Chief Justice John Roberts’ surprise swing vote to uphold President Obama’s health care law left more than a few conservatives scratching their heads. Some scratched especially hard. Some just let their heads explode. Here are the best right-wing freak outs to Roberts’ decision.
On his radio show Thursday, conservative talk radio firebrand Michael Savage wondered whether Roberts’ epilepsy medication affected the chief justice’s cognition. “I’m going to tell you something that you’re not going to hear anywhere else, that you must pay attention to,” Savage said. “It’s well known that Roberts, unfortunately for him, has suffered from epileptic seizures. Therefore he has been on medication. Therefore neurologists will tell you that medication used for seizure disorders, such as epilepsy, can introduce mental slowing, forgetfulness and other cognitive problems. And if you look at Roberts’ writings you can see the cognitive dissociation in what he is saying,”
In a closed door meeting with House Republicans, Rep. Mike Pence likened the health care ruling to Sept. 11, Politico reported. Why? Who knows. “My remarks at the Republican Conference following the Supreme Court decision were thoughtless. I certainly did not intend to minimize any tragedy our nation has faced and I apologize,” the congressman said later in a statement to Politico.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who many consider to be on Mitt Romney’s short list for potential VP picks, told Fox News that Roberts did it for the column inches. “I don’t know whether he was just playing to the editorial pages of The Washington Post and The New York Times,” Jindal said, calling the decision “extremely disappointing.”
Geraldo Rivera didn’t criticize Roberts as much as call him a mad genius. On Fox and Friends Friday morning, Geraldo said: “(Roberts) has gifted President Obama a poison pill. Republicans now can remember, unless something is done, that the Bush tax cuts also lapse at the end of the year. So here you have the largest tax increase and the increase coming from the expiration of the Bush tax cuts - he taxed us, he said he wouldn’t tax us, he taxed us. I think the Obama presidency hangs by a thread right now.”
Saying the Supreme Court decision “destroys Bush’s legacy,” dimmed conservative star Glenn Beck put his rhetoric where his online store is. He is selling screen-printed Roberts “coward” t-shirts for $30 a pop.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) told Salon that Roberts made clear he believes Obama is a liar and he’s sorry the chief justice has become so cynical. “It’s a sad day for America,” he said.
Breitbart troublemaker Ben Shaprio had a few choice tweets for the chief justice:
Chief Justice Roberts was the worst part of the Bush legacy.— benshapiro (@benshapiro) June 28, 2012
For his next magic trick, John Roberts will turn Obamacare into a butterfly, so President Obama won’t have to worry about tax questions.— benshapiro (@benshapiro) June 28, 2012
Conservative shock jock Bryan Fischer followed suit: Roberts “is going down in history as the justice that shredded the Constitution and turned it into a worthless piece of parchment,” he told BuzzFeed’s Rosie Gray. Roberts acted “more like a demolitions expert” than an “umpire,” he added.
Rep. Jack Kingston took the news personally:
With #Obamacare ruling, I feel like I just lost two great friends: America and Justice Roberts.— Jack Kingston (@JackKingston) June 28, 2012
Conservative radio host Mark Levin said he doesn’t think much of the “five lawyers in robes” who ruled for “Obamacare.” The court’s majority held the American people in contempt on Thursday, he said, calling the court’s decision “absolutely lawless.”
“Roberts’ activism is now firmly evident,” he added.
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com