The cheerleading for the president by MSNBC following the Supreme Court’s decision to affirm the federal subsidies in ObamaCare has been virtually ubiquitous. On the June 26 edition of Morning Joe, Eugene Robinson, Al Sharpton, and Mika Brzezinski were all jubilant about the high court’s decision, arguing that it will help to affirm the legacy of President Obama.
The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson was perhaps the most hyperbolic of those on the panel. He claimed that the Roberts opinion “puts this law on a stronger footing than it was before. It establishes ObamaCare, the Affordable Care Act, as part of the fabric of American life.”
Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski announced: “the signature of this presidency has just been signed." The MSNBC personality added that the “legacy of this president” has been confirmed through the decision. Al Sharpton chimed in with his thoughts, echoing those of Brzezinski and Robinson: “I think they affirmed the legacy of Barack Obama. I think that it was a great decision as you would probably guess, Joe.”
One cannot have a conversation about ObamaCare without hitting Republicans for their supposed lack of a comprehensive plan, so the panel discussed how the decision in King v. Burwell “saved” the party. Sharpton declared that “the Republicans should be happy...because if you had 6.4 million people that didn’t have coverage,” they would be blamed. Eugene Robinson agreed with Sharpton and laughingly mocked the GOP's ostensible lack of a plan: “What were you gonna do about that?”
Even Joe Scarborough highlighted that liberal talking point, saying the Republicans will quietly be thankful for the decision: “They're going to say we're shocked, we're stunned, we're deeply saddened. But now they're going to go, thank God we can talk about this on the campaign trail and we don’t actually have to come up [with] an alternative.” He opined that the decision allows the Republicans “to scream and shout and not do anything.”
The reaction to King v. Burwell has been far from muted in the media. Yesterday, Alex Wagner, host of Now, hit Justice Scalia for having a “deeply emotional, partisan core” in his decision. NBC trumped up the ruling as a big victory that will be key to confirming the president’s legacy. CNN’s Gloria Borger argued that may in fact be the best week of Obama’s second term.
The relevant portion of the transcript is below.
June 26, 2015
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Mika [was] obviously very excited about it. I will just say what Republicans have said for now 30, 40 years. We've been done in again by a Republican appointee! I mean, it just keeps happening to us. Gene, I really seriously, we really are Charlie Brown, who keeps thinking we’re gonna kick that football. But Republican appointees – Gene, seriously though. You heard the talk on the Senate floor from Ted Cruz, and many others. This is going to be seen as a conservative betrayal for years to come. But make no mistake of it, John Roberts and Barack Obama, who started out on the wrong foot to say the least, they will forever be intertwined in history with ACA.
EUGENE ROBINSON: I think they will. And, in fact, Roberts' decision, if you read the opinion, is – it puts this law on a stronger footing than it was before. It establishes ObamaCare, the Affordable Care Act, as part of the fabric of American life.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: And the signature of this presidency has just been signed.
AL SHARPTON: And the legacy.
BRZEZINSKI: The legacy of this president.
SHARPTON: I think they affirmed the legacy of Barack Obama. I think that it was a great decision as you would probably guess, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: I am in the distinct minority here.
SHARPTON: I also think that Republicans should be happy because –
SCARBOROUGH: Actually, they are.
SHARPTON: If you had 6.4 million people that didn't have coverage.
ROBINSON: What were you gonna do about that?
SCARBOROUGH: Exactly. And that is for Republican politicians on the Hill. They're going to say we're shocked, we're stunned, we're deeply saddened. But now they're going to go, thank God we can talk about this on the campaign trail and we don’t actually have to come up [with] an alternative. Willie, it's the height of cynicism. But for a Republican Party that has not put forward a single comprehensive health care plan over the past three or four years that Americans can get around and that the party can even get around, this actually allows them to scream and shout and not do anything.