Bozell Column: The Mob Presses On John Roberts
Is anyone surprised that the ink wasn’t dry on Chief Justice John Roberts’ incoherent switcheroo before Team Obama was again denying ObamaCare is a tax? Why did he do it?
There is no doubt that the Left waged a war on the court’s public image. Just as Obama lectured at the justices during his State of the Union address for the Citizens United decision, so Obama and his media minions prepared for this verdict with blatant mob pressure: Side with us, or your image is ruined.
For liberal journalists, repeal of Obamacare was tantamount to a deadly third strike. Strike One was Bush vs. Gore, which caused a serious liberal screamfest that continues in some quarters to this day. Strike Two was the Citizens United campaign spending case, because in the leftist worldview, all major tipping points of public policy should be controlled by the State.
In the media’s twisted lingo, upholding the Constitution would be “partisan.” Mangling it would be “nonpartisan.” This routine was sickening to watch from beginning to end, especially the way liberal journalists switched on a dime in finding that Roberts had transformed himself from Rejectionist Tea Party Villain to Savior of the High Court.
NBC’s David Gregory earned the blue ribbon for partisan plasticity. Hours before the verdict, he drew the nightmare scenario of an overturned Obama: “What happens if it is struck down in part or in whole by a 5 to 4 decision? Would that not underscore how dysfunctional our government is, the major institutions of our government are? That is a real nightmare scenario, I think, for the political class in this country."
Got that? The media class informs the political class and the judicial class that either Obama wins, or there’s going to be public-relations hell to pay. Then the decision came out.
Within minutes,there was Nightmare Scenario Gregory, finding the same 5-4 score going in Obama’s favor wasn’t dysfunctional after all. It was terrific: “Chief Justice Roberts....has spoken publicly about how on big controversial decisions, he thinks a 5-4 majority on the Court overtime undermines the Supreme Court, and only fuels the view that our major political institutions are too polarized. He's taken a big step here.”
Hail to the Chief! It’s a “big step” to sign up with the socialist justices who can’t find a limitation to government anywhere in the Constitution.
Then there was Chris Matthews, whose approach to Roberts went from holding a pitchfork and a torch to holding a bouquet of roses. On the night before the verdict, Matthews told his guests that a fellow Catholic said Roberts “doesn't want to be the second Roger Taney. Roger Taney, of course, was a Roman Catholic who upheld the Fugitive Slave Law back before the Civil War and was villainized throughout history because of that.”
So overturning Obama is just like returning Dred Scott and all the fugitive slaves to their Southern masters. But when Roberts caved to the Left, now it was a “bold, defiant, grand decision.” The tingle up the leg was back.
Matthews began “Hardball “ by proclaiming triumphantly that “all the horrors floated up from the right-wing fever swamps are, as of today, simply the hate vapors of the perennial rejectionists to progress, the rear guard funded by the Koch brothers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Today's hero? Chief Justice John Roberts, who walked to the forefront of history and who said yes to progress and no to the role prescribed for him by the Right.”
This is a parody of an Aaron Sorkin speech, with every ounce of arrogance a leftist can muster.Truth, justice, progress, the sun rising in the morning? All these gifts to humanity are the daily good works of liberals.
An honorable mention for stupidity should go to CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, who originally claimed the ObamaCare decision could be an 8-to-1 slam dunk, which not only didn’t pass an acid test, it begged for a drug test. Oral arguments cured that fever, and Toobin apologized. Then, just before the decision, Toobin correctly predicted Roberts would write the opinion, and then turned laughably wrong: “Roberts is very concerned about the public perception of the court, but not enough to vote some different way.”
Someone clearly pressed Roberts to cry “uncle.” He is a traitor to strict constitutionalism, whether he folded to Obama or to his image-manufacturing bullies in the media. The Constitution to him and his liberal friends is simply Play-Doh in the hands of our governing elites. It looks like when November comes, We the People will be the last recourse to keep the Constitution from the shredder.