Author Topic: The Roberts Trap Is Sprung  (Read 491 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline DCPatriot

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 31,707
The Roberts Trap Is Sprung
« on: January 02, 2014, 09:40:45 AM »
January 2, 2014
The Roberts Trap Is Sprung
By Bill Dunne

One of the most overlooked aspects of the year just ended is the vindication of Chief Justice John Roberts -- a vindication that showed up as the national catastrophe known as ObamaCare got rolling.  Roberts may have also doomed Hillary Clinton's chance to live in the White House again.

The chief justice, an appointee of President George W. Bush and reputedly a constitutionalist in his jurisprudence, set his diabolical trap (diabolical to Democrats) on June 28, 2012, when he joined with the four liberal justices on the Supreme Court to uphold the constitutionality of ObamaCare.  Conservatives and Republicans across the land were apoplectic.  But in hindsight, it appears that Roberts actually saved the Republican Party from going into a death spiral and imperiled the Democrats instead.  This suggests amazing foresight, but it wouldn't be the only instance.

For example, Tevi Troy, a scholar at the Hudson Institute, made a remarkable prophecy a year and a half before the Court's decision.  It was soon after the November 2010 midterm elections, in which Democrats in Congress and in state legislatures suffered huge losses.  In an article in Commentary magazine, Troy wrote:

Quote

    The Pyrrhic victory Democrats secured for themselves [when President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law] may prove not to have been a victory at all but rather an ever-roiling, ongoing, and recurring act of political and ideological self-destruction.



How's that for prescience?

When the Supreme Court ruling came down, a shocked conservative historian, Paul Rahe, cited as a cause the PR pressure that President Barack Obama had been exerting on the Court in the fevered weeks leading up to the decision.  It was "an act of judicial cowardice," he fumed.  But then he added, "There is, I am confident, more to it than this."

What that "more" consists of has been growing more apparent by the day -- with the ongoing and painfully obvious parade of disasters, and the accelerated emergence of government by decree.

And yet the Court's ruling was not all bad news for conservatives.  There were multiple settings to the Roberts trap.  A majority that included Roberts rejected the government's contention that Congress had authority under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution to force private individuals to buy health insurance.  Justice Anthony Scalia nailed it, saying that to accept such a notion would "make mere breathing in and out the basis for federal prescription and to extend federal power to virtually all human activity."

The Court also invalidated two key provisions that were held to violate state sovereignty and the foundational concept of federalism.  Each state was thereby free, if it chose (as many have), to decline the federal invitation to expand its Medicaid program, and free to not set up a state exchange to sell ACA-compliant policies.

ObamaCare's goose might have been cooked right there.  But Roberts then turned to what seemed the most farfetched of the alternative arguments for upholding the law.  And he embraced it.

That argument asserted that the law's explicit "penalty" for an individual who failed to buy health insurance was not really a penalty.  Lower courts had deemed a penalty to be of doubtful constitutionality.  So Roberts agreed with the government's lawyers that the "penalty" was actually a tax, and the levying of taxes is of course a legitimate power of Congress.

Law rewritten on the bench has seldom had such a glaring example.  In effect, Roberts single-handedly forced all Americans to face -- up front and personal -- the epic political malpractice that is ObamaCare.  "It is not our job," he added, "to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices."  Wow.  Tough love.

The thing is, however, that the decision has spawned another Great Awakening, because ObamaCare is a civics lesson from hell, with vast implications for America's future.  This would not be happening if the law had been squelched in the cradle.  People who ordinarily couldn't care less about wonky debates over federal power now see that the law has less to do with insuring the uninsured than with one political party's lunge for unprecedented power and control over people's lives.

Imagine, though, if the chief justice had opined as everyone expected him to and joined with Scalia, Sam Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Anthony Kennedy (ironically the swing vote whom ObamaCare opponents were most worried about) to guillotine the law then and there.  The reduction of Mr. Obama's "crowning achievement" to just a gigantic waste of time when a dismal economy was begging for attention might well have cost him his re-election five months later.

But consider the alternative scenario.  Howls of outrage would have erupted from every Democrat/leftist stronghold -- from the White House to Congress, from Hollywood to academia, and of course from the establishment media.  The din would have been relentless.  The smearing of small-government Republicans as selfish meanies would be easy as pie and more effective than ever.

Nancy Pelosi would be speaker of the House again after next November's mid-term elections.  Harry Reid would certainly remain as Senate majority leader.  President Obama would be striding mightily across the national stage.  His promised fundamental transformation of the United States of America would continue.  Hillary Clinton would be a shoe-in for the White House in 2016.  And "single-payer" -- full-bore socialist medicine -- would be a slam-dunk.  HillaryCare redux.

Perhaps worst of all, from Roberts's point of view, the Court's great prestige would suffer.  Left-leaning historians, which means most historians, would be lumping the Court's killing of ObamaCare with Bush v. Gore and Citizens United to paint the Court as a right-wing political operation.

My, how different is the real reality.  Democrats are looking ahead in abject terror at the November midterms.  And when those results come in, when Obama's lame-duckness grows acute, it's possible to imagine conservatives and Republicans being ready to let the far-seeing John Roberts out of the dog house.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/01/the_roberts_trap_is_sprung.html
"It aint what you don't know that kills you.  It's what you know that aint so!" ...Theodore Sturgeon

"I am responsible for what I say.  I am not responsible for what you understand."  ...me

Offline DCPatriot

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 31,707
Re: The Roberts Trap Is Sprung
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2014, 09:44:18 AM »
Very interesting POV....

....is he simply trying to find a pony, sifting through all the horsesh*t?
"It aint what you don't know that kills you.  It's what you know that aint so!" ...Theodore Sturgeon

"I am responsible for what I say.  I am not responsible for what you understand."  ...me

Offline GourmetDan

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 7,158
Re: The Roberts Trap Is Sprung
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2014, 09:46:04 AM »

There's just gotta be a pony in there somewhere...


"The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left." - Ecclesiastes 10:2

"The sole purpose of the Republican Party is to serve as an ineffective alternative to the Democrat Party." - GourmetDan

Offline DCPatriot

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 31,707
Re: The Roberts Trap Is Sprung
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2014, 09:46:59 AM »
There's just gotta be a pony in there somewhere...

My thought exactly!   :patriot:
"It aint what you don't know that kills you.  It's what you know that aint so!" ...Theodore Sturgeon

"I am responsible for what I say.  I am not responsible for what you understand."  ...me

Offline musiclady

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 15,939
Re: The Roberts Trap Is Sprung
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2014, 09:50:13 AM »
Very interesting POV....

....is he simply trying to find a pony, sifting through all the horsesh*t?

It IS a fascinating theory.

Could Roberts be this clever?
Character still matters.  It always matters.

May 3, 2016 - the day the Republican party left ME.  I am now without a Party, and quite possibly without a country.  May God have mercy!

Online andy58-in-nh

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 5,908
Re: The Roberts Trap Is Sprung
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2014, 10:02:24 AM »
It IS a fascinating theory.

Could Roberts be this clever?

Perhaps. The other aspect of the "Roberts trap" is his classification of ObamaCare fees as a "tax", which means that Congress likely violated the Constitution by originating the bill in the wrong house (i.e., the Senate, via a cheap parliamentary trick by - who else? - Harry Reid). It may well make the bill easier to effectively overturn, should an electoral majority create the ability to do so, by means of defunding it.   

Looking for the pony in the horse manure? We'll see - and relatively soon, too. 
Liberalism isn't really about making the world a better place. It's about reassuring the elites that they are good people for wanting to rule over it.

Offline musiclady

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 15,939
Re: The Roberts Trap Is Sprung
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2014, 11:33:03 AM »
Perhaps. The other aspect of the "Roberts trap" is his classification of ObamaCare fees as a "tax", which means that Congress likely violated the Constitution by originating the bill in the wrong house (i.e., the Senate, via a cheap parliamentary trick by - who else? - Harry Reid). It may well make the bill easier to effectively overturn, should an electoral majority create the ability to do so, by means of defunding it.   

Looking for the pony in the horse manure? We'll see - and relatively soon, too.

I'm having trouble seeing this administration's being officially accused and convicted of violating the Constitution.

They've done it time after time with no consequences.

Why should this instance be different?

(Serious question).
Character still matters.  It always matters.

May 3, 2016 - the day the Republican party left ME.  I am now without a Party, and quite possibly without a country.  May God have mercy!

Offline olde north church

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 5,136
Re: The Roberts Trap Is Sprung
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2014, 11:47:02 AM »
Anything is possible.  C.J. Roberts could have gotten an inspiration, a "Eureka Moment".  Rather than telegraph his plan, he suffered the slings and arrows of the Conservative pundits.
Then again, possible just a blind boar finding an acorn.
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

Offline GourmetDan

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 7,158
Re: The Roberts Trap Is Sprung
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2014, 11:49:09 AM »
Then again, possible just a blind boar finding an acorn.

Boar?  Don't you mean a hog?


"The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left." - Ecclesiastes 10:2

"The sole purpose of the Republican Party is to serve as an ineffective alternative to the Democrat Party." - GourmetDan

Online Oceander

  • Technical
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 45,580
  • #ToldYouSo
Re: The Roberts Trap Is Sprung
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2014, 12:29:56 PM »
Is Roberts this smart?  Yes, he is.  Did he intentionally set a trap?  Who knows?  The Court has done that before, so it's possible it happened again.  If so, then this is the most subtle, sophisticated act of revenge against Obama for his attempt to bully the Court in his first State of the Nation speech.

Did Roberts save the GOP from itself?  Absolutely.

Was Roberts correct about the personal mandate being a tax?  Reasonable minds can disagree, but that decision was not illegal, unlawful, nor a rewriting of Obamacare.  That being said, as a tax it is still subject to challenge on two grounds:  (1) that it originated in the wrong house of Congress, and (2) it is that rarest of rare taxes:  a head, or capitation, tax and, as such, is unconstitutional because it wasn't apportioned among the states according to the last census.

And that is the thing about Supreme Court justices:  they are often the most surprising to those who appointed them and those who were most in favor of their appointment.  This fact is obvious in Roberts' case because, largely because of the Obamacare ruling, republicans/conservatives have felt that Roberts turned on them.  However, I have a feeling that it will also prove to be at least somewhat the case with Sotomayor.  Her interim order issuing an injunction against the fedgov penalizing religious institutions for not offering contraception to their employees is out of character with the hardline liberal she was painted as (I'm as guilty of that as anyone).  That doesn't mean that Sotomayor will end up being a conservative on the Court, but she may be much more of a centrist along the lines of Kennedy.  That would definitely be a disappointment to the democrats/liberals who wanted her appointed.

Offline olde north church

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 5,136
Re: The Roberts Trap Is Sprung
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2014, 12:42:03 PM »
Boar?  Don't you mean a hog?

A woodsman's state of mind.
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

Online Slide Rule

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 401
Re: The Roberts Trap Is Sprung
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2014, 02:42:09 PM »
In order to win, sometimes you have to side with the opponent.  Let the fallacy of their proposal have its impact.  Be willing to risk it all in order to slay the opposition.

I understand the article.  I would rather Roberts decide the conventional way.  A clever Supreme by half.



All the best,
Al

Disclosure:
I am 3% Neanderthal and 97% Conservative.

Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France

Richard Feynman, The Feynman Lectures on Physics

Roger Penrose, The Road To Reality & The Emperor's New Mind

Karl Popper, An Open Society and Its Enemies & The Logic of Scientific Discovery




Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf