Artur Davis was the only member of the Congressional Black Caucus to oppose Obamacare in 2010. Later that year, the four-term Democrat lost a primary in Alabama for governor in part on his opposition to the law. Since then, Davis has moved to the right, and even went so far as to join the Republican party last month. The Harvard Law School graduate and former civil-rights lawyer’s reaction to the Supreme Court’s ruling is stinging. He thinks the Court gave in to elite opinion that claimed the court’s legitimacy would be hurt if Obamacare were overturned.
He wrote in Politico’s Arena:
John Roberts’ surprise defection is a policy victory for Barack Obama that is worth no votes: just as Democrats miscalculated in 2010 by assuming that the passage of the healthcare law would prove that they could get things done, they are drawing the wrong lesson today if they assume a court’s vindication of an unpopular law will somehow validate the first Obama term. The hostility to Obamacare among independents and swing voters is based on the cold fact that precious few of them believe it has done a thing to lower their premiums or improve their coverage, and that won’t change.
But there is a larger story: this result shows the left’s continuing capacity to shape elite opinion by marginalizing positions that roughly half the country holds. Just as the left has caricatured opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion as retrograde and extreme, it just pulled off the same feat in the context of Obamacare: the case was made, and Roberts bought it, that a Court that has struck down 169 congressional statutes would somehow be dangerously activist if it added a 170th one to the mix. Its an undemocratic, disingenuous sleight of hand that the left is practicing, but it is winning: the cost is that it only widens the gap between Middle America and the elite.