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Conservativesí consolation prize [George Will on 0bamacare decision]
The Washington Post ^ | Thursday, June 28, 2012, 1:56 PM | George F. Will

Posted on 06/28/2012 1:48:52 PM PDT by Hunton Peck

Conservatives won a substantial victory Thursday. The physics of American politics — actions provoking reactions — continues to move the crucial debate, about the nature of the American regime, toward conservatism. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has served this cause.

The health-care legislation’s expansion of the federal government’s purview has improved our civic health by rekindling interest in what this expansion threatens — the Framers’ design for limited government. Conservatives distraught about the survival of the individual mandate are missing the considerable consolation prize they won when the Supreme Court rejected a constitutional rationale for the mandate — Congress’s rationale — that was pregnant with rampant statism.

The case challenged the court to fashion a judicially administrable principle that limits Congress’s power to act on the mere pretense of regulating interstate commerce. At least Roberts got the court to embrace emphatic language rejecting the Commerce Clause rationale for penalizing the inactivity of not buying insurance:

“The power to regulate commerce presupposes the existence of commercial activity to be regulated. . . . The individual mandate, however, does not regulate existing commercial activity. It instead compels individuals to become active in commerce by purchasing a product, on the ground that their failure to do so affects interstate commerce. Construing the Commerce Clause to permit Congress to regulate individuals precisely because they are doing nothing would open a new and potentially vast domain to congressional authority. . . . Allowing Congress to justify federal regulation by pointing to the effect of inaction on commerce would bring countless decisions an individual could potentially make within the scope of federal regulation, and — under the government’s theory — empower Congress to make those decisions for him.”

If the mandate had been upheld under the Commerce Clause, the Supreme Court would have decisively construed this clause so permissively...

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: commerceclause; justiceroberts; obamacare; obamacaretax; tax

1 posted on 06/28/2012 1:48:58 PM PDT by Hunton Peck
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To: Hunton Peck
hmm they get permanent establishment of socialism but we get

these tasty crumbs!
2 posted on 06/28/2012 1:51:56 PM PDT by ari-freedom
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To: Hunton Peck

Everything is consolation prize for conservatives from the Republican party and their Supreme Court nominees. Meanwhile, the country drifts further and further to the left, all while we pretend to be winning while putting Republicans in office.


3 posted on 06/28/2012 1:52:54 PM PDT by Kazan (Mitt Romney: The greater of two evils)
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To: Hunton Peck

Am I the only one who see’s this whole thing as a blessing. The fight is now out in the open and Obama will sign his political death warrant.


4 posted on 06/28/2012 1:53:19 PM PDT by Jim Pelosi
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To: ari-freedom
“Conservatives won a substantial victory Thursday.”

Does George Will live in the same dimension that I do?

5 posted on 06/28/2012 1:55:23 PM PDT by Tupelo (TeaParty member, but no longer a Republican)
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To: Jim Pelosi

Jim, a number of FReepers see this as a blessing. I don’t. Romney strikes me as Caspar Milquetoast,and if he loses, I see the country going to hell in a hand basket.


6 posted on 06/28/2012 1:59:11 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (God, family, country, mom, apple pie, the girl next door and a Ford F250 to pull my boat.)
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To: Hunton Peck

The limitation on the Commerce Clause is incredibly important. We might not be happy with the ruling on taxes (which will be a fight for another day), but if Congress had been allowed to use the Commerce Clause to mandate behavior then we would be in infinitely worse trouble.


7 posted on 06/28/2012 1:59:39 PM PDT by Windcatcher (Obama is a COMMUNIST and the MSM is his armband-wearing propaganda machine.)
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You know, maybe it is just a wishful hope for something good about this fiasco, but I can sorta understand where Will and others on the right are coming from regarding the Commerce Clause. It is a heck of a lot easier for Congress to use the Commerce Clause as an excuse to ram legislation down the throats of Americans than to use taxation as their justification. The Democrats would’ve never been as brazen to say that they are imposing a new substantial tax on Americans to fund their health care monstrosity. So, while we are stuck with this thing FOR NOW, there is a glimmer of hope. Also, wouldn’t this ruling open the door for new court challenges of existing laws that have used the Commerce Clause ruse? At first, I 100% thought Roberts was a traitor in black robes, but I am beginning to smell a whiff of genius in the decision.


8 posted on 06/28/2012 2:01:15 PM PDT by Arkansas Toothpick
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To: Hunton Peck

george, you little bow-tied fagot... there is never Victory in losing. George S. Patton said it and Rush Limbaugh said it.

LLS


9 posted on 06/28/2012 2:01:38 PM PDT by LibLieSlayer (Don't Tread On Me)
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To: Windcatcher

Others are coming to see this and agree with you.

As a side matter: ObamaCare is no longer the ObamaCare mandate. That ended with today’s announcement. It is now the ObamaTAX. I’m hoping a sufficient number of voters can see that.


10 posted on 06/28/2012 2:03:10 PM PDT by Resettozero
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To: Hunton Peck

There were no victories. True, the Court struck down the unlimited use of the Commerce Clause. But Robert’s ruling has opened a Pandora’s Box regarding both Congress’ ability to tax (now unlimited) and the Court’s inclination to blatantly legislate from the bench in order to “fix” constitutional problems with congressional intent. It has also given the court the prerogative to usurp the tax power from congress by assigning itself the seemingly arbitrary authority to decided what is and what isn’t a tax.

This is the most egregious, flimsy and whimsical decision in decades that has ripped a huge hole in the separation of powers doctrine. A dark day for the Republic indeed.


11 posted on 06/28/2012 2:05:56 PM PDT by mojito
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To: Jim Pelosi

I saw it when it came out but eveone threw me under the bus! Roberts is very smart he knows law and has put it in the Laps of our lawmakers. The govt does not have the power to CREATE ACTIVITY for the PURPOSEOf REGULATING IT. Limited power. Also they threw out medical expansion. Cost cannot shift to states. A lot more to come once it’s digested. This will turn a lot of stomachs but the medicine will be sweet!!!!

PS dO NOT SUPPORT. STARBUCKS. Your dollars are supporting DEMzoCRATS. They are now committee havens for the DNC. True. Please pass on


12 posted on 06/28/2012 2:06:25 PM PDT by Texas4ever
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To: Jim Pelosi

I saw it when it came out but eveone threw me under the bus! Roberts is very smart he knows law and has put it in the Laps of our lawmakers. The govt does not have the power to CREATE ACTIVITY for the PURPOSEOf REGULATING IT. Limited power. Also they threw out medical expansion. Cost cannot shift to states. A lot more to come once it’s digested. This will turn a lot of stomachs but the medicine will be sweet!!!!

PS dO NOT SUPPORT. STARBUCKS. Your dollars are supporting DEMzoCRATS. They are now committee havens for the DNC. True. Please pass on


13 posted on 06/28/2012 2:06:25 PM PDT by Texas4ever
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To: Jim Pelosi

It’s in the open for us, but will our candidates be able to sway the American public with the simple truth? ObamaCare is a tax on the middle class for a back-door subsidization of the medical industry — aided and abetted by crony capitalists — and vote pandering by democrats. Who’s going to call these people out?


14 posted on 06/28/2012 2:07:07 PM PDT by GVnana
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To: Jim Pelosi
Am I the only one who see’s this whole thing as a blessing. The fight is now out in the open and Obama will sign his political death warrant.

It means. . .if this is going to get fixed, the people will have to fix it AND it's only going to get fixed by the AGRESSIVE implementation of Conservative Free Market solutions.

If it means that more people have finally realized that if we truly love America, we must turn off the tube, forget about American Idol AND GET INVOLVED in saving our Republic, then, yes there is hope.

I think its a bit like walking up to the final hole at the U.S. Open with a two shot lead. . that's how I felt this morning. . it's in the bag. . .and then I 3-putted for bogey and a three way tie. A great champion, in that moment, keeps his head in the game. . .it's still on. . and it can still be won!! ON TO THE NEXT HOLE. . we can win!

15 posted on 06/28/2012 2:07:38 PM PDT by McBuff
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To: Tupelo

OK I get it. We won the right for Congress not having to call it a tax because the Supreme Court will do it for them.

What do I care if the ‘Commerce Clause’ has been curtailed by the Supreme Court if they just use another means to the same end?


16 posted on 06/28/2012 2:08:26 PM PDT by A'elian' nation (Political correctness does not legislate tolerance; it only organizes hatred. Jacques Barzun)
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To: McBuff
.if this is going to get fixed, the people will have to fix it

They're too busy watching American Idolatry, and frankly most of them look towards the government to give them things.

17 posted on 06/28/2012 2:08:56 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator

If you are not meeting soon to help register or have people show up at townhall meetings or calling your republican leaders.... You are part of the problem if you are then BRAVO!!!! But now the real work starts. tIME. tO MAKESOME NOISE!!!!


18 posted on 06/28/2012 2:14:04 PM PDT by Texas4ever
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To: All

You can be positive but I am sullen because Kennedy was for killing the mandate so Roberts just had to go along with the other 4 instead of joining the liberals with this IT’s A TAX reasoning. As I stated in other posts I do not see any real difference between gov’t telling you to eat your broccoli or saying if you do not eat your broccoli you are going to pay a tax.


19 posted on 06/28/2012 2:17:09 PM PDT by C19fan
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To: Texas4ever
If you are not meeting soon to help register or have people show up at townhall meetings or calling your republican leaders.... You are part of the problem if you are then BRAVO!!!! But now the real work starts. tIME. tO MAKESOME NOISE!!!!

What Tex said!!

20 posted on 06/28/2012 2:18:24 PM PDT by McBuff
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To: Hunton Peck

The consolation prize is stricter interpretation of the Commerce Clause?

Why?

The Leftist judges will just invent new laws or new interpretations to get around it.


21 posted on 06/28/2012 2:19:58 PM PDT by zeestephen
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To: Jim Pelosi

The campaign will now be about:

0bamacare & The Economy.

Make every election everywhere about those two things.

I think Americans will decide correctly.

Too bad the Supremes had to validate Slavery, though.


22 posted on 06/28/2012 2:29:22 PM PDT by Uncle Miltie (Individual Liberty, R.I.P, 6/28/2012)
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To: Kazan

It is what you get when you keep drinking the gop koolaide of voting for the lesser of 2 evils. No matter how it adds up EVIL IS EVIL. Remember that when Nov rolls around..and that 0’rombana only wants to ‘tweak’ this UNconstitutional piece of crap.

IF they can order you to buy health ins. they can order you to take drugs that your body cannot tolerate...all in the name of health care. Or have treatments you might not want.

As a person with multiple bad reactions to side effect riddled drugs I don’t want to be forced to take anything my body has rejected as worse than the disease it is treating.


23 posted on 06/28/2012 2:37:01 PM PDT by GailA (IF U don't/won't keep your promises to the Military, U won't keep them to the public)
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To: mojito

There were no victories.

I agree with that. Now, thanks to Roberts’ court, the Supremes can change a mandate into a tax, and can decide what is a tax and what isn’t. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, they can change its name to a cardinal. It can be argued that Congress can pass a bill mandating that everyone must purchase toothpaste (it’s good for the People’s teeth), then the Court can force us to purchase it, even purchase it for others. So now, if Congress passes a faulty bill, the court can just change its nature in order to get it passed. That is what Roberts did, for who knows what reason.


24 posted on 06/28/2012 2:39:47 PM PDT by NotTallTex
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To: ari-freedom

Perfect! I caught a few minutes of the “news” stations this afternoon, and even from Fox I got the sense that the election is now considered a mere formality. Obama really is the ONE.


25 posted on 06/28/2012 2:39:52 PM PDT by madprof98
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To: Uncle Miltie; NotTallTex; C19fan; A'elian' nation; McBuff; Texas4ever; mojito; Resettozero; ...

I think Roberts did pretty d@mn good with the pile of BS he was handed:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2900395/posts?page=41#41

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2900395/posts?page=71#71


26 posted on 06/28/2012 2:49:43 PM PDT by jonno (Having an opinion is not the same as having the answer...)
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To: Hunton Peck
The only thing good about this ruling is that the Supreme Court has officially determined that Barack Hussein Obama is a SERIAL LIAR.
27 posted on 06/28/2012 2:50:00 PM PDT by cookcounty ("We're all born idiots, and we only get over that condition as we get less young." -J Goldberg)
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To: A'elian' nation
The American Left are expert at changing the meaning of language well before Clinton questioned the meaning of "is." The very word 'Liberal' which was a label worn proudly by the likes of Jefferson, Locke and Hume, meaning those favoring relatively unrestricted personal freedom or liberty (liber-ty liber-al) now really means liberal in the context of not law-abiding.

Now the word 'tax' can be substituted as a blatant and unethical subterfuge to effect control, as in mind control and control of the subject populace, us. Do this or we tax you, is a statist's wet dream of control. Just as a blind man became visually-challenged and a racist is now one who only wants a law enforced, we have toyed with man and the language i.e., the mutual cognition of meaning which is the basis of any free civilization. 'Roberts Rules of Order' now has a new meaning as well.

28 posted on 06/28/2012 2:56:40 PM PDT by masadaman
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To: Hunton Peck

Will’s mind is no longer working well.

This is an unmitigated disaster and paves the way for Fascism.


29 posted on 06/28/2012 3:00:13 PM PDT by LowTaxesEqualsProsperity
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To: Windcatcher

The Commerce Clause ruling will be overturned the next time it comes up, with several more Obama justices on the Court.


30 posted on 06/28/2012 3:01:23 PM PDT by LowTaxesEqualsProsperity
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To: Hunton Peck; All

I don’t like the ruling, but let’s be clear, it’s a narrow and rather hollow Obama victory that actually helps our side to argue it is a tax after all to then come back later and repeal it.

It would have been much worse if either of these two events transpired: the court upheld it based on Commerce Clause grounds OR the court stuck the mandate but not the law.

In fact, the left-wing siate has a good article up about how this frankly in the long-term benefits the conservative side more based upon the Commerce Clause issue. The tax issue is a really small argument and frankly isn’t a major expansion of federal power since it can be easily fixed in later rulings. If they had upheld it based on Commerce Clause grounds, it would have been such.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/scocca/2012/06/roberts_health_care_opinion_commerce_clause_the_real_reason_the_chief_justice_upheld_obamacare_.html

IT’S STILL A BAD RULING!!!! But, about the least bad it could be upholding the law with much good for our side as well.

It’s far from over. Don’t give up hope.


31 posted on 06/28/2012 3:03:19 PM PDT by rwfromkansas ("Carve your name on hearts, not marble." - C.H. Spurgeon)
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To: C19fan

I truly do understand your concern, but at some point ‘government’ has to assume human form and that GS-whatever has to communicate intent. That’s when the rest of us get to make a choice and communicate back.


32 posted on 06/28/2012 3:03:40 PM PDT by GreyHoundSailor
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To: ari-freedom

I don’t know how you can claim a victory on the Commerce Clause, probably one of the biggest Constitutional issues out there and one of the top three issues dividing liberals and conservatives is crumbs.

It sucks we lost.

But damn it, that’s a huge precedent-setting win for our side that this law is NOT authorized by interstate commerce.


33 posted on 06/28/2012 3:05:01 PM PDT by rwfromkansas ("Carve your name on hearts, not marble." - C.H. Spurgeon)
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To: Hunton Peck
Yeah, Roberts has substituted the commerce clause with the taxing power to enable the federal government to treat us all like serfs.

some consolation prize.

The commerce clause has run its course and now the left - through Roberts - has moved to phase two which is even more onerous.

34 posted on 06/28/2012 3:08:58 PM PDT by CharacterCounts (A vote for the lesser of two evils only insures the triumph of evil.)
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To: Kazan
Everything is consolation prize for conservatives from the Republican party and their Supreme Court nominees.

Consolation prizes aren't worth a bucket of spit!

35 posted on 06/28/2012 3:12:37 PM PDT by CharacterCounts (A vote for the lesser of two evils only insures the triumph of evil.)
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To: jonno

Maybe you are right. Maybe Roberts did pretty d@mn good as you say. I was just under the impression that the justices are being paid to interpret the law not to dodge or twist it.

Either the Constitution is a matter of right vs wrong or it isn’t. How will Congress ever learn how to draft and pass laws that are faithful to the Constitution if the laws just gets sent back to them?

We now have a definition of the new Living Constitution. Keep sending laws back to Congress and learn to live under their laws - not the Constitution’s.


36 posted on 06/28/2012 3:18:08 PM PDT by A'elian' nation (Political correctness does not legislate tolerance; it only organizes hatred. Jacques Barzun)
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To: A'elian' nation

So many are angry today because the thought the issue would be settled - today.

What Roberts settled today was that congress CANNOT use the commerce clause to force us to buy a product. This is huge!

What wasn’t settled today was the hard work - getting congress to do THEIR job - which is scrapping obamacare. Roberts did not deny congress the power to impose a tax. As much as we wanted him to, it is not HIS job to create tax policy.

What Roberts did do brilliantly was point out that congress in fact DID have their grubby little hands in the taxing “cookie jar”. And as much as BO and the rest of the dems wanted it to appear otherwise, it is a huge tax increase - and this will be it’s undoing.

It would have been nice to get the easy out today. However, if the right can get the electorate to see what a horrid behemoth of a tax increase is obamacare, the work to truly fixing health-care can begin...


37 posted on 06/28/2012 3:40:44 PM PDT by jonno (Having an opinion is not the same as having the answer...)
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To: jonno
What Roberts settled today was that congress CANNOT use the commerce clause to force us to buy a product. This is huge!

Why is that "huge"? So they call it a tax instead - the result is identical. You're telling me to be happy with horsesh*t because it's not bullsh*t?

Yeah, that's much better.

38 posted on 06/28/2012 3:48:07 PM PDT by Da Bilge Troll (Defeatism is not a winning strategy!)
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To: Kazan
Everything is consolation prize for conservatives from the Republican party and their Supreme Court nominees. Meanwhile, the country drifts further and further to the left, all while we pretend to be winning while putting Republicans in office.

We are NOT putting Republicans in office. We had a bunch kids throwing temper tantrums abour rather not voting than voting for RINOs. We were one RINO short of defeating Obamacare in the Senate.

39 posted on 06/28/2012 3:56:52 PM PDT by joe212
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To: Hunton Peck

Has the bill to repeal Obamacare been introduced yet?


40 posted on 06/28/2012 4:34:52 PM PDT by karnage
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To: Hunton Peck

“THIS is the worst piece that I have ever read by george will”

Mark Levin 6/28/12


41 posted on 06/28/2012 5:55:28 PM PDT by LibLieSlayer (Don't Tread On Me)
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To: karnage

I don’t know whether the bill has been introduced, but Eric Cantor says they’ll voye on July 11: http://www.politico.com/blogs/on-congress/2012/06/cantor-house-will-vote-on-repeal-week-of-july-127555.html


42 posted on 06/28/2012 6:02:00 PM PDT by Hunton Peck (The patient is bleeding to death! Apply more leeches!)
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To: ari-freedom

Souplines will flourish in the churches.


43 posted on 06/28/2012 6:15:28 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: McBuff; All

Roberts actually wrote in the opinion that it is not the court’s responsibility to fix policy if he can find it constitutional. That’s up to the voters in elections.

It’s like he invited people in the opinion to elect people to overturn it.


44 posted on 06/28/2012 8:30:41 PM PDT by rwfromkansas ("Carve your name on hearts, not marble." - C.H. Spurgeon)
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To: ari-freedom

LOL. We got the Court to “think about” limited government. And the ruling class gets Obamacare.


45 posted on 06/29/2012 1:18:11 AM PDT by ModelBreaker
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To: Tupelo

“Does George Will live in the same dimension that I do?”

Yes. But in a galaxy long ago and far away.


46 posted on 06/29/2012 1:19:08 AM PDT by ModelBreaker
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To: Da Bilge Troll
I'm not suggesting you feel anything - and the result is NOT identical if WE do OUR job.

What Roberts affirmed is that the congress has the power to tax - no surprise is there? But his ruling made it clear that if congress (the congress that WE THE PEOPLE elected) creates legislation that results in a tax - then by God we're going to call it a tax - not let them use deceptive weasel-words.

As much as we would have liked Roberts to simply strike it down, all that would have done would be to kick the can down the road until an election cycle comes around where the left has the congressional votes - and the Supreme Court numbers - to uphold another version of obabamcare - but under the commerce clause LIKE THEY WANTED.

By ruling the way he did - with a majority of the court - the precedent has been set that using the commerce clause in this fashion is NOT constitutional.

So your gripe is still going to be "so what - we still gotta pay the "tax" that Roberts said was constitutional".

Yep - this is why "we the people" have to do OUR job and make sure that another Obama-liking congress is not elected. We need to hold Congress' feet to the fire and make sure this monstrosity is killed.

And if we get another Obama congress, it is OUR fault - not Roberts.

We the people get the govt - and the taxes - that we the people deserve...

47 posted on 06/29/2012 8:25:33 AM PDT by jonno (Having an opinion is not the same as having the answer...)
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To: jonno
As much as we would have liked Roberts to simply strike it down, all that would have done would be to kick the can down the road until an election cycle comes around where the left has the congressional votes - and the Supreme Court numbers - to uphold another version of obabamcare - but under the commerce clause LIKE THEY WANTED.

Seems to me that what Roberts did precisely is kick the can down the road....You think the Rats are done with Health Care? They're just getting warmed up. If Roberts sided with Scalia, Alito, Kennedy and Thomas, they would have had to go back to the starting point....now they have a base firmly in place to go for their ultimate goal, a completely goverment-run healthcare system.

48 posted on 06/29/2012 8:28:24 AM PDT by dfwgator (FUJR (not you, Jim))
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To: dfwgator
...now they have a base firmly in place to go for their ultimate goal, a completely goverment-run healthcare system.

Yep - and I already made the point in my previous comment.

If WE the people don't rise up and use what Roberts has handed us (the clarification that obamacare is the biggest tax increase in history); if we don't rise up against those who would destroy our economy by taxing us into oblivion - then WE DESERVE OBAMACARE.

And I'll state it again: the point that Roberts made is that a TAX is a TAX (and guess what? the congress that created this law was voted into office by WE the people). If you don't want the tax - then CHANGE YOUR REPRESENTATION.

49 posted on 06/29/2012 11:09:58 AM PDT by jonno (Having an opinion is not the same as having the answer...)
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To: jonno
What Roberts affirmed is that the congress has the power to tax - no surprise is there?

Congress may levy specific taxes. What kind of tax is this? Is it allowed by the Constitution?

By ruling the way he did - with a majority of the court - the precedent has been set that using the commerce clause in this fashion is NOT constitutional.

THIS COURT DOES NOT CARE ABOUT PRECIDENT. Besides, THE 4 JUSTICES IN THE MINORITY WERE WILLING TO DO THAT ANYWAY.

So your gripe is still going to be "so what - we still gotta pay the "tax" that Roberts said was constitutional".

No, my gripe is that TYRANNY HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED. THERE IS NO CONSTITUTION ANYMORE.

50 posted on 06/29/2012 11:57:05 AM PDT by Da Bilge Troll (Defeatism is not a winning strategy!)
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