As I have covered in previous posts, Think Progress' Ian Millhiser has picked a theme and is running with it. Specifically, as the Obamacare cases wind their way to the Supreme Court, the left has looked into the crystal ball and sees doom. The initial piece of legislation was a 2000+ page mess that was full of liberal compromises, kickbacks, payoffs, and a whole lot of unintended consequences. It is famous for, among other things, putting Republican Scott Brown into the Senate seat long-occupied by Ted Kennedy. It was deemed passed as a reconciliation in the Senate, so as to avoid having an actual vote on it that would have resulted in its defeat. It was mostly unread - created by some democrats, who shut the Republicans out of the drafting process - and arrived with (former) Speaker Nancy Pelosi's grand non-sequitur, "We have to pass it first to see what's in it."
Since those heady days, the 2010 election re-drew the balance of power in congress. Republicans gained a lot of traction on pledges to defund the health care bill. In the meantime, numerous states' attorney's general filed lawsuits challenging the Constitutionality of the bill, both on it's face as well as how the bill relates to state legislation that essentially outlaws the health care mandate. The left has realized that is reached too far, too quickly with this bill. Perhaps in another time, when people had jobs, the national debt wasn't flying out of control, we weren't wasting billions of dollars each year in multiple "kinetic military operations," a smaller-scale version of this bill might have made it through. But that's not the point. Rather, the left is going all-out to cling to this monstrosity (in size and nature) of a law. That effort has led them to the strategy of working to de-legitimize the Supreme Court.
First, TP and the NYT, picked up on disgraced former NY Rep Anthony Weiner's ludicrous assertion that Justice Clarence Thomas must recuse himself from considering Obamacare cases. The rationale was that Thomas' wife is the President of Liberty Central, a conservative group that has, among other things, advocated for the repeal of Obamacare and asserting that Obamacare is unconstitutional. If we take that issue as its own, it boils down to Justice Thomas' wife has a strong opinion about a national issue, and has made that opinion public; therefore Thomas cannot be impartial in hearing cases involving Obamacare and should recuse himself. Perhaps the left is giving Ginny Thomas to much credit, or Justice Thomas too little credit. Of the 7 Justices who have partners, are we to assume that the other six besides Thomas either always agree with their spouses, or have spouses who hold no opinions? Should the same view be extended to ALL members of government - that domestic tranquility is the ultimate decision-making force? Of course not. Further, in each of the Justice's households, isn't it clear exactly who is the Constitutional expert? The fact that Ginny Thomas' group posted a memo on its website regarding Obamacare does not in any way begin to make the case that Clarence Thomas has forfeited his impartiality.
The left has gone further, trying to link Justice Thomas and his friend Harlan Crow to malfeasance. Specifically - again, debunked in my prior posts on the subject - there is absolutely zero evidence that Crow has influenced Thomas in his capacity as Supreme Court Justice. TP claims that there are 11 cases in which Crow-related groups have filed amicus briefs and Thomas has voted with those positions. That is not an accurate description. 8m of those cases involved CCI and concerned criminal justice issues - nothing related to any business interests of Harlan Crow.
The case made by the left against Justice Thomas is a fabrication and a distortion. What is interesting is that TP and the rest of the left are openly suggesting that Thomas' vote has been bought...only they can't come out and explicitly say that because there isn't any evidence to support it. Instead, the left relies on the lame tactic of saying that these issues should cause great concern, and in the face of such great concern Justice Thomas should probably just resign from the bench. Here's the hook: IF there was any evidence that Justice Thomas - or any Justice - has received benefits in return for voting a particular way on certain issues, it would be a clear criminal matter and he would be impeached! Instead, the left pulls up short of this and throws up ridiculous bills like Rep Murphy's that do nothing substantive and are completely a waste of time for a number of reasons, but are attempts to raise a hue and cry among the uninformed.
Sometimes, where there's smoke, there's nothing but a smoke machine. This is one of those times.