It just occurred to me that the Individual Mandate and ObamaCare is a classic convergence of two of the worst features of the Democrat party: their hatred of democracy and their contempt for the rule of law in general, and the US Constitution and its Federal structure and limited powers for the Federal Government in particular.
The American people did not want, and do not want, ObamaCare. ObamaCare was so unpopular that the people of Massachusetts voted in a Republican, Scott Brown, to replace Ted Kennedy in the US Senate simply to try to block ObamaCare from becoming law. But because the Democrats don’t care about the desires of the voters, they passed it anyway.
However, because of political constraints on “moderate” Democrats, they weren’t able to pass “single payer” (i.e. they weren’t able to get the government to completely take over health care), and they had to pretend that the cost of ObamaCare was less than $1 Trillion. And thus came the Individual Mandate. With the IM, Congress could impose expensive rules on the insurance companies, and then force individual Americans to pay for those mandates, while leaving the cost off the “official cost” of ObamaCare. The problem is that the Individual Mandate is clearly unconstitutional. Congress has never had the power to force you to buy a private product as a consequence of being alive. Hell, Congress has never been able to force you to buy a Government product as a price of being alive (if they could, then rather than publishing propaganda encouraging people to buy war bonds, in WWII Congress could simply have ordered every American to buy them).
But the Democrats don’t believe that the rule of law applies to them, or that the Constitution means anything other than what left wing law professors say it does, so the idea that the IM couldn’t pass Constitutional muster never even apparently occurred to them.
To understand exactly why the Individual Mandate is unconstitutional, consider the following: Congress could raise the CAFE standard to 200 MPG. This would be Constitutional, but stupid, because the result would be every US car company going bankrupt, because no one would want to buy the cars produced. Does that mean that Congress could at the same time pass a law requiring every American to buy a new car every 5 years, in order to keep those companies from going bankrupt? Of course not. But that’s essentially what the Democrat controlled Congress did with ObamaCare.
When the 5-4 vote tosses out ObamaCare, and when the Democrats lose the Senate and the White House in the 2012 elections, the Democrats will be paying the penalty that their contempt has so richly earned.