Obamacare Ruling -- Happily Pessimistic or Pessimistically Happy?
I'm here to give the layman's perspective. I think it's great that Ricochet has so many knowledgeable expert contributors on the Constitution and even many members familiar enough with the law and the Constitution to comment on Chief Justice Roberts' flawed jurisprudence. However... the sentiment that counts electorally is that of the average (likely) voter.
The average voter sentiment is supposedly best measured at Intrade -- where real people have real (figurative) skin in the game -- which was betting roughly 75% that Obamacare would be struck down. Let that sink in for a moment.
It's probably not an indication that 75% oppose the law, just that 75% were willing to gamble it would not stand. Those people had even more reason to feel physically ill upon hearing the decision than I did, having just lost their bet. But, I'm betting their visceral response, and that of a majority of likely voters, isn't only related to their monetary loss.
All the polls indicate that Obamacare has majority opposition. And if people have forgotten the crude and autocratic way in which the Democrats gave it to us, good and hard, I'm pretty sure Republicans will remind them. This is good. We want voters uncomfortable.
Chief Justice Roberts did us two huge favors. First, he reminded voters that they cannot rely on the SCOTUS to save them from overreaching government (shades of Kelo vs the City of New London). And second, he made voters aware that we cannot trust Democrats with the power to tax and spend, because they lie at every turn about what they're doing.
"It's not a tax!"
"It's going to lower premiums and reduce the deficit."
Only the true believers in the European social democratic project undertaken by the Democrats don't care about the deception. Well, true lefties and clueless gullible youngsters who don't know they're on the hook to pay for all this free stuff down the line. Everyone else -- and this is most important -- but especially the mushy middle feel surprised and insulted by what just happened. The new-found clarity about the choices in this election helps the mushy middle realize, it's decision time.
Romney doesn't need to appeal to the base! Pshaw! He just needs to engage the voters' prefrontal cortices a la Arthur Brooks:
"Democrats tax too much."
"Democrats spend way more than we can ever afford."
"Democrats make false promises -- or, in other words, they lie."
This is why I'm happy. It took me a couple hours to get here after hearing the decision. But, I'm feeling pretty good now. I think Romney is likely to win, Republicans are likely to decimate Democrats in Congressional elections, and we'll have Chief Justice Roberts to thank for it.
The pessimism? Well, we're fallen human beings. Socialism is a serpent with an apple. People seem incapable of resisting the lie of the free lunch. I think this is a short short-term win for Obama. A short-term win for Republicans. But, over the long-term, the only thing to save us from ourselves is divine intervention. And since I put no faith in man, that's good enough for me.