36 thoughts on “Contempt Vote Timing”

  1. Bad news for Obama? Let me put it this way … had CJ Roberts fallen on the other side, it would have been bad news for Obama.

    This is a huge victory for the administration. Period. It will be interesting to see how conservatives spin this as a win.

    1. It’s hard to tell what the Supreme Court Decision would have done with regards to Obama, regardless of what the outcome would have been. The political landscape is very turbulent right now, and it would be foolish to try to predict what would be good or bad for Obama.

      Obama is having a difficult time energizing his base. Had the Supreme Court struck down Obamacare, it may very likely have energized that base, and made it that much more difficult for him to be defeated. As it is, such a decision may placate many liberals, who will say “I knew it! Obama has been vindicated! Now I can go back to moping about the economy! Which is why I was so de-energized in the first place!”

      Conservatives don’t need to spin this as a win. It’s a clear loss. This was a non-tax that became a tax–a HUGE tax increase. It is a big boon-doggle that is an enormous burden on businesses and individuals alike. It is a BIG, HUGE, FAILURE for the Conservatives; and now, the ONLY way out is to REPEAL IT!

      You can BET I’m energized about this. I’m mad as heck! And I’m looking to every way that this could be shot down and destroyed.

      Will this guarantee a Mitt win? Probably not. But it’s not going to hurt him!

      1. How Conservatives need to spin this is to point out Obama’s promise – promise! (whatever that’s worth these days) – that this bill would not increase the taxes of anyone who makes less than $250,000 per year. “Not one dime,” I believe was the quotable phrase.

        On the other hand, Obama has broken basically every “promise” he’s made while campaigning, and he still has people who believe him. Says a lot about his support base. Since the left wants to make “Voter ID” politically toxic, can we go for “Voter IQ” instead?

    1. I have a feeling that NJ is going to be closer than most people think. If nothing else, the election will be a proxy referendum on Gov. Christie.

  2. I’ve always been of the opinion that the Heller decision helped Obama in 2008 by taking any major gun control off the table just a few months before the election.

  3. The Problem is, the Bills don’t start coming Due until well after the Election.

    However, this will “Fire Up” the Liberals for more “Fundamental Transformation.” And if Romney Loses, and the Repubs lose the House, well, stay tuned.

  4. I’m with Carl. This is a big win for the administration, period. If Roberts was trying to be clever by defining the penalty as a tax, then he was too clever by half, because only political nerds will get it, and half or more of them have a vested interest in spinning it as “mandate is constitutional”. For the unwashed masses, SCOTUS just said that Obama has been right all along and the GOP and Tea Party are wasting time and whining about nothing.

    What’s even worse is the implications for other policy areas. Buy a Chevy Volt or pay a $10k pollution tax (roughly the price difference between a Volt and the equal/better Prius). It’s interstate commerce! 200% tax on Super Big Gulps? Take it away! Sign up for federally-licensed diet classes to get healthier, or pay thousands in penalties? All the precedent we need! The administration can now tell you exactly what to do in every facet of your life, and tax you into a cardboard box if you don’t do it. Never thought I’d see the day when Canada looked like a Libertarian paradise compared to the US.

  5. The good news is that the Commerce Clause has limits. Given the unpopularity of taxation and the mandate, and who wants more and more of both, there is logic that says Romney is ahead here. That the mandate has been reduced to a simple tax scheme may make it easier to repeal. The decision robs the left of a talking point about keeping Obama in place to salvage the most from a loss, and to appoint “better” justices, and hands Romney the inverse talking points. If he will take them and follow through if elected.

    1. The commerce clause may have limits but now they don’t even have to make CC argument, just do as we say or we tax you into oblivion…

  6. As Divemedic said at SayUncle’s: “The next Republican who tells me that the Supreme Court nominees are a good reason to elect a Republican, I am going to be sorely tempted to punch them in the face.”

    1. That’s ridiculous. If it had been Gore instead of Bush or Kerry instead of Bush, you’d have had a 6-3 decision that Congress has plenary power to mandate whatever the hell it pleases under the Commerce Clause. Robert’s did not overturn previous limits on the taxing power. This is a manageable loss rather than a total loss.

        1. There’s a very big difference in how we lost, which is a function of the last two justices being appointed by Bush rather than Gore or Kerry. We could have gotten an expansion of the Commerce Power, which means real, criminal penalties are possible. Instead we got a narrowing of what constitutes a direct tax from Roberts. That’s far less damaging. Roberts also did not eviscerate previous decisions on punitive taxation, so there are presumably limits to how far Congress can ride direct taxation as a means of coercing people, even if we don’t know what those are. From the opinion:

          Second, Congress’s ability to use its taxing power to influence conduct is not without limits. A few of our cases policed these limits aggressively, invalidating punitive exactions obviously designed to regulate behavior other- wise regarded at the time as beyond federal authority. See, e.g., United States v. Butler, 297 U. S. 1 (1936); Drexel Furniture, 259 U. S. 20. More often and more recently we have declined to closely examine the regulatory motive or effect of revenue-raising measures. See Kahriger, 345 U. S., at 27–31 (collecting cases). We have nonetheless maintained that “‘there comes a time in the extension of the penalizing features of the so-called tax when it loses its character as such and becomes a mere penalty with the characteristics of regulation and punishment.’ ”

          This is a manageable loss. The 6-3 loss in favor of abolishing Congress’ enumerated powers and giving Congress plenary power to do with as it pleases would be a disaster for the Constitution.

          1. Except the whole point of voting for GOP candidates in the general elections, despite them being bad in many ways, is to help win these cases.

            And this points out the flaw in that argument.

            SayUncle is exactly right.

      1. Robert’s did not overturn previous limits on the taxing power.

        And yet he still failed to rule that it is an unconstitutional overreach by Congress, didn’t he? Again, a Republican president does not mean we’ll get a justice who rules based on the actual Constitution, and Roberts just demonstrated that quite well.

        1. I don’t agree with his interpretation of it not being a direct tax, but his decision is not a complete destruction of how it’s been traditionally been interpreted, going all the way back to Madison’s presidency. This is a very old debate within our Republic. I don’t think it’s a legitimate exercise of the taxing power, but that it is, is debatable.

    2. So you don’t give a crap about the 2nd Amendment? Because the only reason the 2nd Amendment is still alive today is because a Republican was in office to appoint Roberts to the Supreme Court, instead of John Kerry who would have appointed an anti-gun liberal like Kagan or Sotomayor.

      When it comes to the Supreme Court, a Republican President, almost ANY Republican, even a squish like Romney or a so-called “compassionate conservative” like Bush is better than almost ANY Democrat.

      1. I do give a crap about the Second Amendment. We got LUCKY in that case- Roberts could have easily gone the other way (or Kennedy too).

        But the Second Amendment isn’t the only thing out there. I’m glad the recognizes the true meaning of the Second- but it now also says Congress can do what the hell it wants. Having good Second law does not make up for all the bad things that a GOP president does. I don’t believe it will be any worse under a Dem president.

        The important thing is to have a divided government to at least slow down laws.

  7. Commerce Clause? The Supremes bypassed that whole thing.

    So, the Supremes bypassed the Commerce argument and decided a
    financial penalty is the same as a tax and thus OK. Hmmm.

    Now, if the government wants us all to do something, it need
    only impose a fine for not doing it – or to make us buy something, impose a fine for not buying it.

    Maybe the Court took a look
    at the possible “slippery slope” and is trying to put out an
    anchor before the lip of the cliff? I know the idea was pooh-
    poohed, but do we have driving licenses because they make us
    better drivers or because the government has penalties for
    driving without one no matter how well we drive? Or, since
    hand signals are still legal, wgy are we forced to have
    turn-signal lights?

    1. It didn’t bypass that argument. It addressed it, and ruled it was not within the commerce power, nor was it proper, under the necessary and proper clause.

  8. Yesterday James Carville said the tea party was dead. Let’s see what he says tomorrow.

  9. The effect of the SCOTUS ruling on Obamacare? It will detract attention away from the contempt hearings. One of our key problems with “Fast & Furious” is getting the word out when the MSM is perfectly willing to ignore it or play the administration apologist. The contempt proceedings got it out there, and nobody could avoid reporting on it in some degree. Now that the health care ruling is out, F&F will again be drowned out by other news.

    I agree it will be piling on the administration, but the public outrage that it deserves just won’t be there, because the MSM can justifiably go back to ignoring/avoiding it. It’s again up to us to keep the conversation going.

  10. One result of the Supreme Court decision is that it makes the stakes of the November election crystal clear. This will probably revitalize Democrats, but could also energize support for Romney in a way that his congenital inability to take a firm stand on any issue would not have.

      1. Yes.. he’s said he will sign and push for a repeal of Obamacare, and in a way he’d have a hard time weaseling out of it.

        1. Which makes sense. He has no principals- just what will get him elected and keep him there. So its politically advantageous to say and fight for a repeal.

      1. Romney: “Wha…who?…No WAY that’s my kid! I wasn’t even IN Massachusetts when he was conceived…I can’t even spell Massachusetts, never heard of the place!”

        1. If that’s what his reaction was, I’d feel a little better voting for him. Or if he’d just say, “It seemed like a good idea at the time!” or “I was trying to limit the damage!”

          But nooooo, he says “It’s a great idea! Democrats just made it bad by adding to it after I was gone! Even still, it’s serving the Massachusetts people fine! I’m proud of what I did!”

          His only saving grace is that he states it’s a States issue, and not a Federal one.

  11. Masscare != ppaca. For one thing, I don’t recall anyone complaining that it was possibly unconstitutional under the MA constitution. Or that it was beyond a state’s powers to require their citizens to purchase insurance. Possibly ill-advised, but I think that lesson has been learned

  12. It’s bad news for Obama, but it will play out slowly. First, Roberts gutted the commerce clause, which is a good thing. And by leaving the ACA in place, he’s left it as an issue for November. It remains deeply and increasingly unpopular.

    That said, Roberts was a coward for not sending the law back to Congress to be rewritten. As it stands, the law itself doesn’t mention the penalty being a tax, and talks about mandating individuals buying insurance. Which the court has said it can’t do. So the law should have been sent back.

    However, I’m not completely sure this is a tactical problem for Republicans. I think it may wind up being a nice incentive to get conservatives and libertarians out to vote in November. And we get to talk about Obama’s massive middle class tax hike to pay for health care — something he said repeatedly that he did not want to do.

    A bad decision Constitutionally, but one that’s manageable if the GOP forces a repeal, which should be easier given that it’s a tax now.

  13. Maybe its because I’m young, but does anyone else feel like they are losing their country. :(

    1. Yeah, Doc. I got that feeling ’bout 20 years ago. Ain’t much changed since.

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