Three massive hammer blows were delivered to the right in the last 48 hours by the US Supreme Court and in reading some conservative reaction to the decisions, you could be forgiven for believing the American experiment was on its last legs. Mike Huckabee says he will not “acquiesce” to the law, while Texas Attorney General Ken Paxtonsays that no matter what SCOTUS says, the definition of marriage will never change. George Will says that John Roberts helped “overthrow” the Constitution.
Upholding subsidies for the Affordable Care Act, granting a nationwide right for gay marriage, and ruling that housing policies that have a disparate impact on race are unconstitutional — even if no discrimination is intended — is a triple whammy for conservatives and the rule of law. How can there be limits on government power when the final arbiter of limits doesn’t see any? The decisions seem surreal.
I am not arguing against the validity of most of the points made by conservatives about any of these controversies. But what if the court decisions and flag controversy had come down over a three month period instead of 48 hours? Would the sense of doom and gloom be as pronounced on the right as it is today?
Perhaps it’s time to recall the words of Thomas Paine in his essay“The Crisis,” published December 23, 1776 following a series of unmitigated disasters that befell the Continental Army.
THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.