When the big SCOTUS opinion on Obamacare came down last Thursday, there were many others from the rank and file citizenry expressing one on the very same day, and have been expressing many since.
The Left has been ecstatic. Many have not only spiked the football but have also done some elaborate end zone dances, as well. Nancy Pelosi could not wait to get her face on camera to gloat.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Right has been furious. Many have expressed the feeling of betrayal at the hands of the Chief Justice. They have shredded his opinion to pieces and some have even ground him into a fine powder in columns, blog posts, and media interviews. But at the same time, it has mobilized them to a much greater degree than they would have been, had it gone their way. Mitt Romney is said to have raked in the most money in one 24-hour period, in the history of presidential campaign fundraising.
I have to admit that I was a bit taken back at the decision, especially after learning that Roberts was the swing vote instead of Kennedy. The reason I was shocked was that it is such a horrible law, put together by idiots who have no understanding of the healthcare profession. I have worked in healthcare for over two decades and believe me when I tell you, it’s a real bad law and will not do the job that it has been sold to do.
At the same time, I had to wonder what Roberts was thinking when he cast his vote to uphold it, as is. Some people went as far as saying they wondered if Roberts was threatened by the Obama Chicago Intimidation Machine. Others said it was his medication regimen. But then as I combed the internet to get some serious reasoning about the Chief Justice’s decision to side with people who have no understanding of healthcare, I came across this piece. It lists several reasons why Roberts may have done the best thing for the country for the long term and I recommend to everyone who is angry about the outcome, read that post.
Poker and Chess are entirely different games. One is centered in the here and now. It lives in the hand and the rewards and penalties are instantaneous. The other is a game of deep thought and patience. It is not a chest-thumping activity, it plays to the long term objective. It requires strategy that has no component of luck. While everyone else was playing Poker, Roberts was playing Chess.
One thing that Erickson said makes a lot more sense, when you think about it in Chess terms. From his post:
It seems to me the left was smart to make a full frontal assault on the Court as it persuaded Roberts.
By doing this, Roberts proved he is above the political fray. For better or for worse, Congress passed a law and the SCOTUS did not strike it down based on its lack of popularity. The same people who passed it were sent to Washington by voters. Obama and a Democratic Congress were sent there under the belief that it was time for a change, in spite of the many voices (like my own) who said these people will screw this country up to no known end.
Now that the people who didn’t listen to us are not happy with this law (to the tune of 60% of the people), there is only one real way to get rid of this bad law…repeal it. And the only way it’s going to be repealed is if enough people, who have the guts to do it, are put into office and they actually do it. This will include changing presidents.
By showing he is not an activist judge trying to legislate from the bench, Roberts has set things up well. He has also shown that he is not a partisan hack. He is now free to render the correct rulings in the future, free from such accusations. The next ruling may have even more far-reaching consequences that will make this healthcare law seem trivial. It might even include ruling on the election later this year, should the Democrats try to steal it like they tried to in 2000. I’d rather have Roberts free to make a just ruling in that scenario, than to be selfish and have the ability to savor this one going my way.