...but it is we who will pay them.
The bizarre way he justified the constitutionality of ObamaCare - by making the argument that the government mandate is indeed a massive tax hike - is so out of character with the Chief Justice's previous philosophical predilections, and is presented with such faulty reasoning, one can only squirm when parsing the texts. John Podhoretz:
In a beautiful turn of phrase, the four dissenting justices said Roberts’ contortion on this matter “carries verbal wizardry too far, deep into the forbidden land of the sophists.”
Roberts’ grotesque offense against elementary logic is so bald-faced, I’m almost tempted to believe he left it there on purpose, either out of perversity or as a not-so-hidden message that he had ulterior motives for upholding the constitutionality of ObamaCare.
When our (often false) gods let us down, we tend to prescribe a greater motive for their apparent failings, an overarching rationale that we the people will not grasp until some distant time in the future, when all will unfold as our hero has foreseen. So too are the claims being made on behalf of Justice Roberts, as his defenders speak of the framework he has set up for limiting government while allowing this monstrous legislation - which will surely enlarge it - to stand.
I ascribe no piety to our Chief Justice ("Put not your trust in judges—nor in other berobed or bejeweled personages"), but instead put my faith in a much simpler hypothesis: That Roberts was bullied by the Democrats and the media into upholding clearly unconstitutional legislation. Told over and over again that a 5-4 decision would render the court "radical", political" , and "failed", that it would lose the trust of the American people, and perhaps lead to tremendous civil unrest, Roberts caved. He extracted a high price for his appeasement, as mention above, but in the end, gave his vote to the side that warned him "vote our way...or else".
Caving in to uncivil discourse, threats, and bullying only begets more of the same. Such is the legacy that Justice Roberts has bequeathed to us.
We must now fight an unnecessary battle, against a president who will certainly use extralegal means to implement ObamacCare as quickly and permanently as possible, and a media who will beat an incessant drumbeat about how heartless, savage conservatives wish to deprive the American people of the new "rights" granted to them by Barack Obama. The concepts of loss of liberty, a radically expanded government, and an additional crippling financial burden will not be allowed to enter the public conversation.
We will fight on. But one traitor to the truth, and to the Republic, has made it a much more uphill climb.
Somewhere, Neville Chamberlain is sitting - at a table for two, sipping wine, perhaps, and awaiting a new guest....