John Roberts Ruled Against Judicial Activism and Handed the 2012 Election to Republicans

 Bookmark and Share  Today’s lengthy landmark Supreme Court decision on the affordable care act in the case of the National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius will take time to fully digest.  It is filled with multiple precedent setting judicial opinions.  Most notable was the court’s near unanimous decision to finally rule that the federal government’s powers under the commerce clause are in fact limited.  The commerce clause has consistently been used as a means for which Congress has been able to abuse its powers.  However, make no mistake, the ruling on this case was a victory for President Obama.  It upheld the heart of his signature legislation, the so-called Affordable Care Act.  But the victory comes at a very high price for him and all Americans.

For Americans the decision’s economic impact will bring about a further contraction of our economy. Businesses which have been holding their breath until there was some finality on Obamacare will now pull the trigger on any short term expansion and new hires. Within less than an hour of the Supreme Court ruling, the stocks experienced a broad and dramatic selloff . All of this means that our fragile and stagnant economy is now certain to continue to remain on the verge of a downward spiral into a double dip recession or depression.

And those are just the immediate, tangible, ramifications of the constitutionality of the Obamacare. Other more ideological ramifications affecting people because of the court’s decision are rooted in the fundamentals of our free society and the power of government.

For President Obama, the price of the court’s declaring his government-centric healthcare law constitutional, is a significant undermining and value of  himself, his word, and his liberal based Party.

Through the healthcare reform debate debacle, the President and his liberal minions declared that their forced individual mandate was not a tax.  But the President’s attorneys argued before the Supreme Court that the mandate was a tax and now the Supreme Court has agreed.  So the stage is set for Americans to go to the polls in November and consider whether or not President Obama deserve to be reelected after his signature accomplishment was proven to be based upon what are ultimately lies.

In addition to that, the decision has now ensured that the 2012 election will ultimately come down to two things.  Taxing and spending.

While many on the right are quite disappointed and angered by the decision and more specifically Chief Justice John Roberts for his being the swing vote in this case, I am not.  The individual mandate is a tax and the Constitution gives Congress full authority when it comes to taxation.  So whether it is convenient for conservatives or not, Roberts is probably right in a very round about way.  His opinion in this case was a conservative victory in the sense that it upheld a key tenet of conservativism……. our opposition to judicial activism.  Chief Justice Roberts is also correct in his written opinion on the case when he suggests that while some policies may be legal, that does not mean that those same policies are smart or helpful.  In his remarks, Roberts suggests that in line with the laws of our land, the solution to such situations is found not in the courts but in the hands of the voting public who can change policies at the ballot box.  And while the court’s decision may initially seem to be a conservative setback, it has successfully helped to define what the 2012 election is now all about.

The court’s decision to deem the individual mandate to be a tax, now helps the American people to focus on the liberal policies of taxing and spending, the very issues at the heart of our economic condition which many including the former Secretary of Defense have described as so dire that it is a national security issue.

After nearly four years of a liberal dominated government, Americans have gotten a taste of the ideological extremes of the two dominant political philosophies in our nation and they are quickly losing faith in the liberal policies that have gotten us to the dreary point we are at today.  The electorate is extraordinarily polarized, so much so that the presidential election will essentially be decided by 25 million independent minded voters in anywhere from 6 to 8 states.  The rest of the population is more or less solidly on one side or the other.  They either want a government that does more, spends more, and controls more, or they want a government that does less, spends less, and controls less.  And today’s decision only clarifies this choice.

The Supreme Court’s decision merely  helped to highlight this choice.

If Republicans can continue to frame the 2012 election in this manner, they will have a good shot at increasing the size of their majority in the House, taking control of the U.S. Senate, and winning the White House.

Of course with Mitt Romney’s own fingerprints on a state healthcare mandate in Massachusetts that he was the driving force behind when he was the Bay State’s Governor, he may not be the best person to lead this fight for the G.O.P.   Comparisons of Romneycare and Obamacare will blur the ideological lines that this election can be won or lost on.  Or will it?

Romney’s legitimate defense for his healthcare plan in Massachusetts is that it’s a states rights issues.

As Governor he had the right to prescribe a cure to his state’s unique problems.  But as President, Barack Obama devised a one-size-fits-all plan that mandated states to do what liberals in the federal bureaucracy want.   This brings us back to today’s Supreme Court ruling.  While it declared Obamacare’s individual mandate constitutional, it declared other aspects that specifically forced states to comply with sections of the law, as unconstitutional.  This again brings up the ideological debate on how much power should the federal government have.  In  this case, over the states.  For Romney, even though his Massachusetts healthcare plan is an albatross around his neck, it positions him quite well to campaign on a very potent states rights plank.

In the end, today’s victory for the President will be quite short lived and in the final analysis it will boost the chances of a Republicans to win control of all three branches of the federal government.  By ruling that the individual mandate is constitutional, the very same T.E.A. forces which elected a record number of Republicans  to the House in 2012, have just been reactivated and incorporated into Mitt Romney’s base vote.  And in addition to that, the issues which Democrats are weakest on have just become center stage.  That will especially be the case when the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts come up for debate during the election.

With the individual mandate deemed constitutional, Americans are now facing the creation of the largest American federal entitlement program in history and it comes at a time when entitlements are destroying our national economy as well as the economies of many of our city’s and states.   This is the issue which produced a surprise landslide vote of confidence for Republican Governor Scott Walker in the recent liberal and union initiated recall election.

But perhaps the most powerful argument in the 2012 election will be this.

Since Obamacare is constitutional because the individual mandate is legally considered a tax, do the American people really want to encourage the liberal tax and spend policies of Democrats by rubber stamping their policies at the voting booth?  Do Americans want to expand the entitlement policies that are bringing down our economy?  Do Americans want to continue down the current path that is turning us into a European-style socialist nation, with permanent high unemployment, business-killing regulations and taxes, a shriveling private sector, and a loss of stature in a dangerous world?

All in all, I must say, today might just be the day that Barack Obama lost the presidency and that the liberal base of the Democrat Party turned themselves in to the minority Party for years to come.  Now, Republicans have to step up to the plate.  It is one thing for Democrats to lose the election, but it is another thing for Republicans to win the election.  Today, the G.O.P. has been given a chance to define a more responsible course for our nation that is based not just on constitutional government policies, but smart and effective government policies.  So if Republicans intend to win this election in their own right and not just by default, they must begin to lead.  That requires us to produce bold plans, plans to reform such things as our arcane tax code and how to strengthen the American free market and entrepreneurial spirit that is driving force behind our economic health.  And in the case of Obamacare, we need to know not just how earnest they will be in repealing bad policies but what if anything are they willing to replace those bad policies with.

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Is Mitt Bouyant? Or Santorum Sinking?

The day before Super Tuesday, Mitt Romney is looking good.  It’s looking like he will take the key state of Ohio and could take Tennessee.  Both of these are very close races.  But Romney’s ascendency back to the top is marked by Santorum’s dive in the polls, and Newt’s resurgence again.  Newt will win Georgia, which has the most delegates of any Super Tuesday state.  Newt is also now tied with Santorum and within one point of Romney in Tennessee according to one poll.  Just last week, Santorum was looking good in both Ohio and Tennessee.

If Santorum is suddenly seen as faltering, we may see the polls seesaw back to Newt on fears of unelectability.  However, at this late stage that may serve to only help Romney, unless Santorum loses big time.  If Santorum comes in third in Tennessee or Ohio and Gingrich easily wins Georgia, the shift back to Newt could be significant.

Consider this, if Santorum was not in the race and his voters went to Newt, Newt would sweep Ohio, Tennessee, and Georgia.  On the other hand, the same could be said for Santorum if Newt dropped out and his votes went to Santorum.  In either case, Romney is the beneficiary of the social conservative split.  Meanwhile, Ron Paul is fleeing from social issues as he descends back into below 10% irrelevancy.

This could be short lived however, as Republicans revisit the myth that social issues are losers in elections.  As I pointed out the other day, a one dimensional economy candidate is going to struggle against Obama.  Republicans are more likely to be inspired to go to the polls for a bold conservative, and Romney is all pastels.  If Santorum falters tomorrow and Newt remains on message, this one could be far from over.

Romney May Not Get All 50

Gingrich Shows Some Fight

Don’t count him out yet.  Newt Gingrich is fighting for his slice of Romney’s 50 Florida delegates.  According to RNC rules, no state can hold a winner takes all primary before April 1, 2012.  Florida was warned of this back in December.  This means that Newt could cut into the 50 delegates that Romney is expecting from his Florida win.  If this works for Newt, Romney’s delegate lead will be cut about in half.  But Newt faces an uphill battle, fighting an RNC and RPOF stuffed full of Romney supporters.

Romney Supporters as Annoying as Paul’s?

After the Florida primary, it might have been nice for there to be some healing in the state after one of the most negative campaigns in Florida’s primary history.  Instead, the theme from Romney’s supporters is that Newt should stop whining about the negative campaigning and his supporters should fall in line with the presumptive nominee.

If you think that is bad, Romney’s number one cheerleader, Ann Coulter, is now praising Romneycare as a constitutional, conservative solution to healthcare.  In fact, Coulter is now saying that “The problem isn’t health insurance mandates.”  Perhaps someone should tell that to Pam Bondi, Florida Attorney General and Romney supporter who is leading the fight against Obamacare in the courts based on the health insurance mandate.

Don’t get me wrong, I get the whole “states have the constitutional authority to take away your rights, the fed doesn’t” argument, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to agree that Romneycare was a good idea.  Perhaps Coulter is trying to set up the future conversations for the presumptive nominee.  But are most Americans going to be ok with the argument that it as ok for Romney to take away their rights and force them to buy health insurance because it was on a state level?  Personally, I’d like to see less government intrusion in my life on every level.  Coulter used to feel the same way.  What happened?

If Romney wants to win in 2012, he has to get his supporters to change their message.  Romney needs to start focusing on Obama and reassuring conservatives that he is in fact principally opposed to Obamacare and the health insurance mandate, not simply offering it pandering lip service.  And for goodness sakes, he has to stop making Newt supporters his enemies.  He’ll have quite enough enemies in the general election without turning off fellow conservatives.

Romney’s Critical Debate Slip

Romney is a classy debater.  He has style, smoothness, and grace.  Were it not for Newt in these debates, Romney would also have the market cornered on ideas and frankly the air of honesty.  I know most politicians are liars by nature, but when Romney refused to back down on Romneycare, he won some points in the straight-forwardness arena.  That has not hurt Romney, in fact it has been an asset, until perhaps now.

Romney emerged from the pro-life doghouse Thursday night after skipping the Personhood forum in South Carolina.  In the debate, Romney made a clear pro-life stand, but he also slipped up when he tried to deflect criticism from Santorum about abortion funding.

“Is there any possibility that I ever made a mistake in that regard?” Romney asked. “I didn’t see something that I should have seen? Possibly.”

As Rick Perry would say, “oops”.  What was one of the biggest problems with Obamacare?  The only people who actually read the bill were the grassroots groups who were against it.  Take the 1099 rule, for example.  The 1099 rule, written into Obamacare, would have required every business to send every other business a 1099 form for any amounts they paid for services.  For example, a mom and pop shop would have to send McDonalds a 1099 form if they ate there enough during the year.

Obama quickly recognized the stupidity of the 1099 rule based on the overwhelming response from businesses.  In his State of the Union address, he chalked it up to a “flaw” in the Obamacare legislation.

“We can start right now by correcting a flaw in the legislation that has placed an unnecessary bookkeeping burden on small businesses.”

Bravo, Mr. President.  Why was it there in the first place?  Because nobody read or thought about Obamacare.  Now is Romney excusing his funding for abortion through Romneycare by admitting he didn’t see something he should have seen?  That is not what we are looking for in a President, especially on an issue as crucial as abortion.

I see a developing pattern.  It started with Romney’s distancing himself from superpacs that support him.  His excuse for the negative ads run against his opponents?  He has no control over what they run.  Then Romney responded to questions about his money in the Caymans by saying he has a blind trust that manages his money and he has no control over that either.

There are two things grassroots conservatives don’t want in a President.  The first is a President who has no control and is aloof from the actual governing processes.  We already have that with Barack Obama. The second is a President who is in control, but will not take responsibility for his actions.  Oh wait, in many areas that is Barack Obama too.

Effect of Debates vs. Campaign Fatigue

South Carolina is within reach for Newt.  However, he must now combat something other than superpacs and media.  Newt now has to overcome campaign fatigue.  I’m sure that all of the candidates are tired and have been traveling a lot, but that isn’t what I was referring to.  You probably noticed about a month ago that every time there was a new debate, you were sure to have a friend who commented “Really?? Another one??”

Add to the non-stop debates at least 5 major lead changes among social conservatives, a growing, wearying Ron Paul movement, and the constant drum-beat from the establishment that Romney always was going to be the candidate and it is purely undeniable fate, and Romney gets the advantage among Conservatives who are tired of the infighting and want to get on to the main event.

Romney has flaws.  In fact, as I watch his superpac advertise Newt’s baggage (more than an airliner, according to the ad), I have to wonder why Romneycare, running on a pro-abortion platform, and all that does not count as baggage for Romney.  He has not yet been able to get the social conservatives to give him the unanimous thumbs up.  But one thing he has been flawless at has been this particular campaign.  His biggest missteps seem like manufactured class warfare attacks that only make him stronger among conservatives.  For example, he tried to bet $10k in a debate.  Who cares?  So he has $10k to throw around.  Duh, he’s rich.  Not only that, but only a moron, leftist, or member of the mainstream media (but I repeat myself) would think that Romney was actually trying to get Perry to make a financial wager, not just making a point that Perry was off his rocker.

Romney’s comment that he would like to fire his insurance company led to dishonest attacks from fellow conservatives, and perhaps one of the most boring Saturday Night Live opening sketches in history.  Attacks on Bain capital have left most conservatives scratching their heads, wondering if suddenly supporting small businesses and risk taking is no longer GOP approved.  The funnier thing was Obama attacking Romney’s record at Bain, after Obama used our tax dollars against our will to do the same thing with Chrysler against their will.  At least with Bain they were using investor’s money willingly given to help companies who came to them for help.  I can’t imagine the Chrysler bond-holders were hoping Obama would steal Chrysler, sell it to Italy and give the proceeds to the unions.

A couple days before South Carolina, Gingrich’s biggest advantage in the debates may become his worst liability.  Yes, the New Hampshire debate earned top ratings.  But Romney remains unflappable.  On the other hand, in Huckabee’s South Carolina forum on January 14th, the viewership was not quite so wide but Gingrich’s attack on Bain and the crowd’s booing response can be quickly found on youtube.  Going forward, more average voters are going to start relying more on soundbites and replays than taking time away from the playoffs to watch these debates from start to finish.  Without something to rally behind, Newt will not be able to recover the lost ground.

Romney won Iowa and New Hampshire, continuing to cement his front runner and assumed nominee status.  A South Carolina win will make it nearly impossible for any other candidate to catch up despite the fact that Romney continues to come no where near grabbing a majority of Republicans.  By the time Santorum and Perry drop out, Romney may have enough momentum to convince conservative holdouts to stop fighting him and start fighting with him against Obama.

Iowa Last Minute Insanity

Ron Paul Buys Bachmann’s Campaign Chair

Bachmann campaign chair in Iowa, Kent Sorensen, has jumped ship as Bachmann becomes the latest candidate to contract the deadly disease AIDES.  AIDES (former aides to be exact) have already helped bring down Herman Cain’s campaign and have hurt Newt Gingrich’s campaign.  Now, with Sorensen opting for the bigger paycheck at the Paul campaign, Bachmann looks like a jury member on Survivor trying to pontificate about injustice, honor, lies and blindsides.  Welcome to politics.

Huntsman Disses Iowa

“They pick corn in Iowa. They pick presidents in New Hampshire.” Who would say something like that? Obviously a candidate who knows they have no hope of winning the Iowa caucus, and doesn’t seem to really care about Iowa in the general election either.  Huntsman would have done much better for himself to just say “We are focusing our efforts on New Hampshire.” and leave it at that.  Of course, this may help explain why Huntsman, an only slightly more moderate clone of Mitt Romney on most issues, is barely surviving on the crumbs that fall from Romney’s feast in the polls.

Coulter’s Temporary Insanity

Ann Coulter is in love with Mitt Romney.  And she obviously is no fan of Newt Gingrich.  In recent articles, she has accused Newt of being everything from pro-choice to big government, to being behind the bailouts of Freddie Mac.  Of course, all of this is Bachmann style campaign hyperbole and exaggeration at best.  Then Coulter let out a real shocker: she prefers Ron Paul to Newt Gingrich.  What??

Somewhere in a closet, the real Ann Coulter is tied up with duct tape over her mouth mumbling for this evil clone to let her out.  Meanwhile, Barack Obama and the media, who have convinced us that only Mitt Romney can beat Obama in 2012, are laughing all the way to re-election while Republicans fall for the same premise they did in 2008: vote for the candidate you think can win, not the candidate you really want.

What else would explain Coulter’s blanket acceptance and love for a former Massachusetts liberal who ran on a pro-choice platform, gave Massachusetts Romneycare, and voted for Paul Tsongas while she is treating a conservative who reformed welfare, reigned in Bill Clinton, and led Republicans to their first majority in the House in 40 years as a raving liberal.  What is it that the rest of us don’t know about Newt Gingrich?

Yes, he can?

In the volatility of the Republican 2012 primary, one thing is for sure.  Calling this race now would be like predicting the Superbowl in September.  How ’bout them Eagles.  Of course, I called the Eagles faltering before the season started.  I’m usually pretty good with my football picks.  So, allow me to apply some of that prophetic magic here.  FYI, this post is not for the faint of heart.  I’m just giving it to you straight.

Romney is all set as the Republican establishment candidate.  He has had that spot locked up really since before Mitch Daniels dropped out of the race.  Now the one stable thing in this race is that Romney will get the establishment vote.  He will also get a lot of mainstream Republican votes.  But he is going to run into a real issue, and that is with the anti-establishment movement within the Republican party.  All that is about to blow wide open this week as the NYT releases a story about opinions among establishment Republicans of the TEA party.  The GOP is about to have a civil war on its hands.  Whether they can recover by next November will be huge in determining whether or not Barack Obama is President in 2013.  Mitt Romney absolutely must nail down his conservative support and soon, or he will lose Iowa, South Carolina and Florida.

Cain's 999 plan could be his undoing

I like Herman Cain a lot.  I think he would make a great Vice President.  I think he would be a star on the campaign trail.  I think he would bring a lot of conservatives to the table and would bring the TEA party and anti-establishment wing to the table.  Here’s the problem: Herman Cain’s 9 9 9 plan sucks.  He would do better to drop that plan completely and advocate a Fairtax, which I also oppose for various reasons you can find here.  But even the Fairtax is better than 9 9 9.  Cain’s 9 9 9 plan has several Achilles’s heels hidden in its simplicity.  Perhaps the worst is the 9% flat tax on corporation’s gross profits minus purchases and dividends.  Unless Cain plans to include payroll with purchases, his 9% flat tax could turn into an effective 99% tax, or even higher, on low margin service industries with high labor costs.  But simplicity and feel good soundbites are what drives the Cain campaign.  Sometimes those soundbites are the common sense we are all thinking, but nobody who represents us is saying.  In those times, I love Herman Cain.  Other times it’s not much better than the soundbites written on a Wall Street mob sign.  Great for riling you up, until you stop and think about it.

Right now, we are watching the French Revolution in the TEA party and anti-establishment wing of the Republican party.  And who can blame them?  I should say, who can blame us.  Our party had the President who initially signed TARP.  Now, of course I don’t think Bush ever imagined TARP would be used to give the treasury secretary ultimate powers to steal companies from their bondholders, sell them overseas and give the proceeds to unions.  But he should have.  Conservative Constitutionalists are praying, quite literally, that we don’t get fooled again.  The result has been the rise and fall of Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and now Herman Cain.  Each time, the anti-establishment establishment is looking for that perfect, conservative candidate that we can get behind and support.

Now, suddenly Newt Gingrich is inching back into the top three.  In fact, while Cain tops out the very volatile state of Florida, Gingrich has hit double digits.  As a matter of fact, Gingrich’s facebook page shows a photo of him on the Drudge Report with a story about how he is still in this.  And he definitely is.

The difference between Newt and the other candidates is that Newt’s laundry has been on the line for years now.  Everyone knows who Newt Gingrich is.  He isn’t going to come out with a plan that sinks his campaign a month from now.  No one is going to learn during a debate about him forcing 12 year old girls to get vaccines for sexually transmitted diseases.  Everyone knows how imperfect his past is.  That’s why he hasn’t been in this race up to now.  And that is why he will be very dangerous if Cain falls on 9 9 9.  Of course, I mean “dangerous” in the best way possible.  Newt versus Mitt with no specter of late arrivals and no more candidates left to shoot up to the top could solidify January’s primaries.

Newt can carry Iowa and South Carolina easily once the other social conservatives lose their votes to him.  Newt was the first in the debates to really highlight how Obama was preventing jobs from coming to South Carolina.  And Iowa will pick the social conservative every time.  In a Newt/Mitt race, it will all be about Florida.

Could the debate in Jacksonville, FL determine the next President of the United States?

On January 26th, Republicans will hold the last GOP debate that matters before the primary.  I know, there will be one in Tampa the night before the primary.  No one is going to change their mind because of the Tampa debate.  It will all come down to January 26th in Jacksonville, Florida.  Mitt Romney versus the TEA party favorite.  The last time the Superbowl was held here, the Patriots won.

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