed Obamacare through the House back in March 2010. It may take years to correct this mess, and we may never solve our healthcare dysfunctions. But then, up until the 1990s, many of the pundits believed welfare reform was a hopeless case, and it has succeeded impressively.
I remain optimistic that we can improve our healthcare system and gradually dismantle this leviathan that the Democrats are gloating about as I type. Let them have their celebration. They will find out soon enough the validity of the adage, "Be careful what you wish for..."