I don’t think it’s quite sunk in yet on the Right just how awful the John Roberts Obamacare decision really is, or what nasty consequences will now flow from it.
Of course, it’s a betrayal on the part of the chief justice, not only of the conservative constituency that put him into his lifetime, very well paid sinecure, but of all Americans foolish enough to believe that we actually are a government of laws, not men. At one stroke, Roberts has damaged his own reputation (ruined it, really) and that of the court. If Roberts was reacting to the unconscionable and outrageous pressure being put on him by the president and his amen corner in the media — as it appears he was — then, as Chapman University law professor John Eastman has said, Roberts should resign:
If the assumption is right, that he thinks was unconstitutional but found a way to uphold it to preserve the integrity of the court, then he really ought to resign because it proves he doesn’t have the judicial fortitude to do the job that he’s been chosen to do.
Of course, it’s both a job-destroyer and a job non-creator. Beginning Thursday morning, all over America employers were looking at their work-force rosters, calculating the increased costs to them of Obamacare, governmental compliance, and dealing with the IRS, and mentally making their pink-slip lists. And what employer in his right mind, already battling the continuing Great Recession, is going to take on new employees at this point? Except the IRS. Because —
Of course it’s a tax on the middle class — not just one but more than twenty; even worse, it’s a tax on inactivity; and worst of all, it’s a tax effectively imposed by Roberts himself, since the government only obliquely tried to make that case while it tried to have it both ways in its Commerce Clause argument — but Roberts obligingly helped them out. It also gives the IRS broad new powers, as if it didn’t have enough already; the way things are headed, some day every single taxpayer (what few will remain as the beggaring of America by Washington continues) will have his or her own personal IRS agent, to keep tabs on their behavior — both active and (thanks to Roberts) passive.
But the worst thing about the whole fiasco — the law itself, the way it was passed, the dishonesty of its adherents and the court’s wholesale abrogation of constitutional principles — is that it is a direct assault on the citizens of the United States, and a blatant attempt by the forces of liberal fascism to turn us into subjects. Nancy Pelosi was serious when she asked, “Are you serious?” to an inquiry whether Obamacare was constitutional; at the time we took it as a joke. But now the joke’s on us.
Which leaves only the question: what are you going to do about it? When I was in college during the 1960s, “civil disobedience” was all the rage, especially regarding the Vietnam War. Those draft protesters would have had a much harder time sticking to their principles had the IRS been the draft-board enforcers. It’s good to see GOP governors like Florida’s Rick Scott telling the feds to shove their Medicare edict, which is just another Obama administration tool to beggar the states and to force them to dance to D.C.’s tune. But it’s not nearly enough.
Let’s not kid ourselves: the economic destruction and remaking of America is the goal here, implemented by a Cloward-Piven strategy to so over-stress existing institutions that the public will be clamoring for direct rule from the District of Columbia, and the permanent political class’s century-long “progressive” dream will finally be a reality. That’s one of the things “fundamental transformation” has always been about. And John Roberts just gave them carte blanche to proceed apace.
I agree with VDH: there’s no good news here, just an enormous — uphill — challenge. For most Americans, the worth of Obamacare has just been endorsed by no less than the chief justice, largely taking it off the table in November unless Mitt Romney — the worst possible candidate to argue this — can somehow make a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-did case as part of his larger economic message.
This is what happens when the debate centers on programs instead of principles, and why it’s so critical for the Right to move the discussion to the larger issues. Yes, it’s tough to compete with the Democrats’ sob stories, and to make the abstract concrete. It’s tough to accept that perhaps a majority of our fellow Americans would cheerfully trade liberty for a false sense of security. It’s a tough job — but somebody’s got to do it.
When I lived in Germany, some Germans would wag their fingers at me, the “Ami,” and opine: “Yes, it’s true that in America you can become a millionaire. But it’s also true you can wind up sleeping under a bridge.” To which I would answer the obverse, that while you might wind up sleeping under a bridge (though very few do), you can also become a millionaire.
In the aftermath of World War II, terrified of the bridge option, the Europeans made their choice, and nothing but doom now awaits the enervated old Continent, which is too lazy even to reproduce, much less work. That’s what “European-style socialism” is all about and that’s the fate Obama and his team so devoutly wish for us.
Is that a fate we’re now willing to accept?
Thumbnail image and illustration courtesy shutterstock / andrea crisante