Now that we've had some opportunity to let the SCOTUS decision impact us directly, get the experts' opinions, get the strategists' opinions, and reconcile all this with our own opinions, I still don't feel particularly positive about the outcome.
People keep telling me that this decision is clever, strategic, even genius, but all I see is a man who preserved the public perception of the court at the expense of the entire country. Save the trickery for something less crucial to the survival of the republic.
Destabilizing the commerce clause, building some precedent (with liberal support) for limiting the overall power of the federal government, and advancing states' rights seems like a pretty sweet deal until you realize that the trade off is short term approval of the federal government to TAX YOU FOR EXISTING.
I appreciate that we have a long game to play here, but a dangerous game is still being played. This administration in particular has been VERY quick to use tricks of its own to expand its power. When you give this administration an inch, it buys guns with stimulus dollars and sends them to Mexican drug cartels who kill hundreds of Mexican citizens and at least one federal border patrol simply to advance gun control. These are NOT the people to whom you hand a dagger because you know you're going to get a sword later. They're just going to stab you
I don't understand the argument that made the integrity of the SCOTUS more important than doing its job. If you ask me, they're one and the same.
If the SCOTUS had come down the way everyone expected (you know, the constitutional way), we would have had plenty of talk about the SCOTUS being overly political, and judicial activism, and all the bobble-headed pundits would have backed Obama the same way they always have. But the citizen of this country would have understood what all the polls said they did:
IT'S STILL UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
So now, instead of all the pundits hating the SCOTUS, all the citizens understand there are NO further checks on federal power.
You saved the SCOTUS and lost the country.
If we're lucky, the enemies of the constitution will sit on their hands after their big win, Romney will win, the GOP will overturn Obamacare in its entirety, we'll trade some liberal justices for some strict constitutionalists, and we'll start getting this country on track.
But if all of those things don't happen exactly in that order, Roberts just handed Obama the win he needs to rebuild this country in his own image, with total federal control over everything we do, and everything we don't do.
Don't tell me that Obama won't stretch, bend, or break the "rules" in order to get what he wants. Is it beyond him to pack the supreme court? To simply choose not to enforce laws he doesn't like? To appoint unelected and unapproved czars to oversee huge swathes of economic and individual activity? To create labor relations boards under the treasury department, unelected, without congressional approval, appointed by him personally, who report only to him?
To personally oversee a "kill list" which includes American citizens who are to be exterminated by drone strikes without any form of process?
Then don't tell me that this is a win.
This is winning the debate when the judges have already been bought by the other team.
This is fighting with finesse, skill, and guile, parrying every blow and eventually putting your opponent into an inescapable submission hold, only for him to pull a boot knife and stab you in the neck.
This is what this party has always done.
This is playing to lose.