Well, the right is mad, the left is happy for the while. It turns out John Roberts was the Decider, not Kennedy. It turns out that 4 Supreme Court Justices think that the Affordable Care Act was government overreach, and five found reason to say it was not.
Roberts’ opinion was prefaced with some conservative comments, which sent Faux and CNN forth with premature errors in their reporting. Roberts’ decision was based on interpreting the law as a tax, which he then justified. He said though it may be bad policy, it was nevertheless legal policy. So he had to tell the world that it remains to interpret commerce clause strictly. We might praise him for being officially apolitical, though he was actually political in subtle practice. His conservative side was manifest. In my opinion, the right thing happened, but partisan politics stayed at the fore.
I was happy yesterday, and to some extent, my faith in a working government restored. This was a victory for common sense, but it was not a victory for any sort of dialogue, to say the least about bipartisanship and a working government. These goals remain nearly hopelessly elusive.
In other politics, it looks like the NRA wields its power, winning a vote of contempt in the House regarding Eric Holder and his boss. Conservatives have been remarkably emboldened, making the partisan shots that were taken in the W administration look minor. Karl Rove gets a point in the public eye. Funny, he is not in jail where I think he should be, he’s a big mouthpiece for Faux News.
Everyone is trying to decide their reaction to this decision. It will be tougher to overturn the ACA especially if Obama is reelected. Some are gloating, others are stewing, and some send money to their candidate. And this “some” reality is what gets me. All of the “somes” remain. We remain a separated public. You can follow your media, I can follow mine; even in the same neighborhood, driving in the same car, working in the same office.
The right has a well-established network, and it works well for them. Their purpose is to keep themselves in business, and it’s been shown they do this with less regard for facts, historical trends, and majority opinions. So the media reinforces extant opinions. There is a very large corpus of some people, who avoid news and the media and live their lives, though they get some cultural reinforcement without following politics in a direct manner. Country music, for example, is hardly void of political values. And the same can be said of most every art form. The left has MSNBC and a smattering of small market mouthpieces, but no major place to hang their hat. The right media loves to label the mainstream media as liberal. After all, if the right has a home, then what remains must be the left. NPR, NBC, ABC, and CBS all emphatically shake off this mantle, with hopes to remain neutral and fact-oriented. JP has pointed out all sorts of exceptions to their efforts, but still, simply being the mainstream mouthpiece is their desire.
It’s amazing to me how much the public opinion is largely swayed by whatever the media – in general by the mainstreams, and in specifics by the right and left outlets – has to say at the moment. We tell the pollsters whatever the media tells us about the economy, about the federal government, and so forth.
Let there be three major groups of media; left, right and center, each with a market and influence in proportion to actual voters. I say, let’s hear it for MSNBC; unabashedly left. If it should grow in market share and influence, the mainstream media can more legitimately claim to be just reporting facts from a more neutral reference point. The left is a mixed collection, and has a harder time coalescing around some media. The left is forgiving, listening, outward looking, not out to protect itself. The left takes lighter shots, and doesn’t rally behind a media or cause as well. Though there are three groups of some people, we do not yet have three groups of media that reflect the true population. It is high time we independents and moderates get a mouthpiece that everyone accepts, not just what the “somes,” as sensible. That is the beginning of something truly fair and balanced. Hopefully the Supreme Court would follow that media.
PS. Rush, you promised to go to Costa Rica (where there is universal health care; is Oxcycontin covered?) if the ACA stayed for five years. Three are up, two to go. Asta la vista, baby.