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Supreme Court Chief Justice John J. Roberts
There is no John Roberts, only Zuul
Good Lord. I'm not sure what's worse, that Marc Thiessen penned this gawdawful whinefest, or that the Washington Post's editors actually ran the thing. I know the Washington Post's op-ed page is essentially a tomb for discredited conservatives to wail and moan and haunt the masses, but seriously, Fred, show a little self-respect once in a while.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’s decision to side with the court’s liberal bloc and uphold Obamacare raises an important question for conservatives:  Why are Republicans so awful at picking Supreme Court justices? [...]
What follows is a maudlin little exercise involving assertions that anyone to the left of Scalia and Thomas is liberal, that judicial activism is not related to upholding versus overturning laws but instead is a nebulous, spur-of-the-moment exercise in whatever Marc Thiessen says it is, blah-blah-freaking-blah, insert pity party here, and all bound together with a conspicuous lack of awareness—no, strike that, a siren-blasting, strobe-light-flashing, truly stupendous lack of awareness—on how the process of nominating Supreme Court justices may possibly have changed in some fashion since the time of nasty communist-in-hindsight Ronald Reagan, and how those changes have altered who is even considered for those roles, much less successfully appointed. Suffice it to say that Thiessen is quite miffed that liberals seem to get everything they want out of their court justices, while conservatives seem to be beset by turncoats and folks who sometimes write things conservatives don't like.

For starters, Mr. Thiessen, I might offer up the suggestion that if you consider liberal to be literally any justice or court opinion that does not fit with the farthest-right of conservative viewpoints, then yes, I will grant you that it is damn easy to find liberalism and liberals everywhere. You don't particularly have to notice nuances, much less full-throated differences of opinion and ideology, when the two choices are between Antonin Scalia and literally every other goddamn judge on the planet.

More to the point, however, I would suggest that if conservative justices tend to, let's say, suck, it might have something to do with a nomination and vetting process that judges their suitability based primarily on a narrow list of whichever conservative requirements are currently in vogue, and not according to whether they have, in the past, expressed consistent and erudite understandings of constitutional law. Thus, when put on the bench, they tend to issue rulings that are legally all over the damn place, according to their own personal preferences. Consistency is not a hallmark of conservative justices because they are not vetted for legal consistency, only ideological consistency, and what counts as "ideological consistency" tends to change according to circumstance—sometimes, rather rapidly.

It is not Chief Justice John Roberts' fault that he did not get the memo that government forcing people to hand over money to private insurance companies or pay a tax penalty for not doing so is now not a conservative idea, but a fount of liberalism and evil. When he was nominated, that idea was the conservative stance on healthcare. Hell, it was considered the "conservative" approach even by the likes of Newt Gingrich, and was eventually put into practice by none other than the severely conservative Mitt Romney. Choosing the devoutly corporatist approach would seem a perfectly reasonable conservative opinion, in any other circumstance but this one; you can forgive Roberts for being a bit flummoxed as to what is being expected of him.

It is true that the terribly serious constitutional scholar Antonin Scalia was able to divine the flip-flop necessary in order to best meet the current year's conservative fashions, but let's not pretend it was the result of some deep legal consistency on his part; Scalia himself had to very publicly admit to overturning one of his own past legal principles in order to reach the entirely opposite conclusion in this case. When you can't even respect your own precedents, now that's some serious legal activism.

So fine, Roberts is now getting plastered for ostentatious liberalism, and all because he didn't realize that conservatism dictates that even deeply conservative ideas are bad if there's a bit of partisan gain to be had in saying so. In every other case, he toed the conservative line, but this one was the important one, so now he's a pariah. Now he's even a liberal.

It demonstrates quite a few things, I think. It demonstrates how yesterday's conservatives can become tomorrow's supposed "liberals," in the eyes of the conservative movement. It demonstrates the flip-flopping required of conservative intellectuals in order to retain favor with a party for whom consistency is readily tossed aside according to whatever election-year needs might gain more advantage. It demonstrates the party requirement upon their judges, in particular, to behave in an ideologically rigid fashion rather than a constitutionally rigid one (states' rights continues to hold sway as the single most insipid and useless legal phrase in existence, based on the spectacularly arbitrary nature of its invocations—truly, the deus ex machina of conservative legal scholarship).

And it demonstrates that Village conservatism, of the kind practiced by the Washington Post editorial page, is truly a pathetic, self-pitying festival of whining and imagined outrages. Yes, Marc Thiessen, let us all gnash our teeth at this terrible ideological slight against all of conservatism, a movement which has never quite been able to figure out how to nominate judges that exhibit the requisite ideological consistency, even while scurrying to change those ideologies out from under them.

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Comment Preferences

  •  While they're publicly denouncing him (29+ / 0-)

    they're thanking him in the quiet back rooms that are barred to the public and the media. Overturning Obamacare will be the new election promise every time the Democrats are in control of Washington. (And of course, once the Republicans are in charge, they'll be unable to recall said promise)

    •  And Roberts handed them a talking point... (6+ / 0-) saying it's a tax.

      Never mind that my taxes will go down by $4000 a year in 2014 (I have a small business and qualify for subsidies...)

      9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

      by varro on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 11:58:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think it's too late for republican tricks (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sfcouple, Matt Z, RadGal70

      By now the entire country is suffering from this severe economic depression the gop has been consistently plunging us into, for over the past 40 years. Thank goodness many of these guys are so old they will have to retire soon!

      By now everyone is suffering, republicans and democrats.

      And we all vote. The days of republican supremacy in the vote is over!

      Now all we have to do is; Occupy The Vote!

      Make sure all the voting machines work accurately.

      Stop voter suppression,

      Get people registered and everyone, get out the Vote!

      This is what we need to concentrate on from Now till November.

      Scroll down a little for voting information. [Updated] Just The Links Man New And More Social Services Links For Civilians And Veterans

      Thank You Occupiers

      Simon and Garfunkel (The Concert In Central Park). This is one of my favorites. Check Out The Crowd, Looks Like Occupy Central Park!

      They're Playing My Song, Again!

      Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

      by rebel ga on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 12:03:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  they're hoping obamacare is their new roe v wade (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MKDAWUSS, Matt Z, boofdah

      an emotional issue they can use to whip the base into a fury, without having to produce results.

  •  Right-Whinging reactionaries (12+ / 0-)
    And it demonstrates that Village conservatism, of the kind practiced by the Washington Post editorial page, is truly a pathetic, self-pitying festival of whining and imagined outrageous.

    Präsidentenelf-maßschach"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 11:27:46 AM PDT

    •  I know annieli (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I still can't get over how stupid these right wingers are! Children are more mature.

      These conservative politicians and their following, are very spoiled people who have never seen the world outside of their rich communities.

      I think every politician who wants to cut social services to the poor, should be forced to live in a public housing project.

      With only; just food stamps and welfare and whatever other services, that are available to the poor, for one month!

      Then, let's see if their attitude changes!

      Greater Newark/New York Fresh Air Fund Seeks Supporters To Send Children To Camp

      Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

      by rebel ga on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 12:34:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  ideological consistency (14+ / 0-)

    Does it piss off liberals? That's the only ideological test that matters to conservatives. It doesn't have to make sense.

  •  Your diary is right on point (19+ / 0-)

    It has been repeated over and over, that Ronald Reagan could not get today's Republican party's nomination. I think all this Robert's hate prove that too.

  •  Great Diary Hunter (16+ / 0-)

    but; did you mean to say,

    maudlin little exercise involving assertions that anyone to the, right left of Scalia and thomas is liberal.
    I'd have to look Scalia up, heard of him. But I know that thomas is as far to the right and outer-space as one can get!

    Thought you might want to know. I don't know if it's wrong, but figured you would and might want to fix it. After all this is a great diary and just posted.

    I Love Your Diaries Hunter!

    Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

    by rebel ga on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 11:31:56 AM PDT

  •  The Republicans are in Deep Grudge mode. Not ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, rebel ga

    ... the GOP of the last several decades, but the Tea Party Congress, with its rock solid polar positions.

    Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

    by TRPChicago on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 11:36:29 AM PDT

  •  One of the best you have written, Hunter. I read (6+ / 0-)

    it twice just to put a period at the end of my thought (strictly for my sake!).

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 11:38:14 AM PDT

  •  Glenn Beck, Drudge were not pleased (10+ / 0-)

    Free Image Hosting at

    For $30 you can buy one of these at the Glenn Beck store.

    Free Image Hosting at

    Drudge being Drudge.

  •  Theissen is not a long view guy, I guess. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, varro, Sherri in TX, Mimikatz, Matt Z

    Roberts' opinion says a lot that conservatives will be glad he said the next time any President proposes a New Deal type piece of legislation.   Unlike Chief Justice Hughes, he was able to get the progressive judges to bite at language reducing the scope of the Commerce and General Welfare clauses in exchange for single piece of legislation.   Given that President Obama will likely only get to replace Justice Ginsburg, in kind, Roberts set up a post 2016 Supreme Court that may give conservatives a lot to crow about, assuming they take the White House in 2016.  

    You don't need to firebomb Dresden to prove that you can fly the plane.

    by SpamNunn on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 11:38:50 AM PDT

    •  Generally, giving government more power (0+ / 0-)

      will serve their purposes in the future. Since it's not balanced with a Right, such as a right to healthcare, it's potentially onerous. It's just kicking the can down the road. My celebration is muted because of it.

      -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

      by JPax on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 12:04:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  JPax, the ball is in play & I think time is on our (0+ / 0-)

        side because of "reality's liberal bias."  

        "'s difficult to imagine what else Republicans can do to drive women away in 2012, unless they decide to bring back witch-hanging. And I wouldn't put it past them." James Wolcott

        by Mayfly on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 12:14:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  gop won't see the White House Again (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      for a very long time. Never in 2016. It's going to be Democrats for many years.

      We have to struggle to make this happen. Or, you think this was a recession? They'll destroy us totally!

      Even in NJ, no Democrat dreamed this scheme up!

      Oh No They Won't! No gas pipeline Under Liberty State Park, NJ! [Updated June 25 2012]

      Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

      by rebel ga on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 12:57:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  God damn! They are so rigid. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat

    Love the SG-1 reference, BTW.

    That show addressed so many basic themes in an entertaining way.  There is a real gap right now in that we don't have sci-fi actually doing the progressive advocacy it normally does, replaced with ghost stories, UFO, and all manner of occult.

    Depressing really.

    ***Be Excellent To One Another***

    by potatohead on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 11:39:01 AM PDT

  •  Once again these reactionaries from (5+ / 0-)

    the far right are acting like petulant little children---I've seen better behavior in toddlers.  

    And all of this is because ACA will SAVE thousands of lives and help eliminate or reduce untold suffering of those currently without healthcare.  

    These greedy folks are acting like stupidity is a virtue.

    "It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak." President Barack Obama 3/24/09

    by sfcouple on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 11:39:23 AM PDT

  •  Don't miss my diary on this: (5+ / 0-) .

    It focuses on a crap article from the Christian Science Monitor that argues that Roberts's decision was "political" rather than "legal," when in fact the truth is almost certainly exactly the opposite.

    This is a big story that is going to be debated for years.

  •  They Were Robbed..... (15+ / 0-)

    Once again they were robbed.  Barack Obama won.  The Affordable Care Act passed.  Now this.

    Is there no justice?  Obviously, the only thing to do is throw another tantrum.  Pull another filibuster.  Tell some more lies.  Pay for buses so the Tea Baggers will show up & disrupt stuff.

    What's a Republican to do?  Grow up?  No way man, no way.  Not in this lifetime.  And...Not ever.  

  •  Great column (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phil S 33, Aunt Pat, LillithMc, Matt Z, boofdah

    Thank you for this great column and especially for your comments about The Washington Post.  Every Sunday, I see op-eds from Parker and Will without a liberal or even moderate counterpart.  Anyone who thinks that The Post is some bastion of liberalism isn't paying attention.  I'm glad that Mr. or Ms. Hunter is.

  •  You mean to the LEFT of Scalito (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, Aunt Pat, Wolf10, JPax, Matt Z
    What follows is a maudlin little exercise involving assertions that anyone to the right of Scalia and Thomas is liberal

    And, while your point about the inconsistencies of so-called conservative so-called legal philosophy is well taken, the fact remains that nobody has a freaking clue as to why Roberts changed his vote (if change it he really did). Let's not pretend we get the guy - he's a freaking enigma. I'm waiting for people to point out that the combination of upholding the mandate under the taxing power and the shot across the bow of the commerce clause had some nefarious strategic purpose that we haven't yet wrapped our heads around.

  •  Executive Power (6+ / 0-)

    That was the conservative cri de coeur du jour when Roberts was nominated.  I think it had something to do with immunizing Bush and Cheney from the possible consequences of certain executive decisions that were, how shall I say, probably extralegal.  

    Which makes John Yoo's hissy fit at the WSJ about the insufficient vetting of Roberts extra special ironic.  I mean, Roberts was practically hand picked to save Bush and Cheney from John Yoo's atrocious legal reasoning.  Talk about tortured logic.

  •  "Wailing--moaning and haunting the masses!" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, lcbo

    I see you've know a few republicans.

    The op-ed section of Wapo is where conservatism goes to die.................................but they come back!

    To continue wailing----moaning and haunting all of us!

    "It's tough to take republicans seriously when their entire ideology can be explained perfectly by a 13 yr. old and a 14 yr. old."---Bill Maher

    by lyvwyr101 on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 11:47:23 AM PDT

  •  Expert Whiners (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat

    They truly have made a fine art out of victimhood, haven't they?  99% ruling for the right doesn't count. Only 100%.

    Comedy Gold

    "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds". Albert Einstein

    by JerryB on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 11:48:46 AM PDT

  •  Yay! We got corporate friendly, previously (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JPax, Misterpuff

    Republican supported health care reform by the hair of our chinichinchins. It does beat the hell out of nothing but then just about everything does.

    The constitutional threat to ACA lay largely in the machinations required to keep the insurance companies in the game.

    Will Roberts continue to surprise on the upside? Don't bet the farm on it.

    The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

    by Wolf10 on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 11:52:01 AM PDT

  •  Roberts can play 11-dimensional chess.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, Matt Z

    ....which flummoxes the bonehead conservatives in charge.

    Roberts simultaneously appears reasonable by upholding ACA/Obamacare, but also hands the conservatives a talking point on a silver platter - that the mandate penalties are taxes.

    Scalia is a sophist of the highest order; he goes against Raich, showing he's a judicial activist of the highest order.  Yep, the Commerce Clause does regulate things you don't like (marijuana), but doesn't regulate things you like (unfettered corporate greed in health care)....

    9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

    by varro on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 11:57:58 AM PDT

  •  Roberts now will spend the rest of his life (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    proving his conservative is bigger than all the other boys on the bench. And when the sane among us complain about his reactionary and radical judgeship, he will always point to this decision.

    Our only hope now is that tea baggers continue with purging their own. If we can just get them to start impeachment proceedings on Roberts as not pure enough, Democrats could simply abstain from the slobbery and let them get rid of this kid Chief Justice. The guy is freaking 57 and I am not looking forward to having him on the bench the rest of my life.

    -7.5 -7.28, A carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond.-Don Van Vliet

    by Blueslide on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 11:58:36 AM PDT

  •  Conservatives have created their own idiocracy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mimikatz, Heart n Mind

    Luckily it's only a portion of the populace, and sorry for being elitist, but it's no exaggeration to say that they all do now live in a dumbed down Fox Nooze world.

    In that world, all that matters is whether something "helps Obama" or "hurts Obama".  The Court's ACA ruling helps Obama, so it is bad. And now you have Mitt Romney indulging in (to them) hopelessly complicated minutia - declaring that the ACA insurance penalty is" a tax", while the one in Massachusetts was "a penalty".  Yes, his tightrope walking attempt to conform to the now fully congealed Republican political theology is awesome to behold, on his way towards debating how many angels can stand on the head of a pin.

    So yes, to Thiessen, this is clearly a loss. To me the most important takeaway is that 4 Supreme Court justices appear to have succumbed to the GOP Idiocracy, throwing all legal reasoning to the wind in deciding that nothing short of a full repudiation of the ACA, in order to "hurt Obama", is acceptable. The Borg would be envious of the power of assimilation demonstrated by Fox Nooze and talk radio.  It appears that we are in a struggle for survival to overcome this - one small victory won't do it, and I'll be damned if I know the ultimate answer.  

    The only answer I can come up with is one that several responsible Republicans already have - completely shock the system with a massive defeat of the GOP. But that will never happen.  As we've just found out, there is a huge mass of voters who aren't even aware of the Supreme Court decision, and who are easily swayed by campaign cash fueled ads, as Scott Walker recently demonstrated. So again -  how do we stop this oozing idiocracy from enfolding all of us?

    "The only thing we have to fear - is fear itself." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    by orrg1 on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 12:05:07 PM PDT

  •  Roberts has been part of more than... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lost and Found, SoCalLiberal

    100 5-4 decisions, and this is the first time he didn't side with the conservatives.

    “For the first time in two decades, Osama bin Laden is not a threat to this country.” President Obama 1/24/12

    by BarackStarObama on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 12:09:27 PM PDT

  •  Scalia's Legacy... failure (0+ / 0-)

    Why is it that when Scalia says things that are absolute partisan bullshit. He is just doing his job as part of the "conservative bloc" on the SCOTUS. And when someone actually cites precedent that meets the criteria on anything that isn't part of the conservative narrative then they are labeled an "activist".

    The problem is that Scalia and company are not following the job description. A judge isn't not partisan. He or she is simply someone that listens to both sides of a legal issue and cites where the laws actually line up to decide the issue. The don't make law, but they interpret what has become law and precedents set down from previous cases before the court. That's it.. nothing more... nothing less...

    Scalia is using the court as his own plaything to push an agenda that his friends in the GOP want done. He is there to push anything conservative and shut down anything considered liberal (whatever that means these days!). And that is pretty much everything from near right on over. This extremist jurist has totally destroyed the Supreme Court and turned it into a laughing stock. There needs to be ethics to be followed by every sitting judge. From the lowest Traffic Court judge to the highest sitting SCOTUS judge. There have to be rules of ethics followed to the letter or you should remove yourself from the court.

    Someone back in the early history of our founding of this country failed miserably to account for corrupt judges on the bench. Perhaps its high time we revised SCOTUS judges to only hold the position for a set number of years. And then have them replaced on a standard schedule so that each President can place one jurist on the bench each term. In this way, we might avoid a stacking of the bench with clearly old minds with nothing to keep them in check.

    "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

    by Wynter on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 12:11:52 PM PDT

  •  One quibble (0+ / 0-)

    You say

    It demonstrates the flip-flopping required of conservative intellectuals in order to retain favor with a party for whom consistency is readily tossed aside according to whatever election-year needs might gain more advantage.
    If it were purely for electoral advantage it would be, that dreadful word again, consistent. If we could say that the right seeks ONLY electoral advantage and is willing to slay each and every sacred cow on that altar, they would be CONSISTENT.

    But it is, as you recognise, uncharacteristic of conservatism that it be consistent.

    The only requirement is that conservatives MUST act at all times to assuage whatever moral panic has been fired up by any, and all, "Leaders" of the conservative movement. (Strike that, should be 'motion' as in bowel)

    Since they do not, and cannot co-ordinate with each other over facts, content, opinion or priority - conservatism being merely the collective term for the anally retentive, infantile and cowardly in society - it is inevitable that they will all, at one time or another, fall foul of the demands of some other centre of "Leadership".

    While many in the centre and on the left fear the denouement of the right, and there is a good chance that some of us will get caught in the crossfire, they will fall upon each other first in an orgy of recrimmination and directionless fury, lashing out first at those nearest. Since they will be surrounded only by those with whom they, at least sometimes, agree, those most in danger are those closest to the local conservative.

    You have been warned.

    Until inauguration day The USA is in the greatest danger it has ever experienced.

    by Deep Dark on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 12:11:55 PM PDT

  •  I see Roberts' decision (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lost and Found

    as all about Roberts and what history thinks of him.  Look at what has been leaked.  

    First: This was about Roberts name not being right up there with the Taney Court (Dred Scott decision).  I don't think Roberts envied the idea as the one being taught to young school children as leader of the court that denied universal health care 100 years down the road.

    Second:  The articles that came out around the time that Roberts changed his mind; The Mandate would be struck down 5/4.  The Court itself would propel itself into a giant campaign issue on three unpopular issues (Bush v Gore, Citizens United, Health Care),  and serve as a base for a relentless attack on conservatives' control of the Court.  Possibly bringing about fundamental changes to the court itself reaching back and changing the principles set up in Marbury v Madison.

    Roberts was more concerned with future history and the political consequences of another unpopular conservative 5/4 decision, such concerns far transcended the bleating of a radical minority.

    Will this change happen in the future Roberts' court:  Not a chance, he's done his penitence.

    ... the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." - Carl Schurz; Oct. 17, 1899

    by NevDem on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 12:13:17 PM PDT

  •  Should we write to Roberts to thank him? (0+ / 0-)

    What might we do to help Roberts and other SCOTUS members to understand the majority of people.......They never circulate with ordinary people, do they?

    Media doesn't report about us, either, except as rabble, etc.

  •  Schadenfreude (0+ / 0-)

    my favorite conservative/teatard reaction to the PPACA ruling:

    "Isn’t there a International Court or UN that we could go to and appeal this? Or can the States demand they reconsider this (sorry not a lawyer but I’ve heard of appeals). Please, what can we do to stop this?"


    see 8th comment down)

  •  Trojan Horse (0+ / 0-)

    Roberts did some important lifting for the righties.  He limited the ability of Congress to legislate by allowing the Supreme Court to have final say over a complex major legislation.  He supported states' ability to refuse to cooperate with a federal program, medicaid.  This opens the door to rolling back the New Deal including social security and medicare.  The other 4 justices in their opinions want to eliminate all social programs.  Roberts was the designer of Gore vs Bush which is why he is Chief Justice today.  He is more clever than most at kabuki.

    •  He did and he didn't (0+ / 0-)

      He did limit the commerce clause but he could have done that as easily with far greater consequences by declaring the law unconstitutional as well... but he didn't... so this is the best situation we could get out of this case.

      Obama-Biden in 2012!

      by Frederik on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 12:17:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  as i pointed out to mr. thiessen, (0+ / 0-)

    the answer to his question is simple: being generally awful people, republicans tend to pick awful everything, from agency heads to supreme court justices. it is their one consistency.

    see, that wasn't so hard now, was it?

  •  Let's be fair. If YOU were Fred Hiatt (0+ / 0-)

    would YOU have any self-respect to show?

  •  The funniest thing about this is (0+ / 0-)

    Thiessen's suggestion that the 'liberal' justices are reliable votes. If you never pay attention to court rulings, you might assume that it's true. If you pay attention to the court, you know that Breyer, Kagan, Ginsburg, and Sotomayor all flip to the right on lots of different issues.

    This wasn't even true in the ACA case, where Breyer and Kagan acquiesced on the Medicaid issue that even conservative Circuit judges had avoided. In the process, they created a nonsensical new doctrine of state entitlement to perpetual federal funding. It's a conservative wet dream that threatens everything from Medicaid to Title IX, something no one would have even imagined for the past fifty years. (In his defense, I suspect that the pragmatist Breyer traded his vote to get Roberts' vote on the rest of the law.)

    Of all of the inane ACA commentary, Thiessen has put forth one of the most intellectually lazy op-eds you'll ever read.

  •  When a tea party embracing acquaintance told (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    me in all seriousness that Mitch Daniels (the alpha dog of the ALEC governors) was a liberal I understood something about the denial capabilities of this crowd.  This labeling of such an arch conservative as a liberal was after she told me what a dirty dog he was. Mind you  she is a public employee in social services which he has done nothing but cut.

    These people know no cognitive dissonance.  They will move their own goal posts to a surreal degree to avoid responsibility for their opinions and decisions.

  •  Relevant and beautifully written, as always! n/t (0+ / 0-)

    "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy

    by helpImdrowning on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 01:06:30 AM PDT

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