Affordable Care Act Constitutional – Now What?
So Obamacare has been upheld by the Supreme Court. Surprisingly, the swing vote in this case was not Anthony Kennedy as many predicted (in fact, in his dissent, Kennedy say the legislation in its entirety was unconstitutional), but rather Chief Justice John Roberts who cast the deciding vote.
The central issue, was whether or not the individual mandate was constitutional. Oddly, the court ruled that while the mandate is unconstitutional under the commerce clause, it is constitutional as a tax. What makes it odd is the administration (unless I am mistaken) did not argue the mandate was a tax.
What’s done is done. The question is:
A few things:
1. Conservatives need to lay off Justice Roberts. Yes, it is valid to criticize him for this ruling, but these “Roberts is a liberal!” and “Roberts = Souter” proclamations are dumb. Remember how Roberts ruled in two of the most critical cases of our time: District of Columbia v Heller and McDonald v Chicago. The former stated the second amendment is an individual right. The latter said that extended to the 14th amendment. It was a major victory for civil rights.
Don’t become like that idiot Eric Boehlert of Media Matters who two weeks ago was attacking Justice Kennedy as a “jackass” because of Citizens United (another case that Roberts voted for!)
2. Obama now has to defend one of the largest tax increases in history. Let’s be honest. The bulk of the American people have no freaking clue about the commerce clause of the constitution. They’ve heard it but most couldn’t explain what it is or what powers the government has under it. But people understand taxes. The Obama administration was very vocal in their defense of the mandate saying it was not a tax. Remember this?
I can see the ads now. “That $2000 tax return you normally receive to fund your summer vacation? Gone.”
3. Now is the time to hit the streets. Sitting there on Twitter will not win this election. Pounding the pavement will. That means knocking on doors, volunteering to make calls, handing out leaflets, whatever it may be. There is going to be a local campaign headquarters in your area. Call them. Find out what you can do to help.
4. President Obama remains vulnerable. Matt Cover made a good point yesterday in that he said Obama’s favorable and unfavorable numbers are essentially baked in. There’s no room for movement on his part. Yet there is plenty of room for Romney. Look at the polls that show Obama with these huge gaps in the African-American vote (95-1) and Latino vote (+40) and Obama still cannot break 50% in any poll. The jobs numbers will come next week and all signs point to them still sucking.
So, put away the Kleenex, stop wailing on Twitter that our liberty is gone and the country has been ruined and get to work.