Green Room

The Obamacare Echo Chamber

posted at 12:24 pm on March 29, 2012 by

At the New York Post, John Podhoretz notes liberal shock that the Supreme Court arguments on Obamacare do not point to an obvious progressive triumph:

Jeffrey Toobin of the New Yorker and CNN confidently asserted on Charlie Rose at the beginning of the week that the court would rule 7-2, maybe even 8-1 in favor of ObamaCare. The previous week, he called the anti-ObamaCare arguments “really weak.”

His view was echoed by an equally confident op-ed assertion by the veteran court reporter Linda Greenhouse, who in The New York Times declared the case against ObamaCare “analytically so weak that it dissolves on close inspection.”

It was quite a change, then, to see Toobin emerge almost hysterical from the Supreme Court chamber after two hours of argument on Tuesday and declare the proceedings “a train wreck for the Obama administration.”

Yesterday, after another two hours of argument, he suggested it might even be a “plane wreck.”

Meanwhile, at another New York-based outlet, NYT columnist (and former editorial page editor) Gail Collins emotes:

I can’t believe this might be overturned. How can this law not be constitutional? The other alternatives are forcing taxpayers to cover the cost of the care in emergency rooms for people who don’t want to pay for their insurance, even if they can, or letting human beings just die on the side of the road. I can’t believe fiscal conservatives think either of those options is a good idea.Really, I have my hands over my ears. Not listening.

All the News That’s Fit to Print: “Lalalalalalalalala…”

Yesterday, I noted the libs are likely overreacting, but also noted similar self-delusion from Dahlia Lithwick and Michael Kinsley. Lithwick relied heavily on the aforementioned Linda Greenhouse, whom Ed Whelan shows to be engaged in denial and dismissal herself (along with claiming Nancy Pelosi as a constitutional scholar). Lithwick also asserted an an “argument” that Obamacare’s constitutionality is “best illustrated by the fact that—until recently—the Obama administration expended almost no energy defending it.” Whelan correctly notes that this is as factually false as it is bizarre. The same goes for Kinsley’s claim that that nobody argued the mandate was unconstitutional until after Obamacare passed. Ramesh Ponnuru notes Kinsley is factually wrong, not to mention making a claim progressives would never make regarding legal bans on abortion or sodomy.

Liberals and liberaltarians are increasingly fond of claiming the right lives in an echo chamber. It is said — sometimes even on the right — that the right’s successes in the past few decades has made them intellectually lazy, unable to engage and overcome progressive arguments and attacks as they did in the halcyon days of Buckley and Reagan. However, when it comes to Pres. Obama’s signature achievement, and a major step toward socialized healthcare, the progressives’ experts and top-shelf pundits display the judgment, rhetorical skill and logic of toddlers. The liberal echo chamber has a long history, exemplified nicely in the apocryphal quote attributed to New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael: “I can’t believe Nixon won. I don’t know anyone who voted for him.” Having started with John Podhoretz, we come full circle with his account of the real quotation, which may be even worse.

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Its kind of funny. I mean seriously, who didn’t think this law had a strong chance of being declared unconstitutional other than the leftist elites. I noticed this week that one of the lefts arguments for why the law would not be declared unconstitutional is because it is Obama’s signature accomplishment, as if that matters. And Gail Collins just sounds stupid and completely uninformed with her other alternatives scenarios. I would demand my money back if I had a subscription to the NYT that paid for her salary.

Ellis on March 29, 2012 at 12:39 PM

The White House currently holds BOTH of the smartest people who ever set foot in there. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Hussein Obama are the two sharpest Constitutional lawyers who ever walked the planet. Neither one of them had any qualms about the mandate, much less the whole package, being Necessary and Proper to regulate interstate Commerce. Therefore, there was no reason for doubt.
Surely these negative nabobs nattering in the news is the result of a vast right-wing conspiracy!
Toobin’s Tuesday was hillary-ious!

DublOh7 on March 29, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Really, I have my hands over my ears. Not listening.

Well, duh. They so badly wanted Obamacare to be constitutional that it blinded them to the counter-argument, and made them unable to review it in the critical fashion that was needed.

I don’t care if you are from the left or right, if you are a legal analyst your job should be to review legal proceedings with a critical eye.

gravityman on March 29, 2012 at 1:56 PM

…Neither one of them had any qualms about the mandate, much less the whole package…

DublOh7 on March 29, 2012 at 1:08 PM

In their defense, they had no qualms because they didn’t read it. I found this pretty funny:

http://hotair.com/archives/2012/03/28/scalia-on-severability-making-us-read-this-entire-bill-would-be-cruel-and-unusual-punishment/

teejk on March 29, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Lately, Karl, Dalia Lithwick has become so annoying that I can’t stand her anymore. But I’ve come to a realization!

She was an English major at Yale. Ezra Klein wasn’t an English major (minor), but he’s married to a Harvard-educated English major. Bill McKibben is a Harvard-educated English major.

My point is that English majors from the BEST schools are big trouble. Bad news. Worse than useless. English should be banned from the Ivy League.

MTF on March 29, 2012 at 2:36 PM

I made the same point Wednesday about the Kael analogy in Steve Den Beste’s Green Room piece.

Honestly, the reactions of some of the experts on the left has been so cartoonishly condescending towards ObamaCare® opponents prior to the hearings and so hysterically distraught and/or angry afterward it almost defies parody (and if you were going to do a cartoon of the know-it-all liberal who ends up shocked that the world doesn’t go the way he or she has told it to, you’d probably want someone like Brainy Smurf or Squidward from ‘Spongebob Squarepants’).

jon1979 on March 29, 2012 at 2:58 PM

This is how liberals function. They set up a world view in their minds and nothing – nothing – will be allowed to interfere or challenge it. When presented with facts, they will either lie, obfuscate, divert attention or yell, all the while twisting themselves into gordian knots of illogic to maintain their illusory weltanschauung. Case in point is Pauline Kael after Nixon’s ’72 landslide when she incredulously declared “I don’t know anyone who voted for Nixon.”

They are victims of the very sensory deprivation that their media allies have abused us with, until the advent of talk radio and the intertubes. Meh. Let them continue the illusion. Can’t wait to see their reactions when this monstrosity is struck down in toto and President Toonces loses in November – please G-d.

I will bathe in their bitter tears and have a schaden-boner that will last much more than 4 hours.

Rixon on March 29, 2012 at 5:56 PM

I don’t understand how supposedly smart people can be so clueless about opposing arguments. Sure, you may not agree, but this shows they just don’t understand. Newsflash: Just because something is arguably a good idea does not magically grant it constitutionality.

alwaysfiredup on March 29, 2012 at 6:01 PM

My point is that English majors from the BEST schools are big trouble.

MTF on March 29, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Most of the new ones know this by now, not being able to find jobs and all.

alwaysfiredup on March 29, 2012 at 6:02 PM

It is said…that the right’s successes in the past few decades has made them intellectually lazy, unable to engage and overcome progressive arguments and attacks as they did in the halcyon days of Buckley and Reagan.

I beg to differ. Before the internet, the only lefty’s I got to practice on were few and far between. Even being surrounded by them, the one’s that know me are afraid to debate for some reason. Strange but true.

The internet has opened a whole new universe of lefty’s to play with. Though the one’s here aren’t very bright. And lefty sites will ban a righty at the drop of a hat. I think they are averse to blood.

Looking forward to the next open registration.

cozmo on March 29, 2012 at 6:04 PM

The other alternatives are forcing taxpayers to cover the cost of the care in emergency rooms for people who don’t want to pay for their insurance, even if they can, or letting human beings just die on the side of the road setting up federally-funded clinics for the indigent and leaving everybody else to buy their own insurance if they want it, or levying a gigantic tax on everybody and offering single-payer, or leaving the current system in place which honestly serves everybody.

Gail Collins seriously lacks imagination.

alwaysfiredup on March 29, 2012 at 6:06 PM

great post…

mjbrooks3 on March 29, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Why all you conservatives be hatin so much. All dey want is “access to (free) healthcare . . .”. /s

BigAlSouth on March 29, 2012 at 6:14 PM

Is SCOTUS going to consider the Good and Necessary Clause? I hope so, because I have not been able to find it in any version of the U.S. Constitution that I have yet found. Roland Burris didn’t leave any hints, either.

ExpressoBold on March 29, 2012 at 6:19 PM

The other alternatives are forcing taxpayers to cover the cost of the care in emergency rooms for people who don’t want to pay for their insurance, even if they can

What’s hilarious is that Collins seems to think that this “alternative” is meaningfully different from Obamacare.

Centerfire on March 29, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Sounds like the DUNNING-KRUGER EFFECT.

Rixon on March 29, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Because of the Left’s contempt for the Constitution, I don’t think it ever occurred to them to even ponder the constitutionality of any of Obamacare. They had 60 votes in the Senate, a majority in the House, and an intellectually lazy President who would sign anything that Congress passed. Not only that, two recently appointed dimwits in the Supreme Court would ensure that the law would sail through the court.

It was left to the legal team to concoct a defense for this law, and by that time it was too late. Once they realized they were going to have to defend this law before the Supreme Court, it was clear that the underlying toxic mess known as Obamacare was indefensible. Yes, the mandate was the rotten core of the law, but the other problem was the beastly size of this law. A big stinking pile of crap, which pretty much summarizes the whole Leftist enterprise.

EMD on March 29, 2012 at 6:56 PM

We can all grant that these are rather simple minded people in an echo chamber (epestimic closure), but regrettably their ‘friends’ are more than a little menacing

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Hollywood/2012/03/29/Roseanne-Tweets-Zimmerman-Address

the problem is that they aren’t that bright. There’s many different types of ‘brightness’…musical, theatrical, etc. Because you write good prose doesn’t mean that you have the critical thinking skills to analyze political philosophy as deep as the Constitution

esp. when the hero in your ranks is Saul Alinsky.

r keller on March 29, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Liberals seem to be completely clueless about the Constitution:
They have no idea what it says.

They do not understand what it means.

They fail to grasp what the Constitution is for and why it is important.

Many liberals seem to think that “if it feels ok to them, it’s Constitutional”….no different than calling a daily walk “A Constitutional”!

landlines on March 29, 2012 at 7:04 PM

My point is that English majors from the BEST schools are big trouble. Bad news. Worse than useless. English should be banned from the Ivy League.

MTF on March 29, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Can you imagine how much worse it will be when the “Political Science” majors, “Black Studies” majors and the “Womens Studies” majors graduate and try to find real jobs in an otherwise-productive society?

landlines on March 29, 2012 at 7:09 PM

This is funny when you consider how many liberal trolls were all over this and other conservative websites arguing from the get-go why Obamacare was constitutional. And we did engage these people, we did not just call them nuts or laugh at them. We were all terrified going into these SCOTUS hearings that their theories would actually carry the day. Why are liberals so unable to engage or even imagine that conservative views of the Constitution are valid?

rockmom on March 29, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Apparently, Liberals thought that they had an iron clad case against Obamacare being overturned. And it went a little something like this………”THEY WOULDN’T DARE”.

ardenenoch on March 29, 2012 at 7:31 PM

Apparently, Liberals thought that they had an iron clad case against Obamacare being overturned. And it went a little something like this………”THEY WOULDN’T DARE”.

ardenenoch on March 29, 2012 at 7:31 PM

Pretty much. And they think they have a corner on intellectual firepower!

rockmom on March 29, 2012 at 7:36 PM

Liberals seem to be completely clueless about the Constitution:
They have no idea what it says.

They do not understand what it means.

They fail to grasp what the Constitution is for and why it is important.

Many liberals seem to think that “if it feels ok to them, it’s Constitutional”….no different than calling a daily walk “A Constitutional”!

landlines on March 29, 2012 at 7:04 PM

We were crawling with liberal armchair Constitution experts when Bush was president.

rockmom on March 29, 2012 at 7:37 PM

Liberals seem to be completely clueless about the Constitution:
They do not understand what it means.

landlines on March 29, 2012 at 7:04 PM

I believe you just hit a three-pointer, nothing but nutshell. It may well be willful ignorance, or perhaps some kind of chemical thing, I don’t know. But this pretty much explains both the lead up and meltdown of the assorted talking heads and bloggers that have pushed this POS from day one.

JusDreamin on March 29, 2012 at 8:07 PM

“The anti-Obamacare argument is weak, and dissolves upon inspection”.

PROJECTION.

Saltyron on March 29, 2012 at 8:31 PM

This is how liberals function. They set up a world view in their minds and nothing – nothing – will be allowed to interfere or challenge it. When presented with facts, they will either lie, obfuscate, divert attention or yell, all the while twisting themselves into gordian knots of illogic to maintain their illusory weltanschauung.

Rixon on March 29, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Rixon, this is very well stated.

Dextrous on March 30, 2012 at 12:10 AM

I will bathe in their bitter tears and have a schaden-boner that will last much more than 4 hours.

Rixon on March 29, 2012 at 5:56 PM

You got me with schaden-boner. Made me spit out my Coke.

Dominion on March 30, 2012 at 4:24 PM