Man Up Conservatives!

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From a thread at Creative Minority Report on the ObamaCare decision:

Anonymous said…

If I encountered John Roberts at this point I would not shake his hand. This is simply appalling. Add to this the fact that Obama is going to be re-elected, and our nation as it once was has effectively been destroyed.
I am actually questioning the decision to try to bear children at this point. If I could go back in time I would strongly consider not having made the life choices I have but instead just living out the rest of my life in a monestary and just finding a way to tolerate the rest of my days.

My response to this type of hysterical hogwash:

Oh Good Lord!  Conservatives need to man up.  This decision is a Godsend for conservatives politically.  Obamacare remains immensely unpopular and now the only way to stop it is to defeat Obama in November.  The Romney campaign raised over 3.2 million dollars in contributions after the announcement of the decision yesterday.  This decision will be a millstone around the Obama campaign’s neck.  However, for those conservatives who are only happy when they are miserable, please feel free to wallow in pessimism while the rest of us work to ensure that both Obama and Obamacare go down in flames come election day.

 

108 Responses to Man Up Conservatives!

  • I may be a pessimist, Donald, but I shall work tooth and nail to the best of my ability to help in whatever small way I can in the defeat of Barack Hussein Obama. The fat lady has not yet sung, as it were. Things may look grim right now, but Jesus Christ is still on the throne and nothing happens but that He permits it to happen for His own divine reasons.

    Death to Democracy (two wolves and one sheep voting on what’s for dinner)!
    Long live liberty (a well armed sheep contesting the vote)!
    Viva Cristo Rey (a saying which the Democrats simply can’t stand)!

  • Talk show host Michael Savage asserts that Roberts suffers from epilepsy and his meds may have affected cognition and ability to think straight. A wild theory but not discountable in light of the irrationality of his decision. In effect, one man and one vote may have determined America’s future.

  • I agree that the political fallout from this might benefit the GOP, though I remind everyone that the man tasked with carrying the mantle to attack Obamacare is the guy who implemented the same thing in the state of Massachusetts. Regardless, I do think that Romney will most likely win in the Fall. Whether or not he and the Republicans in Congress have the gumption to do with they must next year remains to be seen.

    Just as we must not fall prey to undue pessimism, let’s also not whitewash the decision. The Chief Justice abrogated his responsibility to uphold the Constitution in a quixotic effort to save the “integrity” of the Court, while in the end accomplishing the exact opposite of his aim. There is nothing to celebrate with such an outcome, particularly when the GOP likely would have emerged victorious anyway this November if the outcome had been different.

  • Oh I find the decision of Roberts appalling Paul, especially since I suspect that at bottom he caved because of the relentless drum beat from the Left accusing him of running a politicized court (The Left has never been noted for understanding the concept of irony.) However, I do think this decision is political gold for convervatives. It makes certain that Obamacare is a front and center issue, and highlights Obamacare is a tax increase. The issue could not be framed better for conseratives. The repeal of Obamacare will begin by repealing the Personal Mandate and the taxes used to support the system. Shell-shocked Democrats, the survivors of the tsunami that will hit them in November will put up only tepid opposition.

  • Semi-rhetorical question: All the talk is about Romney, and the news of the sudden windfall is certainly welcome. But shouldn’t the more pointed focus be on Congress? What’s the landscape there? If there’s a Romney administration but a 219-216 House or a 52-48 Senate, what’s the point? The onus needs to be on installing as large a GOP contingent as possible so that Weathervane has a prevailing wind to spin with.

    Thoughts?

  • All signs point to the Republicans adding a few seats to their huge majority in the House. The Senate is almost certain to flip to GOP control.

  • Lol wk, indeed we must supply the weathervane with fair winds… Only 4 more in the senate I believe

  • Donald—I wish to add another dimension to the political fallout which is none to pleasant to contemplate. The Roberts’ decision is not just flawed, not just vapid, but is of evil consequence if not design. He found that there was standing on a tax issue by declaring that it was not a tax issue for purposes of standing—no amount of legalistic construct can make sense of this. On the pathway to obamacare deliverance Roberts then legitimazes a strictly and exclusively punitive mandate as a tax (which is not an enumerated constitutional tax). He further joins a majority in declaring that congress was not empowered under the otherwise boundless Commerce Clause making obamacare unconstitutional for purposes of regulation but constitutional as a vague nefarious tax. He decoupled tax legitimacy from any enumerated power.

    The worst part is that we fight the political battle to address this mess, Roberts’ opinion now stands as precedence—-a precedence far worse in its potential consequences than the obamacare political battle. It may take 20 years to overturn this creature of an opinon if the country is lucky……or if Obama wins this election, or for that matter any lefty in the future or any democratically controlled congress, will now be comforted with extraordinary power to tax anything at any time without regard for enumerated powers, or perhaps in the future regard for the bill of rights.

    This decision is stunning in its poor reasoning, and one must conclude it had an intended purpose beyond the obamacare fight.

  • Amazing how it’s always anonymous who goes for the “slit your wrists now, it’s hopeless” angle, isn’t it?

  • There’s a lot of speculation about Roberts’ turnabout and most seem to attribute it to, for better or worse, heading off or preparing for something else coming down the pike along with public opinion w.r.t the court. I don’t know if justices really do that or not, but if it is the case, then I wonder if Roberts is looking to the Bishop’s case. The four good justices happen to be Catholic, the swing vote dingbat is Catholic and one of the liberals is Catholic and so far doesn’t seem to be as a ideologically driven leftist as the rest of the liberal wing. That case really has the making for a vote split upon Catholic lines. And while IMO, the obvious answer to the Constitutional question is to side with Bishops. However, there would surely be accusations of bias on the bench. Perhaps Roberts voting this way on ACA was to disarm those arguments.

  • The power of mainstream American conservatives to rationalize their support for right-liberal politicians never ceases to amaze me. Man up, you abused spouses, and keep coming back for more abuse!

    And they do. For decades, “conservatives” just keep coming back for more. Which is why the country keeps on getting more.

    Quit complaining and man up! This is no time to withdraw your support from your alcoholic Uncle GOP! If you just keep on acting codependent, the country will eventually sober up.

    Talk about abuse of the concept “hope”.

  • Above may well be true except for the fact that President Obama is a thief and a lier. He has the ability to steal the election and the thirst for power. Recently, I became aware that he has arranged for the election totals of 17 states to be sent directly to a company in Spain to be tallied—-with no oversight; no guarantee of election tampering or fraud.
    Obama has tentacles of corruption spread vast and wide and is being allowed to further spread their reach unchecked. Where are the other branches of government—-complicit? Are they afraid to scrutinize and do their job? Look what is being done to the Sheriff in Arizona simply because he wants to see an authentic birth certificate? Eligibility to vote in America today does not require a valid ID?
    As a side note, does he still have his blackberry?

  • ‘Quit complaining and man up! This is no time to withdraw your support from your alcoholic Uncle GOP! ”

    Hey Bob, feel free to throw away your vote on third party candidates that, if they work real hard, may crack .08% of the vote. For those who oppose the Democrats the GOP is the only game in town, delusional ranting notwithstanding.

  • “Recently, I became aware that he has arranged for the election totals of 17 states to be sent directly to a company in Spain to be tallied—-with no oversight; no guarantee of election tampering or fraud.”

    Tin-foil hat bunk Tess.

  • Nobody’s even entertaining the theory that Roberts made the decision he did because he thought it was right. I’m not saying he was right, but should we be so quick to savage people who we perceive as turning against us? I’ve never liked the idea of replacing activist left-wing judges with activist right-wing judges, and it looks to me like Roberts took an aggressively non-activist stance. I dunno. I haven’t read it yet.

    As to the original point of the article, that kind of despair smacks of political determinism. That’s just unseemly.

  • Nobody’s even entertaining the theory that Roberts made the decision he did because he thought it was right.

    It’s possible that he rendered the decision he did because he thought it was the proper thing to do from a constitutional standpoint, but based on the language of the dissent and Roberts’ own about-face halfway through his own ruling it’s fairly unlikely.

    it looks to me like Roberts took an aggressively non-activist stance.

    Except he actually ended up doing just the opposite. By transforming the justification from the commerce clause to the taxing power, and by also engineering a rather muddled compromise on the Medicaid mandate, he essentially legislated from the bench. His ruling was in fact more “activist” than even the four liberals on the Court.

  • Although the decision of Roberts was well written Pinky, it was intellectually incoherent. His transformation of a penalty into a tax flies in the face of prior Supreme Court case law, and was obviously done simply to find someway to find ObamaCare constitutional. I assume that Roberts was simply cowed by unending charges from the Left that he was running an ideological court.

  • Thanks for the feedback D. McClarey. Please google SKYTL and SOE merger and let me know if in your opinion the information is still not credible. Your objective evaluation of the facts presented will ease my concern that election fraud will insure another 4 years of President Obama.

  • “Update: Survey USA conducted three statewide polls overnight of likely voters on the Supreme Court decision to see if it would move the needle. So far, the results look pretty poor for Obama.
    •California – In one of the liberal bastions of Obama’s support, 45% disagreed with the Court ruling that ObamaCare is constitutional, with 44% agreeing. Nearly three-quarters expect their health care to get worse (38%) or stay the same (34%), as opposed to just 23% who expect it to improve now that ObamaCare will be implemented. And this is thebest results of the three states.
    •Kansas – Romney’s going to win Kansas anyway, but the numbers here are still bad news for Obama’s hopes in the Midwest. 52% disagree with the court, as opposed to only 38% who agree, with 48% expecting their health care to get worse as a result. Only 16% think it will improve.
    •Florida – This state actually matters, and it looks bad for Obama here, too. Voters disagree with the court 50/39, 47% expect their health care to get worse while only 20% expect it to improve, and 51% think it will get more expensive, too. Only 6% of Florida seniors expect health-care costs to decline, while 44% expect costs to rise.”

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/06/29/changing-the-subject/

  • My advice:

    Drink heavily.

    It works for me.

    Did you think you would live forever?

    Does the UK already operate Obamacare-like death panels? UK Professor Patrick Pullicino, quoted Daily Mail synopsis: Top doctor’s chilling claim: The NHS kills off 130,000 elderly patients every year
    • Professor says doctors use ‘death pathway’ to euthenasia of the elderly
    • Treatment on average brings a patient to death in 33 hours
    • Around 29 per cent of patients that die in hospital are on controversial ‘care pathway’
    • Pensioner admitted to hospital given treatment by doctor on weekend shift

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2161869/Top-doctors-chilling-claim-The-NHS-kills-130-000-elderly-patients-year.html#ixzz1yLo1yfRc

  • Get to that liquor store and buy the alcoholic another drink, Don. After all it has worked so well up to now, and anyway that’s just what manly men do.

  • As I said Bob throw your vote away on whatever fringe candidate you wish, or not vote, it amounts to the same thing. Fortunately the overwhelming majority of conservatives in this nation will not follow your example.

  • “Please google SKYTL and SOE merger and let me know if in your opinion the information is still not credible”

    Nope not credible. The sites mentioning it are kook sites that run up hits by appealing to readers who believe in paranoid conspiracies.

  • TOGA party in Tampa, open bar, buy tickets for all your alcoholic friends!

  • I tend to think Roberts tries to be an honorable man and this is all the more reason why the decision seems incongruous with a man of conservative judicial temperament.

    But way of analogy, motorcycle riders learn early in their training that one of the most deadly mistakes that can be made is the phenomenon known as target “fixation”. A rider becomes target fixated when despite trying to avoid a collision by all means, the rider stares at an oncoming vehicle and consequently steers directly into its path.

    In much the same way it appears in Roberts debatable attempt to remain apolitical and not legislate from the bench that his target fixation caused the very thing he was trying so much to avoid. And we are left with an absolute travesty and wreck of jurisprudence.

  • Was Roberts’ pro bono work for the homosexual lobby before his nomination an attempt to remain “apolitical”?

    I guess it is true what they say: neither the alcoholic nor the codependent spouse will reform until they hit bottom. It is always a challenge figuring out just where “bottom” is going to be.

  • Unfortunately target fixation in law can be repeated over and over again by the same jurist.

    In most other cases the mistake is self-correcting by reason of death.

  • Chile is looking good to me now. The señora already speaks Spanish and most people there are Catholic.

    Poland looks pretty good, too. I know just a few Polish words from my childhood, but, again, their currency is stable and they are mostly Catholic.

    Having said that, I am not giving up. I refuse to cede this nation to the stupid among us. The stupid have pressed and pressed and pressed for what they want for almost a century. It does not mean they cannot be defeated. I cannot fathom any possibility where this ruling helps Obumbler or his pathetic socialist party. Did Pelayo quit? Did Don Juan of Austria quit? Did Queen Isabella quit? Did John Sobieski quit? Did George Washington quit?

    Squishy Republicans become squishy because the rank and file conservatives are usually so busy raising families, managing small businesses and doing similar things. We cannot just elect a GOP majority. We the people must hold their feet to the fire.

    It is our only option. Throw the bums out and put the fear of God into their replacements. There is no other countermeasure for Potomac fever.

  • Oh, and Don, isn’t opium just the best thing ever? Natural, synthetic, it doesn’t matter, it’s wonderful stuff.

  • This isn’t non-Sequitur Friday Pinky.

  • I was referring to the kidney stone and pain meds. Hope everything’s better.

  • Penguins Fan:

    A co-worker who vacationed in Chile told me it looks good for emigartion. The Chilean gov took Milton Friedman’s (RIP) advice and privatized the social security ponzi scheme. Chile’s fiscal condition is nearly ideal compared to the debt and entitlement maelstrom the USA is rapidly approaching.

    Canada is closer. Now, assuming the worst and Obamacare becomes your health, there will be no reason to not emigrate to Canada. Although not as fiscally sane as Chile, Canada’s fiscal prospects are far more sustainable than the fiscal catastrophe confronting the USA.

  • Thank you Pinky. Things are tolerable now which isn’t a bad state when dealing with a kidney stone!

  • This sums it up completely:

    Please Stop – Justice Roberts Is Not Being Clever

    If I see one more person on the internets suggest that perhaps Justice Roberts is being clever and outwitted the Dems by using a tax justification instead of the Commerce Clause I will scream.

    Stop. Please stop.

    http://www.creativeminorityreport.com/2012/06/please-stop-justice-roberts-is-not.html

  • I am actually questioning the decision to try to bear children at this point.

    Wow, as my 6 year old son likes to say:

    Man, take a chill pill…..

  • Thanks for the dose of sanity, Don. (And glad you’re feeling better.)

  • As a tax lawyer concentrating in Commerce Clause issues, I think Roberts’ opinion has more merit than most visitors of the fine Blog are willing to give it. The fact of the matter is that Congress may constitutionally impose a tax in the amount of the mandate’s associated “penalty” that can be reduced by a credit for purchased health insurance. Such mechanisms are commonplace in tax law, employed as deliberate incentives. In substance this is what Congress did, and all Roberts does is acknowledge this and correctly note that what Congress wishes to call something is not dispositive. Indeed, for months the Obama Administration stubbornly refused to yield to conservative demands that it admit that the penalty is a tax and the mandate is therefore a tax increase.

    This is not to say that Roberts’ opinion is beyond legitimate criticism. First, the legal distinction between a tax and a penalty is one that is well-developed in American tax law, and Roberts does a poor job of exploring it. In essence he simply concludes that because the characterization of this particular levy is a close call (probably true) the Court should be willing to treat it as a tax in order to preserve the Act’s constitutionality, relying on the time-honored (and conservative) doctrine that when the meaning of legislation is in doubt it should construed in a manner that preserves its constitutionality as long as reasonable. One weakness with Roberts’ application of this doctrine is that it is not clear that he is so much interpreting the statute charitably in order to preserve its constitutionality as he is neglecting to determine or apply a straightforward definition of “tax” under the Constitution. That said, the importance of this weakness is doubtful insomuch as it is doubtful that such an effort would have produced a definition that would not have embraced the levy at issue, especially if the examination is substantive.

    The key to Roberts’ opinion is his decision to discard formalism in favor of substance. This decision is also open to criticism. First, to the extent it is grounded in the idea that such an interpretive approach is reasonable and necessary in in order to preserve the Act’s constitutionality, Roberts may be confusing (i) the very real obligation to interpret a statute’s substance in whatever reasonable way available to render it constitutional with (ii) a putative by unsupported obligation to select whatever reasonable interpretive approach (i.e., form versus substance) that is available to save the statute.

    In the end, while Roberts’ opinion is not immune from criticism, such criticisms are both technical and not free from doubt. Moreover, the decision’s lasting legacies are likely to be a more robust limitation on Congress’s ability to (i) use its Commerce Clause power to enact what is substantively police power legislation and (ii) use its spending power to coerce states to conform to its will. These legacies may well prove more important that the Act’s survival (for the moment), as odious as that Act may be.

    Finally, folks should remember that when confirmed, Roberts emphasized the importance he attached to deferring to legislative action. Accordingly, his opinion should not be considered all that surprising.

    P.S. Hang in there, Don.

  • “The fact of the matter is that Congress may constitutionally impose a tax in the amount of the mandate’s associated “penalty” that can be reduced by a credit for purchased health insurance.”

    Is this contextually true, Mike? I thought that the entire novelty of the matter was that even in the form of a tax, Congress had never imposed a tax on a non-transaction.

  • You bet it is true. The Constitution even expressly contemplates the possiblity of a capitation (i.e., head) tax. The only expressed limits on Congressional taxing power are apportionment and uniformity requirements, though all constitutional scholars acknowledge that the power to tax may be constrained by the Bill of Rights. For instance, a direct tax on speech would be invalid.

    No, the Act’s presumed novelty rested on the assumption that it represented an exercise of Congress’s commerce clause power, which many scholars hypothesized could not be extended to include requiring an activity, even in commerce. Roberts merely recast the mandate as being not only an insurance requirement subject to penalty but a tax incentive to encourage insurance. It is a line-drawing contest over which reasonable lawyers could disagree. Roberts ultimately decided that it could go either way, but gave greater weight to the doctrine requiring courts to interpret statutes in a manner that would render them valid than to the fact that Congress chose to call the levy a penalty rather than tax.

  • Except the Chief Justice himself expressly states that this is not a capitation.

    All given examples of tax incentives are tax credits. There is a distinction between a credit and a tax. Just because my neighbor who rents and makes the same amount of money as me pays higher taxes (due to my tax burden being lighter because of the homeowner credit) doesn’t mean he is being taxed for renting. The novelty here is that for the first time a person is taxed for not doing something.

    This is not a tax incentive. It’s a tax.

  • Thanks Mike Petrik.
    ” lasting legacies are likely to be a more robust limitation on Congress’s ability to (i) use its Commerce Clause power to enact what is substantively police power legislation and (ii) use its spending power to coerce states to conform to its will. These legacies may well prove more important that the Act’s survival (for the moment), as odious as that Act may be”
    I think the ball is in the people’s court now (maybe a baad choice of words.) but that robust limitation has to ultimately come from us, n’est ce pas?

  • Mike, where would be a good place to start in researching this?

    “Roberts merely recast the mandate as being not only an insurance requirement subject to penalty but a tax incentive to encourage insurance.”

    Tax incentives such as lower rates, tax credits, etc are one thing. Conflating tax incentives such as this with tax “incentives” of punishing non-activity appears to be separate question. Any examples that would shed light on this from your perspective?

  • Paul,

    Unfortunately for you, I agree. In substance the mandate’s “penalty” can be fairly described as a tax, which is precisely why Roberts upheld Congress’s authority under its taxing power. The fact that this tax can be avoided by receiving credit for insurance is precisely an incentive credit. The fact that this tax is not a capitation is not relevant at all. My reference to capitation was only in response to Paul’s question whether taxes could be levied on inactivity, which is made plain by the fact that even a capitation tax would be constitutional. Paul, if you are claiming that a tax cannot be levied for doing nothing, then you have a mighty idiosyncratic and non-literal understanding of the constitution.

    And there was no sophistry in my post, nor in Roberts’ opinion; though I concede my sense is uncommon!

  • Mark Levin shreds the idea that the commerce clause limitation will have any lasting import. Also, as I noted yesterday, the Court did not do anything drastically different in this regards than it already had previously under the Rehnquist regime.

    I understand the desire to be optimistic and find silver linings. But as Pat Archbold said, please stop.

    I just want to add Scott Wilson’s comment from that Mark Levin post:

    Whatever it is or isn’t, probably doesn’t matter practically, for even it was part of the opinion’s central legal holding, you’d have to be delusional to believe that a precedent establishing a limiting principal on the Commerce Clause would mean anything to any future Court with a liberal majority. It wouldn’t.
    However, you can bet grandma’s silver that the broad reading of the Tax Clause will be cited as supporting precedent for every Court from here until the Chinese finally foreclose on our sorry behinds.

  • The fact that this tax can be avoided by receiving credit for insurance is precisely an incentive credit.

    So I can avoid being taxed for not buying a car by buying a car? I can avoid being taxed for not buying broccoli by buying broccoli? Sense, this makes none.

    Again, there is nothing at all normal with applying a tax to a non-activity and saying it’s merely an incentive. The only way this would work is if all of our taxes were raised by whatever amount the penalty is, and then we receive a credit for purchasing insurance. Now you might say that the two ways of going about this are substantively the same, but in fact they are two different approaches. One of them has the good fortune of being constitutional.

  • Again, as I said in my analysis yesterday, there is absolutely nothing in the plain constitutional language that anticipates this kind of a selective tax, capitation or no.

  • I apologize for my apaulling lack of precision. Please understand that my last post was directed to Paul Z.

    Paul B,
    Justice Roberts recasting of the mandate can best be understood by simply reading his opinion, which is what I did. I’m sure there are some good explications out there, but I have not relied on them.
    It is true that a penalty and a tax are not the same thing, but the fact remains that many levies are close calls. There are literally hundreds of cases dealing with the distinction precisely because courts often have to draw lines in difficult cases, and these decisions all agree that the nomenclature, while relevant, is not dispositive. Basically, Roberts determined that because the levy operated exactly like a tax that could be reduced by a credit for the cost of insurance it operated like a tax coupled with an incentive credit. As I mentioned above, reasonable criticisms can be asserted against Roberts’ reasoning, but such criticisms are not so compelling that Roberts deserves to receive the invectives being launched.

  • I actually do agree with Mike that the tax/penalty distinction isn’t that clear-cut – it’s probably the least bad part of Roberts’ decision. My main issues are with his inconsistency (it’s a tax when it comes to the mandate, not a tax for purposes of the anti-Injunction act), the fact that all parties involved originally said it’s not a tax, and of course the dubiousness of taxing a non-activity.

  • Oh, and the Chief deserves every bit of scorn being thrown at him today. I will say that I haven’t quite given up on him, and hold out hope that he hasn’t become another David Souter – in fact I very much doubt it. But his ruling yesterday was in fact the very definition of judicial activism, and that’s a phrase I actually don’t like very much.

  • Paul Z,
    The constitution is plain. Congress may levy any tax as long as (i) it satisfies relevant apportionment and uniformity requirements and (ii) it is not incompatible with any other constitutional provision. Anticipation (let alone “normal”) has nothing to do with anything.
    You concede that Congress could have accomplished the same thing by raising everyone’s taxes and then providing a credit for purchasing insurance, but then say that that this distinction in vocabulary is of constitutional moment. Perhaps, but the doctrine that substance should prevail over form is pretty well-entrenched, especially when it comes to taxes. Even the dissent applied the doctrine, but ultimately decided that the levy was in substance a penalty.
    The keys here are (i) does one think that form should prevail (i.e., Congress said it’s a penalty and therefore it cannot be a tax) and (ii) if not, is the levy in substance a penalty or a tax. There is a lot of law on (ii) and Roberts does a weak job of exploiting it (as does the dissent), but as a lawyer who knows that law well I can assure you that his conclusion that it is a close case is probably correct. Roberts then says the close case should be resolved in favor of considering the levy a tax since such an interpretation would preserve the levy’s constitutionality. This is a straightforward application of a time-honored principle of construction.
    Roberts opinion can be criticized, and the dissent does score some points (though they have weaknesses too). But the criticisms you have shared are without legal merit. I fear you are committing the cardinal sin of liberals, which is you regard a law as being so odious that it must be unconstitutional. In this case you are at least half right — the law is odious for sure. Whether it is saved by the taxing power is a hard call. One can disagree with Roberts, no doubt, but Roberts opinion is not lawless or without merit.

  • Paul Z,
    I’m afraid I have to disagree with you on the disparate meanings of tax for purposes of the Anti-Injunction Act and the Constitution. On this, I think Roberts is plainly correct that they are not the same. Whether he is right on his understanding of the constitutional definition is a closer call, and I’ve not been shy about sharing its weaknesses with my happy lefty friends, but again in a measured way.
    I hope that we conservatives can appreciate not only that sometimes principle requires us to sustain laws that are bad and reject laws that are good, but also that it is just possible that Roberts was simply trying to apply proper principles as correctly as he could. That is what a judge should do.

  • Mike – I think one reason a lot of conservatives are angry at Roberts is that the other four “good” justices came to the opposite conclusion. Can you tell me, what are the weaknesses in their dissent that you alluded to?

  • Gotta go, Pinky, but will try this weekend. But basically they give a lot more weight to the fact that the levy is called a penalty than what courts generally do in these cases. I tend to sympathize with them because I tend to think that if the legislature wants deference as to constitutionality (i.e., court should adopt whatever reasonable interpretation that preserves constitutionality) then it should accept deference in its own characterization of the law (in this case, penalty not tax). But to be fair, I don’t think that is where the weight of authority is. Ultimately, this all comes down to how charitable a judge should be in interpreting a law so that it is constitutional. Even Roberts conceded that the characterization of the levy as a tax was not remotely compelled, but he was more willing to defer to that characterization as a reasonable one in order to save the law. The dissent seemed to not even take that possiblity seriously, which is hard to understand. They more or less concluded that on balance the levy was better classified as a penalty (something Roberts does not really deny), and viewed that as dispositive.

  • No wonder lawyers charge $300 an hour.

  • @ Joe Green: Michael Savage’s remark about CJ Roberts’ epilepsy just show how ignorant he is. You do yourself no credit by repeating him.

    1.) given all the condemnation of Roberts, will anyone consder the possibility that the ruling actually reflects his honest opinion (or as close to it as he could get four other Justices to agree to)?

    2.) maybe he’s pulling a “switch in time to save nine”?

    3.) I’m not a lawyer but didn’t the Chief Justice do us a favor uphold the ACA as a tax rather on Commerce Clause or Necessary & Proper grounds? Doesn’t that throw the whole thing back into Congress?

    Btw, buried in Justice Ginsberg’s opinion:
    “Other provisions of the Constitution also check congressional overreaching. A mandate to purchase a particular product would be unconstitutional if, for example, the edict impermissibly abridged the freedom of speech, interfered with the free exercise of religion, or infringed on a liberty interest protected by the Due Process Clause.”

  • But the criticisms you have shared are without legal merit. I fear you are committing the cardinal sin of liberals, which is you regard a law as being so odious that it must be unconstitutional.

    Or perhaps as someone who has actually studied the Constitution I have considered the constitutional questions and find Roberts’ logic wanting. I recognize that not having a law degree leaves me without the incredible ability to stretch words beyond all recognizable recognition, so I guess I am just lacking in that regard.

    Take care Mike.

  • “Recently, I became aware that he has arranged for the election totals of 17 states to be sent directly to a company in Spain to be tallied—-with no oversight; no guarantee of election tampering or fraud.”

    Tin-foil hat bunk Tess.
    I have heard the same, only that George Soros (I own the world) owns the company. That is scary.

  • It’s not the SC’s fault that this major crap sandwich will harm the majority of we the people.

    Anyhow, FTSC.

  • “For instance, a direct tax on speech would be invalid”. How about a direct tax on the free exercise of conscience or a penalty for Liberty? “or prohibit the free exercise thereof.” A tax or penalty to burden the free exercise thereof?

  • Lawyers: think of a man, then take away reason and accountability. Don’t bother adding back in the appealing qualities of women.

  • “For instance, a direct tax on speech would be invalid”. How about a direct tax on the free exercise of conscience or a penalty for Liberty? “or prohibit the free exercise thereof.” A tax or penalty to burden the free exercise thereof?
    And then there is the matter of all the exemptions from Obamacare. For whom and why? This is the item that defines penalty or tax for the exemptees. It appears to me that the commerce clause may only be invoked for FREE ENTERPRISE, not a monstrosity invented by the government. This mandate is not FREE ENTERPRISE. Tax some but not all, penalize some but not all? The exemption defies the definition of FREE ENTERPRISE. the penalty defies the definition of LIBERTY. Obamacare defies the existence of the human soul and predicates its existence on citizenship, a citizenship that is being subjected to RAPE OF THE HUMAN SOUL.

  • In reading these comments by Mary De Voe and others, something occurred to me (that perhaps someone else already articulated): this tax or levy or penalty or whatever one wishes to call it that would be imposed on those not acquiring medical insurance is akin to forcing us to be subjects of the Imperium Americanum. Think about it. Everyone is forced to have medical insurance in order to ensure healthy subjects in service to the State. Those who do not obtain such on their own are taxed because presumably government would provide it for them, the goal being subjects healthy and productive towards the aims and needs of the State. It isn’t the citizen who is sovereign, but government. And indeed the citizen isn’t any longer a citizen but a subject.

    Hasn’t an analogous thing happened with TSA frisk downs of senior citizens and young children at airports? These rules, ostenisbly for our safety, are really nothing more than reminders that we are not citizens but subjects. And it is exactly that kind of mentality on the part of government that warrants action. I am not and shall never ever be Obama’s subject, but he is treating all of us in exactly this way.

    (Yeah, I know the analogy isn’t perfect, and that TSA started up under Obama’s predecessor, but only when the Democrats in Congress forced Homeland Security down his throat. However, that’s a subject for a different blog entry and not this one.)

  • This nation has banned the free exercise of religion in the public square to God, Himself and now this administration wishes to impose restrictions, taxes and/or penalties for not serving mammon.

  • Paul: “It isn’t the citizen who is sovereign, but government. And indeed the citizen isn’t any longer a citizen but a subject.”
    You made me think. The existence of the person’s soul is rejected by the government. The government is taking possession of the person’s soul and is remaking him into someone who is not sovereign, something only the person can do by surrender of his will to God, never to government, as government is an artificial person.

  • “given all the condemnation of Roberts, will anyone consder the possibility that the ruling actually reflects his honest opinion (or as close to it as he could get four other Justices to agree to)?”

    Its a possibility Thomas, but an unlikely one. Roberts was obviously straining mightily throughout his decision to find some ground by which he could vote to uphold ObamaCare and he fastened on the very unconvincing tax argument. I think it more likely that Roberts feared the criticism that the Court would get from the Left if ObamaCare was ruled unconstitutional on a 5-4 vote. I think Krauthammer has nailed it:

    “That’s Roberts, philosophical conservative. But he lives in uneasy coexistence with Roberts, custodian of the court, acutely aware that the judiciary’s arrogation of power has eroded the esteem in which it was once held. Most of this arrogation occurred under the liberal Warren and Burger courts, most egregiously with Roe v. Wade. More recently, however, few decisions have occasioned more bitterness and rancor than Bush v. Gore, a 5-4 decision split along ideological lines. Roberts seems determined that there be no recurrence with Obamacare. Roberts’ concern was that the court do everything it could to avoid being seen, rightly or wrongly, as highhandedly overturning sweeping legislation passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the president.

    How to reconcile the two imperatives — one philosophical and the other institutional? Assign yourself the task of writing the majority opinion. Find the ultimate finesse that manages to uphold the law but only on the most narrow of grounds — interpreting the individual mandate as merely a tax, something generally within the power of Congress.

    Result? The law stands, thus obviating any charge that a partisan court overturned duly passed legislation. And yet at the same time the Commerce Clause is reined in.

    Law upheld, Supreme Court’s reputation for neutrality maintained. Commerce Clause contained, constitutional principle of enumerated powers reaffirmed. ”

    I fear the major constitutional ruling of the day was decided by a man who is much more concerned about the prestige of the Supreme Court than he is about the law.
    The dissent sums it up well:

    “The court today decides to save a statute Congress did not write. It rules that what the statute declares to be a requirement with a penalty is instead an option subject to a tax. And it changes the intentionally coercive sanction of a total cut-off of Medicaid funds to a supposedly noncoercive cut-off of only the incremental funds that the Act makes available.

    “The court regards its strained statutory interpretation as judicial modesty. It is not. It amounts instead to a vast judicial overreaching. It creates a debilitated, inoperable version of health-care regulation that Congress did not enact and the public does not expect. It makes enactment of sensible health-care regulation more difficult, since Congress cannot start afresh but must take as its point of departure a jumble of now senseless provisions, provisions that certain interests favored under the Court’s new design will struggle to retain. And it leaves the public and the States to expend vast sums of money on requirements that may or may not survive the necessary congressional revision.

    “The court’s disposition, invented and atextual as it is, does not even have the merit of avoiding constitutional difficulties. It creates them. The holding that the Individual mandate is a tax raises a difficult constitutional question (what is a direct tax?) that the court resolves with inadequate deliberation. And the judgment on the Medicaid expansion issue ushers in new federalism concerns and places an unaccustomed strain upon the Union….

    “The values that should have determined our course today are caution, minimalism and the understanding that the Federal Government is one of limited powers. But the Court’s ruling undermines those values at every turn. In the name of restraint, it overreaches. In the name of constitutional avoidance, it creates new constitutional questions. In the name of cooperative federalism, it undermines state sovereignty.”

    As in Roe this decision resovlves nothing and merely sets the stage for a battle royal over this issue until Obamacare is repealed. Roberts served the law, the Court and his country ill.

  • It is a tax. Roberts did not wish to infer that citizens faithful to their conscience, exercising their First Amendment rights were being penalized with a penalty for being innocent. This would make Obamacare illegal. It could not be called a “law”. Furthermore, as a tax, imposed to further the agenda of Obama, the IRS is a mechanism that can be employed to confiscate property for unpaid taxes. I believe that I read this in an earlier comment.
    Our Constitution is the only kind in the whole world that has the power to protect its citizens against tyranny.

  • T Shaw,

    Canada is certainly an example of fiscal sanity compared to the USA. However, I cannot take Canada’s policies towards homosexuality and abortion. If my family goes anywhere it will be Chile or Poland.

    However, I am not giving up without a fight. This entire stinking law is a tax increase which can be repealed through the budget reconciliation process. 218 votes in the House, 51 votes in the Senate and Romney’s signature and the whole mess will be repealed. Those who agree with me must make this happen – and ObumblerCare is not the only federal law that needs repealed.

  • I rather think Paul W Primavera is drawing a false distinction between citizen and subject

    Those who make up the state are known collectively as the People who, in a democracy, are sovereign. The individuals who make up the people are called citizens, as sharing in the sovereign power, and subjects, as being under the laws that the People enact.

    As Rousseau notes, “But it is asked how a man can be both free and forced to conform to wills that are not his own. How are the opponents at once free and subject to laws they have not agreed to?” The answer is obvious. “When a law is proposed, what the people is asked is not exactly whether it approves or rejects the proposal, but whether it is in conformity with the general will, which is their will. Each, in giving his vote, states his opinion on that point; and the general will is found by counting votes. When therefore the opinion that is contrary to my own prevails, this proves neither more nor less than that I was mistaken, and that what I thought to be the general will was not so. If my particular opinion had carried the day I should have achieved the opposite of what was my will; and it is in that case that I should not have been free”

    Thus, “whoever refuses to obey the general will shall be compelled to do so by the whole body. This means nothing less than that he will be forced to be free.”

  • PF:

    Right. I am older (I refuse to grow up!).

    I can still write checks and vote.

    MP-S:

    I have lived long enough to learn that the US Constitution empowers Congress to take (tax) everything I have.

    Unexpectedly, the US private sector is screwed.

  • If I were 20 or 25 years younger, and the question of whether to marry or have children were still an open question for me, I have to say I would kind of sympathize with the anonymous hand-wringing commenter from CMR. On the one hand, conservative/traditional Catholics keep emphasizing how the world is going to hell in a handbasket and we face financial ruin, poverty, persecution, martyrdom, and God knows what else; yet they also keep emphasizing how we’re supposed to be open to life and have lots of children. Yes, yes, I know that life is always a good even when touched by earthly suffering and we have to trust in God. Still, it seems that painting a horrific picture of the future is not exactly the way to encourage people to start families (although that is really what this society needs). This may be a bit harsh but it reminds me of Jesus’ saying that the Pharisees placed great burdens upon people but didn’t lift a finger to help carry them.

  • “Those who make up the state are known collectively as the People who, in a democracy, are sovereign.”

    The nation was NOT founded as a national democracy. It was founded as a Christian Constitutional Republic.

    Sadly, I don’t know enough about these matters to argue further other than to say I am and shall never be Obama’s subject, and that is exactly what he and the Democratic Party intend for all of us.

  • @Tom Collins. Hey, Tom, don’t shoot the messenger. I’m just relaying what I thought was an interesting point of view. A mental impairment such as epilepsy could very well impact the ability to think. On the other hand, I prefer to believe that Roberts merely wanted to find a way to “save the act” no matter what. Just like Lincoln wanted to “save the union” no matter what. Even if it cost 660,000 lives.

  • The responsibilty for every one of those lives Joe rests squarely on the shoulders of those who attempted to destroy the nation to preserve their “right” to hold their fellow Americans as slaves.

  • “If I were 20 or 25 years younger, and the question of whether to marry or have children were still an open question for me, I have to say I would kind of sympathize with the anonymous hand-wringing commenter from CMR. ”

    I would not Elaine. First of all because such hysteria over our current situation is completely unwarranted. Second, because none of us would be here if our ancestors had not brought children into this world, frequently in situations that make our current world seem like a paradise in comparison. Life is a grand adventure, sometimes a hard and scary one, but always an adventure. I have no patience with those who moan their way through this life that God has given us.

  • Game over……a majority of Americans now want to live on free “obama bucks” and let the Gov. pay for everything. The worse things get the more we will need obama to take care of our ever need, want and desire. From food stamps to free health insurance, to gay marriage, to contraception, to abortion…….Obama will take care of us all.

    Yes, some of you foolish conseratives still think people should have some responsibility for themselves but that is so old school. Our country wants it’s obama bucks and we want them now and forever!

  • Don,
    If you read the transcript from the March 26 oral argument, you will see that even then Roberts was very intrigued by how the penalty essentially operated like a tax.
    I enjoy reading Krauthammer — he’s a smart gent. But explaining Supreme Court opinions via psychoanalysis is not a serious sport. Roberts opinion is a strong one, even if it does have weaknesses, as they all do actually.

  • Defeatist rubbish. How do you explain the outcome of the 2010 elections based upon your analysis?

  • I disagree Mike. Although well written and brilliant in places it is a bizarre opinion that was obviously written to find some ground by which Roberts could vote to uphold ObamaCare. I find his tax argument simply a pretext to uphold it and a shamefully weak pretext. As the dissent noted:

    “For all these reasons, to say that the Individual Mandate merely imposes a tax is not to interpret the statute but to rewrite it. Judicial tax-writing is particularly troubling. Taxes have never been popular, see, e.g., Stamp Act of 1765, and in part for that reason, the Constitution requires tax increases to originate in the House of Representatives. See Art. I, §7, cl. 1. That is to say, they must originate in the legislative body most accountable to the people, where legislators must weigh the need for the tax against the terrible price they might pay at their next election, which is never more than two years off. The Federalist No. 58 “defend[ed] the decision to give the origination power to the House on the ground that the Chamber that is more accountable to the people should have the primary role in raising revenue.” United States v. Munoz-Flores, 495 U. S. 385, 395 (1990). We have no doubt that Congress knew precisely what it was doing when it rejected an earlier version of this legislation that imposed a tax instead of a requirement-with-penalty. See Affordable Health Care for America Act, H. R. 3962, 111th Cong., 1st Sess., §501 (2009); America’s Healthy Future Act of 2009, S. 1796, 111th Cong., 1st Sess., §1301. Imposing a tax through judicial legislation inverts the constitutional scheme, and places the power to tax in the branch of government least accountable to the citizenry.

    Finally, we must observe that rewriting §5000A as a tax in order to sustain its constitutionality would force us to confront a difficult constitutional question: whether this is a direct tax that must be apportioned among the States according to their population. Art. I, §9, cl. 4. Perhaps it is not (we have no need to address the point); but the meaning of the Direct Tax Clause is famously unclear, and its application here is a question of first impression that deserves more thoughtful consideration than the lick-and-a-promise accorded by the Government and its supporters. The Government’s opening brief did not even address the question—perhaps because, until today, no federal court has accepted the implausible argument that §5000A is an exercise of the tax power.And once respondents raised the issue, the Government devoted a mere 21 lines of its reply brief to the issue. Petitioners’ Minimum Coverage Reply Brief 25. At oral argument, the most prolonged statement about the issue was just over 50 words. Tr. of Oral Arg. 79 (Mar. 27, 2012). One would expect this Court to demand more than fly-by-night briefing and argument before deciding a difficult constitutional question of first impression.”
    http://www.maggiesnotebook.com/2012/06/obamacare-scotus-dissent-transcript-scalia-kennedy-thomas-alito-verbal-wizardry/

  • Fair enough, Don. We’ll just disagree. But as a tax lawyer I can tell you this is a tax dressed up as something else. Whether the Court should have respected the clothing is a fair question. I say yes, but Roberts’ position that the clothing must give way to the substance if necessary to save an act’s validity is more than defensible. Moreover, I bet he really believes it, and I can’t criticize, let alone ridicule, him for that.

    Frankly, I have been somewhat embarrassed by the criticism and ridicule — they are replete with invective and conclusory assertions, but devoid of analysis. More in keeping with the crude anti-intellectual black and white approaches used by fundies, than the careful analysis expected of Catholics.

    As for the quoted dissent, it is not especially convincing. Roberts wasn’t re-writing anything. He simply examined the mandate’s operation and noted that it operated as a tax even if it wasn’t called such. It is not shocking for a judge to resist form and nomenclature in favor of substance. As noted, I think the Court should have in this case, but I regard it as a close call where reasonable jurists can disagree, with that disagreement grounded in their jurisprudence rather than their politics. It is profoundly uncharitable to assume otherwise.

  • Mike I believe there is a fascinating back story here, especially if, as many suspect, Roberts flipped during the writing of the decision. The full story will come out sooner or later, and I hope it is sooner.

    http://prospect.org/article/reading-tea-leaves-supreme-court-opinions

  • Don, I’m aware of the back story as well as rebuttals to it.

    http://www.volokh.com/2012/06/29/did-chief-justice-roberts-change-his-vote-perhaps-not/

    Hard to say, but not likely we’ll ever know enough to satisfy everyone’s appetite for conspiracies and intrigue.

  • I think within a decade or two we will know everything about the back story, at least judging from how long it has taken for the behind the scenes decision making on other decisions to come out. I hope it is sooner than that since I do not want to wait until I am 65 or 75!

  • WE ALL NEED TO TAKE A GOOD LONG LOOK IN THE MIRROR! You might think you’re the greatest christian on earth. We are here for a reason. Between the infiltration of so called liberalism in our own Church, and the people’s refusal to stand for life way back in the late 60’s and 70’s, the situation is indeed dire. Things always have to get so bad before action is taken. The evil one is alive and well and knows the vulnerabilty and weakness of the human spirit. Man up! Woman up! We are being called to defend the faith. It’s not going to be pretty but it is the right thing to do.

  • Thus, “whoever refuses to obey the general will shall be compelled to do so by the whole body. This means nothing less than that he will be forced to be free.”
    FREEDOM is from God. “…force to be free”???
    Rousseau was an atheist who did not believe in the human being’s immortal soul. Given the reins of government Rousseau would be doing what Obama is doing, taxing people without recourse to defending their immortal souls. Atheism is established as religion, abortion, pornography, blasphemy and the like, prove my point. Rousseau lives again in Obama.

  • Galatians 4:30
    But what does Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.”

    For thousands of years, Don, slavery was tolerated by the Jews. There are hundreds of references in Scripture that differentiate between “slave” and “free.” To this day the distinction is what sets the sons of Ishmael and Isaac against each other.

  • Indeed Joe, along with many other evils. American slavery endured for 250 years, a crime and a stain on a nation dedicated to freedom.

  • To this day the distinction is what sets the sons of Ishmael and Isaac against each other.

    I’d say it’s more likely the whole “blowing up pizza parlors during birthday parties and shooting rockets at school buses” is a bigger point. Just my oh so humble view.

    For thousands of years slavery was “tolerated” by every single group; it’s still practiced in much of the world. (including those who cheer at their buddies being brave enough to blow up little kids, if not by those murderers themselves)
    It’s not great, but it is a human history thing.

  • I do think it was a political decision on Robert’s part. I worry about the voters as too many will just come to accept the ruling by November. I still hope Romney will get elected but how many decease voters will be voting? The same with the senate. I pray that Obama doesn’t get re-elected as he scares me but I wonder which next group he will pander to next week.

  • Mary De Voe

    As a a matter of fact, Rousseau’s religion was very similar to Jefferson’s – “There remains therefore the religion of man or Christianity — not the Christianity of to-day, but that of the Gospel, which is entirely different. By means of this holy, sublime, and real religion all men, being children of one God, recognise one another as brothers, and the society that unites them is not dissolved even at death.” He clearly believed in God and in the immortality of the soul.

    Again, he speaks of “ the purely internal cult of the supreme God and the eternal obligations of morality, is the religion of the Gospel pure and simple, the true theism, what may be called natural divine right or law.”

  • M Mary and Michael
    The founders were very influenced by the thinking of the Prot reformation– and the quote you gave Michael indicates to me that the deist Rousseau was thinking like a protestant that there once was a true christianity somehow lost by the Church.
    Our founders were brilliant and good men, but I think a more thorough understanding of Catholicism would have been a better protection for their great experiment.
    The Founders knew that morality provided by religion was necessary for democracy to work. They did not want to say what religion that should be, although in different places we hear an “understood” Christianity.
    The title is “Man up Conservatives– I guess Catholic thinkers have to lead the way, since protestantism (if not protestants) tends to be liberal, whereas Catholicism is inherently conservative

  • “whereas Catholicism is inherently conservative”

    I would like to think that Anzlyne, but the history of many Catholic nations, France and Italy come to mind, do not support such an assumption. Quebec produced a fairly, conservative, if not reactionary society, and then came “The Quiet Revolution” of the 1960’s and they tossed the Church and everything else, except for a fairly cranky nationalism, out the window, and now they are one of the more socially radical societies around.

  • Yes that is true. There are plenty of liberal Catholics and plenty of groups of Catholics (even nations) that behave as liberals. The authoritarian aspect of Catholicism (which as you indicate in Canada) may drive people to abandon the faith and become only cultural catholics (more liberal and more protestant).
    The claimed authority over faith and morals ( behaviors) is seen by some as a threat to democracy but it ( the conservativism that comes with “orhtodox catholocism ) can be seen as helping even insuring our civil experiment

  • Anzlyne

    Rousseau was, indeed, a Protestant and congratulated his native city of Geneva on being able “to rank, among its best citizens, those zealous depositaries of the sacred articles of faith established by the laws, those venerable shepherds of souls whose powerful and captivating eloquence are so much the better calculated to bear to men’s hearts the maxims of the Gospel, as they are themselves the first to put them into practice. All the world knows of the great success with which the art of the pulpit is cultivated at Geneva; but men are so used to hearing divines preach one thing and practise another, that few have a chance of knowing how far the spirit of Christianity, holiness of manners, severity towards themselves and indulgence towards their neighbours, prevail throughout the whole body of our ministers.”

    Like the Founders, he was very much the heir of Calvin and of Beza.

  • Donald R McClarey

    In fact, many French conservatives, especially of the New Right (Nouvelle Droit) regard Liberalism as the product of Christianity.

    “Actually, one finds in Christianity the seeds of the great mutations that gave birth to the secular ideologies of the first post-revolutionary era. Individualism was already present in the notion of individual salvation and of an intimate and privileged relation between an individual and God that surpasses any relation on earth. Egalitarianism is rooted in the idea that redemption is equally available to all mankind, since all are endowed with an individual soul whose absolute value is shared by all humanity. Progressivism is born of the idea that history has an absolute beginning and a necessary end, and that it unfolds globally according to a divine plan. Finally, universalism is the natural expression of a religion that claims to manifest a revealed truth which, valid for all men, summons them to conversion. Modern political life itself is founded on secularized theological concepts. Reduced to an opinion among others, today Christianity has unwittingly become the victim of the movement it started. In the history of the West, it became the religion of the way out of religion.”

    In their view, the Catholic Church always required the support of the secular arm to repress the anarchic tendencies inherent in Christianity, whilst they admire it for its conservative principles of hierarchy, corporatism and state-sanctioned religion.

  • thanks Michael – if I knew that about Rousseau before I had forgotten it!
    I still stand by my statement that a more thorough understanding of Catholicism would have been a better protection for the great experiment of our generally deist and protestant founders.

    We Catholics today are also very shaped by protestantism and modernism that surrounds us
    Egalitarianism — when it shades to secularism it is much different than equality in the eye of God
    I see the point about Christianity being misused and misapplied against itself.

  • Call me a pessimist if you will, but is Mitt Romney really going to be any better than Obama? He’s on record as saying he wouldn’t need Congress’s approval to fight Iran–even though only Congress Constitutionally has the authority to declare war–which means he’s planning to break his oath of office before he’s even made it! Can it really be anything but a grave sin to vote for either man? Honestly, of the four candidates that have enough votes to be likely to win, I don’t like any of them. I don’t feel that my conscience will allow me to vote for any of them, and I don’t think this is the time for compromise. I think we should be focusing on voting in better people in Congress, especially the Senate–and even more so, the State governments, let’s not forget those exist. They should be nullifying this thing and reasserting their authority. This is a federal union of States, and it’s about time we remembered that.

  • “Call me a pessimist if you will, but is Mitt Romney really going to be any better than Obama?”

    Yes much better, and I doubt the sanity of anyone who doubts that.

    “He’s on record as saying he wouldn’t need Congress’s approval to fight Iran”

    Give his exact words. My guess is that he was referring to an emergeny situation where Iran was about to launch an attack on the US.

    “Can it really be anything but a grave sin to vote for either man?”

    Rubbish.

    “Honestly, of the four candidates that have enough votes to be likely to win, I don’t like any of them.”

    One of two men is going to be President next year, Obama or Romney. I have no idea who the other two individuals are who you are referring to.

    “I don’t feel that my conscience will allow me to vote for any of them, and I don’t think this is the time for compromise.”

    Cue the melodramatic music.

    “I think we should be focusing on voting in better people in Congress, especially the Senate–and even more so, the State governments, let’s not forget those exist. ”

    I think it is possible to vote in as many Republicans at all levels of government, while still making certain that Obama has to find new lodgings in January.

    “They should be nullifying this thing and reasserting their authority. This is a federal union of States, and it’s about time we remembered that.”

    Nullification, the first refuge of cranks in American history.

  • I can appreciate your replies to the above statements Donald, but the thought of a Mormon being in charge still makes me feel uneasy. Then again I am Australian (which is given away by my handle) and it probably isn’t appropriate for me to comment on the US election.

  • I am always queasy when a man’s ancestral faith is brought up against him Oz, Catholics have suffered from such prejudice too often. I do not believe that Romney’s Mormonism will play much of a role in the election, the efforts of Democrat operatives to incite religious bigotry against him notwithstanding.

  • and it probably isn’t appropriate for me to comment on the US election.

    Why not appropriate? Just make sure your commentary exceeds in quality that of Robert Hughes.

  • My apologies Donald. I wasn’t trying to incite bigotry. Everyone has the right to believe what they want including the President. My uneasiness is more to do with theological issues. As a Roman Catholic I am sure that you would be familiar with many of the Catholic theological objections to the foundations of the Mormon faith. As someone who would like someone in the White House with Catholic values you may feel uneasy about someone whose values are counter to these. (whether secular or another denomination) I do agree with your post (especially the first sentence) and yes for decades Catholics in America faced horrible prejudice as they did in Australia.
    So I want to say again, Donald that my post was not one of religious bigotry. And of course, Romney’s politics appear a lot more sound than those of Obama.

  • I would disagree with the theology of all American presidents OZ, except for JFK perhaps, who was far from a model Catholic. Those type of considerations simply do not enter into my voting decision, which focuses on the policy positions of candidates, their leadership ability and whether I think they are more good than bad for the country, or at least more good than bad than their opponents.

  • Advantage of being in favor of limited gov’t. Doesn’t matter much what their theology is, what you think they’ll do in a few limited instances is about it.

  • Thanks Donald. Fair points. As the JFK example shows, calling oneself a Catholic is no guarantee.
    RE: ltd government. I will say from the outset that I am not a Libertarian. I have no time for those who see Govt per se as the enemy. Of course I don’t believe in Big Govt but I also don’t believe in Laissez Faire. I came back to my faith a year ago after 20 years and yes, I am a conservative in the broadest sense of the term but since coming back I have been introduced to the ideas of Subsidiarism and Catholic social justice which I feel is far removed from Libertarianism. Perhaps the problem is centralised government (ie big govt) as opposed to govt per se. I am new to your blog Donald so am not familiar with your older posts but are you a subscriber to Subsidiarism? If so can you provide me with some links to find out more? Of course I will also do some googling myself.

  • On the subject of Catholic governments, I came across this very interesting passage in a speech made by Alexis de Tocqueville as a Deputy in the National Assembly (12 septembre 1848) I do not know if it has been translated into English

    “The Ancien Régime, in fact, held that wisdom lay only in the State and that the subjects were weak and feeble beings who must always be led by the hand, for fear they fall over or harm themselves. It held that it was necessary incessantly to obstruct, thwart, restrain individual freedom, that to assure an abundance of material goods it was necessary to regulate industry and to impede free competition. The Ancien Régime believed, on this point, precisely like the socialists of today. And who thought otherwise, pray? The French Revolution.” [My translation]

    The same was true of almost all the Catholic Powers of Europe, up to 1789.

    Similarly, the EU, that Leviathan of regulation and protectionism was largely the work of three Catholic politicians, Adenauer of Germany, Schumann of France and De Gasperi of Italy.

  • the led by the hand part makes me think of ” by” OR “for” the people?–
    whether the people have charge of the government, or vice versa..
    Tough balance.

    maybe De Toq was just a bit flamboyant in his characterization? : ” necessary incessantly to obstruct, thwart, restrain individual freedom”

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