Sick, Sick, Sick: Rightbloggers Run a Fever after Obamacare Decision
Among rightbloggers, most of whom had filled balloons and strung festive banners for a big post-overturn victory party, the scenes of shock and horror were like something out of Jacobean tragedy -- indeed, out of Tex Avery.
They've already started to reimagine the ruling as Good News for Mitt Romney. But before they're forgotten, let us savor their delightful early reactions.
Prior to the decision, most pundits of any stripe expected the mandate, if not the whole law, to be ruled unconstitutional. So did rightbloggers, who held a giddy tailgate party in the run-up to Thursday's announcement.
"Liberals never considered that their viewpoint feelings could not only be wrong, but unconstitutional," giggled Rightwing News' William Teach as he fired up the hibachi. "Of course, when the Mandate, and possibly the whole law... 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..."
"Cocky Journalists Declared ObamaCare Would Be Upheld, Maybe by a 8-1 Vote," chuckled Scott Whitlock as he popped a cool one at NewsBusters. "If the Supreme Court strikes down all or part of Obamacare, Thursday, will these journalists admit they weren't quite the constitutional experts they claimed to be?"
Sigh; now we'll never know.
The Wall Street Journal's Daniel Henninger, being a fastidious, major media type, declined to predict victory, but spoke of the ACA in the past tense as sad relic of the New Deal. "Anyone who had to wait for the Supreme Court to tell them what the Affordable Care Act represents is too far behind the curve to ever catch up," he sniffed. "Alas, that includes Barack Obama, the president that time forgot."
Henninger then explained that Obama's reform was trad, dad, "swimming against the tides of history... a legislative monolith out of sync with an iPad world." All the hipsters knew that "entertainment, apps, social media, appliances -- pretty much anything that escapes the cold hands of a public agency" were the model for modern, a-go-go conservative health policy. "In the era of the smartphone," Henninger head-shook, "ObamaCare was rotary-dial health reform," fit only for the recycling bin of history.
Some were prepared for an extraconstitutional assault
if when the Court ruled against Obama.
"Is there any doubt that if nullified Obama would still attempt to push forward with the law anyway?" asked Dustin Hawkins at About.com. "Is it possible Obama would simply declare that portions of the law (or heck, the whole law!) was now the law, per an executive order? Surely there would be many lectures about how it's okay because 'it is the right thing to do.' Whether or not he can do it is meaningless. He's already dictating or ignoring law regularly anyway."
Plus there were those treacherous Republicans-In-Name-Only to worry about. "Not all Republicans want [the ACA] to be gutted in its entirety," warned Julie Borowski at tea party factory FreedomWorks. "Some prominent Republicans are pledging to preserve the so-called most 'popular' provisions even if the monstrous law is overturned."
These so-called-popular provisions included the one that let kids stay on their parents' insurance till age 26 (which, as it happens, is not so-called but actually popular). Borowski nonetheless dismissed this as the "slacker mandate" and insisted, polls and RINO squishes be damned, that "every single provision in the massive 2,801 page law infringes on the liberty of all Americans. The entire law should be thrown out--no exceptions."
Once the word came down from SCOTUS, if you listened closely, you could hear a million rightblogger hearts freeze and crack.
CNN was famously caught flatfooted, at first announcing the mandate's overturn, but they were properly embarrassed about it. Not so rightbloggers. Here's Gateway Pundit Jim Hoft's celebratory tweet:
At his site, Hoft quickly made failade out of fail with a unique interpretation of events: "The Supreme Court ruled Obamacare mandate UNCONSTITUTIONAL today but it Survives As A Tax!!" Eat your heart out, CNN.
No longer tittering over the obvious unconstitutionality of Obamacare, a struggling William Teach vamped, "There are other parts of Obamacare that have been shot down and others upheld. That said, the ruling on the Mandate is not necessarily a win for Obama and the Democrats..." Later, he elaborated on this with a painting of Obama burning the Constitution.
Legal Insurrection's Anne Sorock saw that, after the decision, the Obama Twitter feed advertised a "Health Reform: Still a BFD" t-shirt, and became mortally offended. "So in case you thought gloating was beneath the POTUS," she thundered, "consider this proof to the contrary. Obama is not ashamed to hawk t-shirts through twitter the same day a divisive Supreme Court decision further divided the country that he claimed he was here to unite." Worse yet -- on Friday the White House was still giving tours! Like nothing ever happened!
Down in the lower depths of the right-blogosphere, things were crazier still.
One yawp that got a lot of play in the media was the tweet by Breitbart's Ben Shapiro calling the decision "the greatest destruction of individual liberty since Dred Scott. This is the end of America as we know it. No exaggeration."
Amazingly, Shapiro was not the only rightblogger who was reminded of Dred Scott. "Whenever there is a controversial subject, the court ignores both the Constitution and most dictionaries in favor of a new language that only they can parse," wept Robert A. Teegarden. "It happened in Dred Scott..." "Will go down in legal history as the worst Supreme Court decision since 1857's Dred Scott v. Sandford," thundered Thomas J. Lucente Jr. under the evocative title "Another great society joins the trash heap of history."
"The Supreme Court's health-care decision, June 27, 2012, is similar to its Dred Scott decision, March 6, 1857," looked-up Bill Federer at WorldNetDaily. "Is a civil war next?"
"Dred Scott v. Sandford was a black mark on the judiciary for decades, and it largely stood alone as a nightmare of error," sighed John F. Di Leo at Illinois Review. "But in the twentieth century, bad decisions, weak decisions, foolish decisions started to multiply..." He listed these decisions: Griswold v. Connecticut, Roe v. Wade, "...and now NFIB v. Sebelius, with its idea that anything is Constitutional if it has a financial aspect."
Dred Scott, in case you forgot, was a slave who ran away from his master because he forced him to have health insurance.
Dave Carter at hip new internet thing Ricochet took the decision very personally. Carter quoted Shakespeare, then reported, "these weren't the first words that came to mind when I heard the Supreme Court's ruling on Obamacare. No, nothing that profound came immediately to mind. Unfortunately, the first phrase I uttered, while driving an 18 wheeler through Scranton, was unprintable." What an interesting person he seems!
Carter went on: "My refusal to be pushed around and bullied by an out of control government is yet another thing I have in common with Patrick Henry." (Not to mention, his photograph suggests, Larry the Cable Guy.) Carter scorned as "tyranny" the enforcement of universal healthcare, and promised, "I will not compromise with it, accommodate it, lend it the veneer of euphemism, nor counsel acquiescence to it. I will instead fight it, mock it, and scorn it with every means at my disposal." Give him liberty or Git-R-Done!
It seems to have occurred to some of the brethren that shaking their fist at Obama and the Democrats might make them look like sore losers. Many redirected their wrath upon the author of the decision, Chief Justice John Roberts, whose impeccable rightwing credentials might be said to have made his apostasy especially maddening, were rightbloggers not already totally mad.