Monday, July 2, 2012

Liberals Understand The Impact of The Supreme Court Ruling On ObamaCare Better Conservatives Do

Those conservatives who are angry with Chief Justice John Roberts for upholding ObamaCare fail to see that he was able swing the Supreme Court to the right and to make it easier for future Supreme Court justices to apply the proper and constitutional analysis to legal issues that will come before the court. 

However, Liberals clearly understand just how significant this ruling is for the conservative movement: 
In the term that ended last week, the Supreme Court reached a liberal outcome in cases involving President Obama’s health care law, Arizona’s draconian immigration statute and mandatory life sentences for juveniles. But the conservative majority also laid down a cache of weapons that future courts can use to attack many of the legislative achievements of the New Deal and the Great Society — including labor, environmental, civil rights and consumer protection laws — and to prevent new progressive legislation. Far from being a source of jubilation, the term may come back to haunt liberals. 
The Roberts court has intensified the effort to reduce federal power. That the individual mandate was upheld should not overshadow the court’s ruling on Medicaid expansion — the part of the ruling that is most likely to affect other legislation in the near future.
For the first time since the New Deal, the court struck down an exercise of Congress’s spending power. It held that Congress lacked the power to deny Medicaid funds to states that refuse to expand their coverage. Chief Justice Roberts — joined by the liberal justices Stephen G. Breyer and Elena Kagan — held that while the government can deny additional Medicaid funds to states that refuse to expand their coverage, it cannot penalize them by rescinding current Medicaid payments.
Legal conservatives have come to the same conclusion once they overcame the initial shock of the decision and actually read the Supreme Court's decision. Virginia Attorney General  Ken Cuccinelli has echoed the liberal's fear concerning the implication of Chief Justice Robert's opinion. Famous conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer also acknowledges Robert's contribution to moving the conservative agenda at the Supreme Court.

The only thing that liberals can be happy about is that ObamaCare has been upheld.  They don't care how it was upheld so long that it was found to be constitutional.  With all the liberals and progressives that I have talked to about this decision, they are not worried that it was upheld as a government tax. The taxes do not bother them because all they wanted to was to keep ObamaCare alive at any cost. The reason why they are not concerned about the fact that ObamaCare has morphed into ObamaCareTax is because they know that once an entitlement program is in place, it is virtually impossible to kill and as a result, the program achieves legislative immortality. Liberals want ObamaCare to be around foreover and they don't care about the source that keeps it alive. They also don't care about the consequences entitlements have on countries that implement them. 

In contrast, conservatives wanted this law to be killed immediately. However, Chief Justice John Roberts made the correct, legal and constitutional decision of leaving the responsibility of killing the law in the hands of the American people and its elected representatives.Furthermore, he made it easier for people to repeal Obamacare because by classifying this program as a tax, it becomes budgetary issue that requires 51 votes to get rid of it, not 60. He also provided the American people with the motivation to get rid of this law because there are two things that Americans hate the the most and that is taxes and ObamaCare. By merging the two things Americans hate into one, its a lethal and explosive combination for Obama and the Democrats, especially as Americans go to the ballot box in November. Mike Flynn, writing for Breitbart, points out that the "ruling will probably go down in history as the most effective GOP voter turnout operation ever." 

Finally, given that Democrats love enacting new taxes and raising taxes on the American people, Chief Justice John Roberts made it difficult for Congress to raise taxes in the future since all future government programs will be labeled as a tax. Conservatives are justified in their concerns that the courts will defer to Congress in calling government programs a tax and uphold it on those grounds. What these conservatives forget is that given that Americans loathe taxes, Roberts increased the  political risks for Congress in passing new government programs. Thus, Congress will be more reluctant to create new government programs for fear of facing their constituent's ire for creating new taxes. That's the theory, at least. 

Liberals and progressives fully understand the impact of Chief Justice Robert's decisions while Conservatives are still trying to come to terms with the Supreme Court decision rather looking beyond the holding and looking at the long term implications of the holding. Chief Justice Roberts has moved the conservative agenda on the Supreme Court far down the field and the Left knows it. It will take a while for Conservatives to see that he made the right decision and once they do, they will realize how powerful Chief Justice Robert's decision is for conservatives. 

This article was cross-posted from Conservative Samizdat

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MrX said...

Conservatives are rightly angry because Roberts saved a law that never existed. And as your article says, once an entitlement program is in place, it's impossible to kill. If Roberts had just killed it, that would be the end of it.

Why didn't he? Everything was there to uphold the Constitution. Also, he gave greater power to Congress in what it's allowed to tax. In the past, you could only tax activity. Now you can tax inactivity. That is a huge expansion of power. The taxing power is also directly linked to the power to regulate. So if you expand one, you also expand the other. The only way to restrict one is to also restrict the other.

The saving grace is that taxes are unpopular. But Democrats will pass them from time to time. And Roberts has given them an entirely new arena in which to tax that Democrats never even thought of taxing before now.

This is a fiasco and is akin to a small claims court's judgment. In small claims, there is no appeal (the case is retried) and the judge is the one that decides what law applies. Roberts did the same thing. He knows that there is no appeals and so he could use whatever law he pleased and that's exactly what he did. He actually rewrote it.

The restrictions you speak about are imaginary. They will all be taxes now.

Machtyn said...

Compelling arguments, J, but I think MrX is correct. These are short term gains for long term detriments.

We would hope that Congress will take a step back when enacting a new program for fear of the People when it is called a tax. But that didn't stop them from implementing income taxes. It hasn't allowed Congress to repeal some taxes that were instantiated for wars in the 1800s.

Sure, Justice Roberts may have saved the Presidency, Senate, and Congress for the GOP with voter turnout and enthusiasm (rage), but the long term detriments have allowing any program to be funded as a tax, and the ability to tax inactivity, is far more troubling.

Lionhead said...

I agree with the previous two commentors. I add this from Breitbart.

The Obama campaign has seized on remarks made by Romney adviser Eric "Etch-A-Sketch" Fehrnstrom this morning on MSNBC, to the effect that the individual mandate in Obamacare (and Romneycare) is not a tax. Fehrnstrom allowed Chuck Todd to push him off message--and re-ignited the fears that conservatives have long had about Romney's will and ability to fight. In response, conservatives--who had just coalesced around opposition to what many now call "Obamatax": Mitt, start fighting, or give up and let someone else do it.
The GOP primary is over, and this is not a mistake that Fehrnstrom can merely shake away. It's going to be used--and already is being used--by the Obama campaign to save itself from the tax argument, and to label Romney as a liar (when that label belongs squarely on Obama, who campaigned against Hillary Clinton's individual mandate in 2008). Perhaps this is why Rupert Murdoch has been calling openly for Romney to "drop...old friends from [his] team and hire...some real pros," as he did on Twitter yesterday.

But if Romney won't fight for conservative principles, the Tea Party is going to start looking elsewhere--fast. No one wants to live through the frustration of October 2008 all over again. No one wants to watch another conservative capitulate to Obama. *** This ain't Etch-A-Sketch, Mitt. Go hard or go home.

Here's the video of Fehrnstrom's remarks:

Live Free!

Lionhead said...

As I opined earlier on the chat box to RW, this issue will cost both duopoly candidates votes. Both now are openly describing obamacare as a penalty. In essence, they are right, but a penalty for healthcare is Gov't coercion by another name. Coercion is fraud. From Wikipedia:

"...the practice of forcing another party to behave in an involuntary manner (whether through action or inaction) by use of threats or intimidation or some other form of pressure or force. In law, coercion is codified as the duress crime. Such actions are used as leverage, to force the victim to act in the desired way."

If the duopoly candidates can't recognize this, neither one is fit to serve as President of the US to protect, defend & uphold the Constitution. Sorry all if you don't like these words. Remember, once the knee jerk reaction has faded away & voters find their way to the facts, neither candidate will improve his position politically.

Live Free!

Anonymous said...

Eric Fehrnstrom has to be removed as Romney's spokesman ASAP. He's not up to the job. Period. He flubbed the communication of the message today and hurt Mitt in the process. He's out of his league now. Needs to focus on Scott Brown's Senate race and leave the Presidential race to others to manage and message. Etch-a-sketch was silly. This is serious. We are FOUR MONTHS from E-Day. Please, if anyone has the ear of the Romney team, relay this message from an ultra-loyal long-term supporter. I want Mitt to win.

leighrow said...

Anon 8:11

I saw Erics interview and I thought the same thing. He does not come across well in these interviews...he lacks credibility...he is definitely no Ari Fleischer.

Eric should have pounced on the additional 20 taxes that this bill introduces and he did not. Most people only think there is only 1 tax or penalty in this bill but there are 20 additional taxes in this bill and about 12 of these taxes will directly impact the middle income group. Romeny's team should refer to this as a tax bill due to these 20 additional taxes.

Attached is the list of taxes.

newark hawk said...

You guys ^^^ are playing checkers, while Team Romney is playing chess.

Romney has to remain consistent about the mandate being a penalty, not a tax, because he has called it a penalty for the last 10 years.

But the RNC & conservative super-PACS are free to label Obamacare a tax, and will indeed do so during their fall advertising campaign against Obama and the Dems.

Team Romney knows EXACTLY what they're doing. They proved that during the GOP primaries.

Anonymous said...

Dear "J": I respect your right to be 100% sincere and utterly wrong about the result in NFIB v. Sibelius. You're trying your best, out of the best of motives, to persuade us that a sow's ear is a silk purse. It ain't so.

Roberts most definitely did NOT move the Court toward a conservative view of the Commerce Clause. His comments about the limits of the Commerce Clause (agreeing with the DISSENT--get it?--the ones whose views failed to prevail in the decision) are DICTA. That means those comments are not necessary to the HOLDING in the case and have no binding authority as precedent. Since they teach this distinction in the first semester of law school, Roberts and his clerks assuredly knew this when they wrote his NONBINDING comments about the Commerce Clause.

What IS binding and is so troubling is Roberts' HOLDING that the individual mandate--which the legislators that passed it and the president that championed it insisted was NOT a tax--must be upheld, because it should be interpreted as coming under Congress' power TO TAX. Thus, in the holding of his profoundly flawed decision, Roberts has thrown open the flood gates of future social engineering by Congress and the Courts: "We don't mandate that you do X, Y, or Z -- we just TAX the heck out of you if you don't."

Judicial restraint? Reasonable reading of the statute and its legislative history? Conservative interpretation of the Constitution?

Not in my law books, or in my check book, or in the history books of this great but embattled country.

leighrow said...

Newark-Most people do not realize that there are 21 new taxes in this bill,they only think there is 1 penalty or a tax..Romney's team really needs to highlight the additional 20 taxes in the bill. I read through the 21 taxes and I was shocked!

12 of the 21 taxes will directly impact the middle income group. Romney's team really needs to highlight this point. My husband thought there was only one penalty and since we have insurance he thought we weren't affected. I then showed him the list of the 20 other taxes and he fell out of his chair..ha ha.

Anonymous said...

Newark hawk @ 8:37: I hear you about the long chess game but cannot agree in this case. There was a way for Ferhnstrom to have made his point as smooth as Chivas Regal--and with the same effect--not like slightly sour milk or a fizzless soda that doesn't go down well.

I like Fehrnstrom, but he doesn't have superlative messaging skills on TV. And that's what Mitt needs now. A++ talent, energy, spot-on sharpness, grace under pressure, charm, a little humor, power to punch back hard. We're past the primaries. It's now or never.

Of course, no one is perfect. We all know that. And the topic IS complicated for many reasons, including MassCare's individual mandate. That said, Fehrnstrom's demeanor, appearance, tone, and speech patterns do not inspire confidence. I'm a huge Mitt fan, and I feel this way. What about the many voters whom Mitt is still trying to win over? How persuaded do you think Fehrnstrom's meandering remarks will be to them (once they see the DNC's video replay)?

Let me ask you this, if Mitt were President, is Eric Fehrnstrom the guy you'd like to see and hear as President Romney's Press Secretary or Chief Spokesman? If the answer is not a resounding Yes, Fehrnstrom should not be the guy speaking for Mitt now. He needs to step aside for the good of his boss and work for Mitt's election in a less visible role.

My problem is that I don't know the players well enough to name a superior replacement who would be as loyal to Mitt as Eric is. If anyone has ideas on this, speak up now. The clock is ticking.

leighrow said...


I completely agree with your comment. I don't dislike Eric but he is lacking in the communication skills to persuade a TV audience.He should not be the one conveying Romney's message to the public. I have the same opinion regarding andrea Saul. Saul comes off like a college coed cheerleader type...Maybe it is the tone of her voice or her huge grin that bugs me, I would expect someone more mature like a Dana Perino.

newark hawk said...

Eric Fehrnstrom is Romney's chief campaign adviser, not his chief spokesperson.

I don't think Romney even has a chief spokesperson, preferring instead to use a team approach in communicating with the media and the public.

After Romney is sworn in as POTUS, I'm sure he will select an extremely competent press secretary, in the mode of former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer.

Even though I was never a fan of Bush 43, I have to give him props for selecting Fleischer as his press secretary, because Fleischer was virtually flawless in that role, especially on 9/11 and in the days and weeks that followed that dreadful event.

Fleischer himself would be the perfect choice to be President Romney's press secretary, except for the fact that his ties to Bush 43 would be endlessly exploited by the Dems.

As for Eric Fehrnstrom, he is doing a superb job as Romney's chief campaign adviser, and I'm sure will continue to do so as President Romney's chief political adviser.

leighrow said...

New- I like Eric but I don't know if he is the best person for the job of chief campaign advisor. Romney was really slow in defending himself on the Bain attacks in the Battleground states. I also do not think they are focussing enough on Obama's coal and fossil fuels killing policies in the battleground states like OH and PA. I heard Obama was ahead by double digits in could that be?????

Anonymous said...

Obama has been spending money like a drunken sailor to prop himself up in the polls in swing states. I think Team Romney feels it's a little too early for them to fight in hand to hand combat yet. Too few voters are paying much attention, yet. Romney is frugal with his money. This is part of the reason Obama is out begging for money now.

Anonymous said...

That last comment was me, AZ.

newark hawk said...

Obama told the American people that he would never raise taxes on the middle class and that Obamacare is "absolutely not a tax", but then had his lawyers tell the Supreme Court that Obamacare "absolutely is a tax".

The American people despise this type of duplicity & dishonesty from their elected leaders.

Bush 41 was a one-term president in large part because he broke his promise not to raise taxes.

Obama will be a one-term president for the same reason.