Posts Tagged ‘John Roberts’

Some Republicans Secretly Gleeful Over SCOTUS Decision

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Benedict Roberts

There, I’ve said it, though I will be damned for it.  The problem we have had in the Republican party comes to surface at times like this, and I’m not going to participate in the reckless concealment.  There are those of political motives, who care not for the disaster that is the Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act(a.k.a “Obama-care”) because it serves their political ends. Within some circles of the elite Republican establishment – that thing George Will assures us does not exist while telling us this ruling is really a ‘victory’ – there are those who are absolutely giddy with anticipation in the wake of this ruling, though they must presently conceal it.  It comes down to two things: Some of them are purely fifth-column statists, who actually want this law, and others are motivated solely by the opportunity they see in the political sphere.  After all, what better way to unite wayward Republicans and conservatives then to hit them with a true disaster?  If you’re a Republican party hack driven by purely political considerations and motives, this ruling is a gift from on high that will help drive the vote.

Sure, it does horrendous damage to the body of case-law.  Yes, it does gut the constitutional limits on Congressional power.  Absolutely, it permits Congress to tax in any way it likes so long as some moron in a black robe can dismiss its unconstitutional aspects as irrelevant or insignificant.  True, it really has no manner of a silver lining if you’re an actual conservative, but so what?  At least it will help Mitt Romney get elected by driving the herd!  It will permit the Republican establishment to foist their own version of it upon us, tinkered-with and massaged as it will be, but still the heart of the bill will remain intact, and the Beltway crowd can be ecstatic that they will have finally killed the meaning of the constitution, the rule of law, and the entire notion of American self-reliance and self-determination.  Nevertheless, it also offers the chance to the GOP establishment to round up the herd, and get them all running in the same direction.  That it had been an establishment Republican who sabotaged this ruling should be the dead giveaway.

I would ask my conservative brethren to consider the evidence.  Even a flimsy, often obtuse Anthony Kennedy ruled our way, so absurd is this law.  A man who is able to imagine that Arizona has not the authority to protect its own citizens from foreign invaders, as in Arizona v. United States was not able to imagine the Affordable Care Act as constitutionally permissible.  Think of that!  This law is so preposterous, and the arguments of the administration so bizarre and absurd that Anthony Kennedy could not sustain them, but John Roberts, Bush appointee, did.  Do we think John Roberts is truly the idiot that his ruling implies?  Do we believe John Roberts is so intellectually vacuous that he could not see the absurdity of his ruling?  If we believe this, why are we not demanding Boehner and the beltway boys impeach this man as an incompetent?  Why? I’ll tell you why: Because Boehner and his toadies would never do it anyway.

We are being herded.  We are being driven.  We are being run through the political squeeze-chutes of the GOP establishment.  These people are worse than our open enemy, the leftists.  They are using subterfuge and stealth to reorganize our society into their global vision of statism, a nanny-state version in which you have little freedom to choose, and even less money or property with which to exercise that choice.  We are descending into a death of one-thousand cuts, and we have Republican party bosses who are gleeful that we are angry, because they intend to use that as the fuel to recapture power, not for conservatism or freedom, but for the aggrandizement of their own statist vision, complete with open borders and vast social programs to which we are all enslaved, but as a bonus, with our votes, too!

How else does one explain the servile pronouncements by some conservative commentators that the ACA ruling had been a victory?  How else does one discount the accurate assessments of stalwarts like Mark Levin, who sees this monstrosity clearly?  How in the name of most unholy Hell does one derive the notion that this is anything but a national tragedy?  In some respects,  I place this ruling above Pearl Harbor Day.  In terms of the long-term damage it will do to America, I place it above 9/11.  I place it as the greatest attack on the United States and her people since before its current constitution had been adopted.  It will certainly lead to the death of more Americans.  It was certainly a plot hatched against us.  The delivery of the fatal blow was no less a shock.   I must go all the way back to General Benedict Arnold to find an apt analog for the sort of sabotage this infamy represents, and all brought to you by a bi-partisan Washington DC establishment that seeks to rule over you.

Remember, when some conservatives reflexively screamed at the notion of the appointment of Harriet Miers, many felt relief when George Bush put up John Roberts, who was seen as more reliably conservative and eminently more qualified, as was my pet goat.  That was the sham in all of this.  Roberts is no conservative, and his ruling in this case makes that plain, lest there be any confusion.  Harriet Miers was a throw-away nomination, and Roberts was the goal all along.  This is how politics is done.  I was astonished at the speed at which the reaction to the Miers controversy was brought to a head, and more astonished still at how quickly they dropped the ostensibly reliable Roberts on us.  Do you remember who screamed first and loudest at the Miers nomination?  I do. Odd how that critic is now a rabid Romney-bot these days, isn’t it? I hate conspiracy theories, but I always thought it odd how that whole situation turned out, with Rehnquist retiring just in time to re-nominate Roberts for the Chief Justice position.

Ladies and gentlemen, the truth is that the GOP establishment exists to keep us in check, to keep us to a dull roar as the statists reorganize our nation into their vision of global, social, welfare-statism.  The GOP establishment advances the ball(never spiking it, of course,) and we permit them to manage us like puppets.  If you accept their talking points these last three days, you’re playing directly into their hands, and you had better believe that they see this as a victory, because for their agenda, it is.  They will be immune to Obama-care.  They won’t worry about death panels.  They won’t worry about government-enforced rationing.  They won’t be waiting in the endless lines.  They won’t have any need to concern themselves with the entirety of the system they’re building, because they are above it, after all.

The same people who tried at every turn(and often succeeded) to blunt the conservative Reagan revolution are once again making political hay over this decision, as they now know you have no alternative.  They engineered it that way.  Feel free to believe what you want, of course, but for me, the matter is clear.  I have seen suppositions that somehow, Obama bullied Roberts into this decision, but I find that unlikely.  Roberts was placed in this position to uphold Obama-care.  There are those who will become apoplectic at the mere suggestion, but for me, the matter is now painfully obvious: If we do anything short of replacing the Republican Party, this nation will be damned.  I’ll not be kept in line any longer.  The Republican Party must rip this law out from the roots, or we must make a new party.

Some are still convinced that there exists a win in all of this.  They offer as evidence that we are still free, this moment, and that this affords to us a chance, somehow.  This is akin to saying that as the last breath escapes your lips, the hooligans choking the last of your life from you, there is still some chance.  Technically? Sure.  Practically? No.  Violence is being done to us, and the best we get from most Republicans indicate that many of them don’t mind, in fact, although there are a few notable exceptions.  On the 11th of July, we will have a pointless exercise of repeal in the House of Representatives, a tale told and believed only by idiots, that for all its sound and fury, will signify nothing.  The GOP establishment loves a charade, and too many of us likewise adore one.




The Dangerous Self-Delusion of Some Conservatives

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Et Tu, Brute?

In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act, I have noticed a curious phenomenon in which some conservative commentators seem to be so desperate to find a silver lining to the ruling that they have abandoned all logic.  Consider George Will, who wrote a column in the aftermath of the ruling that actually puts forward the argument that we conservatives should take the fact that Roberts didn’t rely upon the commerce clause as evidence that there might be some constitutional limitation on the federal government after all.  That would be a wonderful aspect of this ruling, if they had overturned the law!  Instead, what we have is a monstrous precedent set in which the court re-writes a law in order to make it constitutional by imputing into the act a tax that had not existed in fact.  This is an unmitigated disaster.  I have heard a few who have noted hopefully that this ruling will energize the conservative base, and while that’s probably the case, I’m not certain I am so concerned about the political fall-out as I am about the long-run constitutional implications.  You see, the political situation may permit us to repair the law, but it doesn’t permit us to immediately repair the damage done to the body of case law  upon which future courts will rely as precedents in their own rulings.

The other thing I have read is the bizarre notion put forward by the National Review that what Roberts did was more conservative because he exercised judicial restraint in not striking down the law.  Balderdash!  Once you realize the legal contortions through which Roberts arrived at this ruling, it makes no sense whatever to claim he hadn’t acted as an activist.  The convoluted logic by which he found a tax in a law that plainly states it does not contain one is an onerous breech of any notion of strict construction.  I cannot conceive of any intellectually rigorous examination of this ruling by which this can be seen as a positive by anybody who is in favor of strict construction.  When it came to the Anti-Injunction section of the ruling, it was held not to have been a tax, but just a few pages later, as Roberts performed mental gymnastics, he declared it was a tax after all.

On Thursday evening, Mark Levin summarized the matter better than anybody I’ve heard speak to this matter, in part because he understands the legalities in question, his Landmark Legal Foundation having been a participant in this case, but also because he knew Justice Roberts years ago when they both worked in the Reagan administration.  Levin’s critique of the decision mirrors most of my own, and indeed, there was one aspect I hadn’t considered until Levin led me to it.  That premise led me to yet another that I don’t believe Levin has yet realized in full.  What one must understand is that this ruling is an unmitigated disaster, and no search for some alleged silver lining can repair it.

What justice Roberets actually did was to expand the definition of what constitutes a permissible tax .  Congress is permitted to levy only certain forms of tax, and this one doesn’t fit the definition of any of them.  In dispensing with that issue, Roberts held that it didn’t matter, and that words don’t matter, and that plain-written legislative language doesn’t matter.  He also ignored the context of the law, and the intent of Congress.  One version of this bill had an actual tax, but Congress could not pass it in that form, so Congress altered it to contain no tax.  What John Roberts did was to ignore the actual text of the legislation, and to say that the labels didn’t matter:  If it looks like a tax, it is one.  The problem with this is that it does nothing to restrain Congress from levying new taxes, and ignores the definitions of what sort of taxes Congress may enact.  This is a wholesale extension of Congressional taxing authority because what Roberts ruled with respect to the particular form of the tax, insofar as the question of whether Congress had met the constitutional limits on whether it could impose it was effectively: “Close enough.”

That is offered to us as evidence of John Roberts’ alleged strict construction?  Close enough?  What this means, effectively, is that if Congress enacts some tax that it has questionable constitutional authority to levy, smiling John will be there to tell us it’s “close enough,” with every leftist monster on the court standing behind him to uphold it.

Ladies and gentlemen, there exists no silver lining to this ruling.   All of the crackpot, delusional happy-talk from some conservatives in media is designed to make you feel better.  You’ve just lost both arms and legs in a brutal assault, but they tell you, you should consider this a happy opportunity to enjoy the comforts of a new wheelchair and mouth-controlled joystick.  You’ve just lost your family to a violent home-invasion, but, they tell you, you should view this as a chance to start over.  The intention here is to keep you calm.  The intention now is to serve a political end, while your country is dying around you.  Your most sacred law, the US Constitution, has been crumpled and tossed into the ash-bin of history, and you are told you should do a happy-dance to the calming sounds of “Oh Happy Days.”

I’d like you to inventory the whole of the conservatives to whom you listen, or whose columns and opinions you read, and I want you to take care to note which of them are imploring you to consider some silver lining.  They are lying.  They have good intentions, many of them, and they have contorted themselves into a formless spaghetti of reasoning in order to find some good in this awful plate of refuse you’ve been handed.  Don’t surrender your minds by sprinkling Parmesan on it and wolfing it down.  Are there some limited political opportunities as a result of this decision? Yes, but they require the fulfillment of a whole laundry-list of “if-then” statements.

IF Mitt Romney is elected, and IF he doesn’t sell us out, and IF we hold the House, and IF we recapture the Senate(and at least 60 votes) and IF the moderates in either house don’t screw us, and IF Boehner and McConnell have the guts to do in repealing what the villains Reid and Pelosi did in passing the ACA, and IF they can deliver a bill to President Romney’s desk, and IF John Roberts and the other liberals on the court can be replaced, and IF Mitt Romney can replace them with actual strict constructionists, THEN you might have a chance to undo this damage.  IF any of these don’t happen, your constitution is effectively dead as a restraint on government.

The danger of self-imposed delusions is that you come to believe them, like a pathological liar.  It is by this form of self-delusion that we’ve permitted our country to lose its roots in reverence for the Constitution.  We cannot defeat the statists by pretending this isn’t the disaster that it is, if we can defeat them at all.  I believe some talking heads know this, but do not want to yield to what will come in the wake of such a monstrosity.  They’re hanging on, stubbornly telling us that the stench of smoke reaching our nostrils is merely an air freshener of a novel scent.  Rather than screaming “Fire,” and warning conservative Americans that the house is ablaze, the barn is wiped out, the surviving farm animals running loose in a frantic bid to stay ahead of the flames licking at their heels, many are now telling you that it’s all okay.  It will be fine.

No, it won’t.