The 10 most unhinged reactions to the court

The healthcare case prompted wingers to vent their frustrations with life, the universe and everything

Published June 29, 2012 2:44PM (EDT)

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

When Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker beat back a recall effort, we learned that conservatives aren't exactly gracious in victory. On Thursday, when Chief Justice John Roberts joined the Supreme Court's moderate bloc to uphold ObamaCare. we discovered that the Right is nothing less than unhinged in defeat.

The remarkable thing about the heated debates about the law over the last three years is just how modest these reforms really are, especially when one considers how screwed up our healthcare system was to begin with.

The reality is that there is no "government takeover" underway. Some lower-middle-class families are going to get some subsidies to buy insurance, maybe ten million or so more poor people will be eligible for Medicaid. Insurers will get some new regulations that are popular even among Republicans.

And with Thursday's ruling, the government can no longer mandate that you carry insurance, it can only levy a small tax on those who don't. The real-world impact of that? Only an estimated 1 percent of the population will face the tax – a tax that maxes out at 1 percent -- and it may not even be enforceable!

But for the Right, a moderate expansion of health coverage and some new insurance regulations are, simply put, the worst things that ever happened. How bad is it? Well imagine that in the midst of the Holocaust, a meteor crashed to earth, destroying the entire planet. And as planet Earth exploded, it opened up a tear in the space-time continuum that swallowed up the entire galaxy. Thursday's ruling was, apparently, almost that bad.

For your reading pleasure, we've collected some of the most hilariously over-the-top freakouts we've seen. Enjoy!

1. Totally Not Exaggerating!

Baby-faced Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro offers a coolly dispassionate analysis of yesterday's ruling...


This is the greatest destruction of individual liberty since Dred Scott. This is the end of America as we know it. No exaggeration.

28 Jun 12

2. Wait Until They Discover That They Use the Metric System

BuzzFeed found a bunch of conservatives so freaked out by this tyranny that they're throwing in the towel and heading north to that right-wing paradise known as Canada – a place that has both universal healthcare and gay marriage ...


God literally fuck this. I'm moving to Canada. Jump off a cliff@obama.

28 Jun 12

3. Health Insurance Is So Much Worse Than the Murder of 3,000 People

It's a good thing Mike Pence is a reasonable conservative.

In a closed-door House GOP meeting Thursday, Indiana congressman and gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence likened the Supreme Court's ruling upholding the Democratic healthcare law to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, according to several sources present.

He immediately apologized.

4. Grab Your Musket and Tri-Corner Hat!

Did you know that the Founding Fathers fought a revolution to keep people uninsured. It's true!


Now that poors can get health insurance because the demon Supreme Court sided with that commie muslin NOBAMA fella, the only way to defend our freedom is armed insurrection! Mount up and ride to the sound of the gun, says former Michigan Republican Party spokesman Matthew Davis.

Matthew Davis, an attorney in Lansing, sent the email moments after the Supreme Court ruling to numerous new media outlets and limited government activists with the headline: “Is Armed Rebellion Now Justified?”

Davis added his own personal note saying, “… here’s my response. And yes, I mean it.”

“There are times government has to do things to get what it wants and holds a gun to your head,” Davis said. “I’m saying at some point, we have to ask the question when do we turn that gun around and say no and resist.

5. Revolution Is in the Air

Davis wasn't alone. Here's Matthew Vadum, author of Zombie Acorn Is Coming to Eat Your Face!

Matthew Vadum@vadum

We don't just need a new president. We need a revolution.#tcot

28 Jun 12

6. A Constitutional Scholar He Is Not...

Rand Paul really needs to peruse Article 3...


Sen. Rand Paul doesn’t think the Supreme Court gets the last word on what’s constitutional.

The Kentucky Republican belittled the high court’s healthcare decision as the flawed opinion of just a “couple people.”

“Just because a couple people on the Supreme Court declare something to be ‘constitutional’ does not make it so. The whole thing remains unconstitutional,” the freshman lawmaker said in a statement.

7. Health Insurance Is Exactly Like Slavery

It's not just Ben Shapiro – Richard Viguerie, a stalwart of the conservative movement since the Goldwater days, also reminisced about Dred Scott.

Today, a 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court of the United States – the body the Framers of the Constitution created to protect the citizenry from tyranny – has chosen to join infamous courts of the past, such as the Taney Court that made the Dred Scott v. Sanford decision finding that slaves had no rights and the Fuller Court that ruled to institutionalize Jim Crow discrimination in Plessy v. Ferguson in stripping Americans of their freedom.

8. You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry

An unspoken virtue of Obamacare is that it might just make Glenn Beck's head explode. From his site, The Blaze:

Needless to say, the news [of the ruling] went over like a lead balloon with Glenn Beck and his radio co-hosts Pat and Stu — so much so that they nearly violated FCC language requirements.

When Beck and his team found out that it was in fact Roberts’ decision that pushed the bill through, they were visibly and audibly stunned. Beck surmised that the reason for Roberts’ decision likely hinges on the pervasive nature of progressivism.

“Progressivism is a disease and it is in both parties,” Beck said.

“Progressives are fascists.”

Beck, looking on the one positive he feels to have come from this decision, said that the “Lord works in mysterious ways.”

OK, Glenn Beck.

9. John Roberts: Traitor!

Every fundamentalist religion abhors apostates, and American conservatism is no exception. As Alex Seitz-Wald detailed in Salon, the chief justice was treated to an abundance of bile.

“It’s patently absurd,” seethed Seton Motley, a conservative activist with “This is the umpire calling the game for the first five innings, and then putting on a cap and glove and play first base...

“I have a message for Chief Justice Roberts,” Dean Clancy of the Tea Party group Freedomworks declared over the loudspeaker after the ruling came down. “The power to tax is the power to destroy”...

Bryan Fischer, the prominent Christian-right activist, toldBuzzFeed’s Rosie Gray that Roberts “is going down in history as the justice that shredded the Constitution and turned it into a worthless piece of parchment.”

10. Or Is He?

Unlike most constitutional experts, some conservative bloggers thought that the law was so obviously unconstitutional that something fishy must be going on...

Someone got to Roberts. I bet they got to him and told him he has to vote this way or members of his family – kids, wife, parents, whoever – were going to be killed.

Later this afternoon, it’s going to come out that Roberts was coerced. ... the whole story will come out, Roberts will issue his REAL opinion, and Obama and Axelrod will be taken away in handcuffs.

Hey, one can always hope!

Joshua Holland is an editor and senior writer at AlterNet. He is the author of The 15 Biggest Lies About the Economy: And Everything else the Right Doesn't Want You to Know About Taxes, Jobs and Corporate America. Drop him an email or follow him on Twitter.


By Joshua Holland

Joshua Holland is a contributor to The Nation and a fellow with The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute. He's also the host of Politics and Reality Radio.

MORE FROM Joshua Holland

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