A.L.I.O.C.* 2: The Fizzle

After extensive wrangling in congress shaping the Heritage Foundat– I mean, Mitt Romn– dammit, Obama’s health care “reform” act, including contrary to portrayals by Dem loyalists side deals with the same interests that the legislation was allegedly supposed to restrain For The Common Good, and outside of congress the sound and fury of obviously unrealistic claims from supporters slapping against glaring contradictions by the most prominent opposition, the whole mess went to his desk for signing into law. Constitutionality challenges followed, prompting progressives to (after they stopped laughing, of course…) exclaim the absurdity of even questioning it, then act as if the mere chance of what amounts to an insurance company bailout falling before the high Court was a harbinger of The Death Of Democracy Itself. Question of how something can die that didn’t live aside, there was a lot of apocalyptic talk prior to this morning.

Well…that went from unfounded to even more unfounded today: 5-4 in favor.

In a dramatic victory for President Barack Obama, the Supreme Court upheld the 2010 health care law Thursday, preserving Obama’s landmark legislative achievement.

The majority opinion was written by Chief Justice John Roberts, who held that the law was a valid exercise of Congress’s power to tax.

Roberts re-framed the debate over health care as a debate over increasing taxes. Congress, he said, is “increasing taxes” on those who choose to go uninsured.

Awkwardly, the strategy I described whereby the Obama administration and its supporters switched between citing the ever-expanding Commerce Clause in slapping down claims that the mandate was effectively a tax and saying “yes, it is a tax, who cares?” worked in their favor. In fact, it did so to such a point where John Roberts pretty much said he looked at both arguments and picked the one he thought made more sense. So with that, ObaromneyCare, complete with its captive market even without public government-option safety valve, survives…and what passes for “the left” in the U.S. (minus a few stragglers…) cheers like they won the NBA championship. Ok, we get it: Status Quo = terrible, Status Quo + some subsidies & a mandate = awesome, have fun.  BTW: Wellpoint thanks you.

As for the Republicans? The signs calling John Roberts “John Souter” ought to show up any minute now.

Seriously though, I considered the main argument they rode into this battle rather hilarious for what it implied. See, a key figure in the argument which targeted the individual mandate is Randy Barnett, a law professor at Georgetown (as well as sometime blogger at Eugene Volokh’s Volokh Conspiracy). Randy Barnett, however, is not a conservative movement guy, but an anarcho-capitalist. That is, he’s as unconvinced of the need and legitimacy of the state itself as I am, albeit from a different angle. The base idea of his challenge flows from that: it is improper for the government to force you to buy health insurance because it’s improper for the government to force you to buy anything. Taken to its logical conclusion, since state action is funded by taxation, this is to say that it is improper for the government to exist at all, full stop.

So in an effort to score a political point, the type of people that constantly decry a slide into chaos whenever the guns of government do not back up morality cherry-picked from their favorite portions of the bible co-signed someone who’d like those guns silenced thank you very much. Against an idea they came up with.

“Cynicism wins! FATALITY!!”

Edit: trio of responses at C4ss today as well.

(* – American Liberalism is Operationally Conservative)


About b-psycho

Left-libertarian blogger & occasional musician.
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