Why I’m not following the Obamacare arguments at the Supreme Court

There is conservative triumphalism building over the tough questions key justices including Kennedy and Roberts asked the government lawyers on Obamacare and the latters’ apparently weak answers, as reflected in, and encouraged by, this headline at Lucianne.com:

Supreme Court arguments
day two: “a train wreck”
for Obamacare

and these headlines at Drudge:

Court picks apart individual mandate.
JUSTICE KENNEDY: Fundamentally Changes Relationship of Gov’t.
ROBERTS: ‘Can the gov’t require you to buy a cell phone?’
‘Grave, grave trouble’.
IRONY: Top court embraces case Obama made AGAINST HILLARY.
Scalia: ‘You Can Make People Buy Broccoli’.
‘We’re not stupid’.
Solicitor General Coughs, Stumbles, Stutters Through Defense.

Me, I’m not buying it. I expect the worst. If I turn out to be wrong, I’ll be happy. But I’m not going down the road with other conservatives and getting suckered. I agree with this L-dotter:

Reply 1 -Posted by: oceanbeach, 3/27/2012 9:46:27 PM

It sounded to me like Kennedy is asking hard questions so he can sound fair and balanced when he capitulates. He is setting the stage.

And with this one:

Reply 4 -Posted by: BcdErick, 3/28/2012 12:14:47 AM

This is no different [from] the liberals chortling that conservatives were dumb and that the only question was whether Obamacare would be upheld by 6-3 or 7-2. Now conservatives are chortling that Obamacare is DOA and will lose 5-4. There have been no votes, no evidence, just opinions. Why can’t these writers just say they don’t know what will happen?

Obamacare is a monster. Either it is killed or it isn’t. Nothing else matters. Hence my lack of involvement with the specific issues being debated before the Court.

- end of initial entry -

Sage McLaughlin writes:

You are definitely keeping the right attitude about the arguments happening before the Court this week. Everyone is following it so closely, reading tea leaves, etc. But how quickly we forget.

First, how quickly we forget that conservative triumphalism has something near to a perfect inverse relation to the occurrence of victory. Call it McLaughlin’s Second Law of Conservo-Dynamics, also known as the Law of the Conservation of Liberalism: As the volume of conservative cheering approaches infinity, the odds of defeating liberalism approach zero. (I’m still working on the First Law.)

Second, good justices are usually much more stringent and searching in their questions directed at the side which they favor in a dispute. This has been common in the successful suits against Obamacare to date, for sure. The Virginia court that struck down the law as unconstitutional was very tough on the state’s attorneys during oral arguments, and there were not a few conservative commentators who insisted this might be good news for the state—and it was. Now, the court’s liberals definitely made every effort to save the government’s case yesterday, but these were mainly justices, like Kagan and Ginsburg, who are notoriously bad activist judges, who do not believe in apolitical impartiality in deciding cases, so they are really the exception that proves the rule. What we saw yesterday could actually be the prelude to a crushing defeat for our side.

That’s all there is to say, and that is all we know at this point. All this inside baseball commentary, along with the confident declarations of victory (or defeat) are just noise. What matters is the ruling, and we have to wait on that.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 28, 2012 10:51 AM | Send

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