What a day. The Supreme Court’s decision on ObamaCare was definitely a disappointment, but the day was not a total loss. Mitt Romney may have gotten some much needed ammunition for the campaign trail, including the official go-ahead to label ObamaCare as a massive tax hike. And the contempt vote against Eric Holder is a big win for Republicans, maybe bigger than most people realize. In fact, I would like to argue that conservatives should go to bed tonight enthusiastic and fired up. We might not have gotten everything we wanted today, but we walked away better prepared for the fall, and that’s the only fight that matters.
I get it. It was tough to swallow. As Justice Anthony Kennedy (yeah, even he gets it) wrote in his dissent “In our view, the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety.” ObamaCare is an expensive power-grab that will bankrupt private insurance and drive down the quality of medical care. We know that. So, on the one hand, this is a huge blow to the American public, who overwhelmingly favor repeal. But, this decision may not be as bad as it initially seems. For one thing, when we look at the President’s behavior lately, it is not clear that a ruling against ObamaCare would have stopped it. Just look at how he responded when one small part of the Arizona ruling not going his way. Or the way he ignores Congress when they don’t do what he wants. Or the fact that the Obama Administration was already ignoring court-ordered injunctions against the Affordable “Care” Act. He has laid out a pretty clear pattern of behavior when he doesn’t get his way. 1. Ignore co-equal branches of government. 2. Use Executive Orders when Congress doesn’t vote his way. 3. Encourage an unelected regulatory board or “czar” to make and enforce any policies that be forced through with steps 1&2. There is no way that President Obama would have let this go even if the entire bill had been thrown out. So, yes, this is a blow to the American public, but it doesn’t really change the objective. In order to be rid of ObamaCare, we must vote in a new President and a Republican super-majority. I’m not denying that is a tall order, but it is what it is. We have a radical President and we cannot undo the damage that he has done without radical change.
So how does this effect election? In one sense it does help Barack Obama. He has been such a failure in every other area of policy, that having his signature legislation struck down would have been devastating. However, it really doesn’t make anything worse for Romney either. In fact, it could become a rallying point for voters. The Supreme Court may have saved the bill by accepting the Administration’s argument that it was a tax, but they also allowed Mitt Romney to tell voters that the President Obama passed the biggest tax increase in the history of the world! 21 new taxes, 12 of which affect people making less than $250,000/year will go into effect by 2014. This kind of spoils the whole “champion of the working class” image that President Obama likes to paint of himself. Furthermore, ObamaCare was already wildly unpopular. And that’s with 3 years of the media trying to spin it. Doctors and nurses hate it and promise it will lead to worse medical care. Insurers can’t see a way to stay in business once it’s fully enacted (and yes, that means government insurance for all of us eventually). The elderly are fearful of the President’s just “give them a pain pill” attitude towards treating our older citizens. Although conservatives were once mocked for warning about “death panels,” it turns out ObamaCare does include an “Independent Payment Advisory Board” to determine whether or not it is cost-effective to save someone’s life. People who saw their premiums skyrocket when we started to cover 26 year-old “kids” at no additional charge, are anxious about what the next round of the healthcare roll out will cost them. The unemployed and under-employed are learning that the requirements placed on businesses are driving down wages and job opportunities. Catholic employers hate it because the law will force them to violate their religion and pay for contraception. Christian and pro-life groups are angry because employers will also be forced to pay for abortion inducing drugs. I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that almost every person in the country has a good reason to hate this bill. It’s expensive, ineffective, and stomps all over religious freedom. Which is why Mitt Romney shouldn’t back away from this issue. Just because the bill was deemed “legal” that doesn’t mean that people like it any more than they did before the ruling. Just look at how the stock market tumbled the second the verdict was read. So now he has to make the case, “elect me or you are stuck with this thing for good.” He should be putting doctors, religious leaders, the elderly, and business owners in front of the camera. Let them explain why the bill is bad for America. Remind the voters of how the law was forced through with backroom deals, against the will of the public. Anyone who is happy about this ruling is going to vote for Barack Obama anyways, the GOP didn’t lose any votes today. But Mitt Romney has to reach out to the people who are angry and disappointed, many of whom are Democrats and Independents. He has to make them believe that they have one last shot of dumping this awful law in November. Fortunately for him, the pool of angry voters got a lot larger today.
Now, on to the good news.
The Contempt Vote
Yeah, it’s a big deal. The Attorney General was held in criminal contempt today by a vote of 255 to 67. Even some Democrats crossed party lines to vote to hold this man accountable. And, yes, I understand that the President is throwing his full support behind Eric Holder. I get that this case will probably never come the legal conclusion that such an awful scandal deserves. But, this is a big deal because it is a public opinion nightmare for the Democrats. For the last year, the left has tried to dismiss the Fast and Furious debacle as a contrived, right-wing conspiracy story. They refused to cover it and then, when they could no longer refuse to cover it, they laughed at it. Not because it was funny, mind you. Because if for even a second they let on that these were serious, credible accusations, casual news watchers might just listen. And they wouldn’t have to listen for long before deciding that the Obama Administration was more than likely involved in one of the worst scandals in history. The contempt vote did what the media has refused to do. It made people stop and say ” Hey, what’s this about anyways?” And that is very good news for the Republicans for two reasons. 1.) It exposes the “ends justify the means” mentality that has led to so much corruption in the last few years. Just look at the facts: Under the Bush Administration, Operation Wide Receiver, which was a program that equipped guns with tracking devices to monitor how they were trafficked, was discontinued in 2007. Although, the individuals who purchased the illegal arms were immediately arrested and no one was killed, the administration deemed the operation too risky. Despite seeing the difficulties of Operation Wide Receiver, the Department of Justice, under the Obama Administration decided to start a gun running program in 2009. The difference is they did not use tracking devices, they did not use surveillance, they did not use helicopters, and they did not arrest anyone. They sold the guns and let the buyers walk away. They did not follow or monitor the buyers. Any agents who tried to arrest or monitor anyone was told to stop. In other words, they ran a “gun monitoring” operation where no one was allowed to monitor the guns. Clearly, this was not a case of a well-intentioned program that just got away from them. They never had any intention of tracking the weapons. Did they think that the drug cartels were going to voluntarily return the guns? That violent international crime lords weren’t going to use them? Of course not! The obvious answer is that they wanted those guns to end up exactly where they did. Democrats wanted to bolster support for gun control laws by perpetuating the oft-repeated liberal myth that American guns arm Mexican gangs. Now, over 200 people, including a Border Patrolman and an ICE agent, are dead. Holding hearings on a scandal like that should start to get people’s attention. And most people will find the Administration’s excuse that this was all a mistake to be laughable. They will find Eric Holder’s claim of not knowing about it even more laughable. And as the thought of 200 dead people starts to burrow in their minds a bit, they will find his lies to Congress, retracting false documents, hiding other documents, story changing, and question dodging infuriating. It’s not as if he has had a reputable career so far. The more they dig into Eric Holder, the more they will find him to be a calculating weasel with a long record of infamous scandals. And then they’ll start to wonder why the President ever put such a man in that position to begin with. Which brings me to my next point. 2) The contempt vote shows President Obama to incompetent at best, and a corrupt opportunist at worst. The President has stood by Eric Holder from the beginning. The Black Panther case, the tiff with Arizona, Ike Brown and voter fraud, and J. Christian Adams and Christopher Coates testifying on Holder’s racial bias are some of the more memorable examples. There has been nothing but scandal from the very beginning. So, why, when on top of everything else he is found to be covering up a debacle of this magnitude would the President not replace him? Or publicly denounce his actions? Or even give him a stern talking-to? When there is no dispute that the Attorney General lied to congress in regards to the deaths of civilians, why is the President defending him? And not just defending him with a wink and a thumbs up, he has “granted him” Executive Privilege! Which is ludicrous because the President can’t grant Executive Privilege to someone else. If Fast and Furious happened without the President knowing about it, as he insisted that it did, then it doesn’t qualify as “privileged information.” Executive Privilege is supposed to protect information that is so sensitive to national security or diplomatic relations that only the President can be trusted with it. Clearly, if they didn’t need his permission to do it, it isn’t privileged information. If he did know about it, it still isn’t covered by Executive Privilege because it can not be used to shield possible wrongdoing (United States v. Nixon 1974 and no one died in that case either!). And the President knows this. So why is he taking such a gamble to protect this serial corruptocrat during an election year? The most believable explanation is that his name must be all over those documents. He’s been willing to throw anybody who becomes a political liability under the bus, including his own pastor, up to this point. And now, he wants to throw himself on the grenade? He has run the leakiest Administration ever when it comes to our troops, sensitive contacts, international agents, and classified military operations. And now he wants to protect information? If there was no scandal here those documents would have been turned over a long time ago. If there was a small scandal they would have been turned over a long time ago. After all, it can’t be any worse for him than the prevailing theory which is that he allowed hundreds of people to die in order to gain political capital.
A year ago, many people thought this would blow over and turn out to be nothing, but it just keeps getting worse. This is bad and everybody knows it, including Democrats. It doesn’t matter if Congress can bring Eric Holder to justice, in the legal sense. What matters is that this story gets some coverage and people can see for themselves what us “crazy right-wingers” have been saying all along. This administration is corrupt to its core and will stop at nothing to implement the agenda of the radical left.
All in All
At the end of the day, today’s Supreme Court Ruling was a disappointment to be sure, but it really doesn’t change much. We still have a massive, unpopular tax headed our way. We still have the seeds of socialized medicine and attacks on religious liberty on the horizon. We still have a group of corrupt radicals running the show in Washington. But, more importantly, we still have an election in four months. The stakes might be a little bit higher, but they were pretty high to begin with. We have a President who has ignored the voters and Congress, has driven the economy into the ground, has stomped on religious freedom, and appears to have nothing but disdain for the American way of life. He has surrounded himself with fellow radicals who are as out-of-touch and arrogant as he is. This Administration will stop at nothing to get their way. ObamaCare or no ObamaCare, job number one always was to vote them out of office and that hasn’t changed. Today, we ought to be motivated by the same thing that motivated us yesterday, the knowledge that this country can’t afford four more years of Barack Obama and his cabinet of grifters and incompetents. Because I can guarantee that isn’t going to change anytime soon.