The decision by John Roberts, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, to treat the Affordable Care Act as a tax rather than the penalty it truly is, has laid bare the now all too common decisions of the court to use its power for political purposes. By treating the forcing of Americans to either buy something they may not want or need or else pay a penalty for not buying something as a tax, Roberts has handed the 2012 Presidental election victory to Mitt Romney.
Some people who may have been waffling or undecided as to who to vote for, it is for the lesser of two evils after all, have been given the sign they were looking for. They can now go into the voting booth with a determination to vote against someone because of this penalty, rather than voting for someone because they agree with them.
John Roberts, through his twisted logic of what a tax is and how it is applied, has become the very thing that conservatives rail against vociferously, an activist judge. Yet, because of, or even despite, this ruling, his actions will give the Republicans the boost they need to take the White House. Roberts decision is literally, the best thing the Republican party has going to win the election.
Certainly there will be those on the Democratic side who will cheer this decision. After all, it was the cornerstone of President Obama's term in office and had it failed, the party faithful would have been disappointed and even upset enough to get out in force to make sure there was a Democratic majority in the House and Senate capable of writing a new law to force people to buy insurance, or else. Further, there is a distinct possibility of up to three justices retiring from the court which, if President Obama would be re-elected, would allow him to put more justices on the court who would be amenable to a new law forcing people to buy something.
Instead, John Roberts chose to use a leap of logic which defies explanation except one. His decision was calculated not on the writing of the law, nor on the idea of limited government which he supposedly espouses, but rather, on the idea that to say this law is Constitutional would bring a groundswell of support for the Republican presidential candidate who could have a Republican majority to work with to overturn the law. While it would be a slap in the face of the court to have a law which passed by the smallest possible majority undone, it would serve the overall purpose of giving Mitt Romney the presidency.
The Supreme Court has a nasty history of being political where it should not. That is a given considering the political nature of the appointments. However, despite its long history of at least giving the appearance of neutrality, the Roberts court has abandoned all such pretense and is now actively engaged in political manipulation. Like this ruling, Citizens United was a clear signal that nothing would stop this court from using its power to further the political agenda of one party. By allowing unlimited corporate donations to the campaign process, while at the same time claiming such overwhelming influx of money would not be damaging, the court has turned its back on logic and common sense for the sake of political expediency.
This political devisiveness is corroborated by the Representative and Senators who are leaving office of their own volition and stating as much. Their words show the increasing partisanship and demagogeury that has taken over the two parties, mainly from the fact that third party candidates are deliberately excluded from the political process by rules designed to prevent third party candidates from even running for office at all levels. By limiting who can run for office, the two parties can control the process and blame each other when things don't work, instead of trying to find even the smallest patch of common ground.
Now the Supreme Court has stepped into the fray and has clearly sided with one party to the detriment of both the other party and the people of this country who are bound by the court's decisions. By doing so, they have laid the groundwork for Romney to appoint even more people to the court who will do his party's bidding, thus increasing the ability of the court to announce its political leanings.
Had the court done its job and ruled that forcing people to buy something or pay a penalty was unconstitutional, Mitt Romney would not win the presidency, those retiring from the court would be replaced by others more amenable to supposed governmental powers and the merry-go-round of blaming each other for lack of progress would continue from the two parties. Instead, John Roberts chose to make his political views known in the most powerful manner possible. He gave the presidency to Mitt Romney.