Obamacare is an ideal example of “liberalism’s death,” R. Emmett Tyrrell, the founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator magazine, tells Newsmax.TV.
“When you pass laws like that, you’re going against the grain of democratic process,” the best-selling author, whose latest book is “The Death of Liberalism,” told Newsmax on Friday. “Laws that are so complicated and read by a handful of people can’t be decided in a democratic setting.
“This is an example of liberalism’s death. Liberals have been passing laws like this for a long time,” Tyrrell said. “Laws that are so complicated that even the liberals themselves don’t know what’s in it.
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“And they hand them over to the bureaucrats, and the bureaucrats write regulations. And that is three times outside the hands of the American electorate.
“We ought to review the democratic process and review if we are a democracy or an authoritarian regime,” he said.
On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act as constitutional, on a 5-4 decision. The justices ruled that the penalty imposed for not abiding by the individual mandate to have insurance was in effect a tax — and, as such, fell within the taxing authority of Congress.
The court’s majority opinion was written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the conservative nominated by President George W. Bush who cast the surprising swing vote.
Some legal scholars have since concluded that Justice Anthony Kennedy’s dissenting opinion, completely striking down the law, was once the majority opinion — and that Roberts switched his vote at a late stage.
Tyrrell, who said he knows and admires Roberts, said the chief justice sided with the court’s liberal wing because he was “a victim of the culture, of the culture smog.”
“He lives in Washington, D.C., where the political culture is completely de-smogged by the Democrats, by the liberals.
“And the culture caught up to Mr. Roberts. In fact, there’s some evidence that Roberts originally had found the bill unconstitutional.
“We’ll know about that in years to come,” Tyrrell added. “But, at any rate, he certainly didn’t act according to his own predilection. That surprised me.”
To repeal Obamacare now would only require 51 votes in the U.S. Senate “because it’s a tax measure,” Tyrell said. That compares with the 60 votes normally required for such action.
The GOP-controlled House has scheduled a vote for the second week of July.
“This bill can be now fought on economic grounds and on tax grounds,” Tyrell said. “That makes it much easier to defeat than when it was an expansion of the Commerce Clause.”
But for repeal to happen, the GOP must attract irate independent voters to sweep the polls in the fall, Tyrrell said.
“It’s not just Republicans who are angry and concerned, but the independents are angry and concerned — and the alliance of the independents and the conservatives is what brought out the Congress in 2010, and it’s going to bring us victory in 2012.”
In responding to a question on whether President Obama could still be defeated in November over the healthcare law, despite continued popularity in the polls, Tyrrell referenced the 1980 election between Democratic President Jimmy Carter and Republican challenger Ronald Reagan.
“It enhances that dynamic,” he said, referring to Obamacare element. “And by the way — you might remember — in 1980, there was a great deal of enthusiasm in the media for President Carter right up until he went down in flames in the election.
“So I think you’re going to see a lot of false enthusiasm for President Obama, but I think that President Obama is toast.”
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