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Obamacare and the End of the Beginning

We shouldn't be trusting in the Supreme Court to save us from statist laws.

By Petrarch  |  June 29, 2012

To our stunned surprise, the Supreme Court has found the intrusive, onerous, bureaucratic, totalitarian two thousand pages of Obamacare to be perfectly constitutional.

Actually, their rationale makes sense.  Disregard the fact that everybody from Mr. Obama on down said that the various fees and charges decreed by Obamacare were not a tax!  No, the Democrats all said they were fees, disincentives, penalties - anything, anything but a tax!

Except that the Supreme Court said that the Obamacare exactions were taxes, a concept a few of us had suspected all along.  As we all know, Congress has a basically unlimited taxing power.  They can tax whomever and whatever they please, so long as the rules of who and what gets taxed are based on what you do and not on who or what you are.

This isn't the first time the courts have called a President a liar.  Back when Roosevelt promoted Social Security, he called it old age insurance.  Soon afterward, the courts ruled that it was not insurance, it was a welfare program.  As with today's ruling, their reasoning was sound - since Congress can change the rewards and costs of Social Security at any time, it is not insurance in any form even if the President had claimed that it was insurance, not welfare.

So: Mr. Obama and his Democrats lied, big time.  Obamacare doesn't mean you can keep your insurance if you like it because Obamacare gives the government the power to tell your insurance company what it will and will not cover.  Obamacare means that women won't be making their own health-care decisions as Mr. Obama promised because medical boards will be doing that for them.

The money Obamacare takes from us is not fees as he and his administration argued so vehemently.  The money Obamacare takes is a tax on the un-health-insured combined with a gargantuan pile of regulations dumped atop businesses and insurance companies which will make it ever more difficult for health insurance to be offered and purchased.  Looked at in this way, yes, that is constitutional: there's nothing new about business-destroying regulations nor about unreasonable taxes.  Whether or not Obamacare is a good idea is, quite properly, not the concern of the Court.

Don't Be Lazy

As conservatives, we believe in Constitutional originalism - that is, we ought to follow the original intent of the Constitution as written by the Founders and agreed upon by the American people at that time, plus the original intents of the various amendments tacked on over the years.  It's quite clear that the Constitution never intended to grant legislative power to the Supreme Court; no, that was for the Congress.  The Court can only interpret the law, and if necessary, declare that a given law is in conflict with the higher law of the Constitution and is thus invalid.  It's not supposed to propose improvements to the law, or decide whether the law is smart.

What's more, if we are to be a representative democracy, isn't that the way it's supposed to be?  What could possibly be more elitist than having our laws written or unwritten by nine unelected judges with life tenure?  There are good reasons why Supreme Court justices are appointed for life, but their powers should be and are strictly circumscribed.

No, by relying on our black-robed allies to pull America's biscuits out of the fire, we are abdicating our responsibility as Americans and as voters not to put stupid laws in place at all.

The right question is not, how could Chief Justice John Roberts have betrayed us thus?  The right question is instead, how on earth could America have elected hundreds of anti-American Senators and Congressmen and one anti-American President who could ever contemplate the massive intrusion on liberty that is Obamacare?  How could conservatives have so signally failed in the marketplace of ideas and in the political arena?

Remember: Hitler and the Nazis won elections fair and square.  The German legislature passed laws granting all power to the Fuhrer.  This was all done in perfect legal form that no judge or court would find fault with, and all perfectly "democratic" given that they were, after all, elected according to the rules in place at the time.  Did that make Nazi tyranny and dictatorship right?  Of course not.

What it did, was place the blame for Nazi tyranny and dictatorship on the German people who voted them into office in the first place.  Barack Obama is no Adolf Hitler and the Congressional Democrats are no Nazis, but Obamacare will lead to the deaths of our elders just as surely as Hitler's rise led to the death of all sorts of people.

As we've said before, Obamacare must be destroyed.  Chief Justice Roberts has performed a very American service by reminding us that we voters will have to do it:

"It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices."

   Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.,  New York Times quote of the day, June 29, 2012

Do Americans care enough to tell the government to back off?   Does this intrusive takeover of our health system bother us?  If so, that needs to be shown at the polls as soon as possible and as vehemently as possible.

And if not, well, we can still complain, but not on democratic grounds or on the basis of a misinterpreted popular will.  American voters will have freely chosen statist socialism and the Democrats will only be reflecting the will of the people as they turn America into Europe.

In that case, it'll be time to recognize that conservatism and traditional Americanism has lost once and for all and it's time to look elsewhere for succor.  Truly, 2012 is a turning-point election.