Call it the Travel Call Gambit.
The what? Well, you know how NBA refs never call travels? Actually they do. Frequently. They call traveling on guys way out from the basket where the infringement has no effect on anything. They can then point to stats padded with useless traveling calls to disguise the fact that these gutless cowards NEVER EVER call traveling when a guy takes 3 steps carrying the ball before dunking. You know--when it matters.
In the same way, John Roberts has just equipped himself and his court with a fail safe answer to criticisms of partisanship. "See? We found in your favor on health care. We are impartial."
Only, it isn't so. And here's the real reason Roberts tipped the balance to support Obama Care:
The mandate is exactly what Roberts' Corporate Masters wanted all along!
I mean we all know this. But we forget it.
The notion of forcing Americans to buy health insurance from private firms came from Republicans and it reflects the interests of health insurance companies which know, deep down, that their existence is dependent on an absence of the genuine health care solution, single payer. The corporate masters know 2 things:
1. The law forces huge numbers of Americans to pay their fees.
2. Repealing the law would almost certainly lead to some nationalized system that forced them out of business.
The fact is that we--including me--were fools for ever imagining that Roberts might shoot the law down. As he ALWAYS does, he served his corporate masters.
Meanwhile, all the right wing brou-ha-ha is political theater. It feeds the base. It provides a source of invigorated, short term hate. It can drive wingers to the polls when they don't trust Romney.
But it was NEVER going to lead to a repeal of the health care law which the GOP pretends to loathe but which it initiated and will never surrender.
Now, I THINK this is ultimately a good thing. It clears a lot of political decks for the debate season. It retains the basis for further action on the matter. And, of course, it provides care for lots of real people.
But never believe for one second that Roberts supported one of "our" initiatives. He's just serving his corporate masters as usual and calling traveling when he can afford to do so.