Immediately following the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the constitutionality of President Obama’s healthcare bill, MSNBC host Chris Matthews was absolutely thrilled that Chief Justice John Roberts decided to side with the left-leaning part of the court.
“There’s not going to be an alternative plan down the road,” Matthews said in reference to the Affordable Care Act. “This is it. There needed to be a financing mechanism for the pre-existing conditions, for the young adults and all that, and this is it and it’s the only game in town.”
“Had [Chief Justice Roberts] been the one to strike this down, I think there was a concern, a moral concern, he would be killing the chances for the country to have a healthcare plan. I really do believe that led him to try to find a constitutional rout here, which he did find in the Tax Law,” Matthews added.
“So was it more the Solicitor General [Don] Verrilli who did the work here or do you think it was John Roberts?” an MSNBC host asked, referring to the SG’s miserable performance during March’s oral arguments.
“The opposite. I think [Roberts] was a better solicitor for the president than the solicitor general. I think Roberts found the answer. Now if this is another way of doing something, some new kind of salesmanship, where you make the worst possible sales pitch knowing that the other guy is smart enough to find out what you’re not saying, boy that is brilliance,” Matthews responded.
“Nobody’s that smart. To be purposely stupid so that the other guy will feel himself smart by coming up with what you should’ve said -- the Tax Law. I don’t want to be sarcastic, but that’s just too much to believe.”
Final thought: Chris Matthews’ newfound respect for Chief Justice Roberts seems a little odd considering that less than 24 hours ago he was willing to draw comparisons between Roberts and Roger Taney, the justice who upheld the Fugitive Slave Law.