Keeping It Real

TPM Reader NB has little time for rejoicing …

Can we stop for a moment now that it’s over and gaze in wonder at the fact that this was ever in question? That the plain meaning of this law could be overturned by four inartfully chosen words?

If I cast my mind back, I can remember the incredulity with which the cases that eventually became King v Burwell were received at the time. These were the acts of dead enders, a judicial grasping at straws.

And yet we as a nation were forced over the course of several years to stare into the abyss of conservative bad faith and consider this as a real possibility.

During that time, as you have pointed out, a great deal of revisionism occurred, to the point where GOP lawmakers actively recast the debates that took place to suggest that an interpretation that was flatly unthinkable to anyone who was involved with the debate was actually the intended purpose of the law.

The accumulated possibility that up might actually be down, that the charade perpetrated by these fraudsters might actually mean the end of health insurance for millions of people, has taken a psychic toll on us as a nation.

“It all sounds so reasonable,” my wife said to me while reading the majority opinion this morning. I had to agree. The measured tones of Roberts, spelling out what I had hoped was obvious but had come deeply to doubt, was very reassuring. A big relief.

Because it was, for a time, not at all obvious.

It feels like we narrowly escaped being sucked as a nation into a black hole of conservative epistemic closure.

Nothing has changed and yet great calamity has been avoided.

It’s true. This is a great day, great news. But this case was an almighty crock from the beginning. It’s a travesty and simply absurd that the country was ever put through this.