Obamacarians' Pregame Rationalizations: Doesn't Matter; Good for O; All Scalia's Fault, and More!


Why wait for the Supreme Court to decide before counting your sour grapes?

The Supreme Court has so far struck down neither the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act nor the law's individual mandate requiring every American to buy private health insurance.

The court may not strike down the law at all, but nervous supporters of Obamacare are ready for the worst.  

Anticipating a decision against the Affordable Care Act, supporters are explaining that it's the media's fault for not explaining how great Obamacare is, but that the loss won't really matter because Obamacare has already inspired medical market players to behave better so it's really a win for President Obama because now he'll be able to make a campaign plank out of the fact that the Supreme Court is full of rightwing extremists as demonstrated by a Quinn/Martin study showing that SCOTUS is so much crazier than George Lincoln Rockwell that even the Father of Our Country would be appalled at how obviously the justices want the 99 percent to get sick and die, which proves that it's all a plan by the vast rightwing conspiracy and that the conservatives should be careful what they wish for because Democrats would be justified if they passed a court-packing bill, which they just might do if Antonin Scalia doesn't resign. 

A sampling: 

"Why Media's Health Care Reform Coverage Was Even Worse Than You Thought"

"Health care reform trajectory won't be stopped by Supreme Court ruling"

"Insurers Seek to Soften Their Image, No Matter How Court Rules on Health Act"

"No Matter How the Court Rules, Healthcare Benefits Will Remain Key"

"Healthcare Futurist: Supreme Court Can't Stop Healthcare Reform"

"Obama could target Supreme Court if health-care law falls"

"The Supreme Court's Lurch To The Right (CHARTS)"

"George Washington's individual mandates"

"Health Care and the Supremes: Why the Right Has Already Won"

"Supreme Court is No Longer Part of the Solution"

"Are we headed toward another court-packing crisis?"

"Justice Scalia must resign"

Forcing people to buy broccoli or cable TV or houses actually makes more sense than making them buy insurance.

Plenty of good friends show up, from Eric Boehlert (who in honor of the late Andrew Breitbart I insist on thinking of as "Earache Boehlert") to the New Yorker's second-grade-math dropout John Cassidy to Ezra "Orthodox economics proves the accepted theory is correct because Top Men say so" Klein to the unsinkable E.J. Dionne, who helps me understand what Joyce meant when he described a bespectacled character with the phrase, "Witless shellfish swam in the gross lenses to and fro, seeking outlet." 

It's also heartening to see the New York Times pushing the argument that the threat of action alone has already gotten the insurance companies to reform. This is exactly the case the Grey Lady made in 1993, when it was becoming clear that the Hillary Clinton/Ira Magaziner health care reform was in trouble. At that time, the paper ran a series of articles claiming that even if the bill failed it would be a success because HMOs (that era's villains) were already cleaning up their acts. You can see how well that worked. 

It bears repeating that outside a handful of people, none of whom are quoted above, nobody knows how the Supreme Court will rule. But the Obamacarians just know the ruling is a fraud. Unless it goes their way, in which case the majesty of our magisterial system will have shown itself to be even more majestic than usual. 

Don't hesitate to add your own examples of pre-decision special pleading in the comments. 

NEXT: Ronald Bailey on the Unpopularity of Atheism

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  1. The best possible outcome would be SCOTUS striking down large parts of the law and then Obama and the Democrats over-reacting and attempting a power grab against the court. Nobody outside of hardcore left-wingers would tolerate the Dems throwing a temper tantrum that threatens the system of checks and balances.

    1. It's the unelected right wing dead enders on the court who upset the system of checks and balances. It's about time someone taught them that democracy is boss.

      Thomas Jefferson said the tree of democracy has to be watered with the blood of dictators. Are you disagreeing with him?

      1. You're the worst sockpuppet ever, mustard. Well, except for Nando.

      2. Wrong tree.

      3. It's comments like these that will make tomorrow's Obamacare smackdown all the sweeter.

      4. democracy is boss

        The 1970s called. They want their slang back.

        1. 1700s on line 3; Messrs. Jefferson and Madison to explain that we do not have a democracy.

      5. Those damn unelected right-wingers on the Court, always trying to stick to this thing they call the Constitution! Don't they realize that Times Have Changed, and that they should go along with the unelected left-wingers?

      6. mustard|6.27.12 @ 6:59PM|#
        "It's the unelected right wing dead enders on the court who upset the system of checks and balances."

        Kinda gave it away in the first sentence, dipshit.

      7. Oh, and:
        mustard|6.27.12 @ 6:59PM|#
        "Thomas Jefferson said the tree of democracy has to be watered with the blood of dictators."

        Are you donating the blood? You're not yet a dictator, but it isn't for a lack of effort.

      8. "unelected"

        Yeah, wasn't it awesome and totally democratic how Obama called a special election to fill in those two Supreme Court vacancies?

        He'll surely do it again if given the chance.

      9. What about the unelected left-wingers on the court, you stupid fuck? They suck, too.

    2. I have a feeling that there will absolutely be some super-retarded outcries against the court, and retarded noises will be made about "changing" it (I have no idea what moronic ideas they will come up with, but it should be pretty entertaining), but nothing will happen, and TEAM BLUE will look childish and stupid, which completely does not seem to bother them.

      1. In fact, they will revel in their childishness and stupidity - and wonder wide-eyed that no one takes them seriously.

      2. And just 5 or 6 years ago, when Team Red was insulting members of SCOTUS, it was Team Blue elitists who were "shocked, shocked I tell you" that someone would insult SCOTUS, the bastion of our liberties.

    3. Unpopular presidents don't tend to fare well in constitutional crises, especially 4 months before an election. We're not talking about FDR here.

      Seems to me he's planning to use an overturn as just another whining point about how everyone in Washington is opposing his super duper plans to fix everything. In a way he's probably better off if they overturn it.

  2. Holy fucking run-on sentence Batman

    1. Cavanaugh runs on when Cavanaugh needs to. All was intentional. All was necessary.

    2. It seems to capture the thought processes of TEAM BLUE hacks quite nicely.

  3. The whole idea of a talking fox is blasphemous.

    1. And grapes will actually kill canines anyway.

    2. Yay! I get to clothe the lepers!

    3. The whole idea of a talking fox is blasphemous.

      It was written by a pagan...so yeah probably.

    4. Talking Fox was a metaphor for Fox News.

  4. Wouldn't it be funny if the Court ended up saying the law is constitutional?

    1. Fuck you EvH. That is not even remotely amusing.

      1. Throwing your career onto a grenade for the Public Good is noble, GM. And just in case you're reluctant to do so, an agent from HHS will be right along to toss you himself.

      2. The humor is in the context of all the premature adjudication by commenters, especially the pre-outrage by the liberals. Where will all the outrage *go* if the court goes wrong?

        I myself hope they strike the law down. But we can't simply assume the courts will do the right thing.

        1. Completely agreed. There's a good possibility that Roberts will decide that Congress should get deference, and the majority will then invent some limiting principle that the SG failed to put forth.

  5. This is a serious question. Does Ezra Klein know how to read?

    He copied and pasted a conscription law, requiring those, and only those conscripted to bring their own gear. Somehow he turns this into a blanket individual mandate for all.

    1. Does Ezra Klein know how to read?

      Not if not knowing helps TEAM BLUE.

    2. JustOneMinute takes down Klein:

    3. Were they drafted by force? Conscription can be a voluntary process.

      1. drafted implies a measure of force. Volunteers volunteer; draftees are told they are on the team.

        1. Usually. Apparently there were some exceptions in WWII when some phlegmatic Americans decided not to rush down to the draft office but wait for their number to be called. They were willing to serve probably would have volunteered without a draft.

      2. I report, you decide:

        Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective states, resident therein, who is or shall be of the age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia by the captain or commanding officer of the company, within whose bounds such citizen shall reside, and that within twelve months after the passing of this act. . . .

    4. Ergo, Ezra Klein and his acolytes want society regimented along the lines of the military.

      And they call **us** fascists?

    5. It was especially delicious because Klein suggests that Congress can mandate the purchase of guns.

      Oh how I'd love the left-wing constitutional conniption that would ensue if Congress attempted the same.

      1. If Obamacare gets green-lighted, I hope and pray Congress does just that.

      2. TBH, if the mandate stands, the NRA should make this happen. Fuck it, I want the left to suffer at the hands of the monster they've unleashed.

        1. Democracy is the idea that the common man knows what he wants and deserves to get it good and hard.

    6. I think that Journolist and his other antics have thoroughly established that Klein is actively intellectually dishonest.

    7. This is a serious question. Does Ezra Klein know how to read?

      Yes, but his reading is purely selective. He sees a conscription law as being an open door for government to tell you what to do about anything, anywhere, at anytime.

      Logicians see a slippery slope and say "fallacy." Statists see a slippery slope and say "WHHHHHEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!".

  6. Unfortunately I'm starting to believe more and more that they're going to declare the whole thing constitutional, with Roberts and Kennedy on the majority side. Call it pessimism, call it a hunch. This Court hasn't been big on limiting government power, not sure why they'd start now.

    1. Since Chief-J has the option to write the majority opinion whenever he's in the majority, it's possible that, if it's 5-4 in favor of upholding everything, Roberts flips sides just so he can write a narrow majority opinion (rather than letting Kagan or Breyer set the law of the land on CC jurisprudence while he dissents).

      1. Exactly. Roberts is key, so he'll write it and have to essentially invent a limiting principle on the commerce clause.

    2. I do hope you are wrong. Are there really five votes for the idea that the Commerce Clause gives the feds virtually unlimited power?

      1. What is this "virtually" of which you speak?

    3. Tomorrow is a big deal for me. The decision will be the determining factor to whether or not this country is worth saving. If they strike it down...there's hope. If they don't, you may as well burn the Constitution as the ruling gives the government unlimited power.

      Tomorrow is a turning point in history. We either reverse our course, or put the nail in the coffin.

      1. Agree totally.

      2. Come seriously on. This "unlimited power" wolfcrying has to stop.

        If a ruling to uphold the mandate gives the feds unlimited power, then the state governments already had unlimited power, since they're not bound by the EPD to begin with.

        The power is definitely limited by the bill of rights and other restrictions within the text of the constitution. This ruling won't affect that either way.

        1. In the federal system, the states do effectively have unlimited power (at least over their residents). However, they also have their own state Constitutions that restrict themselves.

  7. It bears repeating that outside a handful of people, none of whom are quoted above, nobody knows how the Supreme Court will rule.

    Shouldn't you say "has ruled"? It's already been decided. We just don't know what's in the envelope yet.

    1. It was better with Billy Crystal.

      1. Piano Man?

    2. Nothing's in the envelope. Roberts and Kennedy are playing Beer Pong tonight for the final swing-vote decision.

      1. They've gotta be done by now. Kennedy needs to be home by 8 so he can catch Family Feud.

  8. Probably the only time I'll ever name drop at HR, but a friend of mine is clerking for CJ Roberts. He's been essentially quarantined for the last few months.

    1. Get him drunk!!! He will talk.

      I expect a report here by midnight.

      1. Dude did five tours in Iraq with Spec Ops, and graduated from Harvard law. Alcohol isn't going to work on him.

        I'm in Nashville and he's in DC so I don't see him often, but I can't wait to hear about his year.

        1. I'm in Nashville and he's in DC

          Yeah I know nothing about the south...aren't those two cities like 15 minutes apart?

          1. Heh, no. Probably a ten hour drive. I wish though, I love DC. Awesome city.

            1. It's like the cantina from Star Wars, only with more monuments.

              1. Washington, D.C.: You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious.

                1. I could spend a good month just wandering the Air and Space museum, the Smithsonian and the Museum of National History. So much cool stuff to look at.

                  Georgetown for some surf and turf, Adams Morgan for a Guinness and stupidity, nightcap in Dupont Circle. Tough to beat.

                  1. Keep the museums, monuments, restaurants, and hotels, and demolish everything else. Say that the Commerce Clause allows it.

                2. I rest my case.

        2. I'm in Nashville and he's in DC so I don't see him often, but I can't wait to hear about his year.

          Apparently you haven't heard of this new, hip thing that all the young people are doing: Text messaging.

          1. and way back in the dark ages, they emailed. And I have heard tell of this thing called the telephone but whoever told me was making that up.

          2. Again, he's been about as reachable as Pluto recently, so friends aren't bothering him right now.

            We will though. I wanna hear some details, since he will be helping with the writing of the majority opinion.

            1. Wow you got some connections.

            2. you're not listening, Tman. When you want something, you go take it.

              You bribe, you connive, you threaten to release those pictures on Twitter. Whatever it takes. It's now... 644 in the PM, pacific time. We'd like to have the answer by no later than 8:30 west cost time.

              1. "You bribe, you connive, you threaten to release those pictures on Twitter. Whatever it takes. It's now... 644 in the PM, pacific time. We'd like to have the answer by no later than 8:30 west cost time."

                But, Paul, you ain't got the goods on Tman! How you gonna threaten?

              2. Tman is obviously ill and incapable of conniving anyone. Look at how he waxed lyrically about DC, of all places. Quite possibly the worst city in America.

              3. You bribe, you connive, you threaten to release those pictures on Twitter. Whatever it takes.

                If i had an inside guy i would just lie that he told me...



                This just in I have an inside guy and he told me the verdict!

  9. When Obamacare is vetted as being constitutional and we all get our "cards" will we be able to use them for other ......things.....like smokes...and booze...and the lotto? Cuz if we can I'm ready to cast principals to the winds!


    1. .....that's "principles".


  10. [golf claps]

    Great Joyce allusion - and those are only rarely to be enjoyed.

  11. Their sweet tears tomorrow better, I think, than an embittered whine.

  12. From Canada, some lefty fucktardedness:

    Why the Obamacare ruling matters for Canada

    1. As if canada matters.

      1. As a denizen of Canuckistan, I thought some might be interested in seeing the outcome of half a century of socialist medicine brainwashing fuckery. Also, I was going to post a profanity-laced personal attack regarding whether you matter, but then I looked at your blog and realized it was pointless. Have a nice day.

    2. It does not; the Commerce Clause lays out the foundations of federalism, not the limits of liberty. If the Supreme Court rules otherwise, it will have steamrolled a long line of its own precedents, and changed the ground rules of American government.

      Wow. Canadians trying to plumb the depths of the American Constitution. If I read further, the guy's gonna go double-full-retard.

      1. But on second thought, the guy has a point. If the Supreme Court makes a ruling based on the original intent of the commerce clause, not the New and Improved, Progressive Infused Commerce Clause, the court will indeed have steamrolled a long line of its own precedents and changed the rules of American Government.

        Because the "Rules of American Government" we have now are just so fucking gold-plated awesome.

        Send in the Drones, Due Process has been done! It's the rulez!

      2. It's even better. He also plumbs the depths of the Canadian constitution and goes quadruple-full-retard (at least). And he's a "Kirby-Simon Fellow at Yale Law School"

        1. Not being Canadian, I don't know shit about the Canadian Constitution, so there's no way I could ever tell if he was even in the drop-zone of correct. I'm guessing it guarantees each citizen's right to poutine?

          I'll take your word for it.

          I did see the Kirby-Simon thing... is he an American op-ed'ing in a Canadian paper, or is he Canadian?

          1. I don't know, but I'm betting he's a Canadian who'll happily take advantage of world-class medical care should he become critically ill and then come back here when he's exhausted all his options or gets old.

            1. I predict that in a few years, you'll get Canadian healthcare no matter which side of the border you're on. Then where do we go? Oh yeah, Mexico.

              1. It's a long distance to travel when ill, but I've heard good things about Thai hospitals.

                1. Also, I'm concerned about the day of reckoning coming for my homeland. On the one hand, we may have to stop freeloading on your medical advances and military superiority as your country goes broke; on the other, it'll be shadenfreudelicious watching the leftards try to figure out what went wrong.

                  1. Canada WILL allow private health care. It is inevitable, whether the retards at Globe and Mail like it or not.

          2. The Canadian constitution is as good as the Soviet one--all your "rights" are subject to the whimsy of compelling state interests.

            1. See also that worthless piece of trash called the Iraq constitution. What a tragedy to spill all that blood setting it up.

            2. True enough, and it was explicitly written that way - not reliant on some kind of "living document" fiction for their abridgement. But I was referring to the separation of powers between the federal and provincial governments which predate the idea of constitutional (rather than common-law) rights by a good long time.

            3. yup. parliamentary override

              their complete dismissal of free speech is also pretty scary

              sure, they are pretty cool when it comes to lax MJ enforcement, but in general, they are a statist nightmare.

      3. the Commerce Clause lays out the foundations of federalism

        What. The. Fuck.

  13. Speaking of Canadian healthcare:

    Island's children lag behind seniors in health-care system, surgeon says

    [...] 89 children are waiting for eye surgery at the hospital, and 72 per cent have waited months longer than the time period considered medically acceptable.

    1. If Obamacare is struck down, that will leave the U.S. with spare death panels that it can sell or loan to the Canadian government.

    1. What a fucking stupid fucktard Reich is ... thinking Roberts wold let a poll sway over Constitutionality ... the dwarf just stuck his neck out ... someone please lop it off.

    2. At least the little guy is venturing an actual bet. You should at least put some skin in the game before pontificating about what it all says about the rightward shift of this or the ideological extremism of that.

      1. This makes me want to vomit

        It doesn't matter that a significant portion of the public may not like Obamacare. The issue here is the role and institutional integrity of the Supreme Court, not the popularity of a particular piece of legislation. Indeed, what better way to show the Court's impartiality than to affirm the constitutionality of legislation that may be unpopular but is within the authority of the other two branches to enact?

        1. Reich begs the question. Obamacare isn't within the authority of the other two branches to enact. To allow it to remain in force would do further violence to the Constitution, which is nearly dead anyway.

  14. The denialism of the left is a wonder to behold.

    Watching the left destroy itself is just orgasmic.

    1. Don't count your chickens before they hatch.

      1. I am feeling a wave of pessimism tonight. Nothing is ever this good. They will fuck it up.

      2. No shit. Everyone is salivating over salty tears. They may be our own.

        I don't care if the woman is lying naked in my bed, I haven't scored until I've scored.

        1. True that. I have guessed what will happen but it is just a guess. I wouldn't be shocked if Kennedy and Roberts have sold the country out.

          1. I fully expect them to do so. It's not like they don't see the potential for their own TEAM RED in upholding this excercise of power. Imagine how much fun they can have forcing us all to buy Bibles and shit. I personally think they are salivating at the opportunity to crush the last vestiges of anything remotely protecting our personal freedoms.

          2. I fully expect them to do so.

            They are smart to enough to realize how wonderful it will be for their TEAM if they can get this precedent in place.

          3. Yeah, the whole "Roberts wrote the opinion so he must have jumped ship to narrow it" theory is really bumming me out.

        2. Tears? Libertarians tend to expect everything to go to shit, politically. The most you should be able to get from us is a disgusted grunt.

          1. Tears? No tears, just a long drawn out sigh of resignation.

  15. My personal favorites are the "this means absolutely everything if we win but it's totally meaningless if we lose" arguments.

    1. Heads I win tails you lose is one of the Left's favorites. They are just fucking demonic fanatics.

    2. "this means absolutely everything if we win but it's totally meaningless if we lose"

      Scott Walker: Did somebody just call my name?

  16. OT, but too good to pass up:
    "Face-chewer wasn't on bath salts"...
    "Tests find only marijuana in face-chewer's system"
    Sometimes a bath soap is only a bath soap...

    1. Reefer madness! Obama was right to raid the medical marijuana clinics. You drug legalizing libertarians disgust me. How many of our children and homeless have to die before you give up this misguided crusade?

    2. He had read both the Bible and Quran before, so I'm betting that this face-chewing has something to do with terrorism.

      1. I think face-chewing may be haram.

  17. Media coverage of the health care issue has been so bad primarily because it has avoided providing the people with historical perspective about the wacky path that the American way of health care has taken, in its spasmodic, lurching mutation into the monster our great leaders in Washington try so publicly to slay today.

    No sane, reasonable, compassionate person would have given us the system we have. NEITHER WOULD THE MARKETPLACE! What we have today is the result of intervention after intervention by the public sector, each successive one trying to build on the "successes," and "correct the mistakes," of its predecessor -- although the mistakes publicly attributed to intervention are few. Whenever possible, the "free market," which is actually being usurped in this process, gets the blame for everything wrong.

    (continued in reply message)

    1. (continued from above)

      The press has failed because it accepts as given the model of employer provided health "insurance" as the way for the average individual to access health services and products, instead of asking how we managed before health insurance became so dominant a player in the field, why we abandoned older approaches, and whether we might improve our situation by reviving one or more of them.

      Media coverage of health care has failed the American people because it has only covered the issue of which health care insurance approach we should have, rather than sounding the call (or investigating why others are) of, "Jane! Stop this crazy thing!"

      American media have failed the people by acting, whether deliberately or unwittingly, in the role of opinion drovers on behalf of the powers-that-be. Although this is within the scope of the First Amendment, it is most certainly not in keeping with the hopes the Founders had for a free press. Shame.

      1. Exactly. For instance, decades of "progressive" reforms (government control of what must be covered by insurance) have helped make health insurance very expensive. So the solution to expensive health insurance is... more government control.

  18. I suspect that Patrick Kennedy is talking about us here, to some extent, and it seems we're all gearing up for a RAMPAGE!!!!

    "If the Court upholds the law, dangerous Tea Party extremists will go on a rampage. Backed by Super PAC's and shadowy front groups like Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS, they'll do everything in their power to defeat President Obama, demonize Democrats who fought for health care reform and, if they win the election, dismantle the law piece-by-piece."


    Ignore those windows smashed, buildings torched and bombing plots hatched by OWS...the real threat is the Tea Party maniacs ENGAGING IN THE POLITICAL PROCESS!!!!

    Beyond parody

    1. dangerous Tea Party extremists

      The Statists swear that the Tea Party is full of "dangerous extremists", but I have yet to hear of any bona fide TPers doing politically-motivated violence to anyone.

      Backed by Super PAC's and shadowy front groups like Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS

      How is it shadowy if it's out in front?

      they'll do everything in their power to defeat President Obama

      I'm sure the victims of Terror Tuesdays will be grateful for it. Fewer drones flown up asses and all that.

      demonize Democrats who fought for health care reform

      I didn't realize telling the truth was demonizing someone. At least he didn't call it defamation.

      if they win the election, dismantle the law piece-by-piece

      Piece by piece? I would prefer one fell swoop.

      1. I'm sorry, but that "drones" comment is beyond the pale. These targets surely feel a twinge of pride knowing the Hellfire missile that's headed their way was launched by a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

    2. i went to high school with one of their clan. he was pretty cool, but the cult of the kennedys back east really is scary.

      basically, patrick is deriding the tea party for using valid rule of law techniques to attack a law they see as unjust and bad policy.

      it is simply amazing i agree

  19. Intrade is at a 73.4% of the Nazgul slaying Obamacare.

    1. May their Fell Beasts feast on the flesh of Obamacare.

  20. Anticipating a decision against the Affordable Care Act, supporters are explaining that it's the media's fault for not explaining how great Obamacare is.

    This is especially absurd since the media they're criticizing is made up, largely, of ObamaCare supporters.

    1. The LP does a terrible job of presenting libertarianism to the masses; that doesn't mean they're not libertarians.

  21. Sounds like a very good plan to me dude. Wow.


  22. Don't hesitate to add your own examples of pre-decision special pleading in the comments.

    Trying to get us to do your job for you, huh?

  23. Strategically, I almost hope it is upheld.

    I don't have much to vote FOR in the upcoming election, with such weak candidates, but Obamacare would be something to vote against.

    I think it would guarantee the Dems lose the White House and both houses of Congress.

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