A Supreme Shock for ‘La-La’ Libs
The panicked reception in the mainstream media of the three-day Supreme Court health-care marathon is a delightful reminder of the nearly impenetrable parochialism of American liberals.
They’re so convinced of their own correctness — and so determined to believe conservatives are either a) corrupt, b) stupid or c) deluded — that they find themselves repeatedly astonished to discover conservatives are in fact capable of a) advancing and defending their own powerful arguments, b) effectively countering weak liberal arguments and c) exposing the soft underbelly of liberal self-satisfaction as they do so.
That’s what happened this week. There appears to be no question in the mind of anyone who read the transcripts or listened to the oral arguments that the conservative lawyers and justices made mincemeat out of the Obama administration’s advocates and the liberal members of the court.
This came as a startling shock to the liberals who write about the court.
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.”
That was the general consensus across the board. It held that the two lawyers arguing against ObamaCare — Paul Clement and Michael Carvin — were dazzlingly effective, while the administration’s solicitor general, Donald Verrilli, put in a mediocre performance.
True enough. But here’s the thing: There was nothing new in what Clement and Carvin said.