The initial reaction to the Roberts decision yesterday was, we dare say, universal shock. Not just for the content of the ruling on ObamaCare, but the way the five votes were pieced together. It just seemed impossible that Chief Justice Roberts could be the "swing" vote, banding with uber-leftists like Kagan and Ginsburg to uphold the biggest social engineering project since ... well, maybe ever in American history.
Please say it ain't so, John.
Our bet is that the shock extended to the White House and Democrat congressional offices. All the spin from the architects of ObamaCare was signaling that they anticipated a beat-down by the nation's high court.
With some 200 pages of legal writings being produced by the Court, it will take some time to digest the nuances and fuller ramifications.
But, as George Will and others have already noted, there are some important elements of the majority ruling from which to draw encouragement:
First, a majority of the Court apparently found that there was some kind of practical limit to the Congress' abuse of the Commerce Clause to justify their profligate spending and social experimentations. Long term, that is a good thing. Potentially a very good thing.
But in the immediate picture, one can see some real value in the Court's ruling. Conservatives should not be overly dependent upon an institution like the federal courts to save the nation. Perhaps this went through Roberts' mind as he set his course. The fallout from the decision is that the average citizen will now have the power and responsibility for determining America's future course. Will we accept the promises and delusions of the Obama Revolution? Or will we rise up this November to reject his vision and stage a counter-revolt?
Romney is not the ideal candidate under this scenario, but he is offering America a clear commitment to repeal ObamaCare while defending our historic constitutional republic. The president's re-election, on the other hand, would seal our fate as a social democracy.
There is reason to be hopeful. Dick Morris, for example, observed that Obama may have won the battle (over ObamaCare), but is destined to lose the war (for re-election). Another pundit commented that the Left reacted to the Roberts decision with a sigh of relief, while the Right has been breathing fire.
We will need that passion to defend America in coming months.