1. SCOTUS got the decision right. In my opinion, they could have upheld the individual mandate under the Commerce Clause, but the Taxation Powers Clause is ironclad. By the way, I taught AP Government for 24 years and spent a lot of time on the Commerce Clause; if anyone wants an explanation, shoot me a response. It sounds incredibly boring but, believe it or not, it is the foundation for the majority of our civil rights legislation.
2. Those who voted in dissent relied primarily on “states’ rights.” We fought the bloodiest war in the history of our country over “states’ rights” and the Confederacy lost. Get over it.
3. I have noted throughout the firestorm over national health care that, when first-person pronouns are used on picket signs, those supporting national health care overwhelmingly use the word “we”, while the Tea Partiers and their ilk use the words “I” and “me.” I don’t believe this is as trivial as one might think; rather, it is a snapshot of the philosophical differences at play here. If your own personal health care is fine and dandy, anything that threatens the status quo might get your panties in a knot if you are unable to empathize with other people. If you tend to remember that a nation, by its definition, is a group of people who share a common culture and live together in the same geographic space, you are more likely to care about the other people in that nation. Does that mean that the Tea Partiers care about the USA only to the extent that it is a country, a defined piece of territory functioning under a set of laws, and that they don’t think of the USA as a nation with shared values? If so, it would explain an awfully lot about their overt hostility.
4. One final thing: one of my former students is now a Canadian citizen, but she still follows USA news better than 99% of our citizenry. She swears that she heard two of the disappointed Tea Partiers state yesterday that, “the country is ruined. That’s it. We’re moving to Canada!” Anyone need to have the irony of that explained?