"It seems very, very clear to me in reviewing John Roberts’ decision that he is playing a much longer game than us and can afford to with a life tenure. And he probably just handed Mitt Romney the White House."
That quote from Erick's post sums up my feelings completely. Over the past five years I have gained a ton of respect for John Roberts. One case can't tarnish that respect.
As I said yesterday on another thread, my impression of Roberts is that he is a chess player who looks at the entire board very carefully before making a move. If he can bring about long term change in the direction and trajectory of our nation by sacrificing in the short term, I think that is what he will do. In fact I think that is what he just did. By limiting the Commerce Clause while simultaneously forcing this issue back into the political realm, Roberts has given we the people another chance to get it right. Read carefully part of the decision:
Today, the restrictions on government power foremost in many Americans’ minds are likely to be affirmative prohibitions, such as contained in the Bill of Rights. These affirmative prohibitions come into play, however, only where the Government possesses authority to act in the first place. If no enumerated power authorizes Congress to pass a certain law, that law may not be enacted, even if it would not violate any of the express prohibitions in the Bill of Rights or elsewhere in the Constitution........
Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.
The American people must be weened off the idea that someone somewhere is always going to step in and save the day. The American people must take charge of their country and use the power of the secret ballot to reward those who support limited government and punish those who support the expansion of government and government power. In essence what John Roberts is proclaiming via this opinion is "Don't elect charlatans and then expect this Court to bail you out" .
No matter how disappointed I am by this ruling, no matter how galling it will be to listen to the Ezra Kleins and Lawrence O'Donnells of this world gloat and preen over the next few days, the fact remains that the American people have the government they deserve. 53% of of those who voted in 2008 chose a callow narcissist to be the leader of the world's most consequential nation. What did we expect would be the result? How many conservatives and libertarians sat on their hands in 2008 instead of holding their nose and voting for John McCain? How many moderates thought John McCain was a funny looking old man and instead chose the hip young ( "clean and nice looking" according to Joe Biden) Barack Obama instead?
If we have too much government or the wrong kind of government it isn't John Roberts' fault. The fault lies with the entire nation. As a people we have failed. John Roberts wasn't appointed Chief Justice of a nation with limited government. He was appointed Chief Justice of a nation that long ago heeded the siren call of the liberal harlot. He heads the court at time when 50% of Americans are subsidized by the other 50%. He must deal with a national culture that demands instant gratification and no responsibility.
As a people we can right this wrong and begin to scramble back from the abyss. We can start by working our buns off getting Mitt Romney elected, electing a GOP Senate, and holding the House.
Or we can sit around in a circle and call John Roberts a horrible no good lying moderate squishy cowardly gob of crap.
You decide which path will lead to victory and which one won't accomplish anything beyond amusing any liberals who are within earshot.