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Pundits Apply Tortured Logic to Applaud Roberts


RUSH: Let's listen to some tortured logic. Let's go to the audio sound bites. Got some liberals here discussing what all happened. We'll start with Dahlia Lithwick, she is the Slate magazine's senior editor and one of the left's premiere court watchers. (interruption) No, no, no. Hang on just a second. Look, let me try this one more time. It was just asked, "You don't see any win in this thing, the Commerce Clause, not used, declared unconstitutional." I guess the simplest way I can express this is that this is not a faculty lounge debate to me. This is about something really basic. The freedom and liberty of the American people, which was not protected, upheld, or advanced yesterday. Nothing against people in faculty lounges, and nothing against intellectuals who wish to argue the finer legal points, and, "Yeah, I predicted that, I was right." That's good. That's great. Snerdley asked me, "Don't you see a silver lining?"

I think most people in this audience, for example, I think the people who make this country work are not interested in the legal finer points.  They're interested in whether or not there is a mechanism whereby liberty and freedom will be protected, maintained, upheld. And yesterday, a clear signal was sent that there isn't. Now, ultimately, what that means is -- and, by the way, this is a life lesson because it is this way in life. It's up to us. No, there's nothing wrong in depending, there's nothing wrong in holding the Supreme Court accountable as a backstop. They are there to assess the constitutionality of the law, that's what they themselves said, Marbury v. Madison, that's their job, that's what they're there to do. They didn't do it in this case. So in not doing it, the freedom and liberty of the people that make this country work was not upheld. That's what matters to me.

Now, over there on the side, yeah, we could... (clapping) I'm glad that that Commerce Clause was not -- so am I. But the fact that the Commerce Clause, the mandate was determined unconstitutional didn't save us. So it's a fine legal point, it's a great thing, yep. And by the same token, I'm not interested in IQ bonus points for smart justices who found a way to save the court. I'm just a man of the people. I'm just a common, ordinary, everyday average Joe, and I have been blessed with incredible good fortune. And unlike a bunch of elitists, I don't think that what's happened to me should only be permitted for a special few. I think it is the birthright of every American to have the opportunity to become the best they can be, to exercise the ambition and the desire and the ability that they have to pursue excellence to whatever degree they wish, and to have that effort rewarded accordingly, knowing that there's no such thing as fairness and equality and all that, we can stipulate that.

But for that to all happen, there have to be some guardrails and the premise of this country has to be upheld. And for people to be the best they can be, for people to pursue their dreams, there have to be some things that are given, taken for granted, so you don't have to waste your time focusing on them. And now, what we have to do is reassert the purpose of the country, in this next election. That's up to us to do. It's up to us to do it for ourselves and for those of you who have children or grandchildren, and pets, who want the best for them. Regardless, it's up there, and it always has been.

And I've always said that this is a country that people get what they want. And that always is the rub here. It's a question we've been asking ourselves since Obama won in 2008, really what kind of country are we? Have we reached the tipping point where a majority is simply content to have the government give them cable TV, a cell phone, food stamps, and a little housing here and there, and that's it. Are we still a country who believe in individualism, self-reliance, rugged self-reliance, taking care of self-interest, and in the process elevating everybody in their orb. And it always comes down to that. And that remains the question now and that's one of the reasons so many people are unsettled.

And of course, you read the media today and they're talking about how, "Hey, it's a great day, Obamacare was upheld, this is free, that's free," and that just warns us what we're up against. But I, I guess you could say, I take this a little personally only because of how much I love and appreciate -- which is actually the key word -- the country. I'm not interested in denying people opportunity, success, however they define it. As I say, I'm not an elitist who thinks that only a few select special people really should get the spoils and then determine what the remainder, the vast majority, get. I don't think that way.

And I think it's precisely because I don't have any pedigree in anything. I don't have a state-of-the-art education. I don't have a state-of-the-art anything. In my mind, I'm a living example of the uniqueness, the greatness, and the wonderfulness of this country. I love sharing my passions, including my success. I want everybody to be able to experience it to whatever degree they wish. And I look at decisions like this yesterday as a huge impediment to it.

I also see it as a lot of people not looking at life the way I do in terms of this country. Not ideologically or politically, but in terms of freedom and liberty. So that's why I'm feeling disquieted or sick, as I said, when the program began. Because I look at the task before everybody as now becoming even more difficult. Which is life, I understand, I'm not in denial. It was just so unnecessary. And I guess it also boils down to something as simple as right and wrong, which we all know.  We all have an inner voice, and we all know, call it your conscience or your religion or your faith, we all know right and wrong.

We don't always listen to the voice and we all get in trouble, we all do stupid things, and we all stretch the boundaries. But at the end of the day, we all know what's right and wrong. And then the realization that people in much more powerful positions than we are don't care about that, don't care about right and wrong, aren't interested in it. It is all about winning the points in the faculty lounge or being impressed that somebody came up with a solution to which no one predicted. Wow, how brilliant.  It's interesting, but it's not helpful.

Now, Dahlia Lithwick, I do want to get some of these sound bites in, just to listen to the victors, listen to them talk about it, how they justify this, how they celebrate it. So Dahlia Lithwick is the Slate.com magazine editor. She was on CNN with Wolf Blitzer and their 100,000 viewers. And Blitzer said, "You've been watching this court for a long time, and I've been reading your articles for years.  What does this say to you about the chief justice?"

LITHWICK: I think this was an act of true statesmanship. People are talking about John Marshall today and likening him to the great leaders of the court. I think he made a lot of people very mad today, but I think he fell on his sword for the integrity of the court. I think it says he puts the court first.

RUSH: Now, nothing could be more perverted or convoluted than that point of view. Fell on his sword for the integrity of the court? She's a court watcher. It's only because she got the outcome she wanted. It's the outcome she wanted so let's make this out to be the most brilliant, far-sighted, sacrificial, whatever it takes to build this thing up. Justices are not supposed to be statesmen. I don't know what she had written prior to the decision, but I can tell you that there were reams of media people in the week to 10 days leading up to the decision yesterday, who were excoriating the court before it had ruled anything. And if this court found this law unconstitutional, why it was the exact opposite.

Here's Tom Brokaw, who admitted five days before the election in 2008, he had no idea who Barack Obama was. He was on the Today Show today, with the brand new co-host Savannah Guthrie, replacing Ann Curry, said to Brokaw, "Let's talk about Chief Justice John Roberts, Tom Brokaw, not many people saw this one coming. What do you make of this almost Nixon to China alignment with liberals on the court. What do you think he was trying to do?'

BROKAW: The conventional wisdom was that, in fact, mandates would get knocked out and that Kennedy would be the swing voter in all of this. All the former Supreme Court clerks by a margin of 3 to 1 said mandates go. Now chief justice shows up. I do think that it lowered the temperature about the debate about the politicalization of the court and that's a good thing for the country. 

RUSH: (laughing) It lowered the temperature? Only among liberals. It didn't lower the temperature at all. The mandate was found unconstitutional, but we can't have that. John Roberts admitted the law was found unconstitutional, but I got to find a way to save it. So I'm going to write that it's a tax increase. And that lowered the temperature on the debate about the politicization of the court. It just added to the politicization of the court.

Obama's Celebrity of the United States. Axelrod is actually out there appearing in venues where the president would go.


RUSH: Axelrod was on the Today Show with Matt Lauer. Matt Lauer said, "The good news is the Supreme Court said the mandates are constitutional." No, Matt, they didn't say that. "The good news is the Supreme Court said that the mandates are constitutional. The bad news is they said they are a tax. Back in 2009 the president adamantly denied that health care reform was going to be a tax on the American people. Does he now agree that this legislation, this law, is a tax?"

AXELROD: Whatever you call it, Matt, whether you call it a mandate or a tax, what it is is a penalty on the very few Americans who can afford health care, don't pay for it, end up in our emergency rooms getting free care, and then we all pay for it. That's not fair.

LAUER: Whatever you call it is important. In an election year and coming out of a recession, if it's called a tax, it's gonna hurt.

RUSH: Lauer is trying to help out here. In a recession, election year, you better not call it a tax. Anyway, this is another misnomer. People who can't afford it and don't pay for it, they end up in the emergency room. No. People who can afford it and don't pay for it, pay for it when it happens to them, like I do. Anyway, everybody's gonna have to buy it or pay a fine, not just the rich.


RUSH: Axelrod will not call this a tax increase. He will not refer to the mandate as a tax. There are, according to the Tax Foundation, a minimum of 21 tax increases in Obamacare. A minimum of 21. One of them is an additional 0.9% payroll tax increase on wages and self-employment income. A new 3.8% tax on dividends, capital gains, and other investment income for taxpayers earning more than $200,000 a year. Most of these taxes do not just fall on the rich. A lot of them smack small business right in the bread basket. 

RUSH: Mike in Baltimore, great to have you, sir, on the EIB network. Hello.

CALLER: Hey, Rush, mega dittos.

RUSH: Thank you.

CALLER: Pleasure to speak to you today. My brothers are gonna be so jealous. I'm going to have a different take on this. I'm going to have a favorable view of Chief Justice Roberts as well as a more optimistic view about this decision.

RUSH: Okay.

CALLER: I believe Chief Justice Roberts did fall on the sword, but not for the integrity of the court, but for the republic, to save the republic. And the reason I'm saying this is he used the government's argument that this was a tax. Obama's government came and argued this was a tax. He used that against them to find a ridiculous law constitutional. Now, in defining that as a tax, he has exposed the fraud, the lies that the Obama administration, that Democrats in Congress have foisted upon us. Chief Roberts doesn't live in a bubble. He knows that they've been saying this is not a tax, when in fact it is. And now, what this has actually done is turned it back to we, the people, this November. The brilliancy of it was he trusts "we, the people," the first three words of the Constitution, to do the right thing. He has faith in we, the people. I have faith in we, the people. And I know you do too, Rush. I know it's a gamble, but I truly believe this man is brilliant and he sees the country going down the tubes, he sees us being lied to.

RUSH: Wouldn't it have just been easier to find the thing unconstitutional and be done with it?

CALLER: Absolutely. But, at this time, he takes the rallying points away from Obama, away from the liberals, and he throws them to the conservatives, the Tea Party activists. He throws the rallying points to us. The man made himself a pariah for the republic. I love this guy.

RUSH: Look, I don't want to throw cold water on you, but he has just given Congress the power to tax anything that's not in the Constitution. 


RUSH: Mike in Baltimore was our last caller. I understand people want to look at it the way that he does. Roberts is really brilliant. He knows the problem here, but he set it up so that we can slam-dunk Obama and the Democrats forever and be done with it.

Here's the problem with that. Even if this decision makes it easier to repeal this, it offends me we have to. This thing should have died yesterday. This thing never deserved birth. If there was ever anything that deserved an abortion in this country, it is this bill. So we got a bastard child that has just been given life for some strategic purpose to make it easier for us to repeal.

Okay, fine. In the process, what the chief justice did was expand the taxing power that congress has to practically limitless. It's a whole new world of power. He authorized taxes that are not in the Constitution. They don't have to hide behind the Commerce Clause anymore. They can get exactly what they want with the tax code now. Thanks to this ruling, Congress can mandate whatever they want. Like Allan West, I was told -- I got an e-mail from the right scoop -- Allan West said: how would Pelosi feel if Congress passed a law mandating everybody go out and buy a 9-millimeter Glock pistol?

"Mr. Limbaugh, don't be ridiculous, that would never happen."  What do you mean that would never happen? It most certainly can happen. You guys lose, we get into power, and we get some guy in office that wants to make sure everybody's got a gun to protect themselves and mandates it, and you pay a fine if you don't. That's what the hell just happened yesterday. "Mr. Limbaugh, it was restricted to health insurance." No, it wasn't. This is a brand new limitless taxing authority. You can be taxed for not buying chewing gum at the 7-Eleven if somebody says so now. "But they would never say so." What do you mean they would never say so? They just did with health care!  I'm sorry. I don't think that's brilliant.

"Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), told the Washington Post that once the CBO recalculates the cost of the bill to incorporate the tweaks included in the court’s decision, the law’s total price tag could increase by $500 billion over the next decade."  But see, I don't even care about that. Everybody knows the cost is gonna go up because it's a government entitlement and that's what always happens. What about individual liberty that's being lost here? Everybody looking at this as though it's just another government program, another entitlement. For crying out loud, folks, we have a political party that is in bed with tyranny. This is not your Democrat party of 50 years ago. This is not JFK's Democrat Party. This is a Democrat Party that wants to punish people who disagree with them, wants to criminalize political differences.

These are people that want to put you in jail if you don't have health insurance. Pelosi said she didn't see anything wrong with that. So if Holtz-Eakin's figures are right, the cost of this thing just went to $2 trillion. Now, if you don't think that's going to have an impact on your freedom, if you don't think there's going to be rationing and death panels... And the cost to health care will be determined by virtually every physical activity. What you eat, what you don't eat. Do you jog, do you not. Do you drive, do you not. What risks do you take being alive, and what stresses on the health care system are you thus imposing. Well, people, it might determine who gets coverage and treatment based on who they voted for, for crying out loud, or at least establish a pecking order.



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