Patterico's Pontifications

7/3/2012

David Brooks: Stop Whining About the ObamaCare Decision

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:22 pm



This fellow certainly has the ability to get under your skin — and this column is no exception. His piece is titled “A Choice, Not a Whine”:

Hostility toward the Supreme Court has risen sharply since Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. upheld the Obama health care law. People are apparently angry that the court didn’t rid them of a law they detest. But that’s silly. If Americans want to replace this thing, they should do it themselves.

. . . .

Critics of the bill shouldn’t be hating on Chief Justice Roberts. If they can’t make this case to the voters, they really shouldn’t be in public life.

. . . .

Republicans say they trust the people. If that’s true, then they won’t waste another futile breath bashing the court for upholding Obamacare. They’ll explicitly tell the country how they would replace it. Democracy is a contest between alternatives, not a deus ex machina stroke from the lords in black robes.

Mr. Brooks. We’re not “whining” because of policy. We’re upset about the fundamental restructuring of our federalist system.

I do not see a single word in Brooks’s piece about the Constitution. About federalism, and the structure of our government, and its balance between state power and federal power. Or about using the tax authority as an end run around limitations on the Commerce Clause.

What I see is a smug jerk talking about politics as if he were at a cocktail party at the Hamptons, defending the Republican position, half-heartedly, with a shrug.

David Brooks, we don’t need or want your “support.” If you can’t understand what the fight is about, find something else to talk about.

52 Responses to “David Brooks: Stop Whining About the ObamaCare Decision”

  1. Whiners.

    And racists

    Patterico (feda6b)

  2. To some, there is no Constitution, there are no principles. It is just the give and take of stakeholders and interest groups. Move along, nothing to see. We’ll let you know if that changes.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  3. David Brooks is a bought and paid for whore for National Soros Radio he has to say these things

    whereas Roberts is just a regular old whore

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  4. Note also, that to the editorial board of the HY Times, Brooks represents the far right edge of civil society. Beyond that, dragons.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  5. NY times, of course

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  6. and beyond the dragons? Calabasas.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  7. No, maybe Malangas, pikachu,

    narciso (ee31f1)

  8. Brooks is 100% correct.

    Dustin (330eed)

  9. Knock it off, happyfeet, please. Please note the please, please? Roberts is a brilliant lawyer. Maybe not much shucks as a judge. But no whore. A disappointment? Yes.

    nk (875f57)

  10. It’s entirely possible you were right the first time, about the Times, True, Roberts is a craven hack, minion, those are acceptible terms,

    narciso (ee31f1)

  11. I think it’s a downright travesty that Roberts wrote the dissent to his own opinion, which he abandoned for whatever reason (apparently pressure), but indeed it is foolish to place our hopes in the philosopher kings.

    Obamacare IS unpopular. It SHOULD be repealed by Congress. I hope the right focuses on congress for its hopes, because that’s where this is really going to happen.

    Dustin (330eed)

  12. I disagree Mr. nk. This whole Supreme Court thing is looking very gay and third worldy, and I can’t help but notice it started when this Roberts got put in charge.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  13. In what world is Brooks 100% correct?!

    JD (dfaa6e)

  14. Sorry, Dustin,

    Roberts made precedent. Strong Constitutional precedent. The fact that direct taxes are limited by capitation in the Constitution does not necessarily imply that they are permitted. “Necessarily” is the word, maybe they are permitted. But they have never been imposed in common law. This is a major amendment of the Constitution.

    nk (875f57)

  15. Brooks plays a familiar game: If Obamacare is bad what do you want to replace it?

    The correct answer is easy. But why do we have to play the “either or” games?

    Besides, Brooks is nothing but a blue-suited jerk with pretensions of intelligence.

    No, I was wrong. He is a “conservative” trained monkey that liberals can display at parties for the amusement of the betters. He gets his peanuts and bananas when he performs successfully.

    Ag80 (b2c81f)

  16. I think a chimp could do Brooks job from the 300K they pay him.

    narciso (ee31f1)

  17. the Secret Service and the Supreme Court both wallowed in the sewage of cheaply squandered integrity this year and the stench on both of them is going to linger for many many moons

    it’s a lot like Mexico here anymore

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  18. Hell, happyfeet, you should have seen me when I was working between Warren and Burger decisions. Believe it or not, I won a Fourth Amendment case by citing Rehnquist. 😉

    nk (875f57)

  19. I’m just trying to process all of this Mr. nk. Plus I have a knot of dread in my stomach what even the good scotch doesn’t touch.

    I want my mommy.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  20. Well, la di da, sez Mr. Brooks!

    So now when a president and his senate shove through a massive bill under some procedural sleight of hand, it’s our fault for not getting rid of it right off the bat??

    John Roberts has changed the trajectory of our nation: that’s what I’m whining about.

    Patricia (e1d89d)

  21. You are young and innocent, happyfeet. Google Griswold v. Connecticutt, and read the opinion rant to see what’s really gay.

    nk (875f57)

  22. hmmmm. Then don’t I have a right to privately not pay stupid ta-penalties?

    you’d think so but nope

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  23. Stay poor, unemployed, on welfare, food stamps, and Medicaid, vote Democrat, and you’ll be just fine.

    nk (875f57)

  24. Brooks at the Aspen Ideas Festival…days before the decision.

    After the decision was made public,

    The conservative Brooks, a self-described minimalist, said he was impressed by the decision — and by Chief Justice John Roberts. Washington, D.C., he said, is full of people looking to grab power. Roberts, by throwing in with the liberal members of the Court, “proved himself to be a moderate minimalist” and showed great restraint, he said. “It’s a cheerful ruling for anybody believing in modesty and restraint.

    Dana (292dcf)

  25. Roberts’s opinion is important. Brooks’s is not important.

    nk (875f57)

  26. Brooks thinks we live in a democracy.

    htom (412a17)

  27. Dana– was there a translation that went along with that David Brooks quote you posted @10:18? Do you have any idea what that combination of words actually meant? Was he talking about Obamacare or a fashion show?

    elissa (41a9a3)

  28. Another smart and arrogant fool.

    mbabbitt (97dfa4)

  29. No, elissa, no decoder ring, but I think “cheerful” must be the key to it all.

    Dana (292dcf)

  30. Patterico – it’s the “change the narrative with the fellow travelers masquerading as R’s leading the charge” trick.

    They tried it with “=the war on women, the church, etc.

    Can’t change the facts? Change reality.

    Too bad for them, more of us now see it for what it is, and once you see it, you can’t “un” see it!

    Amy Shulkusky (67fbd5)

  31. “…I do not see a single word in Brooks’s piece about the Constitution. About federalism, and the structure of our government, and its balance between state power and federal power. Or about using the tax authority as an end run around limitations on the Commerce Clause.

    What I see is a smug jerk talking about politics as if he were at a cocktail party at the Hamptons, defending the Republican position, half-heartedly, with a shrug…”

    You didn’t see it because he doesn’t basically believe in it, and believes in the Progressive Creedo of Government by a self-selected, arrogant, autonomous elite; which will be discussing this, as in “Did you actually read some of the drivel that passes for serious thought on politics out there?” at upcoming dinner, cocktail, lawn, and beach gatherings in the Hamptons, and the Chesapeake Eastern Shore between now and the election.

    I’m sure it is much the same attitude that was found in Drawing Rooms, and Salons, in the tonier portions of London following the publishing of Mr. Jefferson’s Declaration.

    They should have then, and they should now, pay attention.

    AD-RtR/OS! (2bb434)

  32. Brooks has a point (narrowminded as it may be). Let’s run with it and start drafting an Abortion Tax to go along with a Congressional Pension and Benefits Tax.

    Mark in Austin (5d0b63)

  33. Well, whether Roberts is a man or a mouse, there’s no money to keep the the house of cards upright.

    Case in point, Europe, we had a breakthru, Germany caved, Spain and Italy will be bankrolled. The medium, the ESM, still hasn’t been approved by Bundestag, it has less than 40% of the money ‘approved’ to give Spanish banks their recapitalization.

    JPM-Chase lost $9 Billion hedging a hedge.

    Barclays is the first London bank named for price fixing loans to other banks.

    The Fed is spending/printing another $300 Billion thru year’s end to keep our own short term Treasuries cheap.

    Chile joined SE Asia, Japan and Australia in trading with China in yuan in lieu of USD.

    The additional cost of Obamatax in 2013 is $2K per household.

    Everything is cool.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  34. xoxo, happs!

    MayBee (5e4ceb)

  35. nk, it isn’t (quite) a direct tax since the penalty is higher if you have a high income. Arguably then it’s an income tax, and Roberts has made the “arguably” part a very low bar.

    There are so many ways to dislike this decision that the proffered silver lining seems tarnished.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  36. Dustin,

    Jan Crawford says that Roberts did not write the dissent, that his changed vote happened a month ago and the 4 conservatives wrote what they did, studiously ignoring Roberts opinion which they wanted no part of. They were still hoping he’d come home up until the end.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  37. Right on Mr.Happyfeet. They are whores and there are many more that call themselves republicans. You can not trust republicans as they are about to abort the American people. Romney and his posse are comfortable losing.

    mg (44de53)

  38. Happy 4th, Comrades.

    mg (44de53)

  39. As our founders knew, the only effective check on the increasing power of a federal government is the right of states to withdraw from the union, illusions, fairy tales, and self-deceptions notwithstanding.

    Once the option of session was eliminated by force of arms, the inevitable expansion of central government at the expense of the states and of the people was ensured.

    Today is Independence Day but can we claim to be free men when we are prevented from choosing to withdraw from an association our fathers voluntarily joined?

    (Especially since some of those original states, specifically reserved the right to withdraw.)

    ropelight (8a0360)

  40. To paraphrase Perry Farrell, David Brooks will make a great pet for the Obama 2012 campaign.

    The issue is simple-are we going to be a country based in freedom of the individual, even the freedom to fail, or will we instead be a nanny state centralized socialist dump? Brooks made his choice in 2008, so he’s stuck with this nonsense. He should be honest though and stop calling himself conservative.

    Bugg (403960)

  41. 40. Brooksie is ‘conservative’ in the same sense Scully is, just not as brazenly penis-clench ‘out’.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  42. Fisking Brooks:
    Hostility toward the Supreme Court has risen sharply since Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. upheld the Obama health care law.
    — Apparently, disagreement = hostility. No doubt MOST of the disagreeing voices have not been hostile, yet Brooks feels the need to (unspoken, but it’s there) compare this with the left’s reaction to the Citizens United decision: “hostility … has risen sharply.”

    People are apparently angry that the court didn’t rid them of a law they detest. But that’s silly. If Americans want to replace this thing, they should do it themselves.
    — People are angry because they legitimately thought that the law, as written, is unconstitutional. Silly people.

    Critics of the bill shouldn’t be hating on Chief Justice Roberts. If they can’t make this case to the voters, they really shouldn’t be in public life.
    — Condescend much, Mr. Brooks? In moving forward the focus needs to be on making the case for voters to elect Republican majorities in both houses of Congress; but, this does not IN ANY WAY invalidate the need for, or legitimacy of, sharp criticism for CJ Roberts’ wrong-headed decision.

    Republicans say they trust the people. If that’s true, then they won’t waste another futile breath bashing the court for upholding Obamacare.
    — The voicing of public opinion is futile. Remember that. You cannot change the decision of the Court; therefore, it is a complete waste of time and effort to express your disagreement with the Court’s decision.
    Let’s see if Brooks remembers this the next time his buddy, Chrissie Leg-Tingle, asks him to comment on a SCOTUS ruling.

    They’ll explicitly tell the country how they would replace it.
    — Why it needs to be “replaced” instead of just repealed is a little confusing . . . oh, that’s right; this is a Dem talking point. Heckuva job, Brooksie!

    Democracy is a contest between alternatives, not a deus ex machina stroke from the lords in black robes.
    — And yet, in answering the question “Is the individual mandate penalty constitutional?” by deciding “Yes it is, because it can be seen as a tax,” CJ Roberts did exactly that, made the decision from on high that “the question has now CHANGED from ‘Is the penalty constitutional?’ to ‘Is the penalty a tax?'” Well, WHO asked (or authorized) him to change the question?

    Icy (9651ff)

  43. Re: David Brooks

    I hope this infamous little Brooks quote is carved on his headstone along with the inscription: “Here lies an idiot.”

    “I remember distinctly an image of–we were sitting on his couches, and I was looking at [Obama’s] pant leg and his perfectly creased pant…and I’m thinking, a) he’s going to be president and b) he’ll be a very good president.”

    MarkJ (42fe5b)

  44. Dustin,

    Jan Crawford says that Roberts did not write the dissent, that his changed vote happened a month ago and the 4 conservatives wrote what they did, studiously ignoring Roberts opinion which they wanted no part of. They were still hoping he’d come home up until the end.

    Comment by Kevin M

    There are conflicting reports.

    My understanding is that most of the dissent was written in Roberts’s office and the last segment was written by Kennedy et al in hopes that Roberts would come back around.

    I want Roberts to let us know to what extent this is true. If he really did write much of the dissent, that is amazing to me and a great reason why this entire ruling should be overturned by a more reasonable court in a few decades.

    Dustin (330eed)

  45. It’s only the Republicans who are whining in Brooks’ world. The President’s whine that the SC got it wrong and that the individual mandate is not, in fact, a tax despite the decision is not a whine in Brooks’ world. There has been no more consequential whine uttered in 2012 than Obama’s but in Brooks’ world, it does not merit a mention. The whine lede is not just buried; it is obliterated.

    TMLutas (0876a3)

  46. This shallow, creepy leftist Moby deserves no attention. Shun him.

    pat (0833d4)

  47. “Hostility toward the Supreme Court has risen sharply since Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. upheld the Obama health care law”

    Dishonest hack. The people that count dropped their knives and picked up pom poms in an instant. If the people are hostile it’s because they are expected to follow the disingenuous pricks with the pom poms. How is it that the head rightie on the NYT’s opinion page hates righties?

    East Bay Jay (a5dac7)

  48. Comment by Kevin M — 7/4/2012 @ 1:12 am

    nk, it isn’t (quite) a direct tax since the penalty is higher if you have a high income. Arguably then it’s an income tax, and Roberts has made the “arguably” part a very low bar.

    It would be an income tax even if it had a flat rate. And I think there being a minimum payment (if you have to pay it at all) doesn’t make it not an incme tax.

    What I don’t understand is why Roberts didn’t classify the tax penalty as an income tax. What prevented this from being considered an income tax? There’s nothing in any opinion, by any of the justices, about this. Not one word.

    You could argue that this is an income tax they don’t expect very many taxpayers to pay because almost all will have an exemption. But the same thing is true of the personal exemption. Almost everyone but not everyone has at least one personal exemption.

    Is it logic? But people with health insurance have more expenses (if they pay for at least part of the cost of the insurance themselves) so logically would seem to be entitled to a credit. Of course you also get the credit for being on Medicaid. But still, this still works as an income tax with credit.

    Was this something in the original versions of the opinions that dealt with the income tax issue that got chopped out?

    Why did Roberts, instead, call this a tax on NOT having health insurance?

    Why do something which raises questions when he has a way of characterizing this that doesn’t raise any questions at all?

    Is there some explanation somewhere in the briefs for why this cannot be an income tax?

    Sammy Finkelman (c08134)

  49. Is Brooks even a US citizen? Or is it another of these safe-for-liberals “conservatives” that is actually a Canadian?

    Rob Crawford (c55962)

  50. I understand the confusion, but that’s Frum, you’re thinking of, Rob.

    narciso (ee31f1)

  51. Brooks was born in Toronto. Blame Canada!

    Icy (0eb7f2)


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