Left Commentariat: The Supreme Court = the Republican Party, the Tea Party, the Koch Party, the Corporate Party, the Birther Party, and the Goat Party

The collective case of the vapors that last week's Obamacare oral arguments has given the opinion-journalism left continues to be something to behold. Here's a narrow selection:

Paul Krugman, New York Times:

The big bad event of last week was, of course, the Supreme Court hearing on health reform. In the course of that hearing it became clear that several of the justices, and possibly a majority, are political creatures pure and simple, willing to embrace any argument, no matter how absurd, that serves the interests of Team Republican.

E.J. Dionne, Washington Post:

Last week's Supreme Court oral arguments on health care were the most dramatic example of how radical tea partyism has displaced mainstream conservative thinking. [...]

[I]magine the shock when conservative justices repeatedly spouted views closely resembling the tweets and talking points issued by organizations of the sort funded by the Koch brothers. [...]

If supposed moderates refuse to call out the new conservatism for the radical creed it has become, their timidity will make them complicit in an intellectual coup they could have prevented.

Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker:

Now, [...] the Supreme Court acts as a sort of supra-legislature, dismissing laws that conflict with its own political agenda. This was most evident in the 2010 case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, when the five-Justice majority eviscerated the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance law (not to mention several of its own precedents), because Congress showed insufficiently tender regard for the free-speech rights of corporations. The question now is whether those same five Justices will rewrite—or erase—the health-care law on which Barack Obama has staked his Presidency.

Jamelle Bouie, The Nation:

To me, this isn't the story of a well-functioning political system—it's an attempt to deny legitimacy to one side of the political spectrum whenever it gains power. Short of forfeiting elections–or passing right-wing legislation—there's nothing that Democrats can do to satisfy movement conservatives. Duly elected Democratic presidents are attacked as illegitimate—Barack Obama had to show the public his birth certificate—and legislation passed by duly-elected Democratic lawmakers is attacked as unconstitutional. [...]

[I]f this is what we're dealing with—a powerful right wing that doesn't accept the legitimacy of liberal lawmakers or ideas—then I'm honestly doubtful whether there's anything we do that can pass constitutional muster with the opposition.

Steven Pearlstein, Washington Post:

Judging from their blatantly partisan bleating from the bench, it is certain that Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito will join Clarence Thomas in doing whatever it takes to impose their conservative, free-market, nothing's-changed-since-1788 agenda on the country.

Reason on Obamacare here.

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  • Charlotte Corday||

    Nihilists!!!

  • JB||

    The only good leftists are Stalin and Mao.

    Because they are dead and buried.

  • ||

    its like collective pauline kael syndrome

  • ||

    exactly. btw, somebody told me that pauline kael/nixon story was either fabricated or likely so. either way, it's still indicative of the atittude of sheltered people who surround themselves withe fellow travelers

    kind of like the reasonoids (at least a dozen have made this claim) that think 'the populace' doesn't like cops, despite overwhelming data to the contrary. if you surround yerself with cop haters, it's easy to believe most people hate cops

    heck, i surround myself with strength athletes. i don't therefore assume the average 130 lb woman can deadlift 275 lbs

  • Ryan||

    No matter how surrounded I've been in different scenarios, I've never gotten the impression that people like cops. People may like the idea of cops, in that they want to be protected from crime, but when it comes to cops in reality the opinion seems to be overwhelmingly disfavorable.

  • cynical||

    They also tend to act respectful of cops around cops, regardless what they actually think, because why get yourself into trouble for no good reason?

    So maybe dunphy's the one living in a bubble.

  • ||

    im talking about fucking anonymous polling data

    so maybe you are the one who is clueless

    again, year after year cops rate near the top of professions in terms of respect from the populace along with teachers, firefighters, etc

    journalists and lawyers are always near the bottom as are car salesmen

  • ||

    I like cops, and I think most people like cops.

    I do hate it when someone gets away with murder simply because they wear a badge.

    I also hate it when you defend them here.

  • Plisade||

    respect =/ like

  • H. Himmler||

    Ja, I never heard any complaints either.

  • Krazily Korpulent Kristen||

    I'm pretty sure the majority of the populace loves cops, which is fucking scary.

  • Joe R.||

    The utter lack of self-awareness, it BUURRRNS.

  • juris imprudent||

    No, no - they are very aware of themselves; given the endless hours of navel-gazing. It is all that ugly otherness they don't grok.

  • X||

    Barack Obama had to show the public his birth certificate

    disrespectful. but I had to show mine to join the USAF, so I'm guessing barack and jamelle are not veterans.

  • X||

    come to think of it, I had to show it to play Pop Warner.

  • Charlotte Corday||

    Had to show it to get a passport. But not to get elected President?

  • ||

    None of the previous presidents had to. Why Obama? (particularly when his opponent was indisputably born outside the US)

    The reality is, most of the birthers were just racist douchebags. No other explanation.

  • Charlotte Corday||

    There was never any doubt about where they were born. None of them had foreign born parents to my knowledge.

    I don't see the harm in producing the thing.

  • ||

    Never any doubt in whose mind? How do you know McCain's parents were really Americans? How do you know GWB wasn't adopted from overseas? You don't. But suddenly when a dark skinned fellow gets elected you become Rene flerking Descartes with the skepticism.

    And many of the early presidents had foreign born parents. Martin Van Buren spoke English as a second language for God's sake.

    And if "I don't see any harm in producing it" is your standard for invasion of privacy, you'd be happy in Oceania.

  • HeroicMulatto||

    There was never any doubt about where they were born. None of them had foreign born parents to my knowledge.

    Are you dumb?

  • Jeff||

    Are you illiterate?

    His great-great-great-grandfather Cornelis Maessen van Buren had come to the New World in 1631 from the small city of Buren, Dutch Republic, in present day Netherlands.

  • HeroicMulatto||

    More literate than you, Jeff.

    Martin Van Buren (Dutch: Maarten van Buren; December 5, 1782 – July 24, 1862) was the eighth President of the United States (1837–1841). He was the first president to be born an American citizen,[2] his predecessors having been born British subjects before the American Revolution[3].

    Before there was an America, all people were, by definition, "foreign born," that why they had to state "No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution" in Art. II, Sec. 5 when defining who could be President.

  • Jeff||

    I think that's rather a reach to consider Washington, Jefferson, et al, to have been foreign born in any conventional sense, but whatever. As long as you're not trying to make the same stupid argument that Tulpa did: van Buren spoke Dutch, so he must have had foreign born parents!

  • MJ||

    They were born the subjects of a foreign power, so they were not natural born citizens of the USA. Nobody said they were "foreign born" in a coventional sense, but were part of a special circumstances at the Founding of the country.

  • Jeff||

    A fact of which I'm pretty sure we're all aware, and which has absolutely nothing to do with what Joh... er, "Charlotte" was talking about. No fucking shit that someone can't be a natural born citizen of a nation that doesn't yet exist.

  • ||

    No other explanation is possible but yours. Got it.

  • ||

    Once you remove the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the solution. My dear suthenboy.

  • Brandon||

    I don't remember Spock ever shrilly calling people racists.

  • HeroicMulatto||

    I'm not so sure. Spock was a smug "Green".

  • ||

    I would have given half credit for Data, but Spock is right out.

  • Sherlock Holmes||

    Who is this Spock of whom you speak?

  • HeroicMulatto||

  • Joe M||

    Needs more "Shut up Wesley."

  • ||

    If Mr Spock thinks it happened then it must be logical...

  • ||

    The reality is, most of the birthers were just racist douchebags. No other explanation.

    Tulpa, occasionally people shit on you on this board and I wonder why. Then I read something as imbecilic as quoted above and I realize that you deserve it.

    Are all opponents of affirmative action also closet racists, cause you say so? No other explanation?

    I actually wondered about McCain's legitimacy. I guess that was racist too? Fuck you.

  • ||

    Most people who oppose affirmative action, such as myself, have non-racist reasons beyond innuendo to oppose it. There are some who oppose it for racist reasons of course, but they're not the majority.

    And the birthers went way beyond privately wondering about BO's legitimacy. They said he'd be illegitimate unless he publicly produced the birth certificate.

  • ||

    Um... doesn't your Constitution require that the President be a "natural born" citizen, or something to that effect? (Which is why I'm ineligible for the Presidency until the US and Canada execute a merger.)

    So, if being a natural born citizen is a requrement for office, isn't it reasonable to ask for proof?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Tulpa and I shit on each other with regularity, and he is 100% right about the birthers. If anything, using the 'most' qualifier is generous.

  • Nathan||

    McCain was not born outside the United States, but in territory governed by the United States.

  • ||

    You mean like Hawaii?

  • Joe M||

    Haha, Hawaii is a state, so Obama is "more" legit even than McCain.

  • ||

    And without a birth certificate, how do you know he was born there?

    Circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works.

  • Tulpa||

    RACIST!!!!!!!!!1111111111ONE111

  • ||

    The reality is, most of the birthers were just racist douchebags.

    You can be a non-racist and hope beyond hope that your opposing party elected gets removed from office due to technicality.

    If there were question to Bush's legitimacy you do not call his opponents racists.

    I think they were simply wrong and probably d-bags.

    Calling them racist is a mendacious claim.

  • ||

    The funny thing is that he didn't have to. No mainstream Republicans demanded that he do so, just a bunch of talk show blowhards and fringe nutters.

  • Charlotte Corday||

    No one who in Congress or in the electoral college demanded it. You know, the people who matter.

  • cynical||

    Certainly not the Supreme Court, which makes me wonder why it was even brought up.

  • ||

    I'm pretty sure you showed it to the USAF and not the peoples of the USA as a whole, but then again I'm not a veteran.

  • Charlotte Corday||

    Duly elected Democratic presidents are attacked as illegitimate

    Good thing liberals took Bush v. Gore so well.

    and legislation passed by duly-elected Democratic lawmakers is attacked as unconstitutional. [...]

    Good thing no one ever attacked things like say the war in Iraq that were approved by duly elected law makers as illegal and immoral.

    free-market, nothing's-changed-since-1788 agenda on the country.

    Because it is not like the words in the document mean anything.

    So much stupid.

  • RuthlessPacifist||

    Yeah, but Bush was a Republ...oh, I see.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    . . . and legislation passed by duly-elected Democratic lawmakers is attacked as unconstitutional.

    Perhaps, chap, it's because much of the legislation put forward by Democrats IS FUCKING UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

  • jasno||

    Favorite retard meme of the week: obamacare is constitutional because the government already makes you buy auto insurance and taxes you for medicare.

  • Charlotte Corday||

    I like that one. So that whole states v. fed thing is just out the window?

  • Applederry||

    For liberals, it's been out the window for a while. The states are just another road block getting in the way of their building a "socially just" society. See the states rights = racism meme.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Nonsense, states are clearly useful for administering the ukases of the Central State.

  • Sudden||

    Or the fact that car ownership is a completely optional life choice rather than a condition inherent to living itself.

    Or the fact that where the States do require auto insurance, they only require that an individual possess and insurance for damages inflicted upon others but don't mandate one to acquire any coverage that would insulate themselves from the costs associated with an accident.

    The car insurance meme is so riddled with holes is looks like Sonny Corleone post-toll booth.

  • ||

    If car insurance was like Obamacare, insurance companies would be forced to sell collision insurance for cars that have "pre-existing conditions" (i.e. that are already wrecked).

  • cynical||

    If Obamacare was like car insurance, the only health insurance that would be mandatory would be emergency room care.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Not even that. If it was like auto insurance, the only thing required would be insurance for people that get sick or injured because of something you did.

  • ||

    If Obama had the guts to label this as a tax, I don't even think we'd be having this discussion.

    Words matter.

  • ||

    Even that would be debatable.

    Aren't "direct taxes" prohibited by the Consitution?

    The 16th Amendment allows the government to tax income. It doesn't allow them to tax people.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    When the king demands a poll tax, you shut your peasant ass up and pay.

  • ||

    I must be in violation of that one. I have never had auto insurance.

  • Fucking Coons||

    Child?
    Epilepsy?
    Manhattan?

  • ||

    Between my absolute disgust for Obama, the health care "reform" bill, and a strong feeling of shadenfreud, I may have to throw a party if this bill is overturned.

  • Brandon||

    Between my absolute disgust for the health care "reform" bill, and my general apathy toward people in general, I may have to drink alone while polishing my monocle if this bill is overturned.

  • skr||

    Don't forget to have your top hat cleaned in preparation.

  • ||

    In the course of that hearing it became clear that several of the justices, and possibly a majority, are political creatures pure and simple, willing to embrace any argument, no matter how absurd, that serves the interests of Team ..."

    Krugman was absolutely correct until the last word of his sentence. it's blatantly obvious that the liberal wing of the court fits his description far more accurately . They will rubber-stamp anything and no over-reach of power by the feds is too great for them.

  • ||

    i think both sides can fall prone to it. some are good on some stuff and bad on others

    look at scalia. he's usually very good on speech (left or right plaintiffs) but his commerce clause stuff is pure repub tool (tm) or at least statist tool(tm)

    heck, as clarence thomas said in raich, if you can call somebody growing mj in their house for their own consumption pursuant to state law is somehow part of interstate commerce, then interstate commerce is a meaningless limiter, since it applies to everything

    i like scalia, but he really lost me there

  • ||

    I agree completely, except I don't like Scalia.

    He is a police-state conservative who takes partisan positions now and then against the police-state communists on the bench.

    That said, Kagan and Sotomayor are fucking nightmares, whereas Scalia is just a little too partisan with some blind spots.

  • ||

    right. but scalia is very good with speech (well, except for minor students). iirc he has always been 100% pro constitutionality of stuff like flag burning, etc. and other political speech. he was on the right side in citizens united and a lot of other cases.

    he's clearly more sympatico with right wing causes than left wing, but speech is an issue that both sides of the spectrum can be fucked up statists on and he is very good on it.

    i agree with you that scalia is too pro state (we don't have a police state, so i won't sink to using such terminology) and too deferential to police powers.

    i say that as a cop who is glad to work in a state that is MUCH LESS deferential to police powers

  • ||

    And why in hell is Kagan sitting in judgment on a law she helped promote while in this administration?? I am flabbergasted by this totally obvious conflict of interest.

  • The Assman||

    I'm guessing it has something to do with her complete lack of shame and principles?

    But that's just a wild guess.

  • ||

    Simple... Impeach her.

    The Repulicans control the house.

  • MJGreen||

    Seriously, before oral arguments, there were three solid votes for the mandate and only two solid votes against it. But the moment that liberals themselves were acknowledging how poorly the DOJ was arguing its case, there were cries that Justices Kennedy and Roberts were partisan hacks that were hostile to it from the beginning.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Krugman was absolutely correct until the last word of his sentence. it's blatantly obvious that the liberal wing of the court fits his description far more accurately.

    Exactly. When the SG started to beshit himself under questioning, the port side of the Court couldn't rush to his defense fast enough to make his case for him.

    It was like seeing referees pick up the ball and run with it at the Superbowl. Out-fucking-rageous.

  • ||

    ^ This.

  • Copernicus||

    "AND NOW PINCH-HITTING FOR THE SG.... RUTH BADER GINSBURG...."

  • ertdfg||

    That was when I laughed.

    SCOTUS members ask questions to get more information? BIASED AND EVIL.

    SCOTUS members answer questions like they're defending one side of the argument? That is how liberals think impartial judges act now... I guess.

    I'm still amazing anyone can, with a straight face, call the ones who are answering and not asking questions the impartial side of the SCOTUS.

  • ||

    "[I]f this is what we're dealing with—a powerful right wing that doesn't accept the legitimacy of liberal lawmakers or ideas—then I'm honestly doubtful whether there's anything we do that can pass constitutional muster with the opposition."

    jamelle, let's hope you're right. If every left-inspired piece of legislation was overturned in court we'd be half way there.

  • shrike||

    Welch is whoring for Andrew Bratfart's klan.

    Good luck.

  • shrike||

    derp

  • MJ||

    At least a whore gets paid. While you, for example, you're just a slut.

  • shrike||

    Bratfart is dead, asshole. His "contribution" was just a pissing contest with a voter registration group.

    Bratfart is just a punk know-nothing who tapped into a blog for a few thou.

    Fuck him. He is a liar.

  • ^^intelligent commentary^^||

  • Cytotoxic||

    Not enough Christ-fag.

  • Apogee||

    You'd know about loyalty to a klan.

  • shrike||

    I'm a free-marketer. And what could be more free market than nationalization of health care?

  • shrike||

    Shut up, Bratfart ass licker. I am a capitalistic secular liberal. What could be more capitalistic and secular than licking Obama's asshole day in and day out?

  • shrike||

    Mmmm....tasty Barky-bunghole.

    Doing for American healthcare what Joe Stalin did for Soviet agriculture. That's what I call free marketry.

  • Killazontherun||

    The subtext to all the shit above: shaming the court liberals who appear to be going off the reservation in the questions they asked into submitting to the partisan political hackery and ignoring the tug of conscience they may have as professional jurist.

  • ||

    doing whatever it takes to impose their conservative, free-market, nothing's-changed-since-1788 agenda on the country.

    I had no idea that Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the minimum wage and all of those other laws that free marketers love had been around that long.

  • ||

    ...I'm honestly doubtful whether there's anything we do that can pass constitutional muster with the opposition.

    I'm honestly doubtful whether there's anything we you do that can does pass constitutional muster with the opposition.

  • ||

    Yeah... Obama was forced to show his birth certificate... and nobody in the media, or on the left, bothered to look at it. Trust me... I'm no conservative, but the documents released, as well as his selective service card and SS# are extremely dubious... Take a look. IF you dare... Because if you're right, no problem... just a bunch of looney tunes, right? But if you're wrong... just who are you defending? A man, an oligarchy, an agenda?

  • Nathan||

    Oh, good lord.

  • Spencer||

    that's the pray just in case argument, right?

  • The Assman||

    Are you back from your alien abduction already?

  • Play Jurist||

    Gee, Matt. Why not just link to Today's WSJ's Best of the Web?

  • Play Jurist||

  • ||

    The left's only real complaint is that the court's "political creatures pure and simple" aren't likely to vote for their side on this one. They're happy as clams when politics swings a vote in their favor. Someone remind me why anyone cares about "opinion journalism".

  • The Assman||

    Because we get to bitch about it on an internet comment thread?

  • Waiting for Registration||

    Where's John?

  • Pip||

    Eat shit.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    John Galt?

  • Nathan||

    Presented as a factoid, not in defense of anything in particular.

    Since 1968 the Supreme Court has had a majority of justices nominated by Republican Presidents.

  • RuthlessPacifist||

    Since 1968, a majority of president have been Republican.

  • RuthlessPacifist||

    Oops, sorry, I thought you were saying something about the party of the justices. My bad.

  • ||

    MY TEAM! YOUR TEAM!

  • ||

    We all team for eye team?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "[I]magine the shock when conservative justices repeatedly spouted views closely resembling the tweets and talking points issued by organizations of the sort funded by the Koch brothers."

    When a majority of Supreme Court justices raise constitutional concerns similar to those of the Cato Institute and the Tea Party, then there are various possible explanations.

    One possibility is that Cato and the Tea Party flagged some of the same concerns which legitimately weigh on the minds of justices who have shown some hesitation to approve the most extreme exertions of federal power.

    But that explanation is not only boring, it makes Cato and (God help us!) the Tea Party look rational.

    So the first explanation can't be true, and it's on the the next explanation: "Charles and David Koch, and other Trotskyite wrekers, are trying to destroy Obamacare!"

  • ||

    Why can't both be true? they are both good things.

  • ||

    exactly.

    analogy: a substantial %age of medical mj proponents want it/use it as a steppingstone to legalization of mj.

    true?

    sure.

    does that vitiate the fact that medical mj in itself is a valid therapeutic modality and should be a state issue free from federal interference anyway (iow even if it aint much of a therapy)?

    yes

    the fact that some people support X for whatever reason doesn't invalidate X

    many racists support banning of racial preferences.

    it doesn't mean racial preferences are not bad. they are . or that there are valid reasons for opposing it

    reasonoids are as prone as anybody to playing this game. because when it comes to immigration, they scream 'racist racist' as well as anybody

  • ||

    I know what you are but what am I? No answer to that one do you? I win! U.S.A!

  • H man||

    became clear that several of the justices, and possibly a majority, are political creatures pure and simple, willing to embrace any argument, no matter how absurd, that serves the interests of Team [my side].
    Sorry don't know how to do the strike out thing but FIFY.

  • sasob||

  • Stargasm||

    Let's just hope the left-wing noise machine fails in it's attempt to influence the outcome.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Hows come Bouie and Pearlstein don't rate alt texts? Same as it ever was.

  • ||

    It must be racism! No other explanation is possible!

  • Matt Welch||

    I was in a hurry.

  • ||

    That's just what a texist would say.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The Byrne reference was really the only one you needed anyway. Solid effort.

  • MJ||

    "...legislation passed by duly-elected Democratic lawmakers is attacked as unconstitutional."

    Exactly what does Bouie think the Constitution is for if every piece of legislation by properly installed legislators is automatically constitutional?

  • ||

    Why have anything other than Congress? For that matter, why not just let us all vote on everything?

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    http://oceania.org/const/const.html

    Oceania would have had that, if it had happened. I think it might have been better than what we have now.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    http://oceania.org/const/const.html#ii3

    "All legislation in Oceania is passed directly by the people. This Constitution does not allow an elected representative body."

  • Mensan||

    If one assumes that all legislators actually honor their oaths, then they would only pass legislation that is constitutional. Of course, only an idiot would assume that. In reality only 3 or 4 members of Congress actually honor their oaths.

  • ||

    God I can't tell you how much these quotes warm my heart. I love seeing the handwringing of the authoritarians.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Word. Their wailing and gnashing of teeth are like sweet drops of honey. If the law is tossed, I'm going to save all their rage-filled columns forever and ever, Ah-men.

  • ||

    This is easy: the Left approaches politics with their emotions, not their brains.

    In this case, they see a bill duly passed by Congress that achieves things that they like, so it must be constitutional. They feelit in their very souls that it is right, and so it must be constitutional.

    Then to be questioned on this assumption...it's just something so appalling to the very depths of their feelings that they just can't imagine it.

  • ||

    ^ This. And to be questioned on the assumption is appalling to them because it proves the questioner doesn't care about sick people. After all, in "Yes, Minister" fashion, we need to do something about health care, Obamacare is something, therefore we must have Obamacare. It's all really very simple.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    +1 for citing the greatest TV show in the history of EVER.

  • Satchel||

    If the SCOTUS rules against Obama that can only mean that they hate black...wait. Never mind.

  • Concerned Lefty||

    How DARE you imply that Clarence Thomas is anything but a literal Uncle Tom!

  • ||

    Pretty hilarious coming from this bunch of purely political leftist-journalist hacks.

  • MJGreen||

    I only read Krugman when linked to him, and I haven't bothered in a while, so his recent posts on this are kinda shocking to me. Has he been steadily going crazy the past few months, or was I just not reading the super-partisan wingnut stuff before?

  • juris imprudent||

    He's desperately attempting to atone for his sins as an Enron cheerleader.

  • Mensan||

    He has been a total statist team blue apparatchik for a while now. You must have only read the very small percentage of his columns that were not blatantly insane.

  • roystgnr||

    Krugman has been going crazy for years. Apparently writing economics textbooks doesn't pay as well as lying about them. His distortions of Constitutional interpretation look like refreshingly honest ignorance by comparison.

  • Tolly||

    Lord, the only thing worse than the the shitty, stinking bribery, lies and trickery that attended the passage of this horrible law are the logical contortions and massive pouting that it's supporters are performing to publicly bemoan how everyone opposing the law is wrong and anyone against it is a compassionless devil.

    Christ. Apparently unintended consequences and good intentions that produce horrible, gridlocked destruction of an industry are nothing to worry about. And anything the government tries to do is instantly benevolent and perfect.

  • ||

    Here's question for the state lovers: What can't the government do?

  • Spencer||

    Leave people alone.

  • ||

    Good

  • The Assman||

    Arithmetic.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Respect the people's rights.

  • ||

    What's especially funny about this is that they could have easily evaded this problem by (a) attaching a severability clause, or (b) calling the mandate a tax.

  • ||

    I still don't understand why they went this route. If no one was fooled by a tax that was not a tax, then being able to say "I did not pass any new taxes" (which was a lie on a number of fronts beyond this one) really a win? Or is it that they really really can't think that the sheeple are anything but...sheeple.

  • juris imprudent||

    Capitation taxes are not Constitutional either.

  • ||

    Because Ohio wasn't a state, right?

  • juris imprudent||

    No because the 16th Amdt only allowed taxes to be levied on incomes. Are you really that fucking stupid or are you just pretending?

  • ||

    lol, the Kangaroo courts crack me up sometimes.

    www.Surf-Tools.tk

  • Michael||

    I didn't bother to read any of the article.

    I can't get past how fucking idiotic that Krugman photo is. Seriously, just when you think "Beer Gut with Cat" can't possibly be topped - BLAMMM!!! - along comes this. Are these difficult to find? Is there some kind of Internet repository packed with images of him posing like a complete tool?

  • ||

    The damn thing is unconstitutional on it's face. My god, what a no-brainer. The lawmakers who jammed the damn bill through mocked questions of it's constitutionality on camera. The left knows fucking well it isnt constitutional. That makes the above writers bald faced liars. But then when discussing any club that has paul krugman as a member, that is a given.

    They think they can pass a blatantly unconstitutional law and not be called on it by continually repeating that it is constitutional. It is Monty Python's dead parrot sketch writ large. It really is funny to watch. Here's hoping they get their asses handed to them in November.

  • shrike||

    Challenge it then, you stupid redneck!

    My side couldn't do dick against the Bushpigs' illegal wiretapping.

  • ||

    Oh yes, and the wiretapping stopped cold on 1/20.

  • shrike||

    No, it became "legal" in 2008 by a Congressional act.

    Yes, Obama voted for immunity. I knew it then but McCain/Cuntfart were no option.

  • ||

    So your objection to the wiretapping was that it was illegal? Or too much intrusion by the state? or just plain immoral?

    Personally I object to it because it is too much power/intrusion by the state. I am betting your answer is just that it was illegal.

  • ||

    Who controlled congress in 2008, shrike?

    Your side DID NOT WISH TO do dick. Not couldn't.

  • ||

    You are shrieking, shriek.

    You seem to be implying that 'their side' did some unconstitutional stuff you didnt like, so now 'your side' deserves a turn at it. Fuck you shriek.

    I railed against the republican presidency using the constitution for toilet paper, and I am railing against the democratic one doing it. It is stupid fucksticks like you that dont understand what the constitution means or why it has the content it does that allows 'bushpigs' and obumblers to get away with the shit they do. Again, fuck you shriek.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Change the subject!!

  • Anonymous Coward||

    My side couldn't do dick against the Bushpigs' illegal wiretapping.

    Because...they weren't really opposed to it?

  • ||

    the "legal experts" etc. at volokh.com have really looked into the constitutionality issue and posted some good stuff

    in brief, legal scholars from various points in the political spectrum, but who are not blatant political hacks are in near unanimous agreement, that it is not OBVIOUSLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL OR OBVIOUSLY CONSTITUTIONAL

    they are in agreement that it's a dificult question, never really addressed before, and the case law is convoluted

    iow, when one steps outside stupid party politics and accepts data, the fact that some very smart lawyers from all over the spectrum are in agreement that it's a difficult and not a clear cut issue, is pretty compelling

    the majority of opinion definitely leans towards unconstitutional and considering how radical this legislation is, a pretty decent burden should be on the state to justify it constitutionally

    imnsho

  • ||

    I think it is obviously unconstitutional, but that's because we passed "obviously unconstitutional" some time ago. The fact that there were decisions in the past that were also unconstitutional doesn't make this law constitutional.

    We have a process for changing the Constitution. It's called amending it. Not rewriting it by opinion.

  • ||

    +1

  • ||

    I'd say the threshold was Wickard v. Filburn, jumping for "commerce among the several states" to "anything that affects commerce among the several states." It's possible I'm wrong though, I haven't yet read the actual judicial opinions on it.

  • ||

    Agreed!

  • ||

    Wickard is even more delicious than that. It says the commerce clause reaches thighs that are neither commerce, nor interstate. The Court says right there that they don't care what the damn Constitution says, they will rule as they damn well please.

  • ||

    iow, 'fuck you we are the govt that's why'

  • Feminist||

    the commerce clause reaches thighs

    Well as long as it doesn't reach my vagina, I'm A-OK with it.

  • ||

    I agree. Wickard was the fork in the road. And we have been royally forked ever since.

  • ||

    Legal experts. There is your first clue.

  • CE||

    It's never been addressed before because no one's ever had the gall to suggest before that choosing not to buy something constitutes commerce.

  • cynical||

    No, they're proactively regulating your hypothetical future commerce, see?

  • ||

    Ironically, if the Democrats had just done the brutally simple thing and put everyone on Medicare there would be no serious constitutional challenge. The twits in Congress chose the most constitutionally-questionable means of universal coverage, and now they have to writhe a bit for it.

    If I were a liberal, I'd be hammering the Democrats for playing Republican Lite with universal coverage. Of course, this assumes the primary goal is to cover everyone, instead of to deliver a captive & subsidized customer base to the insurance companies.

  • ||

    you are spot on. and if you read the commentary at the nation, etc. they've been making this same point since obamacare was passed, that it 1) is just a way to bend over for insurance companies and isn't health care at all, etc. bla bla
    2) a classic single payer/universal coverage run by the govt. wouldn't raise constitutional questions, wouldn't involve facilitating insurance companies etc. and would be much better

    the progressives, some, have even said they think obamacare was worse than the status quo

    many have come around to grudging acceptance and see an attack on it as an attack on their side

    they are hardly in love with it

  • MJ||

    "...a classic single payer/universal coverage run by the govt. wouldn't raise constitutional questions,..."

    Why in the world would that not raise constitutional questions? Where in the Constitution do you find the authority for the federal government to declare itself a monopsony in one sector of the economy?

  • tarran||

    Well, one would think that if Medicaid is constitutional, extending it to cover everybody would also be constitutional.

    OF course, I can't find a grant of power regarding health care anywhere in the Constitution....

    but apparently it's in a penumbra or emanation or something. :)

  • ||

    exactly. i am talking reality, not theory

  • MJ||

    Why? Perhaps MediCare was not seriously challenged because it was relatively limited in scope. Applying it universally and making it a monopsony by fiat is a difference in kind compared to the present iteration.

  • ||

    "done the brutally simple thing and put everyone on Medicare there would be no serious constitutional challenge"

    They would have, if universal health care was their goal. That wouldnt allow government to mandate the eating of peas, or buying of volts. It would not be a precedent for government forcing whomever it wishes into contracts with whomever it sees fit. It would not allow them to set up 'death panels' to implement backdoor eugenics. In short, it would not allow them the ultimate power grab x10.

    Also, fuck you shriek.

  • MJ||

    Not forcing people into contracts? Does that mean a physician or a hospital can refuse to sell to the MediCare monopsony?

    How is the government paying for everyone's medical care preventing the government from mandating diet, or rationing of care? Sorry, that just gives them a greater rationale for doing those things. The feds are invested in you, as it were.

  • ||

    Ironically, if the Democrats had just done the brutally simple thing and put everyone on Medicare there would be no serious constitutional challenge.

    "Obama Sells Out Left on Health Care" was a pretty common headline/thread starter back in 2009, so a good number of people on my side are in agreement with you that the big beneficiaries seem to have been insurance companies. Be careful what you call an irony, though, as "Why Overturning ‘Obamacare’ Could Lead To Single-Payer" seems to be a trending bright side fantasy. Won't go anywhere because there's no way to pay for it, but still.

  • cynical||

    True, a law has to be passed in order to be challenged in court.

  • ||

    I'm honestly doubtful whether there's anything we do that can pass constitutional muster with the opposition.

    Blind squirrel finds nut, discards it.

  • Observer||

    heh heh

  • Number 2||

    They are trying to influence the "swing" justices. May their efforts fail.

  • Mike M.||

    You're 100% correct, but my understanding is that every justice already informed the others how they're going to rule and the general reasons why, as of last Friday.

    I suppose they probably reserve the right to change their mind, but I have to idea up to what point they can do that.

  • The Assman||

    I think it's more like group therapy among the retards on the left.

  • shrike||

    Black is beautiful

  • The Assman||

    Are these comments supposed to be funny?

  • Mary Stack||

    shrike likes to complement my vestigal penis.

  • ||

    Mr. Krugman, can you show me on the doll where the constitution touched you?

  • ||

    again, the ironic thing is a full scale europe style healthcare system would not be unconstitutional.

    that's clear

    if the feds just raised taxes and used those taxes to pay for health care for all, a la most of europe, it wouldn't raise constitutional questions

    POLICY QUESTIONS?

    SURE

    the issue with obamacare is the mandate. mandating us to pay for private insurance is the question

    mandating we pay taxes and using those taxes for fucked up shit otoh is something the govt. has done for decades and the constitional question is settled.

  • ||

    "mandating we pay taxes and using those taxes for fucked up shit otoh is something the govt. has done for decades and the constitional question is settled"

    Let's all hope this "ridiculous" question rears it's head again soon.

  • Almanian||

    a full scale europe style healthcare system would not be unconstitutional.

    that's clear

    No. That's not clear at all.

    Oh, sure, maybe not if you've already given up. But I haven't.

    uck tha police, and government fucking healthcare, and Soc Sec, and Medifuckyou, and the EEOC, and the Dept of Edumacation, and all the other shit the federal leviathan is not authorized to do.

  • ||

    Just because social security and Medicare exist, doesn't mean they are constitutional.

  • ||

    The opinions of these left-wing commentators seems to be more evidence that the left-wing seems to be fully convinced it is smarter and better than everyone else. They seem wholly unconcerned by the idea that government should not force people to buy certain things. They apparently all hold the opinion that the only reason anyone could be against such a government mandate and/or Obamacare is because they do not "accept the legitimacy of liberal lawmakers or ideas." All the while, these commentators are fully ignoring that they apparently refuse to accept the legitimacy of non-liberal lawmakers or ideas.

    I'm not sure which is more sad, that these commentators are paid for this stuff or that what they write the sort of thing that passes for "civil discussion" these days.

  • CE||

    Their real difficulty is that they want a full democracy with full majority rule (except when the majority disagrees with them), and the Constitution at times prevents that.

  • .||

    Separated at birth: Paul "deer-in-the-headlights" Krugman and Bruce Dern's Joe Danby, from Support Your Local Sheriff.

  • Joe Danby||

    Oh, he's just passin' thru... on his way to Australia or some such place.... sez they got rats as big as antelope that kin jump like 'em too!

  • CE||

    Krugman: ...several of the justices, and possibly a majority, are political creatures pure and simple, willing to embrace any argument, no matter how absurd, that serves the interests of Team Republican.

    Translation: Some of the Justices, perhaps even a majority, are actually willing to use logic and and an analysis of the plain language of the Constitution at times, and in this case they may even refuse to sanction the overreach of my President and my Party.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Paulie's butthurt because all of his facile dismissals up to now have proven to be empty and he looks like a stupid douchbag, motivated by little but politics. Which he is.

  • ||

    Polls show that Obamacare is unpopular and that a majority of americans support repealing the mandate.

    If the mandate gets repealed I sure hope left wing nut jobs keep pushing on this line of reasoning...that the supreme court is extreme and out of touch.

    It will be sooo very entertaining.

  • Joe M||

    This is powdered sugar. IT'S DELICIOUS.

  • juris imprudent||

    I seem to forget how all of these leftie loudmouths howled about the Court overstepping it's bounds in Boumediene - when contra to the PPACA, the MCA was passed with bipartisan support in Congress.

  • Joe M||

    In the course of that hearing it became clear that several of the justices, and possibly a majority, are political creatures pure and simple, willing to embrace any argument, no matter how absurd, that serves the interests of Team Republican.

    "What they should be doing is embracing any argument that serves the interest of Team Democrat!"

    Duly elected Democratic presidents are attacked as illegitimate—Barack Obama had to show the public his birth certificate—and legislation passed by duly-elected Democratic lawmakers is attacked as unconstitutional.

    The birther nonsense was started by Hillary Clinton, and only fools advanced it. 3/4 of Americans think the mandate is unconstitutional. Only a fool thinks anything passed in congress is automatically Constitutional. Separation of powers, how does it work?

  • Jamelle||

    To the victor go the spoils!

  • Nervous||

    I hope all this leftie panty-bunching is justified by events.

  • ||

    Says Jamelle Bouie, "legislation passed by duly-elected Democratic lawmakers is attacked as unconstitutional." There is no hint that he realizes he is basically implying that you should just accept any legislation which duly-elected Democratic lawmakers pass. Just accept what your betters tell you is good for you. After all the damage that sort of paternalism has done in history, why do people still promote it?

  • The Assman||

    It's easier if you're willfully ignorant.

    Or a closet totalitarian.

  • Tony||

    [I]magine the shock when conservative justices repeatedly spouted views closely resembling the tweets and talking points issued by organizations of the sort funded by the Koch brothers.

    Reason wouldn't know anything about this.

  • ||

    Oh they just might...

    "The Reason Foundation is funded, in part, by what are known as the "Koch Family Foundations,"[3] and David Koch serves as a Reason trustee.[4]

    According to the Reason Foundation's 2009 Internal Revenue Source 990 return form, it took in $6 million in donation income against $6.7 million in expenses, with only $639,236 in subscription revenue and $113,575 in ad revenue"

    ↑ Trustees and Officers, Reason Foundation website, accessed July 10, 2011.

  • Tony||

    It's the one Koch mouthpiece that reports honestly and objectively. It's called reason dammit.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Is there a libertarian principle that Reason jettisoned in its opposition to Obamacare, Tony?

  • Jeffersonian||

    The Kochs rock. Taking down Obamacare will be their crowning achievment in advancing the cause of liberty.

  • Tony||

    Whatever the SC rules, the suits that brought the case were probably all politically motivated.

    It's a bad court stacked with libertarian/corporatist ideologues after decades of fake cowboy puppets getting elected president. Except that one time, when the court just appointed one outright.

  • ||

    Like I said before, this is all relative and not a trait exclusively of progressives. Again, imagine it's the patriot act instead of obamacare - then the SC would be wise and sensible to most liberals and nine America-hating political hacks who want to give our glorious country to the islamofascists to the conservatives.

  • The Assman||

    Do liberals oppose the Patriot Act?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Ouch!

  • Mensan||

    They do when a Republican is President. Otherwise, no, they do not.

  • Tony||

    It would be a signature Obama move, in terms of his occasionally displayed political naivite, to fast-track this case betting on a win, based on the strength of their lower court wins and perhaps optimism that this court would decide based on precedent and principle.

    It was hard to fathom that he could have pretended to bipartisanship with such earnestness in his first two years. He must have really thought of Republicans as good faith opponents at one time. They, and their members on the court, see him and his party as the enemy. They're the SC, they can do whatever the hell they want and all they will suffer is the chatter of law professors and media pundits explaining fruitlessly how hypocritical and radical the majority opinion is.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Which precedents and principles are those, Tony?

  • .||

    When the end game you advocate involves sending armed agents to break into my home in order to force me to do things, then guess what -- enemy is precisely the word I am going to apply to you.

  • LilDebbie||

    may i humbly present you these internets, mr .

  • mr simple||

    I heard a promo for a story on NPR this weekend where they were saying things like "a year ago every constitutional scholar in the country said this was easily constitutional, so why is there doubt in the SC now?"(paraphrased) and shit like that. I just thought "what kind of bubble do you people live in?"
    And that paraphrasing is not far off. They were using universal language in their claims.

  • mr simple||

    [I]magine the shock when conservative justices repeatedly spouted views closely resembling the tweets and talking points issued by organizations of the sort funded by the Koch brothers.

    You mean like the American History Museum, the American Ballet, MIT cancer research,the ACLU...

  • Jeffersonian||

    What good is demonizing the Kochs if you don't use it at some point?

  • Almanian||

    Public Television is the Kochtopus!!!

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Judging from their blatantly partisan bleating from the bench, it is certain that Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito will join Clarence Thomas in doing whatever it takes to impose their conservative, free-market, nothing's-changed-since-1788 agenda on the country"

    Has the text of the Commerce Clause changed since 1788?

    No it hasn't.

    So the Supreme Court justices would be doing their job by enforcing just as it was written according the understanding of what the purpose of it was and what the words of it meant in 1788.

  • ||

    This is one instance, in which "collective case of the vapors" makes sense to me as a phrase. But even so, I do not think this phrase means what you think it means.

  • ||

    In the course of that hearing it became clear that several of the justices, and possibly a majority, are political creatures pure and simple, willing to embrace any argument, no matter how absurd, that serves the interests of Team Republican.

    Wow. Pot, I'd like you to meet kettle. Kettle, pot...

  • AlmightyJB||

    Crazy, I'm crazy for feeling so lonely
    I'm crazy, crazy for feeling so blue

  • AlmightyJB||

    Stupid people think stupid things. Interesting.

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