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    Ground control to Starship Silver Lining

    Ground control to Starship Silver Lining

    There’s not much I can add to what I have already said about the unreality of the reaction to the Obamacare decision by the conservative silver lining crowd.

    A growing chorus understands.

    John Yoo:

    Conservatives are scrambling to salvage something from the decision of their once-great judicial hero….

    All this is a hollow hope. The outer limit on the Commerce Clause in Sebelius does not put any other federal law in jeopardy and is undermined by its ruling on the tax power…. The limits on congressional coercion in the case of Medicaid may apply only because the amount of federal funds at risk in that program’s expansion … was so great. If Congress threatens to cut off 5%-10% to force states to obey future federal mandates, will the court strike that down too? Doubtful.

    Byron York:

    Outside the court, the conservatives who thought they knew Roberts seemed baffled. “For whatever reason, and you’ll have to ask Justice Roberts, he re-wrote the statute,” said Mike Carvin, who argued against Obamacare in the case. “I’m glad he re-wrote the statute rather than the Constitution, but none of it can pass rational scrutiny.”

    Mona Charon:

    …the Court is tasked with protecting the Constitution and clearly failed to do so here. A key pillar upholding limited government has been kicked away. If the practical result is to energize opposition to President Obama’s reelection, it may turn out to a proverbial blessing in disguise. But there is no point in denying the damage.

    Wall Street Journal Editors:

    … even the five votes limiting Congress under the Commerce Clause pale against the Chief Justice’s infinitely elastic and dangerous interpretation of the taxing power. Nancy Pelosi famously said we need to pass ObamaCare to find out what’s in it. It turns out we also needed John Roberts to write his appendix.

    National Review Editors:

    The dissent acknowledges that if an ambiguous law can be read in a way that renders it constitutional, it should be. It distinguishes, though, between construing a law charitably and rewriting it. The latter is what Chief Justice John Roberts has done. If Roberts believes that this tactic avoids damage to the Constitution because it does not stretch the Commerce Clause to justify a mandate, he is mistaken.

    “Untethered” is the word which comes to mind, and so does this song:

    Ground control to Starship Silver Lining, there’s something wrong, can you hear me?


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    Frank Koza | July 1, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Would it help anyone to swallow this steaming pile of excrement stew if instead of issuing an “individual mandate” and “penalty” in a piece of legislation for not complying they simply changed the tax code to offer “deductions” to those who do buy health insurance just like they do with the home mortgage interest deduction? How is the mortgage interest treatement any different? It effectively compels people to enter into business contracts with banks to secure a primary home, often bigger than they need, with a carrot of a tax “break”. Merely renting or buying a home for cash doesn’t qualify. You must go into debt with a mortgage. How would you view your mortgage interest deduction any differently if they simply issued a “mandate” for you to enter into a mortgage contract and assess a “penalty” on those who don’t comply? Surely, you’d get out the pitchforks, tar and feathers.

    Thus, we hungrily slurp up ingredients in the shit stew like the mortgage interest deduction with gusto because they put nice appetizing names on them even though it’s the exact same thing as the “individual mandate” and “penalty” in the ACA without realizing that someone, somewhere is bearing the cost and it’s quite toxic. I’ve watched people complain about Fannymae and Freddymac, and government’s machinations to make those mortgages available to even those who don’t qualify under sound business risk practices, yet I’ve not yet seen one single person ever point to the mortgage interest deduction’s culpability in over-inflating the market helping to lead to the resultant meltdown.

    Deductions, rebates, subsidies, etc are all still taxes that were paid by someone, somewhere. We gobble up energy incentives, cash for clunkers, FEMA grants, etc which all are merely them telling us to buy this or that now or pay the “penalty” of more taxes. Just because the legal community and legislators fiddle with meanings of words to make these mandates they serve up in their shit stew more palatable, it doesn’t change the fact that someone is getting his/her hard work stolen from him/her by the state to pay for it. And they sprinkle these delicacies that look appetizing liberally into our shit stew to make the overall dish more easy to swallow so we heartily lick the plate clean and ask for more.

    This pile-on Roberts reeks of Team Obama blaming Bush for all his own failures. Pointing fingers at one man and blame him for getting more of what we collectively keep asking for, more tax breaks which are meant to incentivize specific economic activities telling us what to buy and when to buy it while having the “other guy” pay for them. Some of us just don’t like this particular ingredient. The sad fact is that this quibbling over calling it a tax or a mandate or penalty or whatever is a red herring distractor of what we really need, a much simplified tax code, something they don’t want to address because we all enjoy our little “perks” in the current complicated one and they dare not risk the political fallout.

    Remember Joe Wilson standing up in Congress and shouting, “You lie!!!”?

    Call me a Robert’s apologist, if you will. I’ll remember this decision as the blast from the court heard round the world telling Obama he can shove his judicial activism comments with his concern that “an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law” up where the sun don’t shine and calling him what he is: a pathological liar.

    turfmann | July 1, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    It’s instructive to recollect that before he became the PM, Churchill spent a decade shouting from the rooftops, trying to warn those who would not listen about the gathering storm.

    Not unlike those of us who see tyranny at our door, who shout warnings, trying to get anyone’s attention.

    Those of us listening are so very few…

    Then again, the Founders were the few in their day.

    “May you live in interesting times”, indeed .

    […] Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion: Ground control to Starship Silver Lining […]

    Henry Hawkins | July 1, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    The last thing I want to see is a developing rift between those who believe as the professor does and those who acknowledge some measure of good in the decision. The two positions are not mutually exclusive. I do not believe the professor would foment any such rift, but what of others? Since conservative political thought expression is ignored or misrepresented in the MSM, excepting a few schedule spots on FOX News and on Rush Radio, the last thing we need is an intramural argument on how to label or view the SC decision. It’s July. The election is in November, 128 days away. If it goes badly for us, that’s it, ballgame over.

    […] project, e.g. Social Security.Progressivism is antithetical to liberty as we know it. The silver lining crew is attempting to find something good in the Thursday’s whuppin’. And you can […]

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