April 2, 2012

“Steven Pearlstein: Eat your broccoli, Justice Scalia”

Silly conservative Justices, so busy politicizing Good Public Policy and using sophomoric hypotheticals to make “arguments” that they keep letting this “Constitution” thingy get in the way of Doing What The People Want.  Don’t these dullards realize that the remedy for what concluding legitimately what is and isn’t constitutional is the people’s ability to vote out politicians they believe went too far?  Pearlstein, WaPO:

Judging from their blatantly partisan bleating from the bench, it is certain that Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito will join Clarence Thomas in doing whatever it takes to impose their conservative, free-market, nothing’s-changed-since-1788 agenda on the country.

An essential element of the Republican strategy these days is that, whenever confronted with an obvious failure of the free market, the correct response is always to try to turn the tables and blame it on misguided government policy. So it was this week when the solicitor general and several justices tried to make the obvious point that one reason so many Americans lack health insurance is that the market is inherently unlike any other in that we don’t deny medical care to sick people who can’t pay for it. It is from this anomaly that springs the “individual mandate,” a requirement that all citizens buy health insurance, to prevent them from becoming free-riders on a system paid for by others.

Normally, I’d take the opportunity here to link to a piece showing that the free rider “problem” is entirely unsolved by this legislation — and note that it is actually the young, who are  being forced into the market, that end up subsidizing the health care of others and so are being financially taken advantage of by this top-down government-run health care mandate.  But why bother?  Facts don’t rank when the narrative is set, and the “battle” is being fought by the Good and the Caring against the Hidebound Conservatives who Won’t Change with the Times, so concerned are they to a supposed fidelity to a really old document that smart people don’t take terribly seriously any more.

— Unless what’s found in it is a right to privacy .  Then, the thing is absolutely sacrosanct.

But I digress. More Pearlstein:

It is axiomatic, of course, that the power to regulate, or to tax, or to criminalize is the power to regulate, tax or criminalize stupidly. The power to require you to buy airbags for your car is also the power to require you to buy leather seats and a surround-sound stereo. The power to levy a fee for buying a handgun is the power to levy a fee for not buying a handgun. The power to criminalize abortions is the power to criminalize condoms and birth-control pills.

But for some reason, when it comes to requiring Americans either to buy health insurance or pay a fee, we are now supposed to believe that “all bets are off,” according to Chief Justice John Roberts, or that “a fundamental shift” has occurred in the relationship between the individual and government, according to Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Really?

For starters, the Constitution already limits the “abuse” of such power by subjecting those who wield it to regular elections in which citizens are free to decide what is going too far and what is not.

— Like, for instance, what the voters did in 2010, you mean?

And yet somehow, even after the people rushed to vote out  the single-term Congress responsible for unpopular Obamination, the unconstitutional legislation this temporary Congress left behind is still extant!

If only the founders and framers had conceived of a way to prevent either a Trojan legislature or a populist mob from using convenient elections and/or the thwarting of the popular will to claim power for themselves at the expense of the unalienable rights reserved to the individual…!

Look:  the clear rhetorical tack sneering progressives are going to take with respect to a potential legal defeat for ObamaCare is to declare in advance any adverse ruling “political” and partisan, and in the interim, to try to shame “conservative” Justices (read:  those Justices who actually interpret the Constitution coherently) into acting in the “enlightened” fashion of those who have declared themselves, by virtue of their own high regard for their own morality and intellects, far more intellectually and historically prepared to govern than those men who set up our Constitutional system on the heels of a revolution in which they’d fought against the tyranny of a centralized authority.

After all, that was a long time ago.  And you can’t “progress” unless you’re willing to bracket the past.

And the lessons of history.  And the imperfect nature of man.  And the whole ridiculous notion of unalienable rights.

That is, you can’t have a Great Leap Forward if you continue to anchor yourself to hoary old totems like the Constitution.

Free yourself, people!  Let Good Men do your thinking and planning for you!  Because that way lies Utopia!  This time.

(h/t JD)

Posted by Jeff G. @ 12:58pm
41 comments | Trackback

Comments (41)

  1. Does the left have any arguments left that don’t involve well-poisoning?

  2. OT: Romney’s team is feeling “liberated” from the mortifying teabaggers and godbotherers when it comes to selection of a running mate.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/liberated-evangelicals-and-tea-party_634951.html?nopager=1

    But Mr. Etch-a-Sketch says it’s not true, and Mitt really will respect cheap-date conservatives in the morning. That’s a relief.

  3. Obama today:

    “Ultimately I am confident that 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,” Mr. Obama said in the Rose Garden appearance.

    Marbury? Never happened.

  4. Here’s the vid of Obama speaking on the ACA and the Supreme Court in the Rose Garden.

  5. barachysh*t

    of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress

    “Democratic 219 39
    Republican 1 176
    Independent
    TOTALS 220 215″

    http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2009/roll887.xml

    “The 60-to-39 party-line vote”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/25/health/policy/25health.html

  6. Ultimately I am confident that 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,” Mr. Obama said in the Rose Garden appearance.

    Never thought I’d hear a college-educated black man say that…

    Holy shit… just… damn!

    HISTORY MOTHERFUCKER! DO YOU READ IT?

  7. A strong majority? When not a single Republican voted for it?

    When the Left speaks just remember one thing, what’s their’s is their’s and what’s your’s remains negotiable.

  8. 1788? Hell, I’d be ecstatic if we could roll the clock back to 1941 here!

  9. Obama today:

    Constitutional Scholar/Professor Obama. Gack.

    The Constitution? Unconstitutional. It’s in my way, after all. So, also racist.

  10. “Lachlan Markay tweeted, “SCOTUS struck down 53 federal statutes from 1981-2005. But one more would be illegitimate, per Obama.”

  11. “a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress”– with not a single Republican vote.

  12. oops. See that’s been covered.

  13. unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress,” Mr. Obama said

    This, from a constitutional scholar. A strong majority of a majority party makes something constitutional.

    Fuck him. There are so many lies in that one paragraph that he should want to slap himself.

  14. How many laws has the US Supreme Court declared unconstitutional?

    Unprecedented.

    Allah makes another excellent point. That’s what a strong majority looks like. But…

  15. This is my favorite part:

    Rather than wrestling with this obvious anomaly, however, Scalia and Alito simply gave it the old Republican razzmatazz, blaming the government for creating the problem in the first place by obligating hospitals to treat the sick even if they are uninsured and cannot pay for the care. It was the kind of sophomoric logic you’d expect from high school debaters — or a Republican presidential candidate at a tea party rally — not from members of the highest court in the richest country on Earth.

    It’s sophomoric to notice that the fact that the government makes providers provide their services for people who have no hope nor desire to pay for them is indicative of the fact that the market for healthcare services is not a proper free market.

  16. Is it just me or has the left been a bit more honest lately?

    Sure, they still lie like crazy but they’re also occasionally stating exactly what it is they truly think.

  17. Somebody forgot to bone up on this whole checks & balances business before publishing. It’s part of SCOTUS’ job description to throw out unconstitutional law, irrespective of how much of Congress voted for it.

    Doesn’t. Matter. It doesn’t even matter if every single last person in the US is for it. If that’s the case, then there should be no obstacle at all in the way of amending the Constitution the way that said majority holds dear.

    That’s the way our government works, and only a completely incompetent git of a journalist could possibly imagine otherwise.

  18. That’s the way our government works, and only a completely incompetent git of a journalist could possibly imagine otherwi

    Or, our President

  19. Obama, the “Constitutional Law Professor,” is a git, then?

    Works for me.

  20. More Obama today, same place and time:

    “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.

  21. As I — along with the rest of you — already knew these guys were straight up fascists, I’m kinda enjoying their realization that they lost 2010 in a historic fashion because of Obamacare and now they might not even get to keep their precious.

  22. They don’t even pretend to understand what we consider judicial activism.

  23. I’ve had an unverified sense of greater openness to speaking their intentions on the political left bh . . . and I’m left — supposing the hypothesis true — wondering what’s changed? Have they run out of useful prevarications in their view? Are they reduced somehow, by something I don’t see but they do, to speaking their minds more directly? Are they so persuaded of the righteousness of their cause and have such an assurance as to their grasp on power that they no longer feel the need to fool people? I dunno. It’s disturbing anyhow, but welcome too, to the extent it exposes their obsession with tyrannical power. Weird though, huh?

  24. I don’t get the horse race politics of this though.

    Obamacare is unpopular and it’s unpopular with wildly-lopsided enthusiasms. I assume the transition here is going to involve “vote for Obama in 2012 so he can appoint the right judges” but he’s going to use this as the peg to hang that on?

    Honestly, I think they’d get more traction with their phony war on women ploy.

  25. Well, this is a good example and I am pretty confident that this Court will recognize that and not take that step,

    somebody throw a penumbra at that git

  26. I wonder if it’s not out of sense that things are moving against them and so they feel straight talk might get these stupid people to think as they must, sdferr. They can feel the current going against them and they’re yelling, “Row, slaves, row!”

  27. “They can feel the current going against them . . .”

    M.e.l’homd’u represented such a possibility (in that narrow sense of his perception) to me bh, though I figured him for lashing out with the vile (flinging his whip-end?) in his panic at the upsetting overthrow of his world, due to his inability to reckon what else to do. He feels the change underfoot; he’s pissed, with a serving of hate to vomit up.

  28. nothing’s-changed-since-1788 agenda

    “Nothing” meaning “the enumerated powers of the federal government.”

    whenever confronted with an obvious failure of the free market

    My kingdom for a free-market economy in the healthcare field. Except for education, no sector of our society is LESS free market than healthcare.

    Normally, I’d take the opportunity here to link to a piece showing that the free rider “problem” is entirely unsolved by this legislation

    Not least because of the numerous waivers issued to political favorites.

    The power to require you to buy airbags for your car is also the power to require you to buy leather seats and a surround-sound stereo. The power to levy a fee for buying a handgun is the power to levy a fee for not buying a handgun.

    Dude. It actually IS. Except that the airbag mandate is with the auto manufacturers, such that consumers CAN’T buy a new car without airbags. And the fact that no one has gone ahead and levied a fee for not owning a handgun doesn’t mean that the loophole doesn’t exist (the Virgin, UT mandatory gun ownership law notwithstanding).

    they’d fought against the tyranny of a centralized authority

    Yeah, but THOSE tyrants wore funny wigs and owned slaves and hated women and believed in that sky god and weren’t AWARE of the oppression of British Colonialism against Teh Other, nor had any of them read Karl Marx or Noam Chomsky. They just weren’t FIT to rule the way we are.

  29. I’m seeing some not implausible conjecture that Kagan has apprised Bumblefuck of the results of the initial vote and that this is firing a warning shot across their bow.

  30. and now they might not even get to keep their precious.

    Erratum: Preciousssssssssssssssss is spelled with 17 Ss.

  31. I think what he meant to say was a strong majority of Democrats elected to Congress…

  32. I think what he meant to say was a strong majority of Democrats elected to Congress…

    our way or the highway thug tatics

  33. Fuck him.

    Well said, JD. I’ve been saying that all afternoon.

    What’s the over and under on how many felons he pardons when he gets kicked to the curb this fall?

  34. What are the odds of him pardoning Himself?

  35. Heh.

  36. “Because of the obvious partisanship coming from the Republicans, I hereby pardon myself for everything I’ve done, and everything I will do in the future.”

    -Barack Hussein Obama, Jan 19, 2013

  37. Obama, the “Constitutional Law Professor,” is a git, then?

    Git Anti-Defamation League on line three. Hurry up and take this, it’s time for my Scotch break.

  38. (…he said at 7:16 in the morning…)

  39. Pingback: His Majesty warns SC: the People have spoken » Cold Fury

  40. I apologize to all the gits out there.

  41. I think I read somewhere that Git is derived from Geat. The Geats were a tribe of Danes that along with the Saxons colonized Briton as the Roman colonies lost power. Beowulf was a Geat.

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