Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Irrational Anybody But Mitt Romney Crowd

The goal isn’t to defeat Romney. Its to defeat Obama. However, that isn't the goal of the anti-Romney crew. They want to defeat Romney so badly that they don't care if America gets another four years of President Obama.
It never ceases to amaze me of how irrational the anybody but Mitt crowd is.
They’re willing to accept Newt Gingrich who supported Cap and Trade, medicare plan D prescription medication coverage, and the creation of the TSA. Additionally, he's had approximately 84 ethical violations against him while he was Speaker of the House, cheated on his wives and was a lobbyist for Fannie and Freddie who was paid $1.8 million in “consulting fees." Moreover, Newt Gingrich doesn't have the kind of character that conservatives want in the White House.  Finally, if Newt has the opportunity to go against Obama in the general election, he would be most likely to lose the Presidential election in 2012 much like John McCain did in 2008.
They’re willing to accept Herman Cain who has private sector experience but no public sector experiences, cannot articulate a serious foreign policy position on Cuba, Libya  and has accusations (unproven yet) of sexual harassment and adultery. Moreover, his "999" plan would be a disaster for the economy.
They were excited about Rick Perry who supported a force mandate of immunizing young girls against sexually transmitted diseases, cannot debate to save his life and has very little to offer in terms of domestic or foreign policy.
Moreover, the anybody but Mitt crowd was excited about Michelle Bachmann until they realized she has no leadership experience and hasn’t made any major accomplishments in Congress other than being on the Intelligence committee.
Then there’s Rick Santorum whose campaign is barely breathing. He’s a great guy but he has nothing to offer either. For the anybody but Mitt crowd, he’s a great choice. The problem is…he can’t defeat Obama.
It amazes me that these so called "conservatives" have been flip flopping on all these candidates when the best choice is obvious to the rest of us:
Despite President Obama’s horrendous policies and governing record, he nevertheless has a pretty good chance of winning re-election in November 2012, not only because the U.S. economy may be showing some improvement by then, compared to this year, and not only because he will have killed more Al Qaeda leaders than did Mr. Bush, but because the GOP isn’t sufficiently rallying behind the only worthy candidate: Governor Romney. Never underestimate the GOP’s willingness to shoot itself in the foot electorally.
GOP conservatives falsely accuse Romney of “flip-flopping,” even though his character is stellar and his campaign themes have been both good and steady, and even though fickle conservatives themselves have flip-flopped almost weekly, dashing about promiscuously and desperately seeking “anyone but Romney” – first Sarah Palin, then Donald Trump, then Michele Bachmann, then Rick Perry, then Herman Cain, and now – the worst of all possible speed dates – Newt Gingrich.
What is so delusional about the anybody but Mitt crowd is that they're willing to support all other severely flawed candidates just to ensure Romney loses this election regardless of the fact that he broad spectrum of appeal democrats, independents, moderates, tea party and conservatives. Jennifer Rubin, in her column for the Washington Post, points out that this unhingedcrowd wants a pure candidate rather than a candidate who is appealing to a wide spectrum of the American people:
The point, you see, is not to advance (incrementally or otherwise) the conservative ball but to remain forever aggrieved. Whatever deal is attainable and whichever candidate is acceptable to a broad cross-section of Americans are almost by definition unacceptable to those voices.
Jennifer Rubin also out that the anybody but Romney has a different yet irrational agenda than the rest of America:
Notice how their interests now diverge from the interests of the party in gaining governing majorities and the White House? They’re only happy if the most flawed candidates survive? Something is amiss. Indeed it is. You’ll hear plenty more of it, and some weird defenses of candidates, any candidate other than Romney, any candidate who couldn’t possibly win. The far right echo chamber is going to be screeching at fever pitch. The rest of the party, and the country at large, will be just fine. 
Lets look at Mitt Romney to see how irrational they are in opposing Mitt Romney.
Mitt Romney is a fiscal conservative. He's had a long and successful career in business. He's got a great economic record when it comes to job creation, taxes and fees, and getting the state of Massachusetts out of a $3 billion deficit to a $2 billion surplus. With his wealth of experience and success in the public and private sector, Mitt Romney has an excellent jobs plan that will help get America on track if he's elected President in 2012.
For social conservatives, he is the most appealing candidate since he's been a strong family man since he's been married once to the same woman for 42 years. No sexual harrassment charges against him. No accusations of adultery. Romney has been able to create the ideal family: stable marriage, stable family, stable job, great home and lots of grandchildren. He's pro-life, opposes gay marriage and is a strong supporter of the family.
For legal conservatives such as myself, Mitt Romney is the most ideal candidate. He has assembled an amazing team of legal advisors for his 2012 campaign. He has vowed to appoint judges who will not legislate from the bench and who will follow the Constitution.
When it comes to the issue of health care, Mitt Romney has been a strong conservative. Mitt Romney was opposed to the idea of a nationalizing our health care system as early as 1993 or 1994 as President Clinton was pushing to pass HillaryCare. He was opposed to opposed HillaryCare 2.0 in 2007.
Moreover, Mitt Romney adopted the Heritage Foundation's proposal to implement the individual mandate at the state level. Once he implemented RomneyCare, he received a lot of support from conservatives. One of the reasons why they liked it is because the cost of RomneyCare was less than 1% of the state budget. RomneyCare was not a big issue for Romney during the 2008 Presidential election. 
However, conservatives have unjustifiably and unreasonably became angry at Mitt Romney when President Obama became President and passed ObamaCare. Its important to remember that Obama flip flopped on RomneyCare by opposing it during the 2008 campaign before supporting it in his presidency. A close look at the facts reveal that there is no possible way that Obama modeled ObamaCare after RomneyCare. There are too many differences between RomneyCare and ObamaCare. Despite these facts, too many conservatives think that RomneyCare is a socialist program simply because of Obama's false claims that he used RomneyCare as a template for ObamaCare. However, RomneyCare is not a socialist health care program. Moreover, RomneyCare is constitutional and ObamaCare isn't.
Mitt Romney has repeatedly promised to repeal ObamaCare and that he would do so on the first day of his Presidency. In fact, Paul Ryan, the conservative Congressman from Wisconsin, has stated that he is very confident Mitt Romney will honor his promise if he is elected President. In addition to repealing ObamaCare, Mitt Romney unveiled a new health care plan for America that is not based on his health care plan in Massachusetts.
The facts are clear. Mitt Romney is a great leader. He was an major player in getting Republicans elected in the 2010 midterm election. He's also the most electable candidate who can defeat President Obama in this election. He's also the only candidate who can remain competitive with Obama when it comes to raising campaign funds. 
Its clear that the anybody but Mitt Romney crowd is irrational given that each of the 2012 candidates is not the candidate conservatives of all stripes are looking for. Mitt Romney is the right candidate for this election and they refuse to accept it despite Romney's experience, qualification and character.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Come Volunteer For Mitt Romney In Salt Lake City!!

Since we are only a few weeks away from the first ballots being cast to determine our nominee for president, we need all hands on deck to help Mitt Romney win the primary elections.
This Saturday, December 3rd, the campaign will hold a Salt Lake Call Day, and volunteers in Salt Lake City located at 4548 South Atherton Drive Drive, Suite 205 Salt Lake City Utah 84123. The call center will be located on the second floor of the building.  We will post signs outside and inside the building to guide you to the call center.
The Salt Lake Call Day will be from 8am-8pm.  You can call 801-317-8201 or contact us at via e-mail at SLCForMitt@gmail.com and tell us when you can volunteer.   If you volunteer, you will be able to make calls to voters in the key early states.
Sign up today for a Salt Lake Call Day volunteer shift in Salt Lake City and join me this Saturday, December 3rd. If you want to meet the author of this article, I will be running the 11-2 shift.
I hope to see you all there!
P.S. Anyone who can’t make it to a call center in person can make calls from home.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Richard Mouw: Evangelicals Can Vote For A Mormon President

Richard J. Mouw,  President of Fuller Theological Seminary, has written some some articles to the Evangelical community about their reluctance to elect a Mormon for President. He explains that while he has theological differences with the LDS faith, he doesn't share the views of some evangelicals who believe Romney's religion is a cult and as a result, he has no problem with having a Mormon in the White House:
The fact that I'm not worried about the possibility of a Mormon in the White House does not mean that I think religious affiliation has no relevance to the question of fitness for office. Religious convictions have political implications. I would have a difficult time voting for candidates with certain religious perspectives that might preclude them from open and self-examining conversations, or from a commitment to scholarship and the pursuit of truth, working alongside those of other traditions.
Most scholars who study religious movements have long abandoned the use of the "cult" label with reference to Mormonism. With about 14 million adherents around the world, the church has moved into the religious mainstream. Mormons are outstanding business leaders, world-class academicians, novelists, authors of bestselling leadership manuals, influential members of Congress and much more. Not the kind of community we ordinarily associate with a cult.
This is not convincing, though, to some of my fellow evangelicals who are writing critical emails to me. Yes, they say, Mormonism has become quite sophisticated. But a sophisticated cult is still a cult. I am naive to think otherwise, they tell me. I am urged to read books that will provide me with the truth about Mormonism.
I have read most of those books, and I have studied and taught about cults for many years. I have also spent the last dozen years meeting with Mormons — scholars and church leaders — to engage in lengthy theological discussions. These dialogues have included several other prominent evangelical Christian leaders.
Based on these conversations and my own careful study, I do not believe Mormonism is a cult. However, I am not convinced that Mormon theology deserves to be classified as Christian in the historic sense of that word. I have serious disagreements with my Mormon friends about basic issues of faith that have eternal consequences. These include issues regarding the nature of God, the doctrine of the Trinity and the character of the afterlife. But I have also learned that in some matters we are not quite as far apart as I once thought. In any case, such theological differences don't preclude a Mormon from being a viable presidential candidate, in my view.
Mr. Mouw, as explained above, often gets e-mails from Evangelicals who are upset about his beliefs that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is not a cult. He provides an open response to those Evangelicals who are angry with him for establishing a lifelong relationship with Mormons and defending the claim that this faith is not a cult: 
A friend told me about the time a time when, back in the 1960s, he was asked, as a recent college graduate bound for seminary studies, to address his home congregation—an all-white congregation in the Midwest—about his hopes for studying for the ministry. One thing he mentioned to the congregation was his desire to be more effective as a Christian in working for racial reconciliation, specifically between whites and blacks. An older member of the congregation was very upset with him for bringing up the issue of race. “You don’t really know what these colored people are like,” the man told him. “I hope that seminary will cure you of these liberal ideas!” 
Three years later that same congregation invited my friend to preach. In his sermon he shared with the congregation some positive experiences about racial reconciliation that he had received during an extensive student internship that he had recently served at an all-black inner city church. Afterward, the same church member was once again critical of what he said about race relations, but this time his complaint was different: “You’re just saying all these nice things about the colored people because you have spent so much time with them. You are not capable of being objective!” 
My friend found this very frustrating. It is one of those “You can’t win” situations. Either your views about a group are judged to be based on inadequate experience with the group, or you are seen as having too much experience. You’re either ignorant or duped. 
Richard Mouw provides the solution to this problem: 
“You don’t really know them” and “You know them too well” are false choices. The alternative in any relationship with people with whom we disagree on eternally important matters is to listen carefully and patiently, asking questions, discerning patterns of thought—and working diligently not to bear false witness against our neighbors!
Richard Mouw's solution of having an open, sincere and honest discussion with people of different faiths applies also to politics. People can have disagreements on eternally important matters but with regards to secular matters, its important to do your homework in deciding to who to vote in any election.
When voting for a candidate that is not of your faith, its important to do your diligence in learning about the candidate. That means having an open, sincere and honest investigation into their record. Don't buy into media or blogger (including mine) who try to spin their record in a flattering or unflattering way. Go to the source yourself. It takes a lot of work but the reward is worth it. You will be able to move past the propaganda and look at the unvarnished truth yourself.
It also means means having a frank, straightforward and sincere realization that when it comes to elections, a candidate's theology is no where near as important as their values. The distinction between a candidate's religion and his values is crucial in deciding who to vote for in any election, especially in Presidential elections.
Think of about politicians that are of your faith. While all of them are of your faith, not all of them share your values. For example, even though Harry Reid belongs to the same religion I do, he doesn't share the same values I do. As a result, I could never vote for Harry Reid because he doesn't share my values regarding marriage or abortion or other issues that are important to me. 
Again, think of about the politicians that happen to be members of your faith. Make a list of those politicians who, regardless of politician affiliation, share your values. Then make a list of candidates who are not of your faith and make a list of those who share your values regardless of theological differences or political affiliation. 
I think this is a good exercise for people to do during the election year because you'll realize that while a candidate may not be of your faith, he may be of your values. Once you see that a candidate's values is far more important than their party or theological affiliation, you are able to make a better decision on who to vote for in an election. 
Once you see how crucial a candidate's values, not his religion, are in the success of this nation, you cannot simply reject a candidate because he's not of your religion. Just as you must do your diligence in investigating a candidate's record, you must also do your homework in learning about the candidate's values. You must look past his faith and scrutinize his beliefs about the important social and moral issues of the day. That means you must "listen carefully and patiently, asking questions, discerning patterns of thought" by reading all materials written by that candidate. Its also good to engage in conversations with supporters of that candidate to find out what they think his values are. Its also helpful to learn why people of your faith are supporting a candidate who happens not to be a member of your relgion. 
That is why I strongly recommend Evangelicals listen to men like Richard Mouw and Mark Demoss. You can also visit the website Evangelicals For Mitt or joining Evangelicals For Mitt's facebook page and talking to other Evangelicals why they are supporting Mitt Romney.
An Evangelical who is voting for Romney isn't an endorsement of that religion or their theology.. What their vote means is that they have found a candidate whose values are closest to their own and who will lead the nation using those values as his guide. Moreover, he will promote those values domestically and internationally. 
As a result, an Evangelical can vote for a Mormon and still disagree with him on important religious and theological matters but agree with him on the values he shares with that candidate.    

Monday, November 21, 2011

Left Leaning Website Daily Kos Predicts Romney Will Be The Republican Nominee

While its fun to see conservatives debate one another over who they think will be the Republican nominee, its always important to get a look at what liberals think about the Republican primaries. The far left leaning website Daily Kos has predicted that the nominee will be Mitt Romney:
Mitt Romney is inevitable.  The only person with any chance of stopping him was Rick Perry, but the Texas governor has managed to futz and fumble and oops his way out of that possibility.  Once the number one contender, he is now reduced to a funny footnote in presidential history tomes like The Glorious Burden (an outstanding volume of presidential election history, by the way, if you're into that sort of thing).  At least Gingrich, Cain, Paul, and Bachmann will be there to keep him company.  Jon Huntsman won't even have that.
Why Mitt Romney?  For lots of reasons.  For one thing, he is the next white guy in line in the party that always nominates the next white guy in line.  Seriously.  You want to know the real difference between the Republican and Democratic parties when it comes to nominating presidents?  Predictability.  The Republican party almost always nominates the guy who everyone thinks it will nominate a year before the election.  The Democrats never do (just ask Gary Hart, Mario Cuomo, Howard Dean, and Hillary Clinton).  This year it's Mitt's turn.
Romney has spent the last four years prostrating himself before the dark lords of the Republican party, convincing him that he is their man.  That he happens to be Wall Street's guy doesn't hurt, either.  He has even kissed the ring of James Dobson, kingmaker and de facto high priest of the Christian conservative movement, and gotten the nod of approval.  Romney's made the rounds, and he's got the nod.
He has more money and more organization than the rest of the field combined.  He's maintained a steady position at or near the front of the polls throughout the rises and falls of many a competitor, his numbers barely flickering.  More importantly, he is ahead or statistically tied in all of the first four contest states, two (New Hampshire and Florida) by comfortable margins last I checked.  From there, the calendar is incredibly Romney-friendly: Nevada (lots of Mormons), Maine (same near-home New England advantage as in New Hampshire), Colorado (more Mormons), Minnesota, Arizona (Mormons again, plus lots of people who appreciate a man who looks good in a golf shirt), Michigan (where he was raised and his father was a popular governor), and Washington.  In fact, looking at that list it's not hard to conclude that it was specifically written to favor Mitt Romney.  There may be something to that.  But either way, it's very possible that we will go into Super Tuesday in early March with Romney having won every primary and caucus to that point.  How many of his opponents will even remain by that point?
And finally there is what I call the plausibility factor.  As entertaining as people like Michelle Bachmann and Donald Trump and Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich can be, few people really see them as realistic possibilities to be president.  Call it instinct.  Call it a vibe.  Call it bullshit if you want.  But when I look at the current Republican field, I see only three men who I could reasonably imagine as president: Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Jon Huntsman.  And even Perry is now off the list, having become a punchline.  That leaves Huntsman, whose single-digit (that digit being usually 1 or sometimes even merely "-") showing in the polls just goes to prove that there is no room for moderates in the Republican party any more.  I guess he thought there would be a niche in the race for a blandly handsome Mormon ex-governor.  And he was right, there was.  But somebody else got it first.  And seriously, who wants to see Livingston Taylor if James Taylor's in town?
Barring some completely out of the blue, deus ex machina revelation (like he's secretly the meth kingpin of Albuquerque; yeah, I've been watching a lot of Breaking Bad lately), Mitt Romney is a shoe-in for the nomination.  Given how closely scrutinized and well-publicized Romney's life has been, that seems unlikely in the extreme.  Otherwise the deal is done.  It's gonna be Mitt.
The White House knows this.  That's why they're already running against him.  The media knows it too, but they have papers to sell (figuratively of course -- does anyone actually read physical newspapers any more?), and crazy sells better than inevitable.
The Daily Kos is right. The Obama Administration has been setting its sight on Mitt Romney for a while now. The only problem is that while they're getting prepared to take on Mitt in the general election, they've got no message to take to the American people. 
 “He has not said one thing about what he’d do in his second term,” Matthews continued. “He never tells us what he’s going to do with reforming our health care systems, Medicare, Medicaid. How he’s going to reform Social Security? Is he going to deal with long-term debt? How? Is he going to reform the tax system? How?”
In contrast, Mitt Romney's message to the American people is quite simple. Fixing the economy which will resolve other financial problems like unemployment, trade, taxes, national debt and entitlement reforms.
As a result, not only will Mitt Romney win the Republican nomination but he'll be the next President in 2012.

MRC Teams Up With UltiMitt.org and GotMitt.com to Launch the “One a Day for Mitt” Campaign

Mitt Romney Centeral, a pro-Romney website that I sometimes write for, has announced that they are partnering up with two other pro-Romney sites in order to help Mitt win the nomination and defeat Barak Obama:
We are pleased to announce that MittRomneyCentral.com is joining efforts with UltiMitt.org and GotMitt.com to launch a new campaign to promote Mitt Romney online!
Ultimitt.org is a grassroots forum that many may remember as a popular pro-Romney hangout during the 2008 campaign. Today each of its 1,500+ members will receive an email calling them back into active duty.
GotMitt.com is a website that provides news links in a style similar to the Drudge Report.
The three sites (UltiMitt, GotMitt, and Mitt Romney Central) will be linked together by easily navigable tabs which you now see on the top right of our page: News, Forum, Blog.
Each of these sites would exist and function perfectly well on their own, but there is a specific purpose for us combining together, and that is simply to promote…

The “One a Day for Mitt” Campaign

This simple campaign is designed to take supporters, who are willing to dedicate a few minutes a day, to engage in meaningful and effective activism. Campaigns are much like people pushing a big boulder. If people push at this boulder one person at a time, or if multiple people push in different directions the boulder doesn’t move. If the people coordinate, push all together, in the same direction, they will find that their combined efforts will have much greater impact. Pretty soon this rolling boulder will attract the attention of onlookers willing to join in the big thing that’s going on, wanting to do their part.
Once each day at the UltiMitt forum there will be posted a simple task that people can complete, return and confirm their efforts. Tasks will include sharing items such as sharing things on Facebook, tweeting, writing emails, creating a MyMitt account, making calls from home, and inviting others to join the effort.
The role of this site (MRC) will be to continue helping people be informed of the on-goings in the campaign, but also to utilize our large readership and 30,000+ Facebook fans to direct supporters to UltiMitt.org and join in on the “One a Day for Mitt” campaign.
It has been my observation that only a small percentage (about 1%) of people who keep up on the news of political campaigns actually put forth the effort to support that campaign in whichever way they can, thinking their contribution will be insignificant. I’m hoping that you will be one of the few who will realize that if you push, other people will too. Please push with us to make this a successful campaign.
Go now to UltiMitt.org. The registration is very simple. The forum set-up is simple. Get started on your first One a Day for Mitt task by inviting your friends to join today.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ann Coulter On RomneyCare

Ann Coulter has posted a column about the media and the "anybody but Mitt" latest obsession of Newt Gingrich. However, the most interesting part of her article is her defense of RomneyCare:
There may be better ways to stop Obamacare than Romney, but, unfortunately, they're not available right now. (And, by the way, where were you conservative purists when Republicans were nominating Waterboarding-Is-Torture-Jerry-Falwell-Is-an-Agent-of-Intolerance-My-Good-Friend-Teddy-Kennedy-Amnesty-for-Illegals John McCain-Feingold for president?) 
Among Romney's positives is the fact that he has a demonstrated ability to trick liberals into voting for him. He was elected governor of Massachusetts -- one of the most liberal states in the union -- by appealing to Democrats, independents and suburban women. 
He came close to stopping the greatest calamity to befall this nation since Pearl Harbor by nearly beating Teddy Kennedy in a Senate race. (That is when he said a lot of the things about which he's since "changed his mind.") If he had won, we'd be carving his image on Mount Rushmore. 
He is not part of the Washington establishment, so he won't be caught taking money from Freddie Mac or cutting commercials with Nancy Pelosi. 
Also, Romney will be the first Republican presidential nominee since Ronald Reagan who can talk. Liberals are going to have to dust off their playbook from 30 years ago to figure out how to run against a Republican who isn't a tongue-tied marble-mouth. 
As we've known for years, his negatives are: Romneycare and Mormonism. 
We look forward with cheery anticipation to an explosion of news stories on some of the stranger aspects of Mormonism. The articles have already been written, but they're not scheduled for release until the day Romney wraps up the nomination. 
Inasmuch as the Democrats' only argument for the big-eared beanpole who's nearly wrecked the country is that you must be a racist if you oppose Obama, one assumes a lot of attention will be lavished on the Mormon Church's historical position on blacks. Church founder Joseph Smith said blacks had the curse of Cain on them and banned blacks from the priesthood, a directive that was not revoked until 1978. 
There's no evidence that this was a policy fiercely pushed by Mitt Romney. To the contrary, when his father, George Romney, was governor of Michigan, he was the most pro-civil rights elected official in the entire country, far ahead of any Democrat. 
No one is worried Romney will double-cross us on repealing Obamacare. We worry that Romneycare will make it harder for him to get elected. 
But, again, Romney is the articulate Republican. He's already explained how mandating health insurance in one particular wealthy, liberal Northeastern state is different from inflicting it on the entire country. Our Constitution establishes a federalist system that allows experimentation with different ideas in the individual states. 
As governor, Romney didn't have the ability to change federal laws requiring hospital emergency rooms to treat every illegal alien, drug dealer and vagrant who walked in the door, then sending the bill to taxpayers. (Although David Axelrod, Michelle Obama, Eric Whitaker and Valerie Jarrett did figure out a way to throw poor blacks out of the University of Chicago Medical Center.) 
The Heritage Foundation, a leading conservative think tank, supported Romneycare at the time. The biggest warning sign should have been that Gingrich supported it, too. 
Most important, Romney has said -- forcefully and repeatedly -- that his first day in office he will issue a 50-state waiver from Obamacare and will then seek a formal repeal. 
Romney is not going to get to the White House and announce, "The first thing I'm going to do is implement that fantastic national health care plan signed by my pal, Barack!" 
Unlike all other major legislation in the nation's history, Obamacare was narrowly passed along partisan lines by an aberrationally large one-party majority in Congress. (Thanks, McCain supporters!) Not one single Republican in Congress voted for it, not even John McCain. 
Obamacare is going to be repealed -- provided only that a Republican wins the next presidential election. 
If a Republican does not win, however, it will never be repealed. Recall that, in order to boast about the amazing revenue savings under Obamacare, Democrats had to configure the bill so that the taxes to pay for it start right away, but the goodies don't kick in until 2014. 
Once people are thrown off their insurance plans and are forced to depend on the government for "free" health care, Obamacare is here to stay. (And Newt Gingrich will be calling plans to tinker with it "right-wing social engineering.") 
Instead of sitting on our thumbs, wishing Ronald Reagan were around, or chasing the latest mechanical rabbit flashed by the media, conservatives ought to start rallying around Romney as the only Republican who has a shot at beating Obama. We'll attack him when he's president. 
It's fun to be a purist, but let's put that on hold until Obama and his abominable health care plan are gone, please.
Ann Coulter is right. Right now, the goal of most Americans is to get Obama out of office and repeal ObamaCare. The only way to accomplish those two important goals is by electing Mitt Romney as the GOP nominee since Mitt Romney is currently the best candidate to unseat Obama and go one on one with Obama in a debate about health care. Moreover, Mitt Romney will keep his promise to repeal ObamaCare. 
Those who reject Mitt Romney because of his faith and RomneyCare do so at the risk of failing to accomplish the number one goal of 2012 to make Obama a one term president and scrub his healthcare plan out of existence.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mitt Romney Ready To Surge In The Polls

Although the election is just barely a few weeks away, voters are starting to rally around their preferred GOP candidate who they think will best defeat Barak Obama. By all indications, the candidate that everyone is rallying around is Mitt Romney. Public Policy Polling has a new poll out showing that Mitt Romney is the best candidate who can remain competitive against Obama. A CNN/ORC poll has made similar findings in its own poll in which Mitt Romney is not only the frontrunner in the GOP race but actually ahead of Obama.
A lot of people have been discussing the significance of Mitt Romney consistently polling at 25% among Republicans. Is that a good thing or a bad thing for Mitt Romney? Many people are starting to realize that these numbers are good for Romney. For example, Andrew Malcolm, in his article for Investor Business Daily points out that those consistent poll numbers are a result of not making any mistake in a crowded field of GOP competitors: 
Although Romney's poll standings have rarely exceeded 25% among Republicans, that's actually not that bad in an eight-person contest. Since spring individual GOP challengers have come close to Romney or moved slightly ahead, like Herman Cain and this week Newt Gingrich, thanks to accumulating respect for his debating acumen.
But Cain is fading now, like Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and Donald Trump before him. And Gingrich has neither the money nor organization to sustain a major national effort. Even if the brainy former speaker can persuade Iowa's evangelical caucus-goers to look past the baggage of his previous personal life and he wins there on Jan. 3, then what?
Romney's been organizing nationally virtually since he conceded to John McCain in 2008. And with his personal fortune, he needs no one's line of credit, not even Tiffany's. Second time around, Romney's looked poised, confident, presidential in the debates. No OMG moments requiring damage control. Steady as she goes is the campaign motto and it's worked.
Maggie Haberman, in her column for Politico, argues that Mitts poll numbers staying consistently in the 20s is actually the minimum support Romney is getting and will likely get more support as time goes on: 
There has been a lot of talk about Romney's static poll numbers - generally in the mid-20s nationally and consistently around 20 in Iowa (with a high of about 40 percent In New Hampshire) - being a ceiling for him. 
But it's also possible, as Gallup would suggest and as pollsters like the Tarrance Group's Ed Goeas noted to Lawrence O'Donnell yesterday, that the mid-20s number is actually a floor for Romney, who will attract more support when it comes time to vote.
I suspect that Mitt's poll numbers, which are hovering around 20%, will increase as people abandon gaffe prone candidates, perform poorly in debates, candidates drop out of the race and as the primaries start happening. 
Americans don't want a President who doesn't understand how America works or how businesses work.As a result, people are starting get excited about booting Obama out of the White House and having a competent, intelligence, experienced and dedicated candidate like Mitt Romney in the White House.  

Monday, November 14, 2011

ObamaCare Unconstitutional, RomneyCare Constitutional

The Supreme Court of the United States has announced that it has has decided hear ObamaCare in this term rather than next term. According to the National Journal, the Supreme Court has asked that the parties focus their arguments to three main issues: the individual mandate, severability, and jurisdiction. 
The fact that the Supreme Court has chosen to take this issue on now will have a big impact on the 2012 election especially if Mitt Romney wins the GOP nomination and faces off against Obama in the general election. 
Regardless of who wins the Presidential election, ObamaCare will be most certainly held unconstitutional but explain that the individual mandate is constitutional at the state level like in Massachusetts under Governor Romney.  
In other words, ObamaCare is unconstitutional whereas RomneyCare is constitutional. 
Dr. Matt Moody, who isn't a lawyer, has given a good legal analysis why Obama's health care law is constitutional and why Mitt Romney's health care law is:
For the 21% of Massachusetts citizens who don't prefer RomneyCare, moving to another State to escape perceived government oppression only works when 49 other States have constitutional power to create their own unique "experiments" in governance. Thus, when a limited Federal Government steadily morphs into a dominating Central Government, constitutionally-defined Federalism slowly erodes. James Madison succinctly described the principle of Federalism with these words:
The powers delegated by the Constitution to the federal government are few and defined.
Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.
The opposite of Federalism occurs when Americans have an overreaching central government that, in the words of Virginia Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, "seeks to plan and control virtually every aspect of our lives and our economy, from health care, to energy, to automobile manufacturing, to banking and insurance." When "We the People" look to central government to take care of every problem, the power and importance State governance is diminished — which is the opposite of Federalism.
Here's how Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandies described Federalism:
It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous State may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.
In Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins (1938), Justice Brandeis wrote the opinion for a 6-2 majority; Brandeis ruled that there is no such thing as a "federal general common law" in cases involving diversity jurisdiction (interstate lawsuits). This Supreme Court decision overturned Swift v. Tyson (1842) — precedent law which had been in place for 96 years. This landmark ruling meant that federal courts must apply the law of the State where the legal injury occurred. This High Court decision strengthened the sovereignty of States, and reversed a trend toward centralizing government power.
As established by the Founding Fathers through the United States Constitution, federal government was intended to be limited with "few and defined" powers. But in direct defiance of Original Intent, ever since the New Deal, federal government has gradually grown larger and larger, gaining more and more power — that's not Federalism, that's not what the Founding Fathers put in place.
Why the ObamaCare Mandate is Unconstitutional
ObamaCare is Unconstitutional because the 2,700 page bill is not just about Affordable Health Care for all Americans; instead, ObamaCare is an enormous usurpation of power that pushes far beyond the limited, enumerated powers delegated to the federal government by the Constitution.
To justify ObamaCare, the federal government must find authority to do so in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution — wherein the federal government is delegated enumerated powers that are, as James Madison described, "few and defined" in contrast to State powers that are "numerous and indefinite."
In both the Virginia and Florida Lawsuits against Obama-Care, the federal government has tried to find justification for the Obama-Care Mandate in three clauses from Article 1 Section 8 — the Commerce Clause, the Necessary and Proper Clause, and the General Welfare Clause.
Here's why each of these clauses fail to justify the ObamaCare Mandate.
Commerce Clause
The Federal Government has tried to justify ObamaCare through the "Commerce Clause." Here's how the United States Constitution describes that power:
The Congress shall have Power — To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations,
and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
Here is why invoking the Commerce Clause fails: It is clear that "doing nothing" is NOT an act of commerce. Thus "doing nothing" cannot be regulated by the Federal Government via the Commerce Clause. In contrast, if the act of "doing nothing" on the part of some citizens, impacts Life, Liberty, and Happiness with a State, that State can legislate Mandates for the benefit of all State residents.
But the federal issue is not that easy: One Supreme Court case, Gonzales v. Raich, raised a question of "undercutting" in regard to regulating Interstate Commerce. Hence the question arises: Will an American citizen's choice to NOT purchase a good or service (health insurance) have an effect upon Interstate Commerce that "undercuts" a broader regulatory scheme of Interstate Commerce?
But this question jumps the gun! The "act of non-commerce" that is alleged to undercut a broader regulatory scheme, is a commerce question originated/created by the ObamaCare Mandate, in the first place. This means, that the Federal Government is both attempting to originate/create a situation of commerce by law (mandating everyone to buy insurance), and then turning around and declaring: "we must now regulate the commerce we have originated/created."
In other words, the constitutional regulation of "Commerce . . . among the several States" is Commerce that the States originate/create; thereafter, the Federal Government has constitutional power to regulate that State-Initiated Commerce.
So even if "doing nothing" does have an effect upon the regulation of Interstate Commerce, this legal logic leap frogs over the prior question, a question that the Supreme Court has never ruled on: Does the Federal Government have the constitutional power in the first place, to require individual citizens to purchase a product or service — can the Fed force citizens to buy health insurance?
According to the Federal Judges who have ruled in the Virginia and Florida Lawsuits against Obama-Care, the answer is "no!" — the Commerce Clause does not justify the regulation of non-commerce among the States — acts of non-commerce originated/created by the ObamaCare Mandate in the first place.
Necessary & Proper Clause
The Federal Government has tried to justify Obama-Care through the Constitution's "Necessary and Proper Clause," which grants Congressional powers that are not necessarily enumerated powers but always directly buttress an enumerated power. In an 1819 Supreme Court decision, Justice John Marshall wrote that Congressional Authority via the Necessary and Proper Clause, while broad, "its authority is not unbridled." Thus Congress has only power to enact laws that are "within the scope of the Constitution, and all means which are appropriate, which are plainly adapted to that end, which are not prohibited, but consistent with the letter and spirit of the Constitution, are constitutional." The Necessary and Proper Clause states:
The Congress shall have Power — To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
Notice that Congress is empowered to make "necessary and proper" Laws specifically to carry "into Execution the foregoing Powers" — referring to the limited, enumerated powers delegated to the federal government. In other words, mandating that a person must buy health insurance needs to be justified, in the first place, by the few and defined powers listed in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution. So the Necessary and Proper Clause can only be invoked as one of the enumerated powers is also invoked. That is why Judge Henry Hudson ruled as he did in the Virginia Lawsuit against Obama-Care.
Judge Henry Hudson ruled that the Obama-Care mandate “is neither within the letter nor the spirit of the Constitution.” (p. 24) "If a person's decision not to purchase health insurance at a particular point in time does not constitute the type of economic activity subject to regulation under the Commerce Clause, then logically an attempt to enforce such a provision under the Necessary and Proper Clause is equally offensive to the Constitution." (p. 19)
General Welfare Clause
The Federal Government has tried to justify the Obama-Care mandate via the "General Welfare Clause," a clause that is embedded within Congressional Taxation Power. But to invoke the General Welfare Clause, the Government must first establish that the "penalty" for not buying Health Insurance — the very "penalty" spoken of in the 2700 pages behemoth called Obama-Care — is really a tax, and not a penalty.
While the Federal Government does have taxation power via Article 1 Section 8, here's the problem:
In the effort to pass ObamaCare through Congress, President Obama and the authors of Obama-Care played politics with words; trying to distance themselves from the perception of higher "taxes," the President, the Obama-Care authors, and Democrat Senators and Congressmen all called the monetary assessment for failure to purchase health insurance a penalty — and not a tax!
This is precisely why Judge Henry Hudson pointed to the historical record of "pre-enactment representations," where both the "Executive and Legislative branches" consistently called the "penalty" for failure to purchase healthcare insurance, a "penalty" and not a "tax." Thus, Federal Judge ruled that the General Welfare Clause has no force.
NEVERTHELESS, even if the penalty were deemed a tax, there is still a huge Constitutional problem this virtually impossible to overcome: All federal taxes, save income taxes, must be assessed proportionally according to State populations — this is called a "Capitation" Tax.
A Little Known Fact about Federal Taxation: All Federal Taxes must be Proportional to State Populations
Even if the penalty for failure to purchase health insurance were a tax, and not a penalty, here's another constitutional problem. All taxes laid by the Federal Government, save income taxes, must be proportional to the populations of each State.
Article I Section 9
No capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.
Again, the only Constitutional exception to a "capitation" Tax, proportionally paid among the several States, is the federal income tax. Since income tax is NOT a "capitation" Tax, that is why Congress passed the 16th Amendment to the Constitution:
16th Amendment
The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.
Because the Obama-Care tax/penalty is NOT an income tax or a "capitation" tax, proportional to State populations, this means the Obama-Care tax/penalty is NOT Constitutional — and thus NOT legal.
Police Powers
Within a Constitutional context, the term "Police Powers" has a broader definition that goes beyond "law enforcement." The root of the word "police" is "polis" which means "city" or "state." The root "polis" is found in the word "metropolis." — metra = mother + polis = city, hence Metropolis is the Mother City.
Police Powers refer to powers held primarily by Cities and States; thus, Police Powers literally means polis powers, in other words, City or State Powers. The United States Constitution directly empowers the States to regulate the general welfare, morals, health, and safety of the citizenry. The exercise of police power takes the form of making laws, compelling obedience to those laws through legal consequences and even through physical coercion — this is the common connotation of "police" as "law enforcement."
Again, Police Powers are broader than the common understand associated with the word "police." Because the federal government has limited powers granted by the Constitution, it does not have a general police power directly over the U.S. citizenry, as the states do. Clearly, certain enumerated powers stipulated in Article 1, Section 8 empower federal government to act on matters of foreign relations and border security.
United States Constitution: Article 1 Section 8
Historically, it was the States that created the Federal Government and granted specific powers through the Constitution. Congress may exercise only the eighteen 18 enumerated powers explicitly outlined in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, as follows:
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
All other powers to regulate the general welfare, morals, health, and safety of the citizenry are held by the States, as specifically granted in the Tenth 10th Amendment. Given that the States created the Federal Government, and then gave it power to regulate Interstate Commerce, we understand that decisions to originate Commerce in the first place, resides with the States.
Dr Matt's Intriguing Insight: ObamaCare is both attempting to originate/create a situation of commerce by law (forcing everyone to buy insurance), and then turning around and declaring: "we must now regulate the commerce we have originated/created, as provided by the commerce clause."
If the power to require citizens to purchase goods or services is NOT enumerated among the 18 clauses of Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution, then the Federal Government does NOT have that power.
The Necessary and Proper Clause
Article One of the United States Constitution, section 8, clause 18 is known as The Necessary and Proper Clause, and is stated thus:
The Congress shall have Power — To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
During discussions of the proposed constitution, this clause provoked controversy: Anti-Federalists expressed concern that the clause would grant the federal government boundless power; in contrast, Federalists argued that the clause would only permit execution of power already granted by the Constitution — Alexander Hamilton defended this second interpretation in the Federalist Papers.
Arguing in Federalist No. 44, James Madison concurred with Hamilton, stating that without this clause the constitution would be a "dead letter." At the Virginia Ratifying Convention, Patrick Henry took the opposing view, saying that the clause would lead to limitless federal power that would inevitably menace civil liberties (e.g., liberty from federal powers that force citizens to purchase particular goods or services).
The General Welfare Clause
In the United States Constitution, the "General Welfare" provision is found in the Taxing and Spending Clause as follows:
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
Through clarifications by Thomas Jefferson and Chief Justice John Marshall, the mention of "general welfare" within the Taxing and Spending Clause was never intended to give unlimited power to the federal government.
Here's how Thomas Jefferson explained the general welfare clause: “the laying of taxes is the power, and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised. They [Congress] are not to lay taxes ad libitum [according to pleasure] for any purpose they please; but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union.
Jefferson's statement suggests that the "general welfare" of the people would be an aim reserved to the States via the 10th Amendment. And because the 10th Amendment reserves all rights and powers to the States, that are not enumerated to the Federal Government, thus, it is the States that would address concerns of matters of welfare of the people — whether general or specific.
According to Jefferson, the welfare of the Union, as opposed to the more specific welfare of the people [living within the Union], is the purpose for federal taxation and spending. The "Union" being the collective coalition of 50 states.
In a 1824 ruling of Gibbons v. Ogden, Chief Justice John Marshall described in an "obiter dictum" [said in passing] the following limit to the General Welfare Clause: "Congress is authorized to lay and collect taxes, &c. to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States. . . . Congress is not empowered to tax for those purposes which are within the exclusive province of the States." In other words, "general welfare" must be defined within the enumerated powers of the federal government.
Two authors of the The Federalist papers offered interpretations of the general welfare clause:
James Madison maintained that spending must be tied to one of the specifically enumerated federal powers — such as regulating interstate or foreign commerce, or providing for the military. Madison argued that the General Welfare Clause is not a direct grant of power, but a statement of purpose that qualifies the taxation power.
Alexander Hamilton offered his interpretation of "general welfare" after the Constitution had been ratified. He argued that federal spending, as an enumerated power, could be done independently to benefit the general welfare — such as to assist national agricultural or educational needs. However such federal spending should be general in nature and would not favor a specific section of the country.
The 9th Ninth Amendment
"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed
to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
In other words, the Framers did not intend that the first eight amendments be construed to exhaust all basic and fundamental rights. The Bill of Rights is the name given to the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. It was James Madison who introduces these amendments, thus it is significant to note Madison's words:
"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State."
The 10th Tenth Amendment
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution,
nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Based upon how Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Souter, and Stevens ruled in United States v. Lopez, United States v. Morrison, and Gonzales v. Raich, they interpret the Interstate Commerce Clause to have few limits, if any. These four Justices have ruled in favor of Federal Government regulation 3 out of 3 times — even when the issues were NOT directly about commerce, nor about interstate dealings.
Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Souter, and Stevens will likely rule that requiring citizens to buy Health Insurance, is something that the Federal Government can do under the Interstate Commerce Clause — again, here Clause #3 from Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution:
The Congress shall have power — To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations,
and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes;
Justices Roberts, Alito, and Sotomayor have not made rulings on the Commerce Clause yet. If reputations for being conservative or liberal mean anything, then Roberts and Alito may support Commerce Clause Limits, and Sotomayor would broadly interpret the Commerce Clause as granting powers for the Fed to regulate. The term "broadly interpret" usually means ignoring the original intent of the Founding Fathers.
As for Justices Thomas, Scalia, and Kennedy, . . . Thomas has come down on the side of Limits to the Commerce Clause three 3 out of 3 times, with Scalia and Kennedy ruling 2 twice for Commerce Clause limitations and once for federal government regulation.
Scalia and Kennedy will likely cast the swing votes on the matter. When the Supreme Court Justices eventually rule on the Virginia Law Suit, they will do so based upon the following precedent cases that involve the Interstate Commerce Clause:
Supreme Court Cases relating to the Commerce Clause
1942 - Wickard v. Filburn
In order to drive up wheat prices during the Great Depression, the U.S. government imposed federal limits on wheat production based on acreage owned by a farmer. Filburn was growing more than the federal limits, and was ordered to destroy his crops and pay a fine -- even though he was producing the excess wheat for his own use and had no intention of selling it.
Ruling: In a unanimous decision, the court upheld the "Agricultural Adjustment Act." The intended rationale of this federal law was to stabilize the price of wheat on the national market. The court ruled that the federal government has the power to regulate interstate commerce through the Interstate Commerce Clause of the Constitution.
Majority: Jackson, joined by Stone, Roberts, Black, Reed, Frankfurter, Douglas, Murphy, Byrnes
1995 - United States v. Lopez
Alfonso Lopez, Jr. was a 12th grade student at Edison High School in San Antonio, Texas. In 1992 he carried a concealed weapon into the school. Confronted by school authorities, Lopez admitted to having the weapon and was charged with violation of the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990.
Ruling: In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals: While Congress has broad lawmaking authority under the Commerce Clause, the power is limited, and does not extend so far from "commerce" as to authorize the regulation of the carrying of handguns — especially when there is no evidence that carrying them affects the economy substantially.
This was the first Supreme Court case since Wickard v. Filburn to set limits to Congress's power under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. Writing the majority opinion, Chief Justice Rehnquist identified three broad categories of activity that Congress can regulate under the Commerce Clause: (1) channels of interstate commerce, (2) instrumentalities of interstate commerce, or persons or things in interstate commerce, and (3) activities that substantially affect or substantially relate to interstate commerce
In a concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas argued that allowing Congress to regulate intrastate, noncommercial activity under the Commerce Clause would confer on Congress a general “police power” over the entire nation.
Majority: Rehnquist, joined by O'Connor, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas
Concurrence: Kennedy, joined by O'Connor
Concurrence: Thomas
Dissent: Breyer, joined by Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg
Dissent: Stevens
Dissent: Souter
2000 - United States v. Morrison
In 1994, the United States Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act. That fall a Virginia Tech freshman, Christy Brzonkala, was allegedly assaulted by Antonio Morrison and James Crawford, members of the school's football team. A state grand jury did not find sufficient evidence to charge either man with a crime. Brzonkala then filed suit under the Violence Against Women Act.
Ruling: In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court affirmed that Congress lacked authority, under either the Commerce Clause or the Fourteenth Amendment, to pass the "Violence Against Women Act." Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Rehnquist held that "the noneconomic, criminal nature of the conduct at issue was central to our decision."
Majority: Rehnquist, joined by O'Connor, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas
Concurrence: Thomas
Dissent: Souter, joined by Stevens, Ginsburg, Breyer
Dissent: Breyer, joined by Stevens; joined by Souter and Ginsburg (Points 1 and 2 only)
2005 - Gonzales v. Raich
In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 215, legalizing the medical use of marijuana. California was one of eight states that allowed medicinal use of marijuana. Defendant Angel Raich used homegrown marijuana to relieve pain; her use was legal under California law, but illegal under federal law -- the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act.
Ruling: The decision was 6-3 in favor of the Federal Government's ability to regulate: Banning the growing of marijuana for medical use, to prevent or limit access to marijuana for other uses.
Majority: Stevens, joined by Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer.
Concurrence: Scalia
Dissent: O'Connor, joined by Rehnquist, Thomas (Points 1 and 2 only)
Dissent: Thomas
Scalia's Concurring Opinion:
“As Lopez itself states, and the Court affirms today, Congress may regulate noneconomic intrastate activities only where the failure to do so “could … undercut” its regulation of interstate commerce. . . . This is not a power that threatens to obliterate the line between “what is truly national and what is truly local.”
Again, Scalia voted in favor of Commerce Clause limitations in Lopez and in Morrison.
O'Connor's Dissenting Opinion:
"Relying on Congress’ abstract assertions, the Court has endorsed making it a federal crime to grow small amounts of marijuana in one’s own home for one’s own medicinal use. This overreaching stifles an express choice by some States, concerned for the lives and liberties of their people, to regulate medical marijuana differently."
"If I were a California citizen, I would not have voted for the medical marijuana ballot initiative; if I were a California legislator I would not have supported the Compassionate Use Act. But whatever the wisdom of California’s experiment with medical marijuana, the federalism principles that have driven our Commerce Clause cases require that room for experiment be protected in this case."
Justice Rehnquist joined O'Connor's dissent. Her use of the word "experiment," referred to Justice Louis Brandeis's dissenting opinion in New State Ice Co. v. Liebmann:
"Federalism promotes innovation by allowing for the possibility that a single courageous State may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country..."
Thomas's Dissenting Opinion:
"Respondent's local cultivation and consumption of marijuana is not 'Commerce ... among the several States.' . . . Certainly no evidence from the founding suggests that 'commerce' included the mere possession of a good or some personal activity that did not involve trade or exchange for value."
"If the Federal Government can regulate growing a half-dozen cannabis plants for personal consumption (not because it is interstate commerce, but because it is inextricably bound up with interstate commerce), then Congress' Article I powers -- as expanded by the Necessary and Proper Clause -- have no meaningful limits."
"Whether Congress aims at the possession of drugs, guns, or any number of other items, it may continue to appropriate state police powers under the guise of regulating commerce."
"If the majority is to be taken seriously, the Federal Government may now regulate quilting bees, clothes drives, and potluck suppers throughout the 50 States. This makes a mockery of Madison's assurance to the people of New York that the 'powers delegated' to the Federal Government are 'few and defined,' while those of the States are 'numerous and indefinite.'"
Dr Matt's Bottom Line: Why Obama-Care will be Ruled Unconstitutional by the Supreme Court

In Gonzales v. Raich, what tipped the Supreme Court decision in favor of federal regulation? It was the principle of "undercutting" a broader scheme of Interstate order. In his concurring opinion, Scalia wrote:
Congress may regulate noneconomic intrastate activities only where the failure to do so “could … undercut” its regulation of interstate commerce. . . . This is not a power that threatens to obliterate the line between “what is truly national and what is truly local.”
If the Supreme Court had allowed individuals to grow marijuana at home for "personal medicinal purposes," this would have opened Pandora's Box: thus Interstate sales and use of marijuana would have become a nuisance for other States where marijuana growing and using is illegal — state anti-marijuana laws would have been "undercut."
One of the key differences between the State of Virginia's Lawsuit compared to Gonzales v. Raich, is that Marijuana use is illegal in most States and exercising one's liberty NOT to purchase Health Insurance is NOT illegal in all States — that is, until ObamaCare introduced its coercive Mandate. This means the threat of "undercutting" a broader network of State Laws is NOT a factor in the Virginia Law Suit. Expressing one's liberty to NOT purchase a good or service has never been illegal; in contrast, growing and using marijuana is illegal — that's a key difference in the two court case, thus the undercutting principle should not apply in the Virginia Lawsuit.
This means the freedom for individual citizens to NOT engage in commerce (to choose NOT to buy Health Insurance or any other good or service) is NOT regulate-able by the Federal Government via the Interstate Commerce Clause, because that choice is NOT an act of commerce and further does not involve Interstate coordination or Interstate "undercutting" — which was the tipping point for Gonzales v. Raich, according to Scalia.
Clearly a citizens choice to "do nothing" need not be coordinated and regulated between the several States by the Federal Government; therefore, the Health Care Freedom Act passed by the State of Virginia should be ruled Constitutional by the Supreme Court; and the universal mandate forcing citizens to buy health insurance, and levying a monetary penalty if they don't, should be found Unconstitutional.
The power for Governments to regulate an individual's decision to "do nothing" (to NOT buy a good or a service) is unquestionably reserved to the States by the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution — that is IF, as the Declaration of Independence says "by the consent of the governed," a majority of citizens want such a regulation. The people of the State of Virginia have decided they want liberty from being compelled to buy health insurance! In contrast, if the majority of Massachusetts citizens want to be insured, they have the liberty to elect representative government to establish it — and thus enjoy the freedom to be insured. That's Federalism.
The best Health Care Reform at the federal level will be Compassionate, Constitutional, and will NOT kill the Economy by driving up the National Debt. But operating from limited powers, the best federal government can do is to remove interstate restrictions and open up free market competitive among the States.
Ultimately Healthcare Reform must happen at the State level, because States have numerous and indefinite powers that federal government does not have. Because ObamaCare expands the size and power of federal government, making it more of a Central Government that overreaches and diminishes the numerous and indefinite powers of the States, the Supreme Court should rule 5-4 that Obama-Care is unconstitutional.