How Ezra Klein ironically proves his own point

Ezra Klein recently attempted to answer the supposedly perplexing question of “Why (do) Republicans Oppose the Individual Health Care Mandate?” A simple blog post could have done the trick; first noting that a majority of the country has opposed Obamacare since its passage, and then utilizing Occam’s Razor to conclude that the electoral incentive, as evidenced by the 2010 mid-term shellacking, served as the Republicans’ motivation. But no, Klein instead takes to The New Yorker to weave a devious tale of political partisanship, intellectual inconsistency, and faulty brain chemistry. He begins:

On March 23, 2010, the day that President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, fourteen state attorneys general filed suit against the law’s requirement that most Americans purchase health insurance, on the ground that it was unconstitutional. It was hard to find a law professor in the country who took them seriously. “The argument about constitutionality is, if not frivolous, close to it,” Sanford Levinson, a University of Texas law-school professor, told the McClatchy newspapers. Erwin Chemerinsky, the dean of the law school at the University of California at Irvine, told the Times, “There is no case law, post 1937, that would support an individual’s right not to buy health care if the government wants to mandate it.”

If Klein couldn’t find law professors who took the arguments seriously, then he didn’t look very hard. Klein suffers here from the same confirmation bias he’ll go on to criticize in the rest of the article. And why is “post 1937”, a seemingly arbitrary year, relevant? The Constitution was adopted 150 years priors, but 1937 was when FDR threatened and intimidated the Supreme Court with his court packing scheme. Just because the court started making ridiculous rulings regarding economic liberty at that point doesn’t mean we should be beholden to those flawed decisions forever. Next comes the back story of Republicans long-lost love for the individual mandate: Continue reading