I've said it before: 5 to 4 should govern nobody. If a Supreme Court reaches a 5 to 4 decision, it should be thrown out, and the original lower court ruling should stand, and/or the original legislation should hold.
By a 5 to 4 margin, Citizens' United has released a tsunami of money weighted to only one side of the political debate, creating an unfair playing field where "one man one vote" no longer has meaning. On top of this comes another 5 to 4 vote upholding "Obamacare" (a misnomer). This has energized the anger of radical conservatives who are taking advantage of Citizens' United to dump even MORE money into the campaign of a candidate who, in all honesty, they don't even like, and who was the original author of the legislation they so ardently oppose. (We should really be calling it "Romneycare" if we're to be fair about it).
So what I want to know is, would it have been better the other way around? Would our world be better off if the 5 to 4 decision had gone the other way, and healthcare reform had been struck down? Wouldn't then the Democratic base have been energized, the poor offended, and Obama swept back into office for another four years by a comfortable margin? Wouldn't we then have a better chance at healthcare reform a second time around, only this time, we'd tell the insurance companies to stay the fuck out of it?
I don't know. We might have a classic case of a Pyrrhic victory, here. The end result of this might be a Romney win, the repeal of the whole shebang, and back to business as usual. I know, the Republicans say that they'll enact real reform afterward, but we all know that's bullshit. It took 70 years for one president to finally do anything, and that with a near super-majority! If Republicans think that they can simply enact reform more easily, they're dreaming. No, it will be back to being mired in a broken system of insurance companies denying care, stomping on the poor, and Medicare and Medicaid being slowly raided.
This all began with a 5 to 4 ruling. That came in 2000 when the Supreme Court ruled that Al Gore had lost. That decision led to stocking the Court with more conservatives, who then went on to ensure more 5 to 4 decisions, not the least of which was Citizens' United. Justice Roberts, to his credit, doesn't believe the Supreme Court should be used as a political tool in this way, which was probably his main motivation for finding a way to rule in favor of healthcare reform. But he violated his own principle of non-judicial activism in order to prevent the other justices from their judicial activism. The result of this, quite possibly, will be even more judicial activism to come.
Have we lost by winning?
Aside from this could likely be the national embarrassment of having a Mormon in the White House, even more conservatives added to the supreme court, making for even more imbalance, even more nonsense, the overturning perhaps of Roe v. Wade, the stomping of civil liberties, the erosion of church/state separation, and who knows what other evils.
Was it really worth it?
I don't know. I intend to research the true aftermath of healthcare reform very closely, as I'm convinced that nobody, and I mean NOBODY, knows what we have with Romneycare/Obamacare yet. You'll hear all about what I discover on this blog. But one thing's for sure. Liberals cannot use the argument that Obama has not delivered on his promise of bringing change to Washington. We wanted change, and holy shit, we got it!
Now, if only we can keep it.