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


Got my mind on money and my money on my mind

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.

You may find yourself sitting in a shotgun shack

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.

Sometimes you feel like "a nut," sometimes you don't

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.