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Already you hear the Village ringing the funeral bells for the Democratic Party. Today's Beacon has a piece from AP writer, Donna Cassata which begins thusly...
Just one week old, June already is proving a cruel month for President Barack Obama and the Democrats — and it could get a lot worse.
Facing an election-year summer fraught with political peril, the Democrats are struggling to revive supporters’ spirits and counteract developments that could energize Republicans and solidify public opinion that the country is on the wrong track and in need of new leadership.
I've gotten used to this type of "journalism" from corporate media...but even now, at times, I sometimes can't believe the open partisan audacity I read from "objective, professional" journalists.
Tuesday, Wisconsin citizens lost their fight to oust the Koch representative who sits in the governor's chair there. Yesterday, I came to find out that 60% of those who voted to keep the Koch rep in the governor's chair were, in reality, voting against the state law which allows for recalls of governors in the first place. It appears as though a significant majority of Wisconsin voters would rather that the state's recall law for governors be changed to only allow recall elections in case of criminal or corrupt activity.
Fair enough...it's their state. Well, not really...it's the Koch Brothers state but at least citizens are still allowed to live and vote there....well....so far they are.
Next up, as the AP GOP writer reminds, are the Supreme Court decisions on Arizona's immigration law and the Affordable Care Act, (ObamaCare).
The challenge to the ACA by conservative/Republicans has always been that the mandate to buy health insurance is unconstitutional. This is odd....in that the entire concept of a government imposed, healthcare mandate was a conservative/Republican idea initially introduced by the Heritage Foundation. Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney both embraced the arch-conservatives at Heritage when they proposed that a government mandate to purchase health care was the "personal responsibility"-thing to do.
Heritage argued that those citizens who were avoiding purchasing health insurance were placing an unfair burden on citizens who did purchase health insurance by passing along more costly emergency room visit costs to all others who were insured. The mandate penalty or tax, or whateverthehell you want to call it....was referred to as a "surcharge" by the conservatives/Republicans who embraced the Heritage idea.
To now find the mandate in Obama's ACA as the focal point of conservatives/Republicans opposition to the bill.....and Scalia's source of snark in oral arguments.....just enhances the rich irony of cognitive dissonance that I've come to appreciate from the modern Party of Lincoln. Conservatives.....Republicans...and, I guess, Antonin, ....were for the mandate before they were against it.
According to the conservatively slanted AP piece.....and according to Fox talkers who can barely keep from wetting their pants from excitement over the prospect of overturning the signature legislation of the Dark Knight.....the 5 far-right Justices, the same ones who ruled for Citizens United, will rule that the ACA is unconstitutional on the basis of the individual mandate, the same mandate virtually all conservatives proposed as an alternative to single payer, universal coverage.
Naturally, that view is preposterous. The federal government has a right to regulate interstate commerce....health insurance is interstate commerce....therefore the feds have the perfect right to regulate health insurance on a national basis. Conservatives who argue that the feds can't compel citizens to purchase something are purposely avoiding the burden placed on purchasers of health insurance who see their insurance rates go up because of the costs run up by the uninsured. Each insured citizen pays an extra $1000 per year, or more, for health insurance because of the uninsured using the emergency rooms for care.
So, no....the ACA was never seriously considered to be unconstitutional by anyone who should be taken seriously. The ACA is only a political chess piece to be moved around for the purpose of destroying Obama's re-election chances. Remember....what has been the GOP's singular objective since 2009? That's right....making Obama a one term president.
Now having said all that....here's what I think will happen with the ACA ruling. Either a 5-4 or 6-3 ruling in favor of sustaining the law. Yes, that's what I said. The play-to-the-audio-transcript oral arguments by Roberts, Alito, Kennedy and Scalia were just that. Playacting. The mention of "broccoli" and the "Cornhusker Kickback" by Scalia pleased and leg-tingled the winger-Fox-Rush crowd....but that's all the tingling conservative faith-basers are bound to get.
The Supreme Court, as it is made up today, exists to promote the interests of the powerful and the rich. Health insurers, medical corporations, Big Pharma, and multi-millionaire medical industry CEO's will all benefit greatly from the ACA. That is the primary reason why I believe the Supremes will surprise this month and confirm the ACA.
If I'm wrong and it goes the other way, 5-4.....then the judicial ground in America will have shifted dramatically, which undoubtedly will produce many aftershocks to come. If the Commerce Clause power of the feds is, basically, overthrown....then the minimum wage, unemployment insurance, Medicare and possibly, Social Security....will be in danger of being ruled unconstitutional as well.
So, while conservatives are back slapping and high fiving over the Koch win in Wisconsin....and over their prospects of delivering a knockout punch to the Kenyan Socialist over the ACA.....a word of warning: don't injure yourselves jumping to conclusions. Sometimes the stuff we really, really yearn and long for in our more emotional moments wind up working their way around and taking a huge bite out of our collective asses.
And nobody really wants that.