Media Criticism

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

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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.