By now, we all know about how the Supreme Court ruled on King v. Burwell. Chief Justice John Roberts has twice shredded the Constitution in order to protect Obamacare, and this one is arguably the worse of the two rulings. It is obvious now that Roberts has fully surrendered to the Left by abandoning any pretense the words mean what they plainly say, a notion Progressives have been pushing for decades.
I am disappointed, but not surprised. In light of his majority opinion in the 2012 Obamacare case, we should have seen this one coming. I am mildly surprised Kennedy went along with him, since he was the fiercest in condemning the 2012 ruling, yet rumors of his switch, along with the fact that he is by no means a conservative, had been circulating in advance of this ruling. At any rate, I had hoped in spite of my pessimistic side that the court would get it right this time. However, it did not, and this should show the Republican leadership in Congress what happens when you trust court that has been unreliable on the subject.
Ever since the PPACA passed in 2010, the GOP Establishment in the House and Senate has ignored any calls by the likes of Senators [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] and [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ], along with other conservatives in Congress, to confront Obamacare directly in Congress by making a serious effort to repeal it. Instead, they told us, we should just wait for the Courts to rule it Unconstitutional. After all, we’ve got five of our guys on the Supreme Court, right? Just wait until the law reaches them, and it’ll all work out.
That approach might have been valid for the first two years after the law was passed, but after June 28, 2012, real leadership would understood that a change in strategy was necessary, whether there was a Democrat in the White House or not. Instead, they continued kicking the can down the road while they waited for the court to rule, with their most recent wasted opportunity being the Cromnibus bill passed late last year. However, even their “Let the courts take care of it” strategy was a lie. As Erick noted, had the subsidies been thrown out, Republican leaders were preparing legislation to reinstate them. With leaders like these, who needs enemies?
In a just world, every Establishment-loving Republican who ignored or belittled the likes of [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ], [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ], and all the other conservatives in Congress who tried to repeal over the last few years would never have employment in politics or the media again, and they would be publicly eating crow. In a just world, [mc_name name=’Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’B000589′ ], [mc_name name=’Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000355′ ], and all their allies would acknowledge their failure and step down from their leadership posts. I suspect, though, that they are not too dismayed with the ruling. They are probably more than happy to have the issue out of the way. Even now, the Establishment is telling us to move on. “Let’s wait for 2017,” they say, but hasn’t that strategy failed us enough already?
I don’t want to hear any talk about how we’d never talk President Obama into signing into law a repeal of his signature domestic achievement. I have had enough of the summer soldiers and sunshine patriots in our party’s leadership and among those who follow them. We need people who wake up every day trying to find new ways to make Obama’s remaining time in office as miserable as possible. I still oppose efforts to reform Obamacare, but before we even consider such a route, we should send a full repeal to the President’s desk to force him into putting his name on the veto.
That semi-digression aside, Chief Justice Roberts’ ruling shows us exactly what happens when we have leaders who only want to pass the buck. They should have known better than to trust the untrustworthy Chief Justice. Spinelessness from Republicans in Congress and a “conservative” on the Supreme Court has now legitimized Obamacare in the eyes of the media and, let’s not kid ourselves, much of the American public. This is exactly the kind of result the Establishment GOP deserved for their cowardice, but unfortunately, we plebians have to live with its consequences.
In a broader sense, though, we cannot ignore that there is plenty of blame for us. We have not done enough to fight the Republican Establishment, and we did not elect a Republican President in 2012. In a sense, conservatives deserve what happened here as well. We might not be able to get a perfect fix for our problems, but we could certainly put up a better fight.
If there are any electoral lessons to be learned here, they are these: First, the Republican leadership in Congress must go, and second, we must elect a conservative President in 2017. In particular, the latter must been done because it is likely our last chance to repeal the law and because we need someone who will nominate the right people to the Supreme Court. If we want to stop further judicial abominations like this from happening, we need to secure stronger Republican leadership in Washington, including a conservative in the White House, along with Supreme Court Justices that understand and respect the Constitution.
But even if we succeeded in accomplishing those two things, we still shouldn’t get our hopes up.
Featured image via David Bourdages at Shutterstock.