Obamacare unexpectedly wins and America-at-large loses
Richard G. Carter | 10/12/2012, 4:17 p.m.
"In my line of work, you have to learn how to lie with remarkable precision..."--Clifton James "Juggernaut" (1974)
Now that the smoke has cleared in the wake of the incredible flip-flop by conservative Chief Justice John Roberts in siding with the liberal faction of the Supreme Court to uphold Obamacare, it's time to take stock of the temporary winners and temporary losers. That's right, temporary.
Why? Because permanent winners and losers won't be determined until Nov. 6 at the ballot box. Obamacare is wildly unpopular with Americans in general--including women and doctors in particular--and many of the latter say they will quit the profession if it is fully implemented. Thus, there's a better than even chance Roberts' decision may help propel Mitt Romney into the White House.
While everyone recognizes that the bad economy is the most important issue facing voters, the Obamacare fiasco could be an election night game-changer. One reason is that the Congressional Budget Office says the law will cost the government at least $2.6 trillion over the next decade. Whoa!
The ironic thing about Roberts' stunning decision, which was the opposite of his reactions during oral arguments in late March, is that it energized the conservative base in a way not seen since the emergence of the Tea Party in 2010. If you recall, this resulted in the resounding rout of the Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections, with Republicans reclaiming the House of Representatives and making big gains in the Senate.
Thus, in this writer's view, President Barack Hussein Obama won the temporary battle in the Supreme Court, but America-at-large may very well win the permanent war. And it could mean the grassroots Tea (Taxed Enough Already) Party will again flex its muscles.
Why? Because Roberts declared that Obamacare's controversial individual mandate--under which the government forces Americans to buy health insurance or pay a penalty--is, in reality, a tax. Indeed, full implementation of Obama's key domestic initiative will result in one of the largest tax increases in our history.
So why did Roberts do what he did? Was it because he wanted to save the Supreme Court, as some have speculated? No way. It was because he was deathly afraid of being beaten up by America's majority liberal, left-wing news media, that's why. More later on this.
Obama's reaction? "The highest court in the land has now spoken. We will continue to implement this law. It's time to move forward." Yeah, sure.
Romney's reaction? "Our mission is clear. If we want to get rid of Obamacare, we're going to have to replace President Obama. My mission is to make sure we do exactly that." And the beat goes on.
What does America-at-large think about Roberts and the Supreme Court's wholly unexpected 5-4 vote upholding Obamacare? Here's a brief sampling of letters to the editor in daily newspapers:
"The Supreme Court is supposed to be the last resort when other branches of government fail, but Roberts ruled as he did simply to be liked. Worrying more about his reputation than about the Constitution, he rewrote the health care law and sided with the liberal justices. In so doing, he undermined the court's purpose and power."
"What is up with Chief Justice Roberts? First he agreed with Obama that Arizona's illegal immigration law was unconstitutional. Now he sides with leftists on the court in deciding that the individual mandate is a tax. Is he trying to apologize to Obama for messing up his inauguration?"
"In 2009, Obama swore that the penalty for not purchasing health care wasn't a tax, even though we all knew it was. Now the Supreme Court has ruled that it is a tax. So the land's highest court has ruled that Obama is a liar. If we re-elect Obama in November, then P.T. Barnum was right. There's a sucker born every minute."
Roberts' mind-boggling change of heart after overturning Obamacare with the court's conservative bloc in an earlier test vote apparently stems from fearing the wrath of liberal news pundits. Roberts was worried about media hostility toward the court and how he would be portrayed in influential newspapers and on left-wing TV news shows if Obamacare went down 5-4. You know, the power of the press. Ugh!
But in another example of how unpopular Obamacare is throughout the land, the Republican governors of 11 states say they will not implement key provisions of the law. Included are Iowa, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin.
Finally, on July 11, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives--including five Democrats--again acted to repeal Obamacare in its entirety. The 274-185 vote was primarily a demonstration of dissatisfaction with the law, and there is no chance the Democrat-controlled Senate will go along. So the unpopular law survives--for now.
Bottom line: I can't go along with anyone forcing me to do something against my will. That includes telling me what I must spend my money on--whether it's health insurance or a new car--especially not the government. Not in this life. How about you? And that's the name of that tune.