By Matt Barber
U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts – once counted among the constitutional originalists on the high court – has granted President Obama’s supreme wish. By inexplicably siding with the court’s left wing and upholding the president’s signature achievement – government-run socialized health care – Roberts has given Democrats a shiny election-year package adorned with a judicial-activist bow.
The excessive celebration has begun. Nancy Pelosi immediately released a statement gloating, “We made history. … We completed unfinished business!” Exhibiting that characteristic class intrinsic to “progressivism,” other high-level Democrats took to Twitter: “it’s Constitutional. B*tches,” tweeted Patrick Gaspard, executive director of the Democratic National Committee and all-around sexist pig. The DNC’s new media outreach director, Greg Greene, one-upped his boss: “Overheard in the office: ‘TAKE THAT MOTHER******S!!’” To his credit, Mr. Obama showed a bit more of a measured response. At least he bothered to abbreviate his sophomoric profanity tweeting about his signature achievement: “Still a BFD OFA.BO/ayPgAZ” (BFD stands for “Big F–king Deal”). Our potty-mouthed president then quickly moved on to wishful thinking: “With today’s announcement, it’s time for us to move forward.”
Not likely, chief.
Indeed, as gleeful Democrats tear feverishly into Justice Roberts’ glittery gift, they seem oblivious to the fact that coiled inside and poised to strike rests an election-year viper chock-full of political poison.
What liberals celebrate as a historic milestone is likely a political millstone that may well drown them in November. The American people didn’t want this job-killing, economy-destroying, health-care-rationing monstrosity then; and we don’t want it now.
Like yappy little Marxist pugs, Democrats have, for decades, been chasing the socialized medicine mail truck. OK, so they finally caught it. Now what? The absurdly tagged “Affordable Care Act” remains wildly unpopular with most Americans. Polls have not wavered. By a two-to-one margin voters want the plug pulled on Obamacare.
As even Michael Shear of the uber-liberal New York Times acknowledges: “[T]he ruling also has the potential to re-energize the tea-party movement … and provide new political power to Mitt Romney’s pledge to repeal the law. … Republicans eager to seize control of the Senate now have a renewed rallying cry in races across the country.” And the GOP’s nominee-to-be has wasted no time. It must’ve been all high-fives around Romney headquarters. Shortly after the ruling the former Massachusetts governor took to the microphones, warning America: “If we want to get rid of Obamacare, we’re going to have to replace President Obama. … What the court did not do on its last day in session, I will do on my first day if elected president.” That’s a powerful promise to a lot of independent voters. Indeed, in little more than 24 hours, Romney had raised nearly $5 million on his pledge to repeal Obamacare alone.
I don’t mean to diminish how utterly mind-boggling the court’s ruling remains. Legal scholars will be dissecting this bizarre decision for decades to come. Still, what I’m more interested in, at least for now, is how the ruling will affect the 2012 elections.
Under any objective analysis, it’s a boon for Mitt Romney and the GOP. Most damaging to Obama and Democrats, perhaps, is the fact that Obamacare’s individual mandate was held to be a “tax” rather than a “penalty.”
Recall that, while Democrats were using parliamentary sleight-of-hand to ram Obamacare through on Christmas Eve, 2009, they expressly wrote into the bill that fines associated with an individual’s failure to fork over the bucks amounted to a penalty, not a tax.
President Obama promised the same, saying on multiple occasions that the individual mandate was – you guessed it – a “penalty,” not a “tax.” Nevertheless, Chief Justice Roberts enigmatically joined the four known Supreme Court liberals to effectively revise the bill so that it might pass constitutional muster. To do so, they arbitrarily invoked the government’s taxing power, despite lawmakers’ legislative intent to the contrary. This, by definition, is legislating from the bench. It’s judicial activism.
The effect? Obama and Democrats are a pack of liars. They’ve promised, over and again, not to raise taxes on the middle class. Well, middle class, congratulations. You now have 21 brand new tax increases costing you over $700 billion out of pocket. How do you like them peas?
It’s a double-edged sword. Obamacare has become ObamaTax. Although this strange legal fiction may have temporarily saved the health-care overhaul, it likely spells doom for Democrats in November. Ultimately, when all the smoke has cleared, this means that Obamacare remains on life support and is fading fast.
Shortly after Thursday’s decision, Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel and dean of Liberty University School of Law, said: “Elections have consequences. Obamacare is the result of squandered votes cast in 2008. This November, we need to elect principled people who will repeal Obamacare.”
And by “we,” he means you.
In the 1970 film “Tora! Tora! Tora!,” shortly after bombing Pearl Harbor, Japanese Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto is portrayed as saying, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”
On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court awakened a sleeping giant. This giant likes tea. Remember 2010, Democrats. Mr. Obama? Well, to borrow from Bachman-Turner Overdrive: You ain’t seen nothing yet.
Matt Barber (@jmattbarber on Twitter) is an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. He serves as Vice President of Liberty Counsel Action. (This information is provided for identification purposes only.)