[Editor’s note: this was supposed to go live before the Supreme’s made their announcement. So much for my scheduling program…]
The Supreme Court is inches away from deep sixing the whole Obamacare debacle. Wow! Dare I hope?
The Supremes (like the Federal Government and the voters who created it) have gotten into the habit of having their cake and eating it too. Given the duty to make a tough call they’ll do their best to split the difference. Here’s an example of looking at a hard decision and bravely deciding to wimp out:
In 2003 the Supremes declared that “affirmative action will be wrong at some future date possibly about 25 years from now but it’s just hunky dory now”.
Got that? It’s bad and evil in the future. It’s good and noble now. Who thinks like that? They had to come up with an answer that is either yes or no and they said “whatever we think is cool is the right thing to do so long as we keep feeling groovy about it”. Which is the kind of answer I expect from a six year old and not a wise counsel of highly trained thinkers.
This is why even if Obamacare created a police force that kidnapped surgeons and forced them to do elective surgery against your will, on your dog, at midnight, on your kitchen table, while humming showtunes… the Supremes will find some part of it to retain. The Supremes can be just as wishy washy as the general populace. Robes or not, they’re just making shit up.
In the case of Obamacare the tragic question the Supremes face is “where is the line?”. The answer is “in the rear view mirror”. That’s the problem. Once you’re drunk, naked, and puking in a gutter in Tijuana how do you logically decide if the next beer is one too many?
Consider the true silliness of their current dilemma; “if not buying insurance is interstate commerce what activity (or absence of it) isn’t interstate commerce”? In a sane world you wouldn’t have to even ponder such horseshit. In a sane world interstate commerce is damn well commerce that’s interstate. Commerce is something bought or sold, like a truckload of toasters. Commerce is not interstate until the truck goes hurtling across a damn state line and not a minute sooner. That’s what interstate commerce is. What the hell else would it be?
Ahh…such a shame they can’t say that because they (and all of us) have filled the basket of “what the hell else would it be” with “everything” and they’ve either got to grow balls of steel and strike it down with a death blow or keep muddling in the mess created over generations. Hard problem! Not a new one either. They’ve been playing games in the name of interstate commerce forever. Here’s one example:
Got that? Even if nothing is sold it’s commerce. Even if nothing leaves your property it’s interstate. Go back and read those last two sentences. I didn’t make it up. Smart people wearing robes said so. They were playing the game as far back as 1942.
Interstate commerce, like herpes, is the gift that keeps on giving. The court debate pondered “Can you be forced to by broccoli? What about funeral services?” What about other things that somehow passed muster? They once used interstate commerce to mandate 55 MPH speed limits. I think it was the basis of the CFL lights regulations. It’s used for everything. People decide what they want to do for (inflict on) the people and interstate commerce is pasted on the top as a default endless justification.
To me, and lots of people, our government has limits. Let me repeat that; there are things the American government ought not and cannot legally, do. In theory the Supremes would more or less agree and therefore make predictable decisions. Life could be simple.
However, the limit has been exceeded so commonly that it’s an object of consideration whether my proctology exam is both interstate and commerce. You have to think real hard to make that an actual reasonable idea. Which leads to a patented Curmudgeonly Gem Of Insight:
“People with flexible morality can construct logic to justify doing whatever they want to do. The logic will be flawed but that’s irrelevant. This is as true of the Supreme Court as it is of anyone else.”
The trick to all of this is to recognize a wrong action (regardless of how totally cool it might be and how noble your intentions) and don’t do it. It’s not easy but it beats weaving webs about interstate commerce.