My friend, Gallagher, an old political and legal sage whose wisdom is still sought out and given at a high hourly rate loves to tell tales of even older sages like the late Brooklyn Democratic boss Meade Esposito:
Meade loved to tell the story of the two bulls.
The father and son bull are at the top of the hill looking over the cow pasture.
The young bull says “Daddy,look at all those cows. Let’s charge down the hill and fuck one of those cows.”
The old bull says “no son; let’s walk down the hill slowly and quietly and fuck ‘em all.”
Yesterday, my first SCOTUS HCR news came from Gallagher:
“In the immortal words of the VP: "This is a big fucking deal."
And obviously it was.
The determination of whether or not a policy is or isn’t constitutional has a mostly accidental relationship to whether or not it is or isn’t good policy, but the words “constitutional” and “unconstitutional” oft times take on a talismanic quality having little or no relationship to their meaning.
Not to mention the fact that millions get to keep their health care.
Of course, far less noticed is the part of the opinion that makes it just a bit easier for states to deny benefits to millions of others.
And noticed only amongst some quarters of the punditocracy is the fact that John Robert has handed liberals a candy apple containing a razor blade.
Roberts ruled that the mandate does not fall within the government’s Commerce Clause powers, which is preposterous.
As Chait noted, “if Congress cannot regulate the health-care market, then it cannot really regulate interstate commerce.”
This is merely a small step on the road back to the pre-New Deal limited government by nine old men saying “no.”
And that is “big fucking deal.”
As Chait puts it:
By endorsing this precedent, Roberts opens the door for future courts to revive the Constitution in Exile.
But Roberts will do it by a process of slow constriction, carefully building case upon case to produce a result that over time will, if he prevails, rewrite the shape of American law. What he is not willing to do is to impose his vision in one sudden and transparently partisan attack. Roberts is playing a long game.
Robert is one clever bastard.
John Roberts is walking down the hill slowly and quietly.
He means to fuck us all.
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