As July Fourth approaches and we all pat ourselves on the back for being so free, the folks at Chronicles have  had a field day with recent SCOTUS decisions, focusing especially on Bush II-appointee John Roberts.

Writing for the London Daily Mail, Thomas Fleming diagnoses Roberts as afflicted by a malady common to “conservatives”:

I’ll spare you my reflections on Roberts’ endorsement of Obamacare.  After his anti-constitutional ruling in the Arizona case, it was clear that he had come out of his closet, not precisely as a leftist or an activist but — and I think this is far more dangerous — as an opportunist.  He has a lifetime job with, I understand, good benefits and more power than Nero or Caligula enjoyed.  What’s left to wish for?  Why, love, approval, the sense of not only being on the right side of history but of making history.  My gosh, he is thinking, it must be thrilling to be me.

Meanwhile, both Weekly Standard and National Review have sought to justify Roberts, for obvious reasons.  Do keep devoting lots of your time, attention, energy, and money to Conservatism, Inc., all you rubes out there in Flyover Country!

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  1. Jerry – I don’t mean to be dense, but what do you mean by: “Meanwhile, both Weekly Standard and National Review have sought to justify Roberts, for obvious reasons.” What are the obvious reasons? Thanks.

  2. “What’s left to wish for? Why, love, approval, the sense of not only being on the right side of history but of making history. My gosh, he is thinking, it must be thrilling to be me.”

    This is not a diagnosis. This is the-by-now-exceedingly-tiresome pretense to mind-reading abilities.

    Intelligent people should not be coddling hacks such as this Mr. Fleming.

  3. Buchanan essentially said the same thing, but he prefaced his guesses with “Here we enter the area of surmise.”

    The writers at Chronicles are the only commentators out there (so far as I have read) that point out that Roberts has assumed both House and Senate responsibilities. Richert says:

    “Roberts didn’t declare the ACA as written constitutional, because even he admitted that he could not. Instead, he rewrote the legislation, as if he were not simply a justice of the Supreme Court but a majority of both houses of Congress.

    “That isn’t deference to Congress; it’s saying that he knows better than Congress what Congress intended. Deference to Congress would have been to follow the logic of his own opinion, strike down the individual mandate as an unconstitutional application of the Commerce Clause, and allow the elected representatives of the American people to try to fix the mess they have made.”

    I recognize the two guiding principals of our public culture to be 1) impatience/immediate self-gratification and 2) the ends ALWAYS justifies the means. Both are present in this ruling.

  4. I must hear the ‘obvious’ reason for Weekly Standard’s justification. Is there some Zionist backstory to Obamacare?

  5. My apologies for being (unintentionally) cryptic.

    What I was thinking of was the fact that neither the Weekly Standard nor the National Review would like conservative voters to recognize how consistently they are betrayed by Republican presidents, who supposedly can be relied upon to put solid justices on the bench.

    Hence Roberts’ role in recent events has to be spun in a positive way.

  6. Roberts did not “endorse” the ACA. He simply pointed out that the Court ought not be called upon to settle political disputes, and those disputes (when national) are properly settled by elected lawmakers in Congress. This used to be core conservative doctrine and certainly conservatives ought not be shocked to hear it coming from the Chief Justice. Though for too many of them “conservatism” has no principles left at all– it’s just about hating Obama and the Democrats and defeating them by any means at hand.

  7. Here’s a thought:

    If we could just get back to the really, really good ol’ days, back before there were all these fancy ideas about “health insurance,” back to when we lived in blessed freedom even from the unnatural intervention that is health-care itself, if we could get back to that, then Roberts wouldn’t even have the option of taking his anti-seizure medications, and then his brain would be working correctly, and he would have struck Obamacare down. The mutually multiplying ironies here would almost be amusing, if it all weren’t so very tragic.

    Now, I know what you’re going to say. You’re going to say, “Hey, Haas, lighten up. Don’t you know half of all Americans already get their health care covered under Medicare, Medicaid, or VA benefits–which are much farther down the road to socialist-totalitarian-stateism than this Obamacare thing? Don’t you know the government has been getting into the construction business, building highways and controlling where we can drive (unless we have an off-road vehicle) and at what speed, for half a century? And back in the 1860s they were even appointing real estate czars and dividing up the land amongst the populace, telling people where they could and couldn’t live, and robbing me of my freedom to attend an Ag School 500 feet to the left of where they decided to build it? Do you really think moderate incentives that apply to about 10% of the population and don’t even actually require anyone to get health insurance are the final straw that ushers in the Gulag Archipelago of America?”

    And I’ll just have to shake my head and smile, saddened at your naivete . . .

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