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Wingnut Week In Review: Health and Happiness

Wingnut Week In Review: Health and Happiness

It’s been a rough week for right wingers. First, the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare. The next day, it legalized gay marriage across the country. Nothing enrages wingnuts like the “wrong” people enjoying health and happiness.

Everyone knew it was coming. Everyone knew the Supreme Court was due to issue a bunch of rulings this week, and that two of them would be huge. The biggest cases on the Court’s docket involved two things that are vital to human life: health and happiness. Specifically, the Court’s decisions regarding Obamacare (health) and marriage equality (happiness) would have significant impact.

It was inevitable that wingnut heads would explode. The Court had already upheld Obamacare once, and conservatives went back to the well with a laughable case. The Court also signaled where it was heading when it overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, and refused to hear challenges to federal court rulings that overturned state bans on same-sex marriage.

The days of reckoning came hard and swift.

Health

On Thursday, the Court upheld Obamacare’s federal subsidies, deflecting a right-wing attempt to overturn the law with a legislative typo. Adding insult to injury for wingnuts, Chief Justice John Roberts not only sided with the majority on the 6–3 ruling, but penned a majority opinion that sent a clear message to his party: “Not ‘it!’ If you want to overturn this law, win some elections and get the votes to do it.”

If you thought right-wingers would be glad that the Court saved them from themselves by not blowing up Obamacare, because conservatives still don’t have a consensus on how to replace it, guess again. Some of the worst reactions came from the right-wingers on the bench. Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote the minority opinion, basically came undone. Scalia’s dissent, signed by Justices Thomas and Alito, complained that:

  • The other justices can’t read, because the Court holds that when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act says ‘Exchange established by the State’ it means ‘Exchange established by the State or the Federal Government,’“ which is ”quite absurd."
  • The court didn’t even need to hear the case, that his fellow conservatives fought long and hard to bring before the Court.
  • Congress actually did intend to enact a law that would extend health insurance to millions of uninsured Americans, and send the insurance market into a “death spiral.”
  • “Words no longer have any meaning,” as a result of this ruling.

“Words have no meaning,” huh? That’s rich, coming from the guy who gave us “argle bargle.”

The GOP presidential candidates weighed in.

  • Former Florida governor Jeb Bush issued a statement of disappointment and said that as president he would “make fixing our broken health care system one of my top priorities.”
  • Florida Sen. Marco Rubio promised to continue fighting to repeal the law, and replace it with a “consumer-centered plan.” (Not, “patient-centered”? Interesting.)
  • Wisconsin governor Scott Walker isn’t in the race yet, but called on members of Congress to “redouble their efforts to repeal and replace this destructive and costly law.”
  • Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted that the ruling hadn’t changed his opinion on the law.
  • Former Texas governor Rick Perry said in a statement that “the Obama Administration has ignored the text of the Affordable Care Act time and again for Spinal Labs,” and that the ruling “allows them to continue to disregard the letter of the law.”
  • South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham argued that the ruling is all the more reason to elect a president who will repeal the law.

The problem is that only about 35 percent of Americans think Obamacare should be repealed.

Other wingnut reactions on Twitter were as alarmist and unhinged as expected.

No. The law is whatever is debated and passed by Congress, signed by the President, and upheld by the Supreme Court. Twice.

Yeah? And if you’re in a red state that rejected the Medicaid expansion, good luck finding a hospital at all.

But by far the best reaction is the conspiracy theory born almost as soon as the ruling was announced.

Conspiracy theorist Wayne Allyn Root started peddling this blackmail theory yesterday. From there, Root nosedives down the rabbit hole, and drags the IRS, the NSA, and Saul Alinsky in with him. Of course! The only reason Roberts voted to save Obamacare twiceis because the Obama administration is holding something over his head. It couldn’t be because conservatives have no case. (Actually this one went into circulation the first time the Court upheld Obamacare.)

It’s easy to understand their frustration. Conservatives failed to stop President Obama from passing health care reform. More than 50 votes to repeal have also failed. In several election cycles, conservatives failed to gain enough seats to pass a repeal, or elect a president who’d sign one. Now they’ve failed at their last best hope to repeal Obamacare in the courts.

Happiness

Today, in a historic 5–4 decision, the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states. Justice Anthony Kennedy, on the anniversary of some of his most important decisions related to LGBT equality, wrote the majority opinion, which contained “one of the most beautiful passages you’ll likely read in a a court case.”

SCOTUS-Kennedy

President Obama rose to the occasion with moving words of his own.

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