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It was a similar crew of conservative justices on the Supreme Court that decided that their long-held beliefs on states' rights were irrelevant and made George W. Bush our next president in 2000. Now, they're back!!! And they might decide yet another presidential election.

It was a similar crew of conservative justices on the Supreme Court that decided that their long-held beliefs on states' rights were irrelevant and made George W. Bush our next president in 2000. Now, they're back!!! And they might decide yet another presidential election.

Imagine the damage it does to President Obama to strip him of his signature accomplishment right before the election. It would also allow the Republicans to say -- "See, we told you so! It was unconstitutional all along. It was a wild, socialist over-reach of big government." It creates a permanent stain on the law -- as if there was something horribly wrong with it all along. And it takes it off the books at a moment when it is still relatively unpopular. So, before any of the popular provisions are put into effect it would go in the record books as a complete disaster.

Why don't you just hand the Republicans the election? Which is, of course, exactly what the conservatives of this court would love to do. These conservative justices are given far too much deference in the media. They are largely partisan hacks.

Antonin Scalia is a complete fraud. He will bend any so-called principle to get to the political result he wants. If it's upholding anti-gay legislation or striking down federal laws he doesn't like, he is a huge advocate for states' rights. But if it's marijuana legalization or euthanasia or Bush v. Gore, then he hates states' rights. So, which one is it? Here's how you can tell -- which side is the Republican Party on?

Remember, this is a guy who goes duck hunting with Dick Cheney and attends political fundraisers with the Koch brothers. Of course, he doesn't recuse himself from any cases that involve those people. In fact, he votes on their side nearly 100% of the time.

We've been hearing for at least thirty years about the dangers of activist judges. That it is so wrong for unelected officials, like judges, to invalidate laws made by the people's representatives. Now, all of a sudden, the Republicans love that idea! They want to interpret the Commerce Clause in a way that it has not been interpreted since 1937. They want to invalidate a sitting president's signature piece of legislation for the first time in 75 years. And their hack, partisan justices on the Supreme Court can't wait to do their bidding.

The way Scalia, Alito and Thomas are going to vote is certain. There isn't a single Republican position those guys haven't wanted to fondle. They will enthusiastically wrap their legs around the idea that the mandate is unconstitutional. And they will double down by saying it strikes down the rest of the law with it.

John Roberts plays a moderate on TV, so there is some questions about which way he'll go. But in the real world, he always votes with the conservatives because... he is deeply conservative (or more accurately, party line Republican, no matter where the so-called conservative position lies).

So, that leaves us with Justice Kennedy, who is a genuine swing vote. But remember he is the one that swung toward Bush and meddled with how Florida counts its votes despite decades of empty talk about states' rights. If he sides with the rest of the conservative justices, he will forever cement his place on the Hack Hall of Fame as one of the most deeply partisan justices we have ever had. If he helped to decide two presidential elections based on which party he likes rather than his so-called deeply held beliefs, like his oft-repeated deference to precedent, than it would be hard to find a more political and disingenuous justice.

One last thought, which is on the sad incompetence of the Democratic Party. They should be screaming "activist judges" from the rooftops. Instead they are meekly mumbling about how it's unclear which way the court is going to go and how we shouldn't pre-judge. I got news for you -- the Republicans have been pre-judging your bill for years now. You should consider fighting back.

But the primary responsibility is the president's. Why did you agree to the Republican idea of mandates in the first place?

Orrin Hatch (R-UT) was the original sponsor of the mandate in the Senate back in 1993. The Heritage Foundation championed the idea. Mitt Romney was applauded wildly by conservatives when he passed a mandate in Massachusetts. Did the president think they would like him more if he agreed to their idea? No, they have always opposed you at every turn, and they always will. They turned on their own idea the minute you agreed to it -- and now they're using it to kill your whole bill.

When is the president ever going to learn that agreeing with Republicans never helps him? It never helps the country. All it does is make it easier for them to beat you because you made the fatal mistake of agreeing with them.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm not at all convinced ... (18+ / 0-)

    that striking the law down would have the impact you describe. It's equally plausible that there could be a backlash. But there's no doubt that the whole business has been a bungled affair-- especially the provision deferring the implementation for four years!

    As for Antonin Scalia, check this out from Charles Pierce yesterday:

    His "originalism" was always a shuck, even if it was consistent, which it rarely was, and even if it was principled, which it never was. Bush v. Gore was proof enough of that. More often, it was just an excuse for Scalia to be an arrogant bully to the people appearing before him, and to the clients out in the world that those people were representing, most of whom were unworthy of the time that Scalia and his mighty mind had to devote to their petty little grievances. But at least, for a while, he actually tried to act like a judge in a democratic republic, and not the lost Medici pope. Reports pop up periodically that he's bored, that he's unsatisfied, that he knows he'll never be Chief, so he'd rather just chuck it all and go teach, and write, and flip off the occasional tabloid reporter. Now, though, it appears that the man has pretty much checked out without going through the formality of resigning from the bench.

    "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

    by Demi Moaned on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 06:48:24 AM PDT

    •  All of the baby-out-with-the-bathwater stuff: (18+ / 0-)

      Pre-existing conditions, kids on parents' insurance, etc. will come to the forefront if ACA is overturned.

      Don't count on it as a political win for the Republicans.

      The testimonials will be amazing.  And one way or the other, Romney takes it in the chin.

      Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
      I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
      —Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 06:54:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There might be a backlash (14+ / 0-)

      but there are no majorities like the ones we had in 2009-10 so what would Congress do with any backlash from the public?  What would progressive Dems be able to do now? They've been shut down.  

      I think there will be a backlash if the bill is struck down but what the heck will anyone be able to do about it in time to keep any kind of health care reform on track?  

      Also, most of it was not even implemented so most people never even had the chance to experience any benefit of it, so why would they fight to keep it?  That was another huge mistake, waiting so long to put things in place and let people experience the good parts of the bill and get some relief.

      The polls are not looking good for any kind of effective backlash.


      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 07:02:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The party's over (6+ / 0-)

        I certainly agree that health-care reform is a dead issue for any legislative initiatives for the next three years, at least, whether or not the ACA is struck down.

        What I disagree with is the assertion that this would be an unmitigated electoral boon for Republicans.

        "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

        by Demi Moaned on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 07:18:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  perhaps it won't be an unmitigated boon... (5+ / 0-)

          but the republicans will get mileage out of it, and it seems unlikely to help mr. obama.

          i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

          by joe shikspack on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 07:25:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Really not sure (4+ / 0-)

          I think it would be a mixed bag.  I think the point the diarist is trying to make is that the president's signature achievement from his first term being reversed by the SCOTUS is a big set back for him and it makes campaigning on it a big problem, potentially makes promises about the benefits of the bill coming in he next few years for many voters nil, might nix the medicaid expansion, etc.  

          A poll cited by Maddow last night or the night before said that a big majority of people believe that the SCOTUS decision will be driven by political motivations, so it looks like a lot of people will not necessarily blame the president if it is shot down by SCOTUS, but if the whole thing is shot down he will not be able to deliver the benefits of the bill, and that will not be good for him regardless of whose fault it was.  It was already a crisis during the Bush years (the need for health care reform) and this country was strongly behind reform, public option, etc a few years ago and not because it was a whim, because people were seriously in need.

          Not having proper health care reform, more accessible and affordable health care is a lose lose all the way around, regardless of the reason why we do not have it or who is to blame.  It will have a negative effect.  The whole thing where the Dems blame the Repubs for everything only goes so far.


          "Justice is a commodity"

          by joanneleon on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 08:55:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe because the backlash will be restricted to (7+ / 0-)

        an electorally-based system of governance that is run of, by and for the plutocracy?

        When will the broad populace of the Dem recognize that electing Dems, while necessary, will not, nay, cannot, in and of itself address the problems that confront us and thus pursue additional means?

        As my new sig says...

        The suffering will continue until it is sufficient to mobilize a counterforce sufficient to overwhelm the plutocracy. And no sooner.

        by Words In Action on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 07:26:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It does look (7+ / 0-)

          like we are heading down the path that your sig implies.  We had a shot, a real shot after 2006 and 2008.  But the Dems went for the plutocracy too.  Maybe they mistakenly thought that was the reason they won elections with such landslides, because of the 1% money.  They seem to think that the one with the most money always wins and anything is worth  getting that money.  I don't think they give the people much credit at all for making the Democratic waves happen.  You'd think after 2010 they would have realized it though.

          And in this election, people are not going to be willing to believe and trust like they did in 2006 and 2008.  Nope. Trust is hard to win and easy to lose.


          "Justice is a commodity"

          by joanneleon on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 08:59:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  there might be a backlash... (5+ / 0-)

      but it is not likely to produce results in the current climate.  polls are showing that the engine of the aca, the mandate, is very unpopular.  without that element this particular deal is dead.  sure people want access to healthcare, but they are not likely to fight for something like the mandate.  the best that we could hope for is that a backlash would create an opening for more liberal states to go to single payer.

      i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

      by joe shikspack on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 07:19:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  because Obama's signature accomplishments... (1+ / 0-)

      .... were to get Bin Laden and wind down the wars exactly as he had promised.  Those accomplishments did not depend upon any cooperation from Republicans whatsoever.  Since they couldn't stand in the way, he was able to achieve those goals.

      The Rs can beeyotch about the ACA until the cows come home, but 'twas they who took the Public Option off the table even before Obama (seemingly) let go of it (for that round), and the Public Option that would have precluded any arguements over unconstitutional compulsory commerce.   They made that bed, they wet that bed, now they can lie in their own stink.  

      And they can't take away one microgram from Obama's military achievements.  

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 09:17:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Turns out that neither Scalia nor Roberts are as (11+ / 0-)

    simple cutouts as you describe.

    Roberts seems to like executive power, for one thing.

    Scalia needs to retire or be retired, but he is probably the smarted guy on the bench and he'd be a fantastic member of a conservative minority on the bench.

    Unfortunately you've missed the boat on the real problem with the bench: Thomas (, Inc.) and Alito (who was visibly affronted by Obama's observations on Citizens United).  

    The solution is to do something about Thomas (and his ethics problems) and try to bring the court back to being in sync with American society.

    I'm kinda "meh" about Roberts -- he's from the Reagan/Cheney executive power mold and that bothers me, but Thomas has got to go.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 06:50:05 AM PDT

    •  Alito (6+ / 0-)

      is visibly affronted by everything, it seems.  Consantly offended by one thing or the other and doesn't try to hide it.  Remember his act during the SOTU last year? (Maybe that is what you are referring to with Citizens United). I don't think he even showed up for the one before that.  Plus the whole deal with his wife leaving the hearing room in tears when he was asked some tough questions during his confirmation hearing. He's a walking, talking affront.


      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 07:07:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Being "In Sync" With American Society... (0+ / 0-)

      is not the purpose of the Supreme Court!  You are describing a political view instead of a Constitutional View.

      The Supreme Court has during its history been "In Sync" with American Society but was not ruling Consitutionally (Dred Scot for example).  And they have ruled against American Society and been correct (Brown V. Board of Ed for example).

      I do not want the Supreme Court to rule based on being "In Sync" with American Society.  I want them to rule based on the constitution.

  •  I'm sure Cenk that when YOU are POTUS... (10+ / 0-)

    You'll make far better decisions.

    Until then, I just don't think he's listening to you, dude.

  •  Good grief Cenk (11+ / 0-)

    I was all with you, all to the way to the end, the very last paragraph in which YOU BLAME THE PRESIDENT (sorry for the caps, I couldn't help it).

    The following is bull shit:

    When is the president ever going to learn that agreeing with Republicans never helps him? It never helps the country. All it does is make it easier for them to beat you because you made the fatal mistake of agreeing with them.
    . (
    (emphasis is mine)

    ...and I don't like your word choice, "fatal," describing the president's-so called- mistake. It is quite extreme and peculiar, if you ask me.

    And about the supreme court deciding this election? Let them. It will not be what they hoped for. If they destroy the president's health law, they will guarantee his election.

    ps* I believe you are a liberal but I think you have some personal issues against this president. Because you find any excuse, even the possibility of a supreme court atroticy, to attack Barack Obama.

    That, I have no doubt.

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 06:58:33 AM PDT

  •  An individual mandate is (17+ / 0-)

    actually needed in this kind of corporatist health care reform -- Edwards had one in his plan and so did Hillary. That's one of the big problems with this kind of mediocre health care reform: it hinges on a provision that people instinctively and understandably don't like.  

  •  Let them throw out the mandate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    George Pirpiris, Puddytat

    Maybe then the public option will get another look.

    Maybe then the dems will actually stand up and say, "Hey assholes! Here's what's in the bill! See all these individual aspects you like? That's the fucking bill!!"

    Maybe there will be a discussion about the content, rather than just hating on the guy who signed it.

  •  I'm with Cenk all the way (9+ / 0-)

    This Administration failed to listen to their base on this issue which led to something being passed that was too complicated for people to understand and fell into a Republican trap.  

    If this law goes - I may just might as well toss in the towel on Obama period.

  •  I was with you until your last paragraph, where (10+ / 0-)

    you manage to somehow blame Obama for a pending decision by conservative judges. A decision that might go either way.

  •  Also... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kalmoth, elmo

    It seems you can mimic (!)the Repubs rather well:

    "See, we told you so! It was unconstitutional all along. It was a wild, socialist over-reach of big government."
    And in your words:
    It creates a permanent stain on the law -- as if there was something horribly wrong with it all along
    Forgive me...again...your choice of words & terms, "permanent stain" horribly wrong," makes me scratch my head. They sound like insuniations.

    Not a good diary at all. Assuming so much negativity make sit appear trollish.

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 07:09:15 AM PDT

  •  Anton a.k.a. Fat Tony Scalia (3+ / 0-)

    Fat Tony was insturmental in stealing the election for Bush in 2000.

    Look how well that turned out.

  •  When health care reform gets tossed out (5+ / 0-)

    those who broke it, get to own it.

    You'd think that Iraq would have taught reckless Republicans to be more cautious.  

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 07:15:21 AM PDT

  •  Overturning the bill would hurt Republicans and in (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    valadon, zenox, Cedwyn, doroma

    either case, Mittens is in trouble -- if you want to see Obama as genius playing eleventh-dimensional chess then passing an unpopular bill that is almost identical to the signature achievement of his most likely Republican rival would be further proof.

    Or you could just see it as politicans trying their best to solve a nearly impossible problem.

  •  I sincerely hope (0+ / 0-)

    that is not the case, Cenk...but previous decisions by this politically corrupt court (with the exception of the more Liberal justices) does not give anyone much confidence in their deciding this case according to set precedent..

    My question is this: If this decision against the entire law is designed to hurt the President and his reelection prospects, how does it help Romney?  The ACA was based on the Romney model as we know, so do you think the Republicans and their Conservative cohorts on the court have thought it through that far? ;)

    Many of us have had a problem with the idea of the mandate since it was first proposed because of its obvious benefit to the insurance industry, so I could care less about the mandate, but we do have a framework, weak as it is, in the body of the legislation itself that should not be disposed of..

    "In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."- Albert Camus

    by valadon on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 07:30:42 AM PDT

  •  sidebar: (0+ / 0-)

    How did Mitt Romney win the Florida primary?

    Ninety-nine percent of his ads were negative
    and every single one of his Super PAC's ads were, too.

    How'd he win Michigan? More negative attacks.

    In Wisconsin, where the primary is around the corner, he's outspending the Santorum campaign five to one.

    You can see where this is going.

    Mitt Romney banks on the fact that a few people can give a whole lot of money to win this election for him.

    If the Top 25 Hedge Fund Managers Paid Taxes Like You and Me We'd Cut 44 Billion of the National Deficit

    by anyname on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 07:31:46 AM PDT

  •  If court upholds mandates. SS could go private. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    briefer, costello7, Brown Thrasher

    The problem with the mandate to purchase Wall St insurance products is that it could be used by GOP president and Congress to privatize Social Security.  Making purchase of Wall St. Ponzi schemes mandatory using the same justifications that Affordable Health Care Act uses to justify purchase of Wall St insurance industry products in lieu of health care services.

    Better if the court throws out the mandatory purchase of Wall St products by government.  It's use in the hands of GOP would be very destructive.  It's use in Affordable Health Care Act is destructive.  Kaiser Family Foundation notes that current health insurance cost for a family of four is now $20K.  Insurance cost will rise to over $45K, 100% of average family income, by 2033.  Affordable Health Care Act accelerates this unsustainable increase in insurance costs, actually pricing people out of getting health care in order to pay for insurance that bankrupts them.

    US can move on to real health care reform, Medicare for All.  A health care tax and universal coverage under Medicare eliminating insurance industry and the 50% surcharge it adds to health care services.

    •  Health care and insurance costs are going up, (3+ / 0-)

      come hell or high water. If the ACA is struck down, and those costs continue to rise at current levels, I think people are gonna look around and realize they were snookered - something will have to give, because this nation can not long survive half insured and half sick. It might take a while, but maybe it would actually push us to single-payer.

      But, it would take a revitalized and pissed-off Democratic party to do that. And, what I see, is a party that is, at best, passive aggressive and whiny (which is how we ended up with the Mandate to begin with).

      Liberals: Taking crap for being right since before you were born. - Driftglass (and the amazing Professional Left Podcast at http://professionalleft.blogspot.com/)

      by briefer on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 07:53:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  European and world health care proves you wrong. (4+ / 0-)

        European systems cost 10% of GDP vs. US system that costs 20% of GDP.  They cover 100% of citizens, half the cost, and get better results.

        INSURANCE costs are increasing.  Doctors, RN, X-ray techs, MA's, CNA's income is not increasing.  

        You confuse insurance products with health care which is exactly the problem with Affordable Health Care Act and why it failed to provide any meaningful health care reform.

        Insurance is not health care and insurance industry should not be adding costs to health care.

        •  Well...true dat. Guess I fell into the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RUSiriusA, Brown Thrasher

          "insurance is health care" trap. What you said is what I meant.

          Yeah, health care providers are not getting 20% richer every year. In fact, it's going in the other direction.

          Liberals: Taking crap for being right since before you were born. - Driftglass (and the amazing Professional Left Podcast at http://professionalleft.blogspot.com/)

          by briefer on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 08:24:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not so sure this law will (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doroma

    be rejected. Obama can make attacking this corrupt Supreme Court the centerpiece of his campaign and the Court can do nothing to defend itself.

    Would Obama do this? Maybe, if he felt it was a winner. And the Court knows this too.

  •  Health care reform on a national level is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tytalus

    now moot--won't happen, can't happen.

    The only game left is to make them pay a price for their perfidy.

    And, no, this group of wingnut hacks would never let single payer or the public option become law.

    They would drum up some phony excuse.  They always do.

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 07:47:53 AM PDT

  •  If it goes down, then Obama is a "loser," or (0+ / 0-)

    or, his chances of reelection go up because the Repubs have one less thing to throw at him. Or, the chances of reelection go down because Dems get so discouraged they don't go to the polls. Or, they go up because Repubs, now deprived of their big issue, don't go to the polls, and Democrats are so mad that the do go to the polls.

    I dunno. It's all depressing.

    Liberals: Taking crap for being right since before you were born. - Driftglass (and the amazing Professional Left Podcast at http://professionalleft.blogspot.com/)

    by briefer on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 07:48:45 AM PDT

  •  More right wing talking points... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MGross, kalmoth, GoGoGoEverton

    Cent is in constant attack mode against Obama, Obama has no control over what the supreme court does.  He kept his promise and passed health reform....these right wing justices were appointed long before Obama became president.

    •  what? (5+ / 0-)

      right wing talking points?

      can you point me to a right-winger who ever said this?

      When is the president ever going to learn that agreeing with Republicans never helps him?
      or this?
      These conservative justices are given far too much deference in the media. They are largely partisan hacks.
      or this?
      The way Scalia, Alito and Thomas are going to vote is certain. There isn't a single Republican position those guys haven't wanted to fondle
      One can certainly disagree with Cenk on his thesis, but saying that these are right wing talking points is ridiculous.

      Call your representative and senators and the white house (lack of capitalization intended) to STOP this crazy warmongering with Iran, please.

      by Indiana Bob on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 09:07:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I believe he wrote a few more words (0+ / 0-)

        than what you copied/pasted.

        Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

        by GoGoGoEverton on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 10:56:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  fair enough (0+ / 0-)

          But where in the diary is a "right-wing talking point"?

          That is all I am asking.

          I disagree with Cenk on some of what he wrote.  I think the President got the best deal he could get, given the dickishness of the republicans (and more than a few Democrats).

          I objected to the characterization of the term right-wing talking points, that's all.

          Call your representative and senators and the white house (lack of capitalization intended) to STOP this crazy warmongering with Iran, please.

          by Indiana Bob on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 12:32:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I find it an obtuse characterization as well. (0+ / 0-)

            Unfortunately it was one of the Kosedicts after the last Great Banning, "right wing talking points". I would label them as talking points that have absolutely no foundation in liberal or even centrist thinking, but the phrase is often thrown out when reasonable people object to sensationalist or unfounded hysteria.

            Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

            by GoGoGoEverton on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 01:09:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  president obama (0+ / 0-)

        knows the republicans were irrational. He wrote about the new right not being reasonable in Dreams of my Father. He KNEW all along.

        He just felt he still had to represent them.

        He RAN on bringing people together in 2008. He would be abandoning that if he were to not incorporate republican ideas and leave them in the dark.

        Obama stopped that style of governing a long time ago and has been calling out republicans since the jobs bill.

        Cenk is wrong when he says "obama is still trying to cosy with republicans"

        •  Candidate Obama is back! (0+ / 0-)

          How many divisions does OWS have?

          by Diebold Hacker on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 01:26:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  candidate obama (0+ / 0-)

            in 2008 said "I will work hard to bring people together and work with republicans"

            i do not understand why progressives did not make a big fuss about that then.  It should not surprise progressives why he wanted to try and bring republicans in when crafting policy.

            He RAN on bringing people together.

            •  It's a failed strategy. Does he see that? (0+ / 0-)

              I have no problem with him giving the whole bipartisan thing a shot. For a while. But the other side came right out and admitted that their strategy was to do anything possible to ruin his term.

              So he pursues this idiocy for three years and magically comes to his senses just in time to run for re-election. Super.

              How many divisions does OWS have?

              by Diebold Hacker on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 10:55:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  he has known (0+ / 0-)

                His unifying style of governing has had side effects since the jobs bill.
                there is no sugarcoating that not stopping that style in mid summer of 2009 did not help obama, progressives, and the country.

                However, I think we need to be fair to obama and try to understand his pov on pursuing a unifying style of government. Also, we need to be fair regarding on some votes, he needed republican support and the republicans have fought him everyway. Even then, he is most accomplished president SINCE lbj. We have come a long way towards sanity and we moving towards a better economy, world environment, etc.

                I know you probably will take a more doubtful and cynical angle on this than I will. But I hope you try to be understanding of context and give legitimacy to all angles of obama, not just one area such as governing style.

                I feel his heart has always been in the right place in the midst of everything we have gone through. No president since lbj has accomplished this much for the people.

  •  People don't recall (7+ / 0-)

    (mostly because none of us were alive at the time) that, following the Dred Scott decision, the Taney SCOTUS was mocked and ignored until Taney's death.  That Court was mocked and ignored by President Lincoln as well as by the legislatures and citizens of both the North and South.  Ironic, in those times, that the one thing North and South could agree upon is that the Taney Court was illegitimate and their opinions ought not be taken seriously.

    I felt after Citizens United, it was high time for Obama and the rest of us--certainly on the left, though I suspect many a Tea Bagger wasn't happy with that ruling either--to ignore and mock the Roberts Court.  They've proven to be illegitimate and, yes, "political hacks".  They've earned derision for their blatantly partisan rulings.  That Thomas is not impeached--let alone that he did not recuse himself on healthcare--is a national scandal.

    I've never been a fan of this particular healthcare bill or approach.  I'm still pissed about the Public Option.  But I would give the President a standing ovation--and I bet better than half the country would as well--if, on the day SCOTUS rule the ACA unconstitutional (presuming they do), Obama says, "Yeah, whatever" and just goes forward implementing it as though they have no authority.  Personally, I'd also start having the Justice Department start arresting corporate honchos for exceeded campaign donation limits, as though their ruling on Citizens United had no validity as well.

    Obama will never do it, of course, but he really ought to.  He ought to do it for the good of the nation.

    "Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will."—Frederick Douglass

    by costello7 on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 08:14:48 AM PDT

    •  You remember all of the "Impeach Earl Warren" (4+ / 0-)

      billboards all over the country? Or, was that just the South, where I grew up?

      Maybe we need something like that. Us liberals just don't get pissed-off hard or long enough.

      Liberals: Taking crap for being right since before you were born. - Driftglass (and the amazing Professional Left Podcast at http://professionalleft.blogspot.com/)

      by briefer on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 08:21:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Interesting thought. nt (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      costello7, poligirl, Brown Thrasher
    •  Andrew Jackson, is that you? (3+ / 0-)

      I'm unsure the public would react well to what you're proposing.

      •  75% of Americans believe (1+ / 0-)

        the healthcare ruling from SCOTUS will be a political ruling, not a legal or Constitutional one.  Only 17% believe the Justices will decide the case on the merits and law.  I would submit to you that the Roberts Court has already lost it's legitimacy and standing with the American people entirely.

        "Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will."—Frederick Douglass

        by costello7 on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 10:21:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That cuts both ways. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          splintersawry

          That would also include people who believe the 4 liberal justices are the ones acting out of politics.

          •  Sure (0+ / 0-)

            I didn't say ignore the conservatives on the Court.  I said ignore and mock the whole thing.

            First of all, there are only two liberals on the Court;  Obama's two appointees are centrists at best.  It's just in comparison to the neanderthals on the right side of the bench that they appear liberal.  Second of all, there is a gang of five that consistently rules on right wing ideology, overturning hundreds of years of precedent--often in direct contradiction of positions they, themselves, argued in the past.  Given that, it really doesn't matter what the four "liberal" Justices do.  They can vote ideology, they can vote politics, they can vote principle or the law, they can fly paper airplanes and go fishing, they can make funny faces and play with their boogars.  It doesn't matter.  They could be the most activist of liberal activist judges and.....so what?  They have no power or influence on the Court.  None.  Zip.  Zero.  Nada.  Zilch.  Now we certainly don't want to see 5-4 become 6-3 or worse, so we certainly need a Democratic President--hopefully a liberal but certainly a Democrat.  But how can the Right credibly complain about the "liberals" on the Court when they have no power.

            Even if, as I suspect in my heart of hearts, SCOTUS upholds the mandate and the ACA, it won't be because of the "liberals" on the Court; it will be because of the insurance companies in the pockets of the conservative Justices.  

            Look.  The old line Rethugs (you know, Reagan's people and others who wouldn't be welcome in the party today) pretty much all say the mandate is Constitutional (they invented it for jeebuz sake).  Old SCOTUS clerks, former Attorneys General, etc., etc.  It's not even a close call, really...unless you want it to be.  If SCOTUS does rule 5-4 to toss the mandate and most of the ACA--and with Citizens United and Bush V. Gore preceding it--then there is no doubt how nakedly partisan the gang of five is.  None.  And you can say the "liberals" are nakedly partisan as well.  But they have no power, no voice, really.  They don't matter.

            The SCOTUS is not supposed to be a political body.  We have Congress for that.  That most Americans now believe it is (on both sides) means that they are not currently performing their function.  Ignore them.  Ridicule them.  They will protest but, in the end, they will have to slink back to whatever rocks they crawled out from under.  The "liberals" already don't matter.  Why should we allow the freakazoids on the right to matter?

            "Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will."—Frederick Douglass

            by costello7 on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 09:32:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  To Cenk, "the permanent stain" (6+ / 0-)

    The 2000 election atrocity left a "permanent stain" on no one else other than the conservative judges like Scalia who were responsible with it.

    That's a fact.

    America is neither a socialist state nor it is a one party dictatorship. Presidents are required to 'work' with the congress which is made out of representatives from multiple political parties. That is the requirement of their job. It doesn't make them traitors.

    That's a fact.

    Because of the radical blowhards like yourself who kept thumping rhetoric like : kill the bill, teach the prez a lesson, we were stuck in 2010 with the teabagging congress the president has to work with now.

    That's a fact.

    If you are planning to do the same for this election period by blaming the president for eveything, including a possible negative coming out of supreme- scummyscalia- conservative court, rest assured. We will not let you.

    We have no more margin of errors left.

    We know what we are up against, this time.

    That too is a fact.

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 08:36:33 AM PDT

    •  Correction (0+ / 0-)

      The 2000 election atrocity left a "permanent stain" on no one other than the conservative judges like Scalia who were responsible for it.

      "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

      by zenox on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 11:41:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  cenk making a mountain (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kalmoth

    OOut of a mole hill. Nothing to see here folks.

  •  A Bloomberg poll showed... (3+ / 0-)

    that Americans think that the court's decision will be political rather than merit-based by a 75-17 margin.

    "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

    by JackND on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 09:34:11 AM PDT

  •  All because it is SOOO much better to have a (0+ / 0-)

    corporate flunky deny you care than have some guidance from the government.

    I've had it, I'm going to start asking for voter regs cards with prescriptions, and the GOP I will refuse to fill on moral grounds.

    WTF!?!?!?! When did I move to the Republic of Gilead?!

    by IARXPHD on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 09:42:32 AM PDT

  •  Here's why this diary is off the mark (5+ / 0-)

    First, Cenk seems to assume that if President Obama had gone with the public option or a Medicare for All plan that the Supreme Court would've upheld it based on the way the Supreme Court has ruled on related issues in the past.  However, that was the same logic behind the mandate, that based on how guys like Scalia have ruled on the Commerce Clause in the past, they would've certainly ruled the mandate constitutional.  Clearly, that's in serious doubt now.  If the conservative justices are as disingenuous and two-faced about the mandate, what makes Cenk think that they wouldn't have done a similar about-face on a public option or Medicare for All?  After all, just two years ago the notion that the Supreme Court would rule a mandate unconstitutional was considered laughable.  Anyone who thinks there's no way the conservative justices would find a way rule against a public option or Medicare for All would be similarly naive.  

    In any event, Cenk seems to assume that Obama only adopted the mandate because he wanted to appeal to Republicans.  What Cenk seems to neglect is that the congressional committees who drafted the health care legislation were the ones who insisted on the mandate, not to appeal to Republicans, but because without the mandate the plan they drafted wouldn't work - free-riders would wait until they got sick to sign up for a plan thereby exploding the costs, the pre-existing conditions ban would've never passed as having such a ban without a mandate would've bankrupted the insurance companies (which might be desirable from the standpoint of progressives but would never have passed Congress), and if there were a public plan with no mandate, it would've become unduly expensive as private insurers would dump the most insurable - i.e., most expensive - patients on it.  Obama accepted the mandate because the congressional plans already had it plus he was clearly persuaded by the policy implications I mention above of not having a mandate.  But I know, that doesn't fit into your narrative of President Obama naively doing things to make Republicans like him.

    Lastly, you say that the Democrats should be yelling about "activist judges" which I assume would be to work the refs or shape the political narrative.  Except that you're assuming that the conservative justices or conservatives in general would be moved by charges of judicial activism coming from the left.  Here you're guilty of the very thing you accuse President Obama of, namely the naive belief that conservatives would be persuaded by one of their own arguments being used against them in order to avoid the appearance of hypocrisy.  They aren't persuaded by charges of fiscal irresponsibility from the left for their insistence on further tax cuts, their refusal to cut defense spending, and the fact their budget plans all swell the deficit and debt even more than, let's say, the Budget for All or President Obama's plan.  What makes you think that being charged with judicial activism will suddenly make them see the errors of their ways?  And if you think that Democrats yelling about judicial activism will change the narrative, you're must be really clueless.  The only political group that charge appeals to is conservatives, and for them the charge only applies to liberal justices.  No one else gets worked up by the judicial activism charge.  Such a charge coming from liberals would simply fall on deaf ears with conservatives, as usual, refusing to apply the same standards to their own side.

    All in all, it would seem that the arguments you make here about Obama's supposed naivete apply with equal force to the argument that if only we went the Medicare for All/public option route everything would've been just gravy and conservatives would've just meekly assented.  And your argument that liberals shouting about judicial activism would cause conservatives to see the errors of their own ways or that it would inflame non-conservatives who don't give a rat's ass about judicial activism is pollyannish in the extreme.

    "Better the occasional faults of a Government that lives in the spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a Government frozen in the ice of its own indifference." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by puakev on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 10:01:21 AM PDT

    •  I agree with this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      puakev

      I love Cenk, but he was wrong about the mandate.  It was a done deal.

      Call your representative and senators and the white house (lack of capitalization intended) to STOP this crazy warmongering with Iran, please.

      by Indiana Bob on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 12:34:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  hillary clinton proposed (0+ / 0-)

      a mandate. why no fuss about that?

      Cenk thinks he is the smartest person in this whole world and that he is the only person that is right.

      God, I HATE that attitude and snottiness.

      President Obama ran on bringing people together in 2008. He made it clear he will work with republicans. WHy no fuss in 2008?

      Obama always knew the republicans were generally illegitimate. He was NOT naive. He wrote about the "new right" in his book "Dreams from my father". He knew.

      He STILL felt he had to represent them and bring them in policy discussions. It was a signature campaign pledge. Besides, Obama was brought up in bringing people together as a community organizer.

      •  In fairness (0+ / 0-)

        there was a lot of grumbling among liberals about the "bringing people together" stuff Obama was running on, but in the end people supported him because he was the best candidate.  And people also grumbled about Hillary supporting the mandate, in fact one of those people grumbling about it was then-Senator Obama himself who strongly opposed the mandate.

        As for Obama and his relationship with Republicans, let's not bullshit around, he probably gave the Republicans too much benefit of the doubt for far too long.  Whether this was due to naivete or due to some concerted strategy, I don't know for certain, but whatever it was, it was politically harmful and served no good purpose that I can see.  The debt ceiling debacle was the culmination of that, and only then did Obama realize that trying to work with Republicans was not only pointless, it was destroying his presidency.

        I understand that Obama had to give bipartisanship a chance, but by August 2009 when Republicans were yelling about death panels and denouncing policies they once supported like the mandate as a step towards totalitarianism, Obama should've known then and there that Republicans would never work with him in good faith (in fact I would argue that was clear during the Stimulus fight when only 3 Republicans in the Senate and none in the House voted for the Stimulus).

        You might argue that if Obama had gone on the offensive in August 2009 that people would accuse him of going back on his campaign promise to reach out to the Republicans and to practice a new kind of politics.

        But that is what happened anyway.  Even after Obama made the Stimulus 40 percent tax cuts, adopted Romneycare, extended the Bush tax cuts, signed off on a budget deal that was all cuts, then had negotiated a "Grand Bargain" that would've cut $3 trillion, including Medicare and Social Security benefits and Medicaid, in exchange for just $1 trillion in revenue increases, after all that Obama was still accused by the Beltway elites and by so-called moderates of both parties of being too partisan and ideological.

        So I'm glad, no, ecstatic that Obama finally realized after the debt ceiling debacle that there was no pleasing the Republicans or the Beltway elites or the so-called "moderates" like Olympia Snowe and Ben Nelson.  But it shouldn't have taken that long to realize this, his quixotic quest to appease Republicans and "centrists" dealt enormous damage to his political standing, and hopefully that damage wasn't so deep that it will cost him re-election.  

        "Better the occasional faults of a Government that lives in the spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a Government frozen in the ice of its own indifference." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

        by puakev on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 05:50:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  there is no sugarcoating (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          puakev

          That his unity style of governing had side effects.

          But he was never a "coward" or naive person. His heart has always been in the right place and we have come a long way.

          I think people underappreciate obama and make him more bad than he seems.  In fact, he is the most progressive and accomplished president SINCE lbj.   Yes, there is no sugarcoating that we needed much better and america is long due for much better than what obama has done.  But we need to be fair and understanding of his points of view on things.

          •  Agreed that Obama is no coward (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sreeizzle2012

            and I agree he is the most progressive and accomplished president since LBJ.  Like all presidents, he has made some mistakes, some of them quite big.  However he seems to have learned from those mistakes, and I have no doubt he is the best candidate to lead our country for the next four years.

            "Better the occasional faults of a Government that lives in the spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a Government frozen in the ice of its own indifference." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

            by puakev on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 10:43:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I knew (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yorkiedoglover, boriquasi, kefauver

    That you'd make an appearance soon after David Corn called you out for not reading his book and effectively handed you your ass.

    As for elections, why not talk about the tenth district of Illinois? In that primary, the netroots had one of their own running against an "establishment" candidate. And the district was favorable too, chock full of upscale college educated "progressives" and MoveOn members (Sheyman, as I'm sure you know, worked for MoveOn).

    The progressives had the money advantage, their true believing candidate, an opponent that could be vilified by out of district campaigning as Insufficiently Pure, and favorable polling. What happened? You got trounced by the real Democratic voters.

    Not that this means anything to you or the 12 people that watch your network. I look forward to watching Corn on MSNBC.

    Murdered While Black: If George Zimmerman is not arrested, there is no justice in Florida.

    by Rustbelt Dem on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 10:16:19 AM PDT

  •  Wait, this Didn't Make the "Rec List?!" (0+ / 0-)

    Whoever got me a DKOS Subscription - thank you so much. Maybe one of the nicest things anyone has done for me.

    by kefauver on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 01:46:00 PM PDT

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