In upholding ObamaCare, the Supreme Court dropped a bombshell on the conservative movement, which made historic gains in the 2010 congressional elections thanks to a Tea Party-fueled backlash to the health-care overhaul. To add insult to injury, the deciding vote came from Chief Justice John Roberts, an erstwhile conservative hero who has since fallen from grace. The conservative reaction was swift and, in some cases, unhinged, with many vowing to move to Canada, perhaps forgetting that Canada's top-notch health care system is a bastion of socialized medicine. While liberals have also reacted to the ruling in embarrassing ways — "It's constitutional. Bitches," tweeted a high-ranking yet childish DNC official — their peers on the far right have arguably outdone them. Here, five cringe-worthy reactions from conservatives to the Supreme Court's landmark decision:
1. Comparing the ruling to 9/11
Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), a stalwart of the conservative movement, reportedly compared the Supreme Court's decision to 9/11 in a closed-door meeting with other GOP lawmakers. Pence later apologized, saying his remark had been "thoughtless."
2. Comparing Obama to an America-hating vampire
Pam Geller, a popular fringe conservative commentator, took her criticism of Obama's post-ruling speech to Transylvanian extremes. "Obama yapping' again — why aren't there American flags in the frame?" she tweeted. "The flag to Obama is like the [silver] cross to Dracula." Meanwhile, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin chose to villainize the president in verse, tweeting, "Obama lies; freedom dies."
3. Offering over-the-top predictions of doom
Republicans also dabbled in apocalyptic forecasts. "Today America is threatened with a stage three cancer of socialism," declared Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.). "When they look back on the American system of once-limited government," said Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), "June 28, 2012, will stand as a definitive date in the advance of government tyranny." Dean Clancy, of the Tea Party group Freedomworks, warned, "The power to tax is the power to destroy."
4. Delegitimizing the Supreme Court
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) simply chose denial. "Just because a couple people on the Supreme Court declare something to be 'constitutional' does not make it so," he proclaimed. However, it actually does.
5. Eviscerating John Roberts
Roberts bore the brunt of conservative criticism, with many railing against his seeming betrayal. "I feel like I just lost two great friends," tweeted Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) grandly: "America and Justice Roberts." Meanwhile, conservative leader Brent Bozell termed Roberts a "traitor," and dozens of conservatives called for his impeachment. Bryan Fischer, a Christian activist, said Roberts "is going down in history as the justice that shredded the Constitution and turned it into a worthless piece of parchment." Some conservatives, including right-wing radio host Michael Savage, blamed Roberts' decision on his medical history with seizures, noting that epilepsy medication can "introduce mental slowing, forgetfulness, and other cognitive problems." Roberts, his faculties still apparently intact, has joked that he plans to spend his summer in an "impregnable fortress."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How the South's ugly racial history is haunting ObamaCare
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- If Democrats abandon immigration reform after Tuesday's likely loss, they will turn 2016 into a debacle
- Beware of Splenda: The backlash against artificial sugars
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- What if Leo Strauss was right?
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Feast your eyes on this beautiful linguistic family tree
- How science can help you survive scary movies
Subscribe to the Week