Glenn Beck’s The Blaze frames stories and builds narratives much the same way the Worldnutdaily does, in a highly dishonest manner. A perfect example is this article and interview that claims Chief Justice Roberts was “intimidated” into changing his vote in the health care reform case. But the whole thing is spent establishing something we already knew, that he switched his vote.
On the Glenn Beck radio program Tuesday, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) explained why he believes Roberts was intimidated into changing his vote late in the process, as laid out in his new book Why John Roberts Was Wrong About Healthcare.
Lee’s argument is not based on the NSA or its monitoring of the nation’s communication. Rather, Lee said, there are indications that Roberts originally intended to vote against the act, but that a public “campaign of intimidation” made him change his mind.
First, the senator claimed “the opinion was written in a way to suggest he switched his vote,” and that the dissenting opinion reads like it was originally written as the majority. He added that several news outlets reported that Roberts did change his vote, based on insider information.
Yes, Roberts changed his vote. No one doubts that. But that doesn’t mean he was “intimidated” or coerced into doing so. This is like arguing that an invisible dragon burned down your house and then pointing to the smoldering ashes of the house as if that proves the existence of the invisible dragon. As for any evidence of intimidation, Lee admits that he has none:
Lee continued to say that he has “no evidence” that Roberts was being blackmailed, but said that doesn’t mean Roberts wasn’t under any kind of “direct pressure.”
But even if he wasn’t, Lee reminded the Obama administration and Democratic lawmakers were open in their warnings to the court, “denigrating the authority of the house,” and saying the Supreme Court would become irrelevant if it failed to uphold ObamaCare.
And how does that “intimidate” a supreme court justice? Yes, Democrats very publicly talked about the result they wanted in the case. So did Republicans. If the court had voted to strike down the law, would Lee be complaining that the public campaign for that result “intimidated” the justices? Of course not. Roberts is appointed for life. He is insulated from the influence of public opinion and the opinion of legislators, by design. If you don’t have any actual evidence that he was intimidated or coerced, you’re saying nothing at all.
Like Dispatches on Facebook: