The restricted Google search that I just did indicates it might be. I coined the term in today’s Real Clear Books update to describe Mitt Romney’s approach to healthcare. I couldn’t use “Romneycare,” obviously because a) it is the program that Romney passed while governor of Massachusetts but effectively no longer advocates; and b) it’s basically Obamacare.
Palpable conservative anger at John Roberts over the Obamacare ruling reminded me of something out of US History 101. John Jay, our first Supreme Court Chief Justice, turns out not to have been a terribly well liked guy either.
While serving on the court, Jay negotiated a treaty with Britain that… proved unpopular. It inspired perhaps the most famous bit of political graffiti in American history: “Damn John Jay! Damn everyone who won’t damn John Jay!! Damn everyone that won’t put lights in his windows and sit up all night damning John Jay!!!” The Wikipedia entry adds, “Jay complained that he could travel from Boston to Philadelphia solely by the light of his burning effigies.”
I did a Google search for “damn John Roberts” yesterday but came up empty. Wonder how long it will take our more historically-minded, Tricorne-hat wearing tea partiers to dust off that old taunt and repurpose it.
Well how about that? John Roberts, the justice that George W. Bush appointed and elevated to Supreme Court Chief Justice, effectively just saved Obamacare. (For now!)
And Anthony Kennedy, the judge that most people were worried would go soft on this one, was the justice who ended up reading for the dissent. He formed part of a bloc of four justices who wanted to tear the whole edifice down. They would have done just that if the court’s purportedly conservative justices had held together.
What this ruling means is that politics survives. The court will continue to play its job as an only occasionally effective referee, but the efforts to repeal Obamacare are now firmly in the political arena. To beat Obamacare, you need to beat Obama and put a majority of Republicans in the Senate.
“But what about the filibuster?” some people are asking.
One thing I will confidently predict is that if you have a Republican president and a Republican majority and the Democrats move to block, the filibuster is toast. This is especially true because Democrats used an odd parliamentary maneuver called “reconciliation” to skirt Republican filibuster threats in the first place.
To get more updates on fallout from the Obamacare decision today, stop by The Mark-Up.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to deliver its Obamacare decision Thursday. Getting to the meat of that decision, and all of its implications for the future of this country, is going to be harder than it sounds.
It will be hard because of all the human static. People who only half know what they’re talking about will try to say something — anything! — to avoid dead air time on television and radio. Lots of weasel words, conditional clauses and marginal expert analysis to follow.
Do not despair! I bring you good news of a great blog that will pounce on the decision like a hawk and use its analytical talons to skin the thing alive.
The blog is called The Mark-Up. It is a product of one of the websites I help edit, Real Clear Policy. All day tomorrow, co-editor Joseph Lawler will cut through the static to bring you the best analysis of what the court has wrought.
If I were you, I’d bookmark it right now and do some finger exercises so you’ll be up to the monumental task of hitting that “refresh” button.