It's been about two weeks now since the Supreme Court upheld Obama's health care reform law and I'm still trying to digest it. The Court's decision certainly wasn't expected by me and the more I think about it it seems more and more shady. I'm starting to wonder if all is at it seems here.
The Court found the Affordable Care Act, aka "Obamacare", constitutional which seems like a straight forward victor for Obama, but the way the Court found Obamacare constitutional poses problems for the president. The Supreme Court upheld Obamacare by defining the most hated part of the law, the individual mandate, as a tax in contrast to the administration's 3 year long insistence that it was not. So now the president's victory will force him and his supporters to sell this newly defined tax to a nation that hates taxes even more than big government. In short, his "victory" has Obama in a bind.
I've heard speculation from conservative talking heads that this conundrum for Obama may have been planned. I've heard that Chief Justice Roberts was being "crazy like a fox" with his decision, making Obamacare constitutional but in a way that a) put Obama on the spot and b) gave Republicans a weapon to deploy against him in the election. And it energized the conservative/Republican base to boot. Some conservative talking heads seem to think that the Supreme Court's decision not only isn't so bad but is a net positive for Republicans. Sorry, but I'm just not feeling it.
Yes, the Court's decision energized the conservative/Republican base, which is good, but that's the only good thing I see in it. I don't see calling the individual mandate a tax as a good thing at all. Sure, it gives the Republicans a weapon against Obama but I fear that it also expands the taxation power of Congress. By labeling the individual mandate a tax the high Court set a precedent that makes Congress' taxation power pretty much limitless when it is intended to control behavior. Think about it. The federal government passes a law that forces Americans to buy health insurance and financially punishes them if they don't, and the Supreme Court says the law is constitutional because the financial punishment is a "tax". The feds can now "tax" us for not doing pretty much anything they tell us to do.That's frightening, and my fear is not assuaged just because this expansion of federal power has energized the base.
Please don't misunderstand me. I'm glad, thrilled actually, the conservative/Republican base is energized like it hasn't been since the Tea Party protests of 2009-2010. We need that energy to get out our message and, more importantly, our vote. But if we fall short in November, despite all this new energy, and fail to oust Obama from the White House and the Senate Dems from their majority, Obamacare will remain the law of the land. What then? Will conservatives/Republicans have enough energy to keep fighting this insidious law? Will we have enough energy to use uncomfortable (for us) tactics, e.g. civil disobedience, if necessary? We don't know the answer to those questions and that scares me as much as the federal government's unprecedented power grab.
So, what does this all mean? Where will the Supreme Court's decision lead? It will lead, I believe, to either the restoration of American freedom and self-reliance or to the transformation of America as Obama promised. I want the restoration of America, not Obama's Marxist-inspired "change". Conservatives/Republicans can restore America if we choose to. We have the energy, but do we have the tenacity to win? Time will tell, and I pray it's on our side.