ObamaCare: Liberty Lost the Battle, But the War’s More Winnable Than Ever

Conservatives were right about John Roberts.
Not this year, obviously: nobody expected the Chief Justice to fall for the White House’s most laughable justification of ObamaCare’s individual mandate. But we were right in 2005, when George W. Bush nominated the blank-slate jurist to the Supreme Court. Ann Coulter warned us that “stealth nominees have never turned out to be a pleasant surprise for conservatives.” I’ve previously voiced my fear that Roberts worships at the altar of stare decisis.
Despite Roberts’ reasoning, the mandate is manifestly nota tax. As the bill’s text and legislative history clearly show, it’s a penalty expressly justified as a regulation of interstate commerce. Barack Obama himself emphatically denied that it was a tax. Hell, the Court itself acknowledged it’s not a tax—for the purpose of ruling on a different part of ObamaCare. As Anthony Kennedy’s dissenting opinion says, “to say that the Individual Mandate merely imposes a tax is not to interpret the statute but to rewrite it.” (To say nothing of the real elephant in the room: even if it was a tax, it still wouldn’t fall under enumerated powers.)
Jay Cost looks on the bright side: the Court rejected the mandate’s Commerce and Necessary & Proper Clause rationales, which sets valuable precedent. They also affirmed that states can’t be denied Medicaid funds for noncompliance.
That’s all well and good…but is one constitutional provision really protected when government can get away with the same thing by simply calling it something else? Brent Bozell is right: “there will be no rehabilitating” of John Roberts’ new image “as a traitor to his philosophy.” Thanks, Dubya!
Make no mistake: today was a defeat for constitutional fidelity, individual liberty, limited government, and true healthcare reform. But the American people may yet have the last laugh.
The general public deeply, deeply opposes ObamaCare, and doctors keep reaffirming that it’ll make American healthcare worse. The Court just guaranteed that a clear loser for Obama will remain a prominent issue throughout the rest of the campaign. We’re already seeing signs that conservatives are giving Mitt Romney a much-needed enthusiasm boost.
Beyond that, the ruling added two brand-new wrinkles to the narrative, neither of which works to Team Obama’s benefit. First, the mandate can now be characterized as a tax increase, an argument Sen. Marco Rubio is already expertly deploying. Second, Obama now has a new circle to square: were you lying about the mandate not being a tax then, or are you lying now?
Hopefully Romney will incorporate these details into his rhetoric sooner rather than later (his pre-scripted reaction to the ruling desperately needs a tune-up). Either way, the bottom line is that it’s more important than ever for conservatives to dedicating ourselves to keeping the House, retaking the Senate, and—and here’s the part some conservatives still want to suicidally ignore—retaking the White House. Only by electing Mitt Romneycan we hope to repeal ObamaCare and appoint justices with greater respect for the Constitution.
Let’s get to work.
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New on Live Action – Has the OK Supreme Court Inadvertently Put the "Right to Choose" on the Fast Track to Oblivion?

Check out my latest Live Action post:
Pro-aborts may have declared victory in the wake of the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate the Oklahoma Personhood Act, but according to Personhood USA President Keith Mason, pro-lifers are the ones who should be celebrating, since the decision puts personhood on the fast track to the highest court in the land:

The Oklahoma Court’s decision relied heavily on Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and in moving to deny the people’s right to petition on behalf of the preborn, they have turned this case into a federal issue, deciding “the only recourse available to this Court is to follow…the United States Supreme Court.” The ruling has set us up for a direct challenge to Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
The Oklahoma Court ruling has, inadvertently, propelled the Personhood movement several years forward!
The implications of this case are enormous! Not only will the Personhood movement receive more exposure, which results in an unmatched opportunity for education and saving babies’ lives, but there is a very real chance for victory. The Oklahoma case could be the first to directly and successfully challenge Planned Parenthood v. Casey, dismantling the abortion stronghold in America, and demanding basic human rights for every single human being. This is cause for celebration!

The Oklahoma high court called the measure “clearly unconstitutional,” claiming the Supremes’ prior rulings on abortion have settled the issue. If the Supreme Court were to hear the case, they’d be taking the explosive step of reconsidering Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey’s central proposition: that the Constitution protects the “right to choose” abortion. That’s a high-risk/high-reward proposition, to put it mildly.
Read the rest at Live Action.

New at NewsReal – Eric Alterman Continues to Push Lie That Won’t Die: "Bush Stole Florida"

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

In Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth-Century America, leftist Stanford University professor Richard Rorty says something that reveals a great deal—perhaps more than Rorty intended—about the psyche of the Left:

I do not think that there is a nonmythological, nonideological way of telling a country’s story […]Stories about what a nation has been and should try to be are not attempts at accurate representation, but rather attempts to forge a moral identity. The argument between Left and Right about which episodes in our history we Americans should pride ourselves on will never be a contest between a true and a false account of our country’s history and its identity. It is better described as an argument about which hopes to allow ourselves and which to forgo.

If leftists operate under the assumption that nobody’s version of history is, or can be, objectively true anyway, then it follows that no amount of evidence or counter-argument will persuade them to abandon factually-unsustainable positions. Accordingly, leftists cling to many falsehoods that, no matter how many times they’re killed, just won’t die: the rich aren’t paying their fare share (wrong), human life doesn’t begin at fertilization (wrong), Saddam Hussein had no WMDs or ties to terrorism (wrong and wrong), the Founders didn’t care about slavery (wrong), the Red Scare was much ado about nothing (wrong), women still face pay discrimination in the workplace (wrong), the science is settled on global warming (wrong).

The latest example comes from left-wing media apologist Eric Alterman, who on the Daily Beast decides to revisit the 2000 presidential election, in which, according to leftist mythology, the Supreme Court helped George W. Bush steal the White House from Al Gore. Naturally, Alterman can’t resist opening with a dig at Dubya for being the worst president ever. But “even if Bush had been a great president,” he insists, “Bush v. Gore would have been a disgraceful decision”:

To prevent a careful recount of the vote, the self-professed conservatives on the U.S. Supreme Court ignored the decision of lower federal courts, which four times had rejected similar stay requests from the Bush campaign. As a result, the majority could not cite any real, germane Florida statutory law to support its contention that the counting must be ended immediately. Instead, the court chose to overturn a state court’s election laws as interpreted by that state’s supreme court on the basis of a legal theory that the justices simply made up on the spot: that different counting standards violate the equal protection and due process provisions of the U.S. Constitution.

First, some background: Bush won Florida’s initial vote, albeit narrowly enough to trigger a full machine recount. This recount was conducted. Bush won again. Gore requested a manual recount in four heavily-Democrat counties, as he was legally entitled to do. However, as Mark Levin explains in Men in Black, under the law that would only lead to a full recount in those counties if a partial manual recount—“1 percent of the county’s total votes in at least three precincts”—indicated a vote tabulation error, which it didn’t. Therefore, Levin argues, “there was no statutory authority for the four counties to conduct full manual recounts of all the votes.” But two of the counties went ahead anyway. Thus, the recounts Bush’s lawyers sought to stop and Alterman’s esteemed lower courts sought to continue, weren’t legally authorized.  Further, state law placed a clear deadline, 5PM on November 14, by which recounts had to stop and results had to be turned in. In following the deadline, Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris was only doing her job and letting the process take its course. It was the Florida Supreme Court, not the federal one, which “chose to overturn a state court’s election laws” by ruling not only against Harris and for Gore’s recounts, but by also ordering additional recounts—without bothering to provide either a deadline or standards of procedure.

Read the rest at NewsRealBlog.

Score One for the Good Guys!

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court today voted to uphold the 2003 ban on partial-birth abortions. Predictably, in her dissenting opinion Ruth Bader Ginsburg whined that “the ruling ‘refuses to take … seriously’ previous Supreme Court decisions on abortion.” Well…yeah, that’s kinda the point.

Predictably, the frontrunners of the ‘08 Republican field
have embraced the ruling, while all three leading Democrats promptly took the Nazi position on the issue (by the way, Barbara Boxer’s reaction was even more extreme; too bad she’s not running for President!).

Today was a great day—a great day for America, for human rights, and even for President Bush (both of his appointees delivered today). But this battle isn’t over by a long shot. It won’t be over
until the rest of our countrymen remember that “unalienable” really does mean “unalienable,” and every human life, from the moment of conception onward, is recognized & protected by US law.
(Oh, by the way: if you wanna see a general abortion debate that’s just taken a turn for the stupid, click here.)

UPDATE: Though I still think pro-lifers are right to celebrate today, Ross over at Sullivan’s blog has a
somewhat-more sober reaction that’s worth reading.

A Reminder that Ronaldus Maximus Was But a Mortal…

As a ex-Justice who defends the influence of FOREIGN LAW in AMERICAN judicial proceedings, Sandra Day O’Connor has a lot of nerve:

“[O’Connor] has grown weary of partisan attacks on judges, criticisms that she believes are causing citizens to lose faith in the judicial system…she finds troubling the ‘increased number of attack on judges that are coming out of the halls of Congress and out of state legislatures across the country.’”

(Hat tip:
the Right Angle)