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Chill out, Conservatives, Obamacare decision is worst political outcome for Obama

Perhaps, conservatives are so upset this morning because they had expected the Supreme Court to overturn at least the individual mandate.  And maybe I’m more sanguine than most because I had thought the court would uphold the unpopular law.

Indeed, on Facebook, liberal blogress Pam Spaulding is having a field day mocking some over-the-top conservative reaction.  And this perhaps is her day to exult — as it for others on the left.  Exult they may, but their victory is most Pyrrhic.

Conservatives shouldn’t be so downcast.

For example, on Facebook, I’m learning of a surge in donations to the Romney campaign and GOP, even from conservatives once critical of the now-presumptive Republican nominee.  (Seems he’s already raked it $1.5 million.)

Bear in mind that Obamacare remains unpopular — and the court upheld it by calling the mandate to be a tax.  The court delivered a great campaign line to the president’s opponents.

Overturning the law would have rallied the president’s base.  Now, conservatives are energized.  And have better ground to dub the president a tax-hiker.  Bad policy this may be, but it’s worse politics for the Democrats. They now have to defend it before voters who don’t much like it.  And will have a harder time fighting the charge that Obama has hiked taxes on the middle class.

Democrats today lost an occasion to energize their base.  Meanwhile, conservatives are fired up.   Plus it seems, the Chief Justice carefully crafted his opinion to limit the scope of the Commerce Clause, making it easier to challenge federal legislation as beyond the purview of the constitution.

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23 Comments

  1. Dan, a major thing that differentiates conservatives from liberals is that we care about right and wrong more than we care about what’s right for the party.

    The Dread Justice Roberts did grave violence to the Constitution today and Monday; violence that gravely outweighs any advantage it may bestow on the marginally more conservative of the two parties.

    Comment by V the K — June 28, 2012 @ 3:29 pm - June 28, 2012

  2. V, I disagree about Roberts opinion — at least from a cursory reading of summaries. . . .

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — June 28, 2012 @ 3:35 pm - June 28, 2012

  3. After today’s decision, I am definitely energized to show Obama the door come November…..

    Comment by Dottie Larid — June 28, 2012 @ 3:36 pm - June 28, 2012

  4. BTW, haven’t the libs spent the last four months claiming a 5-4 decision would be a terrible, nay invalid, outcome?

    Comment by V the K — June 28, 2012 @ 3:45 pm - June 28, 2012

  5. The short version of the Dread Justice Roberts’s opinion is that future Congresses will have to use the taxing authority fig leaf instead of the Commerce Clause fig leaf when they vote to expand Government and limit our freedom.

    Comment by V the K — June 28, 2012 @ 3:48 pm - June 28, 2012

  6. Time to take it to the polls!

    Remember November

    War. – A. Breitbart

    Comment by JJStone — June 28, 2012 @ 3:58 pm - June 28, 2012

  7. Also, don’t forget, Roberts flipped us over and screwed us on Arizona, too.

    Comment by V the K — June 28, 2012 @ 4:06 pm - June 28, 2012

  8. Let’s be happy warriors. Yes, the decision is bad. It should get us upset. But we shouldn’t let it make us bitter. Instead, we should look for bright spots, like the limitations of the Commerce clause aspects of the decision. (Not saying that I agree with the right to “tax” me into buying things from private organizations, but I would prefer such mischief be given the pejorative term “tax.”) And now, Democrats are forced to defend this awful law, which a strong majority of Americans oppose. If the election were just about the economy, I think Republicans would probably win, but we don’t know exactly how the economy might improve between now and November, and Democrats may be somewhat successfully playing the class warfare card. The election should still be the central issue, but having Obamacare also front and center also give Republicans a lot of help. So, let’s help get people elected who will do what the Supreme Court should have.

    Comment by chad — June 28, 2012 @ 4:07 pm - June 28, 2012

  9. While we were watching the SCOTUS, Senate Republicans caved on the Highway Bill… leaving the pork intact, and throwing out the Keystone Pipeline.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal_government/lawmakers-reach-tentative-deal-on-highway-bill-that-drops-keystone-pipeline-mandate/2012/06/27/gJQAtcn66V_story.html

    Yeah, I have total confidence that they will repeal ObamaCare, though.

    Comment by V the K — June 28, 2012 @ 4:19 pm - June 28, 2012

  10. Very good point. I guess I didn’t think about that. Hopefully conservatives can gain enough momentum to overturn the Obama machine and outweigh the inevitable liberal backlash and shady deals.

    Comment by Guy Manningham — June 28, 2012 @ 4:21 pm - June 28, 2012

  11. Sounds like a lot of rationalization. Obama keeps on winning and your side keeps on….well, you know…. Conservatives originally wanted nothing to do with Romney, but now you hold your collective noses and lay down your cash. Too easy to tie Romney to healthcare….Massachusetts anyone?

    Comment by TanyaHyde — June 28, 2012 @ 4:24 pm - June 28, 2012

  12. Perhaps this will energize the citizenry to rise up against TAXES, period. Government, regardless of the branch, now thinks it has the right to levy taxes against us for absolutely anything and everything it chooses.

    If you were to go to a maximum-security penitentiary and interview those doing time for armed robbery about what motivated their crimes, they would use a rationale practically identical to the one used by career politicians (including judges) for the godlike powers they presume to wield in taxing us.

    Comment by Lori Heine — June 28, 2012 @ 4:27 pm - June 28, 2012

  13. Perhaps, conservatives are so upset this morning because they had expected the Supreme Court to overturn at least the individual mandate.

    Well Dan, it would be nice to have a Constitution. You know… a founding document that protects individual rights to life, liberty and property… protecting them from government.

    But I agree, the Washington Examiner headline that you linked is some poor reaction, from that conservative paper. It should not read “Obamacare ruling a crushing defeat for conservatives”. Rather, it should read “Obamacare ruling a crushing defeat for all Americans”.

    [liberals’] victory is most Pyrrhic

    Agree. Had Obamacare been struck down, (1) it would have been removed as a campaign issue, (2) employers would have increased hiring at least somewhat; possibly enough to save Obama’s presidency.

    Instead, (1) “Obamacare is back” as a campaign issue – with SCOTUS having declared it officially to be a tax increase; and (2) the economy will continue to stagnate, because of Obamacare among a few other key factors.

    [V] The short version of the Dread Justice Roberts’s opinion is that future Congresses will have to use the taxing authority fig leaf instead of the Commerce Clause fig leaf when they vote to expand Government and limit our freedom.

    [chad] Let’s be happy warriors. Yes, the decision is bad. It should get us upset. But we shouldn’t let it make us bitter.

    Two more comments that I have to agree with!

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 28, 2012 @ 4:54 pm - June 28, 2012

  14. If you were to go to a maximum-security penitentiary and interview those doing time for armed robbery about what motivated their crimes, they would use a rationale practically identical to the one used by career politicians (including judges) for the godlike powers they presume to wield in taxing us.

    EXCELLENT analogy, Lori.

    Comment by Rattlesnake — June 28, 2012 @ 5:15 pm - June 28, 2012

  15. From Lyle Denniston, at Scotusblog:

    The impact of the new ruling on tax policy in general, and on Congress’s potential use of the tax code to promote social causes that it favors, will depend upon whether — over time — the Court establishes some limits on this option. The Chief Justice’s opinion did not spell out any such limits…

    So let’s be clear: SCOTUS (Roberts) has just given the government a new excuse and means for telling Americans what to do with their lives, *without limit*.

    Which defeats the entire purpose of having a Constitution. Dan is right, today’s ruling is no political disaster for conservatives – not even close. But, it is a constitutional disaster for all Americans.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 28, 2012 @ 5:31 pm - June 28, 2012

  16. What have you given us, Dr. Franklin?
    “A republic,” he replied, “if you can keep it.”

    Obama has now won the argument…now he has to pay for it.

    Between publicly-funded pensions, Social Security, the ever-expanding social safety net and now effectively-universal health coverage without fiscal-restraints expect your taxes to double in the next 8-10 years…then double again.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — June 28, 2012 @ 5:45 pm - June 28, 2012

  17. Worse, ILC, the Roberts decision doesn’t even remove the Commerce Clause as a vehicle to embiggen Government; the ruling only applies to its use in this particular case.

    Comment by V the K — June 28, 2012 @ 6:01 pm - June 28, 2012

  18. I don’t see much good news here. All my life I’ve heard that if it weren’t for the holocaust there would be no state of Israel (not true by the way). I know this is not the magnitude of of the holocaust, but I’m not willing to sit here and try and find some little silver lining.
    This is bad for America – we’ll just have to get used to a very different America from that we had even just 10 years ago.
    Obama won big time, he has drastically changed America for the worse and even if this is his one and only term – he can be very proud of that legacy.

    Comment by Leah — June 28, 2012 @ 6:32 pm - June 28, 2012

  19. Also, don’t forget, Roberts flipped us over and screwed us on Arizona, too.

    V the K: I like to think I’m *versatile* but thank you, no.

    Comment by Bastiat Fan — June 28, 2012 @ 6:44 pm - June 28, 2012

  20. i agree Leah, this is bad.

    Comment by The_Livewire — June 28, 2012 @ 8:36 pm - June 28, 2012

  21. I think this is more bad than good, but the silver in the cloud is definitely the hammer the GOP now has to bit Obama and the Democrats with.

    This tax isn’t just a tax on rich people-mostly because rich people can afford insurance and likely already meet the requirements of the law.

    The people most harmed are lower income, working poor who don’t qualify for assistance, but either don’t have insurance offered through their work at a reasonable rate or can’t afford to purchase privately. This tax is on them.

    Obama just raised taxes on lower and middle class citizens.

    Comment by Just Me — June 28, 2012 @ 9:27 pm - June 28, 2012

  22. So, if I understand the apologists, Chief Justice Sandra Day Roberts didn’t want the SCOTUS to look like it was helping Republicans, so even though he knew the law was unconstitutional he voted to uphold it in order to help Republicans.

    Makes Perfect Sense.

    Comment by V the K — June 29, 2012 @ 7:17 am - June 29, 2012

  23. For everyone looking for silver linings…

    “Every silver lining has a dark, dark cloud;
    Always after sunshine comes the rain.
    They say that after night
    the dawn is sure to be bright;
    But don’t forget the night will come again.”
    –John de Lancie

    Comment by The_Livewire — June 29, 2012 @ 7:49 am - June 29, 2012

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