Well, Liberty had a good run. If you look at the totality of history, 236 years is a pretty impressive stretch of individual freedom.
The Obamacare decision came down this morning. In the last few days my inkling was that the court would some how try and give both sides something, much as it did with the Arizona immigration ruling (don’t we all love “compromise?”). However, the more you read into this, it’s much more of a win for Obama and the statists.
Now, I’m no Constitutional scholar but I know more than most. The idea that the government could force people into commerce is not constitutional. A six-year old could glean that. However, what the Court has ruled is essentially the government can’t force you into commerce but it can punish you if you don’t engage in that commerce. So the government can say, “buy this salad and eat it” and you’re well within your rights to say “no way.” The government can then turn around and say, “that’s your prerogative, however because you won’t do this, you owe us $$.” So again, government can’t make you engage in commerce but can tax your ass off (to quote Walter Mondale) if you don’t. It’s like the proverbial “sin” tax, only backwards. Instead of being taxed for doing something harmful like smoking, you’re taxed for not doing something beneficial like eating your veggies.
Interesting side note. What happened with this decision is very similar to the court challenges to the New Deal. The politicians went all over the place saying “no way is this a tax,” while the lawyers for FDR told the courts, “this is totally a tax, big time.” Needless to say, the FDR packed court ruled in his favor more times than naught.
So where does this leave us? First, the Court doesn’t let the GOP and Romney off the hook. The law still has to be repealed, and if the court now indeed ruled the government can tax people not only on their income but on the behavior that’s a loophole that needs to be closed. The only way it can be closed is to elect a new, radical group of politicians. In other words, the Tea Party on steroids.
This movement will begin today. Whether it can gather the sheers numbers needed to make an impact is unknown, but it’s coming.
Now on to the inside baseball side of this. Chief Justice John Roberts: the new Souter? Maybe. I suspect he and George W. Bush’s names will be cursed aplenty today on the Right. Anthony Kennedy gets the last laugh as not only was he not the swing vote, he wanted to overturn the entire law. Shorter Kennedy: “I don’t want to go to your damn cocktail parties Ms. Quinn!” Justice Kennedy, my apologies.
How about a conspiracy theory just for fun? Roberts is actually more right-winged than anyone thought. Wrote this decision to light a fire under the Tea Party and get Romney elected. Eh, kinda weak, but fun to think about.
Actually surprised I’m not more depressed but I think I’ve been mentally preparing for this for awhile. I’ve been saying that the election this November will have a major impact on the decisions in my life. Do I play it safe or do I take chances. Obama wins, play it safe in every aspect of life. Romney wins, there may (repeat, may) be hope for something more. Or maybe it’s too late already.