On the eve of the ObamaCare decision and the Holder contempt hearing I thought this post would be a great reminder of a common tactic by the left, but in the real world the tactic is called insanity.
It’s Bush’s fault!
ON MONDAY, I responded to James Fallows’s charge that the American right has effected a “long-term coup”, which began, by his lights, with the Bush v Gore decision in 2001. I countered by quoting a New York Times report on the recount of ballots in Florida undertaken by a consortium of newspapers following the controversial election and decision. The consortium said George W. Bush would have won even if the Supreme Court hadn’t cut recount efforts short. Tim Carney of the Washington Examiner had made the same point, to which Jonathan Chait of New York magazine replied, arguing that Bush v Gore really did “steal” the presidency from Al Gore. Mr Carney then offered a rejoinder, which I consider dispositive. Basically, the recount consortium showed that, (a) had the Supreme Court deferred to Florida’s Supreme Court, Mr Bush would have won anyway, and (b) had the Supreme Court granted the Gore campaign’s request for a recount in just four Gore-leaning counties, Mr Bush still would have won. The consortiumdid find that Mr Gore might have won under a recount with certain parameters, and it is upon this interesting footnote that Mr Chait hangs his argument. But Mr Gore’s campaign did not call for a recount to be undertaken within these parameters, and there’s no reason one would have been conducted had the Supreme Court ruled in Mr Gore’s favour.
This is very interesting, but why is it again that we’re rehashing an 11-year-old controversy? Because certain liberals are anxious that the Supreme Court will overturn portions of Obamacare, and they wish to call into question the court’s legitimacy in advance of the decision. The idea seems to be that in the nearby possible world in which Al Gore won the Florida recount, lo these many years, a liberal majority would now rule the high court and there would be no serious question about the constitutionality of the individual mandate. And, this line of thinking erroneously continues, since this is how things actually would be if only the conservative court majority in 2001 had not stolen the election from Mr Gore, it’s only right to see every 5-4 decision since then as an illegitimate ramification of the original injustice. It’s a neat idea, so I can see why liberals wish it were true.
They started this line of justification months ago:
Appearing on the Daily Rundown, March 30th, NPR’s Nina Totenberg complained, “[But] because of the Bush appointments, which were very, very, very conservative, the Court has become so much more conservative.”
So if it’s struck down tomorrow expect to hear this line of argument over and over again. If it isn’t then this crap complaint will disappear, at least until the next ruling that they don’t like.