"I will act to repeal Obamacare."
What Romney meant:
"I will act to repeal affordable health care for all."
What Romney should have said:
"I will act to repeal Romneycare."
You could have knocked me over with a kitten's whisker when I got the news. Having awoken stupidly early that morning (before two AM) I was taking a long, late morning's nap when the decision was announced. I didn't feel the need to be wide awake when that decision was revealed. I was certain of the outcome - or so I thought. Justice Anthony Kennedy would side with the right wing junta that has been dominating that court in recent years - as he usually does. Not to my surprise that is exactly what he did. But John Roberts turning to the left??? What gives? This morning he is a hero to the progressives, He's damned-near a hero to me! Life is funny, you know?
Some have speculated that Roberts is worried about the legacy of presiding over the worst body of Supreme Court Justices since the assholes who gave us "Plessy v Ferguson" over a century ago. There might very well be something to that. It must make him rip his pillow to shreds just thinking about it as he drifts off to dreamland every night. I would imagine that it gives him ulcers to even read about Chief Justice Roger Brook Taney, author of the Dred Scott decision and (I cringe as I write these words) a distant relative of mine. But who would have thought that John Roberts would pull an Earl Warren on us? Not me. Not in my wildest, weirdest dreams.
Warren was the reliably conservative, Republican governor of California who had served as Thomas Dewey's running mate in 1948. Four years later he went for the presidential nomination. When it became clear at the convention of 1952 that he was not going to get the big prize, he made a deal with Dwight Eisenhower. Warren would endorse the general on the condition that he get the first vacant Supreme Court appointment. Ike agreed. That vacancy came up in September of 1953 when Chief Justice Fred Vinson died suddenly of a heart attack. The president hesitated at giving him the top spot but Warren insisted. The agreement had been "the first" vacancy - and a deal was a deal. Ike relented - much to his eternal regret.
Earl Warren (to everyone's surprise) turned out to be one of the most progressive jurists in the history of that body. Less than a year after being sworn in, he would gently but firmly guide the court toward the historic "Brown v Board of Education" decision which effectively outlawed school segregation in America forever. Many years later, Eisenhower (a border-state-southerner by birth) would call his appointment of Earl Warren "the biggest damned-fool mistake of my life".
Warren was hugely unpopular during his lifetime - especially (although not surprisingly) in the deep south. Anyone who is old enough to remember driving through that region of the country during the nineteen-fifties and sixties can vividly recall the "IMPEACH EARL WARREN" billboards that littered the landscape. Highly controversial then, history has been quite kind to Chief Justice Earl Warren. His legacy is deeply respected and secure.
I can't help but wonder if Chief Justice John Roberts was thinking about his own place in history when he came out yesterday on the side of the angels. Is he worried that, a century into the future, his heirs will cringe at the mere mention of his name much in the same way my family cringes at the mention of the name "Roger B. Taney" nearly one-hundred and fifty years after his passing? That could possibly be the reason for his turnaround yesterday. This is just a theory of mine. Whatever the reason, I'm not complaining - trust me. Good for him for doing the right thing.
I can see the right wing billboards now:
"IMPEACH JOHN ROBERTS!!!"
Just you wait....
“Just because a couple people on the Supreme Court declare something to be ‘constitutional’ does not make it so. The whole thing remains unconstitutional,”
NOTE TO RAND: The very fact that the Supreme Court says that something is constitutional does indeed make it so. At one point in our history, slavery was constitutional. For the record, just because something is constitutional does not necessarily make it right. Affordable health care for all people is right. This is such a no-brainer it's embarrassing to have to explain it to grown adults. This begs the question: Has Rand Paul ever sat through so-much-as-a remedial civics lesson? You've gotta wonder.
Leave it to the Republicans to rain on this parade. Within two hours of this historic decision being made public, uber jackass and Buddy Holly lookalike, Eric Cantor, announced that on July 11, immediately following the Fourth of July recess, the House will vote to repeal "Obamacare". Poor old Eric ought to be careful what he wishes for. Very soon the American people will start to understand - in a way they haven't previously - exactly what the Affordable Healthcare Act (it's not "Obamacare") will mean for their economic security. If they succeed in killing this, it could very well explode in their faces, killing that disgusting party in the process - not that that would be a bad thing, you understand.
"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."
-Jesus of Nazareth
MEMO TO THE "CHRISTIAN" RIGHT: Affordable health care is quite merciful. One-hundred years ago in 1912, Theodore Roosevelt became the first, main stream American politician to propose national health insurance. This is one of the reasons (one of many) why the GOP today never even mentions his name in their campaign literature and propaganda. The type of enlightenment that was personified by TR has become anathema to the Grand OLD Party. It's almost inconceivable to me that a century later we're still having this discussion.
I've been a tad skeptical recently regarding Barack Obama's chances of being reelected come November. What with the Supreme Court's Citizens United debacle and the Voter ID laws being enacted in swing states all across the land, it seemed to me that the man had too much of an uphill climb to contend with. All bets are off. This might be the political victory he desperately needs that will give him enough momentum to beat Romney like a rancid egg. We shall see.
a film by Michael Moore
This excellent documentary on America's diseased health care system was released to the theaters five-years-ago today. If you haven't seen it, you ought to. If you have seen it, it's time to watch it again. You can pick it up for under ten dollars. Here's a link to order it off of Amazon.com:
Organize a showing of it at your local library if you can. This is a film that every American should see.
Do you want to check out some heavy duty political satire? Just have a look at Susie Sampson's Tea Party Report. Susie goes on location and just talks to people - and the people cooperate. The results are often shocking and always hilarious. Here's a link to her You Tube channel:
Onward, Susie Sampson!