Supreme Court

3 Essential Takeaways From the Obamacare Decision: Gov't is Still Unlimited, Romney's Still Lame, & Health Costs Still Set to Rise.


So now that the sages of the Supreme Court have spoken about the constitutionality of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, let's get straight to the takeaways:

1. There's no credible way to spin this as a "win" for limited government. Folks such as Wash Post columnist George Will and legal theorist Randy Barnett, to name two of many on the conservative and libertarian ends of things, are working hard to say the real silver lining in the SCOTUS decision is the clear language the court used in limited Congress' use of the Commerce Clause. As Will put it, "At least Roberts got the court to embrace emphatic language rejecting the Commerce Clause rationale for penalizing the inactivity of not buying insurance."

Yeah, well, when Chief Justice Roberts closed a window, he opened a door. Sure, I'd like to have some of what I assume Roberts and the rest of the Supes were smoking when they signed off on the it's-a-tax-not-a-penalty decision, but medical is illegal even in states where it's legal (wha?). That's due to the decision in a slightly older Supreme Court case, Raich v. Gonzalez, which showed the Commerce Clause to be infinitely stretchable when need be.

Will may be right that yesterday's decision may spark a backlash in favor of smaller government (or at least one that calls a tax a tax), but anybody who thinks government at any level will feel even the slightest bit limited by the ruling is flat-out wrong.

2. Hey Republicans: Mitt Romney is the worst possible candidate you could have right now. Before the ruling was even clearly reported, Republican and Democratic "strategists" (can't we call them something more accurate and less flattering?) were all claiming that yesterday's decision sealed the deal for their preferred party.

Let's leave aside the large and unchanged fact that Obamacare remains unpopular (most recent polls show majorities of Americans opposed to it and the number rises among those who say they are "well-informed"). The 2012 election will largely turn on the overall state of the economy, not whether the crux of Obamacare is recognized tax now rather than a mandate (though I must admit that now it's a tax, I kinda miss the broccoli mandate).

More to the point: Obamacare is essentially Romneycare on steroids (hmm, are those covered under the new law?), so having the architect of the latter blasting the former for doing what Romney crowed about doing in the Bay State is a tad confusing. It doesn't help that Romney, whose vagueness when it comes to spelling out anything about any of his policies is muy legendary, is vowing to "repeal and replace" Obamacare immediately upon taking office. The repeal part is self-explanatory (if not fully convincing) but what's he gonna replace it with? And if it's not a real market-driven plan that dismantles not only Obamacare but Medicare, why am I listening?

3. Health care will continue to cost more and more. One of the two major selling points of the new law was that it would "bend the cost curve down." Do Obamacare supporters seriously think that increasing government involvement in health care is going to keep costs low? Medicare, a single-payer system run by the federal government, is the single-biggest factor in rising entitlement costs; by design, the program's payroll taxes and premiums don't cover anything like the full cost of services (indeed, it's something like 50 percent, with the rest be covered by general tax revenue and borrowing). Medicaid is a classic case of Paying More for Less. That is, costs keep going up while outcomes are truly dismal for the folks trapped in the system: "A University of Pennsylvania study, for example, reported that colon cancer patients in Medicaid have a 2.8 percent mortality rate, compared with 2.2 percent for the uninsured. A study of Florida's Medicaid patients found they were more likely to have late-stages of prostate cancer, breast cancer, and melanoma at diagnosis than the uninsured."

As CNN's Erin Burnett noted on OutFront last night, the "Affordable Care Act" has virtually no cost control mechanisms in place and a recent analysis by the firm Bradley Woods projects that insurance premiums will rise about 7.5 percent annually under the law.

Watch Burnett discuss the Supreme Court ruling with me, RedState's Erick Erickson, Buzzfeed's Ben Smith, and CNN's Roland Martin:

Nick Gillespie is co-author with Matt Welch of The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America, now out in paperback with a new foreword. Follow him on Twitter.

NEXT: Damon Root on How Judicial Restraint Shaped John Roberts' ObamaCare Ruling

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  1. As usual, liberty will be diminished, no matter which dipshit gets elected president.

    If people were really in favor of market-based health care reforms, as well as any other kind of market-oriented reforms, they’d give Gary Johnson a serious look. But we all know that the real agenda is “getting all the good stuff for myself and making someone else pay for it.” The mainstream political divide these days is mostly over who the “someone else” is.

  2. One of the two major selling points of the new law was that it would “bend the cost curve down.”

    Read that statement again. Twice. Anyone who actually swallowed that should be permanently stripped of voting privileges as they have shown themselves too stupid to carry out the responsibility. There is not a single instance in American history in which govt jumping into the fray has resulted in lower costs for anything.

    1. But millions of our compatriots believe that it did and does. Democracy is swell, ain’t it?

      1. maybe that’s why the Founders never intended for a dictionary version of democracy to be our form of govt.

        1. People don’t understand, and don’t care, that we’re a republic with democratic elements to our political system, not a democracy. Voting away liberty is acceptable to them.

    2. Universal care + coverage mandates =/= cost savings.

      Don’t know why that’s tough to understand, but apparently our betters in DC aren’t up on basic mathematics.

    3. If you vote for something you then want someone else to pay for, you should lose the franchise.

      If you vote for something you expect to get more out of than you put in (i.e. the majikal “I paid into it!” bullshit of Social Security and Medicare), you lose the franchise.

      Those two rules together would stop the vast majority of four-wolves-and-a-sheep voting patterns that currently plague the republic.

  3. I know one was ObamaCare will lower costs. Since insurance companies are required to sell to all comers regardless of potential losses, think of all the money they’ll save on actuaries.

    1. Maybe the actuaries could become bookies, where no one will force you to accept a wager where they already know the outcome.

  4. Now my stomach hurts

  5. As CNN’s Erin Burnett noted on OutFront last night, the “Affordable Care Act” has virtually no cost control mechanisms in place

    Erin Burnett props up a massive straw man by conflating cost with life expectancy. It’s a bit like saying auto insurance rates may go up because of tinted windows or tricked out rims.

    1. Maybe, but at a foundational level she’s not wrong.

      We don’t have a free-market healthcare system, as I’m sure you’d agree. We have a supremely dysfunctional one where cost-shifting is the foundational funding mechanism for all healthcare services. People really shouldn’t need to use their insurance to purchase simple things like pain meds, have a baby, or fix a broken arm–these things used to be, and should be, able to be paid for with cash. But because medical providers have automatically billed insurance companies for decades, whether it’s private organizations or Medicare/Medicaid, the result has been a wild distortion of the real cost of healthcare in this country. Nor is the situation helped by Nixon’s HMO bill and Reagan’s EMTALA bill, the latter of which mandates that people MUST be given healthcare services even if they can’t afford to pay.

      Obamacare’s biggest weakness isn’t just the questionable constitutionality of the bill–it’s that it doesn’t fix any of these price-distorting mechanisms. And without the “death panels” to ration care and keep costs under control, the costs will continue to escalate. Quite frankly, 7.5% annual increases is probably an underestimation, given that federal healthcare spending has risen 9% a year for the last 30+ years.

      1. not arguing with her conclusion, or yours for that matter; just finding serious flaw in her logic stream. Life expectancy in the US has next to nothing to do with health care (see: accidents, homicides, etc.).

        Her broad stroke is correct, but then nothing that govt has gotten involved in has become less expensive.

        1. I see what you’re saying.

      2. 7.5% annual increases = cost doubling in 10 years. High enough even at that.

  6. Good article, Nick. Spot on, there is nothing good about the decision. If there is anything good that springs from it, it will be a new crop of young Libertarians who begin to see a federal government hell bent on controlling every detail of their life, not to mention making them buy expensive healthcare policies that they don’t want or need. The big O better hurry up and get that amendment to let the childins stay on mom and pops health care plans until they are 40, instead of 26.

    1. 40? Why are you such a heartless bastard? Lifelong is the only way to be fair!

      1. Well, RPA, my I’m 50 and my parents are still living. I guess it’s time to ask them to remodel their basement. I do have standards…

    2. There will never be a crop of young libertarians. But there might be a crop of people young and old who decide that national bankruptcy is a bad idea. That is the best you can hope for. And that will mean giving up a few things on the culture war so many Libertarians love to fight.

      1. No idea what you are talkin bout, John. There is already lots of youngins coming around to join the Revolution. Have you been anywhere except for HandR in the last couple of years?

        1. All over. And most of the young people I see are part of generation retard living at home after college with their parents with the Hope and Change posters on the wall. The young voted overwelmingly for Obama. They are fucking hopeless. I think unemployment is going to teach a few of them some hard lessons and maybe bring them around to being reasonable. But if you think they are going to be anything but superficial cultural libertarians you are kidding yourself. These kids will give you all the gay marriage you want but think socialized medicine and controls on what we eat are just great.

          1. I’m with John. The children I encounter at college events are amazingly, almost creepily, complacent in their acceptance of authority. They also have far more belief in the good intentions of people than I ever did.

            1. What about the huge crowds of them that turn out for RP events? You see any of that for BO, or Romney

              1. For all the huge crowds at RP events, there’s a vasty larger crowd NOT showing up at any political events and keeping their heads firmly in the sand.

                1. True, T, but you can’t expect all of the youth to just wake up over night. My point, is that they are coming around, slowly but surely. I think that puts them in the same boat with the rest of the age groups. Except for that group of idiots that were born around the time of the great depression. Except for Paul, all of them are beyond redemption.

                  1. MAny of them are starting from such a different place that I don’t think they’re ever going to end up where we are, or even in the same quadrant on the Nolan graph.

          2. I just disagree with you on this. You are underestimating them. They just need more of the right kind of education, not the political left indoctrination crap they have been getting from public schools. That is our responsibility. I see hope for the youth to transform the Republican party into a much more Libertarian party. Ron Paul sees this too. Me and Ron are right… although Ron is more optimistic than me, I still agree with him to an extent.

            1. I agree with you that the Republican party is headed in a more libertarian direction. The old tax collectors for the welfare state are on their way out. But the Republicans are never going to be Libertarians. And Libertarians if they want to have an effect are going to have to give some ground on the culture war.

              1. I agree with you that the Republican party is headed in a more libertarian direction.

                How so, as I don’t see it?

                1. Ron Paul doing so well. Assholes like Dick Lugar and Bob Bennett being primaried. The inability of the establishment to shove pieces of shit like Mike Castle down the party’s throat. Rand Paul, the guy from Wisconsin who went to the Senate seat in 10. All of the rising candidates are much more small government than the old guard.

                  1. Amash, and the new guy that is running, from KY, very Libertarian. Plus, when you have guys like DeMint admitting that the party HAS to go more in a Libertarian direction, that is a big sign. Plus, the Paul delegate takeovers in several states. You can be sure we will see lots of new liberty leaning candidates in the next couple of elections.

                    1. What Hyperion said. If you don’t think the Republican Party is going more libertarian, listen to someone like Santorum whining about it sometime.

              2. And Libertarians if they want to have an effect are going to have to give some ground on the culture war.

                They did…it was called the Tea Party, and the idea was to not discuss culture war issues at all. And you see how well that went.

                1. The Libertarians got mad over culture war issues and the fact that people in the Tea Party were not cool enough or true Scotsman enough and thus missed out on the biggest grass roots movement for small government in a generation.

                  Yeah, the Cosomotarians screwed the pooch on that one.

                  1. Bullshit John.

                    The TPers were doing fine being economics only until the republicans tried to take control and make it about more than just about spending and taxes. Blaming the libertarians for getting mad at the conservatives for bringing in the culture issues isnt screwing the pooch. The conservatives did that.

                    Clinton got 1 thing right in 1992: Its the economy, stupid! And the GOP is still too stupid to understand.

                    1. That is loser logic Rob. Every time I hear someone while about how the SOCONs coopted the Tea Party my response is “if the Libertarians were not poser hipsters they would have coopted the Tea party”. Even if you buy the Libertarian spin about the evil SOCONs and the Tea Party, it just makes Libertarians look like losers who can’t win.

                      Funny how the fundies are all supposed to be so stupid but they are evidently a lot more politically savvy than the genius Cosmotarians.

                    2. I dont think the C*-libertarians were ever TPers. The Tea Party was made up of paleos primarily.

                      *sticking with my promise a few years back to never use that term again.

                    3. Yeah, the C-libertarian word is dumb. It’s one of those words like “judicial activism” that mostly means what other people don’t like.

                      I just want to call off the culture war. Everyone can do what they want. Saying that libertarians are big culture warriors is like saying that cutting taxes is the same as spending or that not giving people free stuff is violating their rights.

          3. I am a 21 year old libertarianish person and all my friends are pretty much exactly the people you describe…i do not have much hope for this generation

            1. time to find new friends, Mark. If the current crop is as you describe, then being around them will only make you want to bang your head against a wall. Or join them. Neither sounds appetizing.

              1. I don’t know. If they are actually willing to engage in arguments, it can be fun to have friends who you disagree with like that. And politics might not be so central to their lives that it makes any difference. Political stuff is pretty much going to play out how it does regardless of what we think. There are more important things.

            2. Welcome, Mark. Start talking to your friends. I know it seems hopeless, but you have being right on your side, and that goes a long ways. We have to fight the good fight, and it is a slow process. It has taken 100 years for the progressives to screw things up this bad. We can’t turn it around over night, but we have to keep trying.

              1. Have to agree with Hyperion here, Mark. You’d be surprised at how much intelligent arguments can accomplish. I did my physics PhD at Berkeley, which is not known for being a libertarian paradise. Almost all of my friends were standard “liberals”.

                I’ve found that persuasive arguments take time to set it. First time, you’ll encounter resistance. Flat out refusal to understand. Second time, skepticism. Third time, acceptance of the logic. Etc etc etc. I’ve even convinced a number of statist friends that DWI laws are patently absurd. Amongst other libertarian notions.

                Keep fighting the good fight!

      2. I think you misspelled “Republicans”, which is a pretty bad mangling even for you.

        1. Libertarians love the culture. have the posts on Hit and Run are culture war posts. They love fighting the culture war as much as evangelicals do. It gives them the street creed with liberals they so crave.

          1. Do you moonlight at a movie theater, John? Because that is some first-class projection.

            1. Really BP, if Libertarians don’t love the culture war why do they get so worked up over things like gay marriage or evolution in schools? Those are total culture war issues that affect very few people. That is what it means to be a culture warrior, to get pissed off about shit that doesn’t really concern you. And Libertarians love to do that just like evangelicals love to. They are mirror images of each other on the culture war.

              1. So are the police brutality stories and concern culture war also?

                I get pissed off over that stuff and it doesnt concern me in the least.

                1. Since everyone lives under the power of cops, that most assuredly does concern you.

                  1. Bullshit. I have no serious concerns about midnight raids or random street friskings or being asked for papers near the border.

                    But those issues all matter to me.

              2. John, perhaps you’re aware that libertarians view being forced to pay for opinions you disagree with as one of the worst offenses of over arching government.

                In case you’re still unaware, this applies to a Christian IDer forced to pay for teaching evolution in school just as much as it does the reverse.

                Gay marriage, for libertarians, is about the state treating all of its citizens equally.

                1. And, of course, John refuses to acknowledge those of us whose answer to gay marriage is to eliminate state sponsored marriage altogether.

                2. Ok then BP, if all that is true, then why is it not equally true for the Evangelicals? They just take the opposite tack.

                  All you are saying is that culture war is really important. Okay fair enough. If it is so damned important, stop bitching about people fighting it.

              3. You do you realize that’s it’s possible to get exercised over a cultural issue without being a KULTUR WARRIOR?

                It seems reasonable to me that there’s a sliding scale in that realm.

                1. You do you realize that’s it’s possible to get exercised over a cultural issue without being a KULTUR WARRIOR?

                  So everyone on your side JW is just exercised over culture war issues and everyone on the other side is an evil “kulture warrior”

                  Got it. That is exactly the attitude I am talking about. And exactly why Libertarians are mostly hypocrites who want to love to fight the culture war just as much as evangelicals but don’t want to admit to being so.

                  1. Why are you fucking considering evangelicals and libertarians to be two separate groups?

                    There is a lot of fucking overlap, you fuckwit.

                  2. OK, so if you get worked over a single cultural issue, then you’re a KULTUR WARRIOR?

                    Got it. The scale is always set to 11.

                    1. Why do you think everyone on the other side only cares about one issue JW? It is not that the scales are always set to 11. It is that libertarians are just as likely as any other group to be at 11. Despite this, they act like only other people are culture warriors.

                    2. Despite this, they act like only other people are culture warriors.

                      When you spend most of your time going on about cultural issues and how we need to do something about it, yeah, you’re a KULTUR WARRIOR.

                      When you find 1 or 2 things about culture that you have problems with and express an opinion, not so much.

                  3. How about this, John – Culture and politics should not mix. It is one thing to disagree with someone. It is a much, much worse thing to have to finance views you don’t like. And in case you still didn’t get it, I am not taking “sides” on evolution. I am saying both sides should be free to teach their kids what they believe. Which “side” of the culture war is that?

                    1. BP – exactly.

                      Separation of school and state solves the evolution issue once and for all. And 99% of school issues in general.

                      Its such a fucking simple solution that it can never happen.

                    2. The problem BP is we are not getting rid of public schools anytime soon. So does it bother you that some school district in a place you will never live decides not to teach evolution? It doesn’t bother me. it is their school. I don’t care. I just won’t live there.

                      If you get pissed off over it and think that no public school anywhere should be allowed to teach anything but evolution, then you are a culture warrior and no different than someone who thinks creationism should be taught in every school.

                  4. Agree. If the paulbots derail Mitts candidacy, OBAMA WINS, AMERICA LOSES.

              4. Really, John? Libertarians want to force schools to teach their kids evolution and force people to get gay married? Because that would be the mirror of the conservative evangelicals. Letting people do what they want and not forcing them to pay for other people’s pet projects is very different from trying to legislate one’s own morality.

                1. Libertarians want to force schools to teach their kids evolution

                  Last I looked Ron Baily was having kittens over that issue Zeb.

                  1. Is he mandating that they teach it or mocking them for not?

                    There is a big, big difference.

                    I think people who use heroin are idiots. I also think it should be legal. Am I a culture warrior for calling heroin addicts idiots?

                  2. I could be wrong, but I would think hat Ron would favor allowing parents to send their children to whatever kind of school they want and not force any school to teach anything in particular.

                    I do approve of mocking schools that want to teach creationism as science because creationism is not scientific at all. I also think that it is quite appropriate for libertarians to protest teaching of Creationism (or as they like to call it now “intelligent design”) in public schools because we are paying for it and it is stupid.

          2. What about the evangelical libertarians?

          3. Just because it’s “half the posts” doesn’t mean it’s half the people. Before the registrapocalypse, half the posts at HR were endless circular arguments between you and MNG.

    3. u mean nothing good for the 30 million uninsured? for folks w pre-exisitng conditions? fore young adults under 26 who continue to have coverage on their parents policy? for seniors who had perscription drug costs due to the doughnut hold in medicare? nothing huh…?

      1. u mean nothing good for the 30 million uninsured?

        No nothing. They will now be forced to pay for insurance they can’t afford and or don’t want.

        for folks w pre-exisitng conditions?

        They get to cheat the system and everyone’s health insurance rates go up as a result.

        for seniors who had perscription drug costs due to the doughnut hold in medicare? n

        They get to see medicare cut to the bone and their copays go up and their services go down as medicare is cut to pay for the insurance coverage for people who didn’t need it.

        1. got tomorrows lotto numbers while ur at it swamie?

      2. Yeah, the good thing is I will retire soon and the little heathens can STFU and pay for my health care. I plan on drinking a LOT, and taking up smoking too!

        1. No, you want to stick it to them, don’t smoke, drink, or eat badly. Exercise every day. Live to be 99, where the end comes to you while writhing weakly in a pool of your own piss, at a $5,000 a month home with round-the-clock RN care.

          1. I’m going for that $10,000 a day ICU bed. Mostly dead, but partly alive, basically until i rot from the inside.

          2. Don’t worry SF, I have the genes to do it. My dad is in his 80s and he looks 60, and his dad lived until 104. I look very young for my age and have no health issues, despite the fact that I don’t exercise much and drink too much already. I will drink, smoke, and carry on like a frat boy and still live until 100. Yes, they will be paying for my free healthcare, for a long, long, time, especially Tony, I am putting in a request that he chips in extra, he can buy my beer, cigarettes, and depends…. bwahhahhaahhaaaa!!!

            1. careful with that, Hyperion. Some liberal is already pondering the unfairness of the genetic code, that you get longevity despite your habits while someone else does not.

              1. I plan to make liberals a non-factor in my lifetime. They need to go extinct, it’s the way of nature.

                1. Liberalism is its own curse.

      3. u mean nothing good for the 30 million uninsured?

        Nope, not in the aggregate at least, while some of those individuals may make out better under this system the rest will find their access to health care restricted by shortages and being forced to pay for a product they do not need or want.

        fore young adults under 26 who continue to have coverage on their parents policy?

        Definately not, the overwhelming majority of them do not actually need insurance as their actual health care consumption annually is far less than the cost of an insurance policy however they will now find themselves struggling to find a doctors office willing and able to see them on the rare occasions they need a doctor.

        1. The vast majority of young adults will find their parents can’t afford to carry their on their policy until they are 26. It won’t be the insurance companies kicking them off, but their parents.

          And when it goes to a pure community rating, and it will, they’ll really get to pay.

          1. Not to mention that section of the law has already caused many colleges and universities to dramatically hike the rates for their insurance policies for students and in some cases get rid of those plans altogether.

            There are many students in that range who are not financially supported by their parents and are finding their options being reduced.

      4. As far as folks who are seniors and folks with pre existing conditions, sure they benefit but now lets counteract that benefit by the harm faced by EVERYONE else. How many jobs will be lost because employers cannot afford to provide health care or pay the penalty for doing so (whether the number is significant or not it is axiomatically true it will be greater than 1), how many kids will go untreated because there simply are no doctors available to see them (a problem I am currently experiencing thanks to Romneycare, my son NEEDS ADHD medication but his prescription has expired and the next available appointment with ANY doctor within 80 miles of us is 8 months away), how many middle income kids will miss meals because their parents were just scraping by and either cannot afford the higher premiums or cannot afford to acquire health insurance even after the subsidies?

        You are as always falling victim to the broken window fallacy, just because someone is benefitting does not make the law a beneficial law if it did then we could pass a law which said that any woman had to have sex with any man who asked her to any time he wanted. The men would be getting a huge benefit but only a very sick and twisted or blind individual would consider the law to be a good one.

        1. A very good point. My friend who had been uninsured for years and hadn’t been able to see a doctor was very excited when she finally became old enough to get Medicare. Then reality smacked her upside the head when she discovered there isn’t a doctor within a 100 mile radius of where we live who is accepting new Medicare patients. So yeah, she’s covered now, but she still can’t see a doctor other than in an ER just like before. Health insurance does NOT equal seeing a medical professional.

        2. Regarding your son’s ADHD meds, have you looked into Psychiatric/Mental-Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNPs)? They can legally prescribe, and I found it much easier to make an appointment with one than with a doc.

      5. Why do you morons not get that a lot of those 30 million DON’T WANT HEALTH INSURANCE IN THE FIRST PLACE?

        And I’m sure those people with pre-existing conditions are just going to love the astronomical premiums they’ll have to pay to be covered.

        1. Yeah, they seem to think that it is not possible for a rational person to decide they don’t need to spend thousands of dollars every year on health insurance that they will almost certainly barely use. I’d bet that if I had gotten all of the money that employers have spent on health insurance for me as salary, I could have saved enough to pay for a couple of major hospitalizations by now.

          And it is also perfectly possible and reasonable for a person to decide that they will pay for any medical bills out of pocket, or figure out how to finance them or just forgo medical care.
          But no, every uninsured person must be some sort of suffering victim needing to be rescued.

          1. It’s the gross paternalism of both libs and cons that really gets my dander up. The idea that they think they know what is best for everybody else is fucking nauseating.

      6. u mean nothing good for the 30 million uninsured?

        How is Obamacare going to lower the cost of healthcare premiums? All evidence up to this point suggests the exact opposite. In a time where the labor participation rate is the lowest in 30 years, how are they going to afford to buy increasingly expensive insurance?

        for folks w pre-exisitng conditions?

        How is increasing the number of claims that insurance companies will have to cover going to make healthcare cheaper?

        fore young adults under 26 who continue to have coverage on their parents policy?

        How is keeping people who rarely have serious medical conditions on healthcare plans (which increases the cost of the premium) going to make healthcare cheaper?

        for seniors who had perscription drug costs due to the doughnut hold in medicare?

        How is Obama not repealing Medicare Part D going to make healthcare cheaper?

        This isn’t about politics and GIBS ME DAT, this is about basic math, you moron.

      7. A young health person used to be able to get high deductible insurance for about $100 a month. Good luck finding that now. Sure, giving people stuff will benefit some people in some immediate sense. But you have to look at the other costs too.

      8. I am a fifty-four year old woman with two stents in her heart. I smoke, drink and am damn fond of red meat. My assistant is twenty-five years old, doesn’t smoke, drink, and avoids red meat, sodium, and a whole host of “bad” things. So, do you think maybe his premiums might just go up to cover my pre-existing condition. Please explain to me how that is a good thing.

    4. I think you vastly over rate the new crop of young.

  7. I wish Reason would pick its memes with Romney. On even days of the month Romney has no principles and is a flip flopper who will do anything to get elected. On odd days of the month he is the architect of Obamacare and therefore will never agree to repeal such.

    Which is it Nick? Do us all a favor and figure out what you think of Romney and tell us. Don’t change to whatever cosmotarian whine fits the circumstances.

    The fact is no one gives a shit that Romney did Romney care. So what? Romney is a typical politician who will sell anyone out to get elected. So the problem becomes how to make it in his interest to repeal Obamacare. And that is a pretty simple problem. If Romney wins and doesn’t repeal Obamacare, he will get primaried in 2016 and leave office in disgrace. That kind of thing tends to focus the mind of politicians.

    1. If Romney wins and doesn’t repeal Obamacare, he will get primaried in 2016 and leave office in disgrace.

      Are you sure about this? It happens so rarely – I think the last time it happened was to Carter(!).

      It hasn’t happened to Obama, and he most assuredly failed on most of the metrics where he was supposed to be better than Bush.

      1. It didn’t happen to Obama because he is black. And it did effectively happen to Bush I and Carter. The primary challenges did immeasurable damage to Bush I and Carter.

        And just who exactly is going to vote for Romney in the primaries if he doesn’t repeal Obamacare? He would have to veto a repeal. That would be political suicide. I don’t give a shit what Romney does or does not think. If he wins he will have not choice but to repeal Obamacare.

        1. You’re assuming congress will repeal it. Which is a terrible assumption.

          1. And assuming that Romney will give more than lip service to the issue, is an even worse assumption.

            1. The assumption is he is lying and is going to guarantee himself to be a one term President who is hated by his own party just to save a policy his opponent created. Yeah that sounds reasonable.

              1. why would Romney be hated by his own party if repeal fails? All he can do is sign the repeal; he can’t put everyone’s hand on the appropriate button and cast their votes for them.

                1. Because repeal will come out of the Congress via reconciliation. The Republicans in Congress will have no choice but to do that or face getting run out themselves. Once it comes out of Congress, he has to sign it.

                  1. Obama won’t sign it, I don’t think.

                    1. Obama is not going to be President.

                    2. And the Supreme Court is going to overturn Obamacare.

          2. I tend to agree with that. It boils down to whether the Senate, assuming a Repub majority, is willing to go down the reconciliation route because there is no way the R’s get 60 seats.

            1. If it was passed by reconciliation it can be repealed by reconciliation.

              Of course the liberals would totally forget about how it was passed in the first place.

        2. How sure are you that a repeal will make it through the Senate?

          ARE the Republicans likely to get a filibuster-proof majority? Or are they going to have to get some Democrats to defect.

          1. They don’t have to beat the filibuster. It is a tax. You reduce the penalty for not having insurance to zero an the subsidies can be defunded via reconciliation. Once you do that the exchanges die on the vine because there is no reason for anyone to join them. And the bill is dead.

            1. then you are assuming the R’s have the balls to do a reconciliation vote. Funny, but I seldom conflate R’s with having balls about anything. The ranks are full of go-along country-clubber stereotypes more concerned about preserving their perks and power than in doing anything meaningful.

              1. True. But I think fear will drive them to it. If they don’t, they will face being thrown out in two years.

                1. you give them a lot more credit than I do. I have never underestimated R’s ability to step on their own dicks, but I’m willing to see evidence to the contrary.

            2. Are we sure it’s a tax for purposes of avoiding a filibuster? Because this damned thing seems to be a tax or not depending on what you want it to do.

              I agree with you John, that: if repeal makes it out of the Congress and onto Prez Romney’s desk, then he has to sign it or get tossed out in 2016. I just don’t see Congress getting a repeal to him. I think another crisis du jour will emerge in 2012-13, O-Care will be tinkered with, and—most importantly—people are fickle with short memories. If O-Care turns out after tinkering to not cost voters much money, then there will be something else for them to be outraged over.

              In short, I’m not as sanguine as you that Romney will do the right thing. Nor that the GOP will mount a successful primary challenge in 2016 if Romney wins.

              1. Are we sure it’s a tax for purposes of avoiding a filibuster?

                It is if the Senate says it is. The Democrats would have no remedy for that. A court would rule it a political question and throw it out.

            3. What about the community rating provision. If you repeal the mandate without repealing that, hello NHS.

              1. Tupla, those are the big issues with that rout, but if the GOP gutted the rest of the bill, they now have leverage over the dems also who probably don’t want nothing. So it likely means some kind of new bill for replacement where the GOP used the reconciliation part as the leverage. But it will requires some dems, so its likely not going to be great, but may be better than obamacare. For instance Baucus has long been interested in equalizing the tax treatment of employer and individual insurance/healthcare, and Manchin, if he wasnt to survive in WV will have to play ball. There is a path for improvement.

        3. John is absolutely right about Romney and Obamacare. Why in the hell would he stand preserve Obamacare it makes not a bit of sense. There are lots of good reasons to not vote Romney. This isn’t one of them. Methinks many posters and editors here are allow vindictive (and understandable) hatred for Romney and Team Red to cloud their judgement.

          1. I have little doubt that Romney would sign a repeal bill that hit his desk. What I do doubt is that Romney would actually make repeal a priority and use the power of the Presidency to ensure that repeal happened.

            I assume that is what most people (here anyway) doubt about his sincerity on this issue.

      2. If Romney wins the election, and if the republicans in Congress can get some form of repeal passed then Romneys signing it is pretty much a foregone conclusion regardless of what he actually thinks.

        I think it might just barely be possible for him to veto a repeal of Obamacare and still win the Republican nomination in 2016 but it would require him being a spectacularly successful president with approval ratings in the mid 70’s and even then he’d probably still face a significant primary challenge.

    2. John,

      I think the problem with Romney is that both statements are true:

      1) Romney is an utterly unprincipled technocrat with huuuuge Daddy issues.

      2) In his days at the helm of the MA government, he showed no ability to stand up the to civil service.

      Romney managed to get reelected despite being reviled by ideologues because he was good at horse trading with stakeholders who could fund propaganda campaigns to make him look bad. Having thus muted opposition non-ideological opposition, he would portray himself as the reasonable guy opposed by nutjobs.

      One reason why Obamacare and Romneycare are so similar is because the process that produced them – horse trading among stakeholders – was so similar.

      So any repeal will be incomplete. The tide will recede a bit, but not back to where it was earlier.

      1. Romeny was never reelected to anything.

      2. The tide will recede a lot. And by the time it tries to come back the bond markets will be stepping in and there won’t be any money for anything.

        The game is up. It is just a matter of time.

        1. The game is up. It is just a matter of time.

          Probably the most accurate statement ever.

          1. How are those plans for great new liberal programs going in Greece?

            1. IT’s like th elast days in Hitler’s bunker; He’d stare at the map and order shattered divisions to launch attacks or make maneuvers they lacked the fuel, trucks, ammo or men to make.

              1. Except our fuehrer won’t have the decency to put a bullet in his head.

                1. Maybe Michelle will step up and do what needs to be done, for the children.

            2. How are those plans for great new liberal programs going in Greece?

              Not sure what you are asking as I was agreeing with you.

              1. It was a rhetorical question.

    3. The big article about Romney from the magazine a few months ago did a pretty good job of saying how the two Romney memes you mention are not contradictory or exclusive. He is basically unprincipled politically (though I am sure he has strong personal morals) and he is also basically an architect of Obamacare.

      Have I just been away a lot and forget, or is John getting more prickly and hostile?

      1. John just has his head firmly up the Team Red ass for this election and doesn’t really like the fact many of the actual libertarians around here do not seem to be going lock step for Romney. It is part of the third party candidate votes are votes for the guy I don’t like narrative.

        That narrative is easier to swallow than what is truly paining him, the fact that the Team Red candidate is a Piece of Shit who should have never made it this far and he is going to hold his nose and vote for him.

        There are several of our Team Red loyalists around here who have been getting more bat-shit crazy recently because of this issue.

        That’s my opinion anyway.

    4. What a frustrating thread to read! The lack of pragmatism is entertaining yet in a distressing way. Everyone appears to have disdain for Obamacare (rightly so) but then contort to find a reason not to vote for Romney. I beg those reading this for the first time to disregard the tortured contortion and listen to this reality: There is one last hope to keep Obamacare from becoming a fabric of America, get out and vote for Romney. Is a vote for Romney a certainty to stop Obamacare? No. Is Romney the perfect candidate? No. Is their another effective path for those who hope to stop Obamacare? No. Get out and vote for Romney and stop the slide to a European socialistic nightmare. Coupled with the SCOTUS decision, voters rebuking Obama and the Dems who made Obamacare happen is the last chance to not only stop Obamacare but to say no to overly powerful centralized government by way of “taxing people until they do the right thing”.
      Please, please don’t listen to the muddlers. Please don’t let their apathy — and the writer of this article — make Romney and Obama seem like the same guy and nothing can be done about Obamacare. Please go out and vote for Romney and send the architects of this nightmare that this is not what most Americans want!!

    5. Stop being a collectivist and demanding individual Reason writers must have the same lockstep opinion.

  8. There are certain things that we can be sure of about this:

    1. Health care will get more expensive.

    2. Health care choices will diminish.

    3. We will pay higher taxes.

    4. The feds will now start to read this 2k+ monstrosity and find all manner of hidden goodies in it with which to abuse us further and violate our rights with.

    5. This will hurt an already hurting economy both in the short term, and the long term.

    6. Government debt will rise substantially.

    Wow, I don’t really see much there to get excited about.

    1. There is one other thing. Old people are going to get fucked as they cut medicare to fund the expansion in coverage. Since people in this country like to get old and vote, I can’t see that playing out well for anyone associated with this monstrosity.

      1. Well, I will agree with you on this, John. This law is NEVER going to get more popular. But the fact is, team red and team blue don’t give a shit what the people think.

      2. Forgive me if I don’t shed a tear for medicare welfare moochers.

        1. I know. It is not like they didn’t pay a medicare tax their whole life. And it is not like they didn’t thrown onto medicare by law and thrown off of their private insurance or anything.

          The term moocher needs to be banned from use by Libertarians. They are not smart enough to use it correctly.

          1. Shut up John. Those people supported a government program so they deserve to get ripped off by that program.

            1. Agreed. The Medicare crisis is an insanely predictable consequence. Paying out more in benefits than one contributes only works if the pool of payers continually gets bigger or the pool of takers continually gets smaller. If not, it collapses. Guess what? The pool of takers ain’t getting any smaller.

          2. They are moochers if they whine about cuts. They don’t have a right to rob from the young to pay for their health care.

          3. Not one person alive paid enough into medicare or social security to live for 20-30 years on payouts from the government. So fuck that not calling them moochers bullshit.

  9. Cost controls? You mean death panels?

    1. The death panel is only for you. Now start paying for my free health care, biattchhhh!!!!

    2. death panels will be a reality of any govt-run system. They already exist in nations with socialized systems. Oh, sure; no one calls them such but when a group sets hard and fast limits on who can get what care, the outcome is the same. But feel free to delude yourself.

      1. This is an absolute fact. My wife is from a country that already has socialized health care. The government will decide when or IF you get that life saving operation that you need, and the waits can be 6 months, or even a year. This is just a FACT and if Tony can’t handle it, then tough shit. The good thing about my wife’s country (Brazil) is that they have private medical too, if you can afford it, then you get the care you need when you need it for anything you can’t get from the government ran crap. If you can’t afford it, and need a life saving operation, then you better start praying to some sky God real quick like.

        1. Or spending some money to fly to see a Singapore Dr. But your death chances are still gonna be 50/50.

        2. The good thing about my wife’s country (Brazil)

          I salute you, sir.

          1. For what?

            1. The Brazilian. 😉

  10. what happens if

    Congress passes a law saying “The Secretary shall have the power to quarter soldiers in any private residence without compensating the owner.”

    Doesn’t yesterdays ruling mean that the court could declare the quartering of soldiers a “tax” and therefore constitutional? I dont care much for precident, but these bastards do.

    I know they can do whatever they want, but we cant even pretend anymore.

    1. No. the ruling is too limited to its facts for that. Sure, they could do it but only in the sense that any court can do anything it wants if it is crazy enough.

      1. thanks. Im not seeing how any constraints remain. If things that are not taxes can be declare tax-equivelents, havent we just traded the universal interstate commerce rationale for a universal taxing authority rationale?

        1. No because if a tax becomes too punitive and unrelated to the purpose of raising revenue, it is no longer a tax it is a penalty.

          1. Though as it stands the mandate fine is not particularly punitive, but it sure as hell has really nothing to do with raising revenue. It’s designed to force you to do something.

            1. That’s the problem I’ve had with this ruling. If it’s a tax, then the type of tax needs to be specified. It’s certainly not an income tax or an excise tax. So it looks like a direct tax. And in that case, it’s not apportioned among the several states. So it’s unconstitutional.

              This ruling is fucking absurd. I’d have been happier to just have Roberts say “fuck the Commerce Clause”. The legal gymnastics required for this are truly astonishing.

              1. Perhaps that is the “genius” behind the Roberts heel turn. He has opened the door to the law to be overturned on a Direct tax legal appeal. So new lawsuits should be incoming at any time…right?

                1. Doubt it. If Roberts really does think the law should be overturned on any grounds, why not just do it on Commerce Clause grounds? He seemed fairly accepting of that argument at the oral presentations.

                  A lot of people are arguing that Roberts switched his vote to protect the Court politically. In that case, why overturn the law on the direct tax issue at a later time? He’d still have to make a controversial 5-4 decision. You can be damned sure that the “liberals” on the Court wouldn’t be changing sides.

                  Nope. I think Roberts actually believes he somehow reconciled the constitutionality of this law.

                  1. Forgot to add the /sarcasm tag to my previous post.

                    I think you are correct. Roberts made this decision on grounds he believed in. His choice may have been made late in the process because of some of the language in the various opinions, but it fits with his general deference to the Legislative branch.

    2. No. They’d have to phrase it as “We’d like to quarter soldiers in your house. If you refuse, we’ll charge you a tax to pay for the housing of the soldiers elsewhere.” As I read the decision, that would work.

      1. That’s exactly how I read it. And you can bet this will be used for something.

        1. I’d like to see it get used to make every adult citizen to buy a gun. The head explosions on the left would be fucking awesome.

      2. Based on the plain language of the Third Amendment the federal government probably could have constitutionally done that before the ruling:

        No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner . . . .

        (Emphasis added.)

        The government already charges taxes to pay for housing and food for soldiers on military bases. If the government offered private homeowners a tax credit in exchange for voluntarily allowing soldiers to live in their houses instead, I’m pretty that would have been deemed sufficiently consensual to survive scrutiny under the Third Amendment even prior to the ACA decision.

        1. Not being much a 3rd Amendment expert, (because seriously, when has it mattered in the last 100 years?) I’ll agree. The principle holds. Anything which is balatantly unconstitutional can now be excused away by simply taxing you if you don’t comply.

          1. One of my favorite Onion stories.

    3. I think they would distinguish between a tax that violated an explicit right, and tax that exercised a non-enumerated power. So, sadly, the abortion tax would be out. But the shared militia responsibility tax would probably fly, so there’s that.

  11. The biggest bag of horseshit ever produced by Congress now has a pretty yellow ribbon tied around it by the Chief Justice of SCOTUS.

    I feel so much better now.

    1. But Roberts thinks this will make liberals like him. What a fucking moron. The first time the court does something liberals don’t like they are going to go right back to calling him a partisan and saying how the court has no credibility. I just can’t fathom how someone could be so stupid as to think anything is going to satiate liberals or make them anything other than the fanatics they are.

      1. Don’t worry, John, you’re not the only one enraged by this. I nearly opened up on my own TV when the ruling was announced.


      2. I just can’t fathom how someone could be so stupid as to think anything is going to satiate liberals or make them anything other than the fanatics they are.

        Intelligent people are unusually vulnerable to rationalizing very dumb ideas that are emotionally attractive. Their rationalizations can be very brilliant exercises in self delusion.

        1. intelligent people are also ate up with hubris, thinking they are so much smarter than the rest of us and with a few pretty words, able to make the rabble in flyover country buy anything. This is one reason why the rabble hold such folks in utter contempt.

        2. Intelligent people are unusually vulnerable to rationalizing very dumb ideas that are emotionally attractive. Their rationalizations can be very brilliant exercises in self delusion.

          This is the most accurate statement ever. I feel it happen to myself sometimes!

      3. What is your take on all the mutterings that Roberts changed his vote to save Obamacare after initially voting to kill Obamacare?

        1. I think it is true. Why else would the dissent deal with the severability issue unless the person writing it thought they were writing a majority opinion? I explained this in the morning links. I think Roberts tried to give them Obamacare on a ruling that is pretty much limited to its facts on the theory that that will keep liberals from going after the court when they kill affirmative action and revitalize the commerce clause

          He is a total fool. The liberals will forget this ruling tomorrow and hate him just as much.

          1. I did not spend much time in the morning links this morning.

      4. Today even Le Monde said in its editorial “Thank you, Chief Justice!” In English.

        1. I hope he enjoys his 24 hours of love. I want to see the look on his face when he realize liberals hate him just as much today as yesterday.

          1. I want to see the look on his face when he realize liberals hate him just as much today as yesterday.

            I remember how quickly I would go from hero to zero when I explained to my then 4y.o. daughter that I wasn’t buying her the latest straight to DVD in the supermarket checkout lane Barbie movie.

            1. That is a good analogy.

        2. Today even Le Monde said in its editorial “Thank you, Chief Justice!” In English.

          “Thanks” for what? Don’t tell me I have to pay for THEIR goddamn coverage, too.

          1. For standing up to the partisan, ultraconservative Supreme Court majority and agreeing with the four centrists on the Court. At least Le Monde didn’t call the five justices appointed by Republican presidents extr?me droite.

      5. The liberals are going to screech regardless, yes. The question is whether the Great Apathetic in the middle are going to listen to them.

        The Obamacare decision is much higher profile than Heller or CU. If the liberals are going to screech they’re going to have to screech about relatively obscure, complicated things. Which doesn’t work with the Great Apathetic (as libertarians should know better than most).

        1. So you believe in Roberts’ strategy?

          1. Not sure I believe in it, but I recognize it as a valid strategy. It may well backfire.

            And of course, I’m not terribly comfortable with strategizing with constitutional rulings. But he learned it from watching Marshall.

            1. I am about where you are on it.

              1. Disagree with you both here. I’m assuming you’re talking Marbury v. Madison. In that case, Marshall affirmed the Supreme Court’s right to judicial review while avoiding a hot button political issue. But the basic point is that, in this case, the Court had a very good constitutional leg to stand on. The Judicial Act was clearly unconstitutional. Marshall didn’t have to sell out any judicial principles to make the ruling.

                Contrast that with yesterday’s ruling. Where is Roberts’ constitutional leg to stand on? He may have avoided a divisive political issue, but only at the expense of a decision which is ridiculous on its face (though apparently not to the four other sycophants on the Court). Roberts sold out his judicial principles for a politically expedient decision. Marshall would never have done that.

                So, either Roberts is no Marshall. Or he never really wanted to strike the damned thing down. In either case, he’s an asshole.

      6. Why the fuck does he care who likes him? He has the job for life. What a turd.

  12. Speaking of secession, do you guys know which states have the most libertarian constitutions?

      1. I was being serious, you unserious jerk. 🙁

      2. Estonia.

    1. According to legalzoom New Hampshire.

      1. OK which state that someone would actually WANT to live in.

        1. I don’t know if Nevada is necessarily libertarian, but judging by what goes on, there seems an attitude of “long as you don’t shoot folks or steal from them, we’re not going to hassle you too much.”

          1. I like the cut of your gib.

        2. Colorado is number two, from the link.

        3. Hey! Some people do. It’s pretty nice if you like all 4 seasons.

  13. Now the only barriers to Obamacare are the monumental technical difficulty of its implementation, its unaffordable pricetag, and the certainty that it will not improve health outcomes.

    1. These are all opportunities to blame the opposition and demand more laws to make it better.

      1. If you pile too much shit onto Atlas’ back, will he eventually shrug?

        1. The Russians put up with a brutal totalitarian regime for 4 generations. After they shook it off, they decided they missed it and decided to build another version of it.

          1. I’m Russian-born, and one of the things I can tell you with absolute certainty is there’s no comparison. It’s like equating a little bird crap on your windshield with a steaming pile of elephant shit at the local zoo.

            Russians will tolerate infinitely more than Americans will — even liberal Americans.

            1. Just remember, though, the Russians were once Vikings.

              I’ve long felt that Viking culture was the well-spring of classical liberalism. All the countries where it held sway had been either conquered or heavily settled by Vikings.

              Russia is proof that any free people can be, over time, reduced to a culture that accepts bondage and servitude.

              1. I’d actually say it has more to do with the Germanic tribes than the Nordic ones because Anglo Saxon Britain was a hell of a lot more “liberal” than it became after the Norman Conquest (or anywhere else in France ever was). Course maybe it was just that the Normans were corrupted by too much interaction with the Southern Europeans and that was their problem?

              2. My original motherland is also an exceptional demonstration of cultural failure. In 1991, they had a real chance to sweep away authoritarianism, the sort of wide collapse that allows the drafting and ratification of new constitutions with ease, for instance. They fucked up. Russia’s slowly heading back to the shitter — this time, in fascism.

                1. One of my coworkers was visiting a plant several hundred miles from Moscow in the mid-90s. His translator was giving him a tour of the area, and they stopped to view a huge reservoir. The translator explained that the dam building project had been running behind schedule, so they basically poured the last bit of concrete the day it was scheduled to start being filled up. They left tens of millions of dollars worth of earth-moving equipment at the bottom of the valley which became the bottom of the lake. My coworker asked him why anyone would do such a thing. The translator replied that it was like the American Bud-Lite commercial “Why ask Why?”

            2. Americans and Russians are different, so Americans will fuck up this country in a different way than Russians have fucked up theirs.

              We have a big block of people that say how terrible it is that we have to sexually assualt small children before they can board an airplane, but at least it’s keeping us all safe.

              And we have another block of people that think it is just and fitting to strip the wealth away the of all rich people (actually anyone with more money than they have) and give it to poor people in the name of fairness.

              And we have another block of people that understand the most important thing to do in a time of crises is to loot the pawn shop before all the good stuff is gone.

              It is a rare set of individuals that understand that prosperity and freedom are intimately tied together. These people may have founded this country, but they have been pushed to the fringes of polite society.

    2. you say barriers, the left says features.

    3. The states can and must continue legal guerilla warfare. Resistance is not futile.

  14. Nick crushed those last 45 seconds. Nicely done.

  15. “Mitt Romney is the worst possible candidate you could have right now.”

    Right, Gingrich or Santorum would be much better.

    1. ^^ thanks for busting that nugget of hyperbole.

      1. Those weren’t possible candidates, so it still stands.

    2. +100 Or Huntsman.

      1. Yeah but isn’t he too busy hanging out with Snow White these days?

    3. If your goal is to win the election, Ron Paul would be worse too. BO would have a field day running attack ads against him with the newsletter fiasco and his tendency to run his mouth.

      1. RP polls well against Obama.

        1. That’s because BO isn’t campaigning against him.

          I’d be floored if more than 5% of the general electorate knows about his oppo to the drug war or the racist newsletter issue.

          1. Tulpa is right. Those poll numbers are worthless.

        2. RP would just have to have a few debates with Obama, then he could sleep until the election and win in a landslide.

          1. You’re joking right?

            1. If not RP, William F. Buckley, Jr. – same message, much better messenger. Same result.

              1. Well, too bad he is dead.

                1. And with him, our last hope.

      2. Right on… Paul needs to settle down, and support Mitt.

    4. Out of the entire 2012 crop, I rate them like this, worst to best:

      1. Rick Santorum
      2. Newt Gingrich
      3. Michelle Bachman
      4. Herman Caine
      5. Mitt Romney
      6. Gary Johnson
      7. Ron Paul

      The number 1 and 2 spots, that was difficult, because both of those guys really, really suck.

      1. I think you got it right. Newt occasionally trips over a not that bad idea while running his fat clown mouth. Santorum is downright offensive to me.

      2. You’re missing Pawlenty, Huntsman, and Perry.

        Also honestly I’d reverse #7 and #8 because as much as I love RP as an elder statesman I think he’d make a horrible President and some of his priorities are a little screwed up in terms of what to approach first. Still the gap between Paul and Romney is bigger than the gap between Romney and Santorum so it really is just nitpicking.

        1. Pawlenty and Hunstman were easy to miss. Forgot about Perry – aka BUSH redux

      3. Johnson is way better than Paul and I think Cain is better than Romney. And Hunstman should be nearer the front still. Otherwise good list.

        1. Johnson has my vote. My preference would have been Paul with Johnson as his VP.

      4. Huntsman was actually a much better candidate than he got credit for. Whomever advised him to go for the “moderate” vote should be shot.

  16. Has Fat Brutha (fat black dude in the video, whatever the fuck his name is) ever been to a Texan clinic or hospital? Apparently not.

  17. Hey Republicans: Mitt Romney is the worst possible candidate you could have right now.

    I’m sure people whose job is to win elections were just sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for advice from electorally impotent libertarians.

    To say that Obamacare is just Masscare on steroids makes it sound like you don’t understand/care about federalism… and MR is actually one of the best available GOPers if your sole concern is winning the election. BO is really having to scrounge for things to attack him on, which would not be the case for Gingrich, Santorum, OR (I hate to break this to you) Ron Paul. Is Mitt Romney the best Republican to become president? Absolutely not. But he’s not as bad as Obama and has the best shot of beating him.

    1. Since Nick most certainly understands federalism, it is almost as if he is just looking to score cheap lame points.

      1. He’s putting on a show for the “principled independent” audience. Just like Suderman but less dry. And they’re lapping it up.

        He has, of course, been critical of BO too, so I’m not accusing him of bias. But BO’s misdeeds are far too depressing to make fun of in an entertaining way.

      2. So John, since you are the only Mittens supporter here. What’s he gong to do for the Pauls? after that GD endorsement from Rand, the only thing that has come close to pissing me off as bad as this health care decision.

        1. I am actually not a mittens supporter. I think we would be better off having obama win and finally bringing on the crisis we need. I think Romney, while much better than Obama, won’t be good enough to fix anything and will just let the liberals off the hook for the mess they have created.

          I just know bullshit when I see it. And most of what Gillespie writes is bullshit. I don’t get the love for the guy. He is totally overrated.

          1. I’m voting for GJ, so in most peoples opinion, I will be helping to bring about the O’pocalypse that you desire.

          2. I think we would be better off having obama win and finally bringing on the crisis we need.

            I think it’s time to push the panic button already.

            …but I’d never encourage people to hurt themselves so badly–that someone will hopefully come rescue them?


            Panic button, yes!

            Shoot ourselves in the foot, no.

            1. almost time to panic. I believe Mitt can pull this off.

              I like him better each day.

              donate to Mitt. Save America.

          3. You still didn’t tell me what Mittens will do for the Pauls?

            1. Lets hope the Pauls wise up and don’t railroad this election.

              Mitt to save America (and the pauls are part of America)

          4. I am a (reluctant) Romney supporter, but I can see that. If the big crash comes while Romney is in office it’s going to be “free market ideologue Herbert Hoover” territory all over again for another 50 years.

            But the big crash is more likely to be delayed with BO out. As much as I don’t like the idea of free markets being unjustly discredited, I also don’t like the idea of destroying America more quickly than it has to happen. And I’m confident that when the big crash comes it will be the libertarians who are blamed again, regardless of the facts. People want to believe statists; statism is woven deeply into our nature.

            1. As always when this topic comes up, I’ll paraphrase the dear departed Wine Commonsewer:

              When the revolution comes, it won’t matter who wins. People like us will be on the wrong side of the barricades.

          5. I think we would be better off having obama win and finally bringing on the crisis we need.

            I used to think this. It is a really bad idea! Too clever by many halves. Just like Roberts.

        2. As another Massachusetts-office-holding first president from his religion said, “Ask not what Mitt can do for you…”

    2. “Mitt Romney. Marginally Better Than The Opposition.”

      Now there’s a catchy campaign slogan.

      1. Considering the last few years in American politics, that is really a hell of a strong statement all things considered.

        1. Seriously. I wasn’t alive back then, but I imagine the feeling of having to endure the double ass pounding of Bush and Obama is what it must have felt like to go from LBJ to Nixon.

          1. Ford being marginally better than the previous two must have felt great.

      2. We used to joke around here that Dubya’s campaign slogan should have been “Kerry would be worse”.

        I think Romney should pick up that “Obama would be worse” banner, but maybe recast it…

        If what Romney’s saying is that Obama is an ever worse version of himself, then maybe Romney’s campaign slogan should be, “Never go full retard!”

  18. “Essential Takeaways” missed a big one:

    Didn’t anyone else notice that Barack Obama is a dipshit?

    Because he is. He’s a dipshit.

    1. I noticed that. He is also an overly pompous, insufferable jackass.

      1. He’s a dipshit. He’s a jackass, and he’s a jackhole.

        1. And he wasn’t even the king’s son.

  19. There isn’t any real “rise” of the independents. There’s a rise in people who eschew official party label, because that’s a fashionable thing to do nowadays. Come election time however, most people won’t have the courage to pull the lever for a principled but obscure candidate who has no chance to win. By now, 95% of the voters are decided on either Obama or Romney.

    “Republicans, Mitt Romney is the worst possible candidate for you” is like 5 months too late. The “independents” either had the number and influence to affect the GOP race (or even nominate their own 3rd party candidate) or they didn’t. They didn’t.

    You can’t repeal Obamacare unless the GOP takes over the senate or the white house. In that regard, Romney is actually the best possible choice – among the weak field available to us. Santorum and Paul had no chance to win. None. No win, no repeal of Obamacare. One doesn’t (most likely) happen without the other.

    Romney beat 3 other candidates who blasted Romneycare daily. If Romney loses (good chance that he will), it won’t be because the voters were disillusioned with the paradox of Romneycare going after Obamacare.

  20. What gets me is that all these dippy-doos who are giving piles of money to Romney to defeat Obamacare, when Romney drafted the damn prototype in the first place and supported the coverage mandate. I’ve experimented in planarians with longer memories than these nitwits.

    If you’re going to give money in protest against Obamacare, GIVE IT TO GARY JOHNSON. He is the *only* candidate who has always been against government run healthcare and been against the mandate for coverage.

    Giving money to Romney… What a bunch of thick-headed nitwits! Dunderheads…

    1. Bear in mind, Obama/Romney care was in vogue among the right at one time. Even this place endorsed it years ago (I can’t post a link to it, because it gives me an error when I post, but the article was entitled “Mandatory Health Insurance Now” and was by Ronald Bailey in the Nov 2004 issue

    2. And Gary Johnson is not going to be elected. Even if he had the monetary resources of Obama + Romney combined, he has the personality of a mannequin.

      Have you watched him on Red Eye. He’s worse than Nick. The other people talk and talk and talk and he just says a one line answer and looks dazed.

  21. Nick good article well reasoned I question your premise of health care from a court case about federal overreach. When the law was passed the die was cast to increase costs. when ever a large pool of money becomes available to any industry, human nature what it is, they figure out a way to collect all of it. Usually by raising prices. the first unlimited gov, seems more removed and entrenched now then ever before. If indeed the CJ did draw a line in the sand it was inches from unlimited gov, saving but one instance of inactivity not to be regulated but taxed. I don’t see the difference. as far as Romney our choices are decrease the increase or double down on way more debt with obama. How about actually decreasing the debt not the increase as a choice but not in this election.

  22. Nick, You’re in correct about the scope of government. It’s 5 votes that government is not unlimited (Robert’s was not dicta), and embracing the activity/inactivity distinction to the commerce clause. That means that it’s binding precedent.

    It’s only 1 vote (Robert’s) that it’s a tax. That means that it’s not binding precedent. The Liberal block did not find that it is a tax. Since it’s only 1 vote, and it was a stretch to make the argument, it’s unlikely that the Court will ever rule this way again.

    Professor Barnett is right, we won the more important thing–the legal reasoning. It’s a political issue to end Obamacare.

    1. That’s supposed to be “incorrect” not “in correct”

  23. Agree with article. One might add that nothing is going to change. We now have Republicans scheming at ways to avoid the sequestration that they voted for in order to put us in more debt. We are paying for the debt that W and his band of neocons put us in directly, but also indirectly by very nearly destroying the GOP and giving us Obama and his extraordinary majority for two years. And the neocons are still at it in this Congress. And they still are dominant in GOP leadership. Until they die off or a transformational leader comes along, the country will continue its downward path

  24. Romney is not lame.
    You voted for a charismatic young man in 2008…HOPE YOU ARE HAPPY.

    I prefer a man who knows business, and can bring back jobs… that man is MITT ROMNEY.

  25. Romney is not lame.
    You voted for a charismatic young man in 2008…HOPE YOU ARE HAPPY.

    I prefer a man who knows business, and can bring back jobs… that man is MITT ROMNEY.

  26. Romney can win this if he plays tough.

    No playing nice against the Chicago Mob…..

    Fight to win Mitt.

  27. Does anyone seriously believe no government involved in health care can deliver health care Nick Gillespie would want and afford?

    Pretty much zero government involvement in health care in Afghanistan, Somalia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Haiti in part because they have basically no government.

    With over 200 nations, you can’t point to a single one that has a satisfactory health care system without government, which if the free market can deliver great health care at lower costs without government involvement, it is mind boggling that it has not happened a single time in the world over the past two centuries to provide the shining example, the city on a hill, for the libertarian ideal.

    Congress in its first few sessions intervened in the market and started funding health care services, so the very people who ratified the Constitution saw the Constitution as the means to begin delivering health care services, certainly because the free market failed to meet the needs of society. Barack Obama was not in Congress then pushing a radical leftist socialist extreme government takeover of the economy.

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