Even as the Supreme Court’s examination of ObamaCare appeared to produce a grim prognosis last week, the Administration and its allies embarked upon a new political strategy: campaign directly against the Court. Bleak warnings were issued that the Supreme Court would risk its legitimacy by turning into a gang of “activists” and striking down the individual mandate. Longtime observers could only marvel at the speed of this pirouette, since the Left absolutely adores activist courts under most circumstances.
Journeys among the penumbras and emanations of the living Constitution are wonderful, but asserting the obvious unconstitutionality of a Big Government power grab is “judicial activism.” The close-minded, locked-in votes of the liberal Justices are just fine… including the one who served as Solicitor General when the Administration began constructing its legal defenses. Everybody else on the court is a sinister “activist,” from Chief Justice John Roberts to Swing Justice Anthony Kennedy, if he decides to swing the wrong way.
Anything other than rubber-stamping this ghastly bill would be “playing politics.” Only a ruling that clears away the Constitutional obstacles to the biggest political agenda in recent history would be “non-political.”
Worse still would be voiding the entire ObamaCare package, rather than simply striking down the individual mandate and its most immediately dependent clauses. So much money has already been spent! People’s lives have already been changed by ObamaCare! It would be an unspeakable disaster for the Court to wipe out the whole thing. If they absolutely must go ahead with their “judicial activism” and grind the individual mandate beneath their hobnailed boots, then they’ll just have to crawl through all 2700 pages, one paragraph at a time, and fix the nightmarish mess Nancy Pelosi insisted we had to pass, in order to find out what was in it. And if that’s cruel and unusual punishment, as Justice Scalia joked, well… that’s an argument for leaving the entire bill intact. You break it, you bought it, Justice Scalia.
President Obama might be saying he’s confident of ObamaCare’s survival, but he’s also adjusting his non-stop re-election campaign to demonize those Supreme Court “judicial activists.” As transcribed by RealClearPolitics, he laid out his new strategy for running against the Court today:
“I am confident the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically-elected congress,” President Obama said at a White House event in the Rose Garden today.
“I just remind conservative commentators that for years we have heard the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint. That an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law. Well, this is a good example and I am pretty confident that this Court will recognize that and not take that step,” Obama said to the White House press.
“As I said, we are confident this will be over — this will be upheld. I am confident this will be upheld because it should be upheld. And again, that is not just my opinion. That is the opinion of a whole lot of constitutional law professors and academics and judges and lawyers who have examined this law, even if they’re not particularly sympathetic to this piece of legislation or my presidency,” he said.
Remember, this man was allegedly a professor of Constitutional law. And now he’s willing to state, in public, that “overturning a duly constituted and passed law” is somehow an aberration of the Supreme Court’s function? And his law is unimpeachable because “a whole lot of constitutional law professors and academics and judges and lawyers” say so?
This is all a perfect encapsulation of the “progressive” mythology. Once the term “liberal” became a pejorative, many on the American Left took to calling themselves “progressives.” The implication is that only movement toward a larger, more powerful State is “progress.” Returning any measure of liberty to the people would, on the other hand, be “regressive.”
Now they’re defending a bloated, badly-written monstrosity of a law, pushed under laughably false pretenses – let us recall, among many other distortions, that Barack Obama used to laugh out loud at the notion that his individual mandate would impose a “tax” – and hustled through Congress in the dead of night, by painfully slender vote margins. The American people rebelled at their earliest opportunity, producing the mighty 2010 electoral landslide. Some of the more infamous ObamaCare dupes, such as Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), bailed out before the avalanche, while others were swept away.
Far from the “strong majority of a democratically-elected Congress” Obama is hallucinating, this bill was barely able to crawl off Capitol Hill. And now we’re being told it cannot be overturned, ever? During the 2008 elections, did Barack Obama, or any other Democrat, make it clear that it was a “one man, one vote, one time” type of election? In 2009, did they tell you ObamaCare would be an eternal “progressive” step that could never be retraced, no matter how horrible a mistake it turned out to be?
Instead of hanging their heads in shame because they dropped this bomb on us, and now the Supreme Court is obliged to defuse it, the Democrats are going to insist the Constitution should be abandoned because defending it would be too difficult, and require too much paperwork? Instead of determining the constitutionality of this fundamental restructuring of American liberty first, the strategy is to use the very magnitude of the error as an argument against subsequent diligence?
That sounds like an excellent argument in favor of rejecting “progressivism” root and branch. It contains no hint of self-determination, liberty, or the consent of the governed. The inability of Big Government to correct even its most ghastly errors is a stunning indictment of the entire liberal project, and a very good reason to clean out everyone who thinks that way, at our next electoral opportunity. If we don’t, we’ll soon enough be facing our last electoral opportunity, having completed our long “progressive” journey toward doom, and reached the point at which all of the State’s mistakes are both intolerable and irreversible.
Before surrendering the smallest shred of their liberty, Americans should demand to know exactly what they’ll have to do in order to reclaim it, should the promises of the statist prove hollow. I’ll warn you in advance that the statists will never have a good answer to that question. None of their “gifts” have a return policy. If you could send Obama’s remarks from the Rose Garden back in time to 2009, ObamaCare never would have passed. Send them back to 2008, and Senator Obama would still be sitting on the back bench, praising the Supreme Court for liberal activism, and grousing about President McCain’s high gas prices.