Jewish World Review July 7, 2012/ 12 Tamuz, 5772
After the quake, it's time to assess the damage
By Paul Greenberg
The only thing sure about decisions out of the
What's going on here? Haven't these justices read the script? Don't they know the rules? Don't they know they're supposed to follow the customary fault line between the court's conservatives and liberals? Don't they read the papers, or at least the distinguished pundits, professors and long-time court-watchers who've time and again explained how this 5-to-4 play works? Instead, both Brother Kennedy and the chief justice were offsides.
This wasn't supposed to happen, and some of us just love it when it does. Not only because it leaves the "experts" as embarrassed as they often are by what can happen in real life, but because there is no warrant for a court's impartiality like its unpredictability. The law is funny that way, and justice can be, too.
All the tea leaves haven't been read yet in the wake of this long and complicated decision about an even longer and hopelessly complicated law. Many decisions and complications doubtless lay ahead as the law begins to creak into motion -- like some Rube Goldberg contraption that will take years to produce a clear result if it ever does.
For the moment, let us hold on to a few things the court's decision does seem to make clear:
Did anybody actually believe it when we were told that extending medical insurance to uncounted millions more would save money and make the system more efficient? Or that Obamacare isn't a tax? It's precisely on that ground it was upheld yesterday. One after the other, other purely political facades will surely collapse.
So fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy ride. For years. The modern world is about to become more modern, or maybe postmodern. And even more surreal.
Those of us who believe simple is better then complex, and small is beautiful, will just have to do what we can to get through this thing. Like trying to repeal Obamacare and decentralize the monster. Or at least pare it down if that's at all possible. For a law can be constitutional and still be awful.
As you don't have to imagine but knew all along, not just court watchers may have got a shock yesterday. The economy is about to get a bigger one, however slowly it sets in year after year.
Now on to more debates, some productive, many not so. The ratio of reason to emotion, not to say hysteria, can grow mighty lopsided, especially in a presidential election year.
Many a question remains to be resolved. Or not. Better to resolve them than let them linger and fester. As the country has done with its broken immigration system. Now on to settling as many doubts as a still confused country can after this quake.
They say, or at least Bismarck did, that God looks after fools, drunkards and
As he emerged from the
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