Roberts’s ruling brings a sea change

The ObamaCare ruling by the Supremes this week dramatically changes the political landscape. Justice Roberts’s decision is being called by MSM the “Compromise of 2012.” But compromise will not work to appease contention. It will instead inflame opposition and bring states’ rights issues to the mainstream. It is already doing so. As Byron York writes in the Washington Examiner on Saturday, backlash is forming and 85 percent of Republicans want to see ObamaCare repealed either in whole or in part.

The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 has been called the "Great Compromise." But it forced slavery on the North and offended states’ rights and the 10th Amendment. The effect was to infuriate the North and drive it closer to warfare and the great tragedies that lay ahead. As one major commentator claimed Friday in The Washington Post, “John Roberts’s Compromise of 2012” is “historic because it is a compromise — a crisis-averting pact across lines of ideology, party and region, the likes of which we have not seen since pre-Civil War days.” It is indeed, and as the court did in 1850, Roberts has now infuriated the right and the 30 states that brought opposition to this federal mandate.

What is of some importance here is that we on the ground since 2003 on behalf of states’ rights have since managed to radicalize three important and committed mainstream conservatives: Mitt Romney, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. It is the way of all political turning; John Brown awakens Lincoln; the half-mad Boston lawyer James Otis awakens John Adams. So, remarkably, that which began with a few New Hampshire rural renegades who called themselves "free staters" 10 years ago can now count Mitt Romney in their ranks. And Rick Perry, who always had the tendency, and Bob McDonnell.

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Chief Justice John Roberts brings the archetype to the Eastern Establishment Conservative. He is a George W. Bush appointee, and his decision brings a full change of paradigm to conservatism. Until today there were three current sensibilities vying for position in government: the Roosevelt Democrats, Bush conservatives and the rising Tea Party coalition, which brought the challenge to ObamaCare. John Roberts’s decision classically links Bush conservatives today to Roosevelt/Kennedy/Obama thinking, and this is the essence of his “compromise.” But today, as York’s stats imply, Bush’s establishment conservatives lose to history and rural conservatives who formed the Tea Party opposition rise to the center of political culture.

Like Jefferson in middle life, Mitt Romney has in the last few years gone through a natural radicalization. In effect, he has left the party of Bush and Roberts and Krauthammer and joined the party of Sarah Palin, Ron Paul and Judge Andrew Napolitano. The Tea Party influence that brought the challenge to the Supreme Court now takes dominance over the Easterners’ institutional influence.

Those conservatives who hope for an Obama victory in 2012 so they can run back the clock with Christie/Jeb Bush in 2016 have been accommodated by Roberts’s “compromise.” But Roberts is rapidly becoming a pariah to conservatives and their hopes are now diminished. By 2016 conservatism will have become radicalized.

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