Lessons of the ObamaCare Debate

Regardless of how the Supreme Court rules on ObamaCare, the debate has highlighted some of the worst characteristics of Progressives, particularly their arrogant, dismissive, and disrespectful attitudes.

For two years conservatives have been arguing that the individual mandate is unconstitutional.  And for two years the left has derided us as a bunch of lunatics.

Conservatives have been openly and expressly asking a single fundamental question about the individual mandate: if the federal government can do this, what can it not do?  While the inner details of the arguments have been refined, the fundamental question has been the same.

For two years, the left has refused to address this question.  They arrogantly dismissed the constitutional challenge.  They heaped scorn on us as a bunch of rubes and suckers.

In debates, when proponents of ObamaCare were asked how this would not create a general police power for the federal government, the typical response was along the lines of “we’re not claiming a general police power.”  This, of course, is a dodge and a total non-response.  It may be a satisfactory response among their lefty peers but it is a non-starter before the Supreme Court.

For two years, they have been on notice of the fundamental question and they refused to engage it.  They had two years to find an answer that would satisfy someone who didn’t share their worldview.  If they had paid the slightest attention and given the slightest respect to our arguments, our academics, our commentators, our grassroots, they would have been prepared for it.

Instead, they showed up at the Supreme Court and were blind-sided by Justice Kennedy asked them the fundamental question and they did not have a coherent answer.

For two years, they seem to have believed the individual mandate was an obvious slam dunk for them.  For two years, they slandered us as a bunch neanderthals for daring to challenge their precious law.  For two years, they argued that the legal precedents for their unprecedented exercise of federal power were clearly and unambiguously on their side.

And now it looks like the Supreme Court may well rule that the individual mandate is unconstitutional.  As Glenn Reynolds asks, “who’s the rubes and suckers now, rubes and suckers?”

If the left was at all capable of self-reflection or able to ask itself how the “tolerant and open-minded” side, who are self-evidently so much more intelligent and sophisticated than those awful knuckle-dragging conservatives, could be so spectacularly and insultingly wrong, then they might be able to learn from the experience.  But that’s not going to happen.  If the court strikes down ObamaCare, we’ll here the usual drivel: the court is corrupt, conservatives are evil, conservatives want poor people to die, conservatives are waging a war on women.  Adherents to totalitarian ideologies aren’t the self-reflective sort.

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