NY Times: Democrats Thought Mandate Was Constitutional Because They Said It Was Constitutional
Things are getting a little tense for Democrats and the far left Democrat voters as they see the good possibility that the Obamacare health insurance mandate will be shot down this week by the Supreme Court. There is even the possibility that the whole thing will be shot down because the wholly Democrat legislation did not include severability. The NY Times wonders how we got to this point (I’m pulling the article from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette since I reached my limit of 10 articles at the Fish Wrap)
With the Supreme Court set to render judgment on President Barack Obama’s health care law as early as Monday, the White House and Congress find themselves in a position that many advocates of the legislation once considered almost unimaginable.
In passing the law two years ago, Democrats entertained little doubt that it was constitutional. The White House held a conference call to tell reporters that any legal challenge, as one Obama aide put it, “will eventually fail and shouldn’t be given too much credence in the press.”
Congress held no hearing on the plan’s constitutionality until nearly a year after it was signed into law. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, then the House speaker, scoffed when a reporter asked what part of the Constitution empowered Congress to force Americans to buy health insurance. “Are you serious?” she asked with disdain. “Are you serious?”
The Dems simply said “it’s Constitutional since we say it is, and because we passed it.” Let’s not forget that the vote in the House was 219-212, with 34 Democrats voting against, and that the Democrats had to offer serious bribes for Representatives and Senators to get to the numbers needed to pass this monstrosity, as well as legislative chicanery such as using the reconciliation process. And still passed it despite the massive opposition and outcry from the American People during the 10 months the Democrats were pushing it (while ignoring the economy).
Opponents of the health plan were indeed serious, and so was the Supreme Court, which devoted more time to hearing the case than to any other in decades. A White House that had assumed any challenge would fail now fears that a centerpiece of Mr. Obama’s presidency may be partly or completely overturned on a theory that it gave little credence. The miscalculation left the administration on the defensive as its legal strategy evolved over the last two years.
The centerpiece of Obama’s presidency was and is wildly unpopular as a whole. Period. He didn’t care if it was unpopular or constitutional: he just wanted it passed.
Looking back, Democrats said they had had every reason for confidence given decades of Supreme Court precedents affirming Congress’ authority to regulate interstate commerce, and lawyers who defended the law said they had always taken the challenge seriously even if politicians had not. But they underestimated the chances that conservative judges might interpret those precedents differently or discard them. Adversaries said the law’s proponents had been too attentive to liberal academics who shaped public discussion. “There’s very little diversity in the legal academy among law professors,” said Randy E. Barnett, a Georgetown University law professor and leading thinker behind the challenge. “So they’re in an echo chamber listening to people who agree with them.”
There you have it in a nutshell: liberals never considered that their
viewpoint feelings could not only be wrong, but unconstitutional. There was never any consideration that, yes, people would find it unconstitutional, and more importantly, that judges would find any parts unconstitutional.
Of course, when the Mandate, and possibly the whole law (I’m betting that SCOTUS will rule narrowly, and only strike down the mandate) goes down, we’ll be treated to a litany of talking points aimed at those “conservative judges” and how they are something something and something something else. Use your imagination, they’ll have lots of the same petty arguments, such as raaaaacism against the first black President, that they’re extremists, that Republicans want to kill grandma, etc and so on. They’ll be no acknowledgement that the Mandate goes too far in violating the Commerce clause in regulating inactivity and was clearly unconstitutional.
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