Before turning in for the evening last night, I updated my Facebook and Twitter accounts with this:
"Tomorrow's the big day for the Supreme Court and healthcare: Here's my prediction: The individual mandate will be struck down 5-4 in an opinion written by Kennedy or Roberts that will allow other parts of the law to stand with a roadmap for how congress can fund it through taxation, not a mandate."
That turns out to be almost exactly what happened, for a majority of the Court rejected the "mandate," construed it as a tax and declared it constitutional.
I was able to predict this outcome not because I'm a brilliant scholar of the Constitution but because I'm a student of human behavior and Bushism. Bushism is not a new religion, an overarching constitutional principle, a legal theory or political ideology. Rather it is a philosophy made famous by George Herbert Walker "Poppy" Bush that has now made its way to becoming the highest governing principle of the Supreme Court via a Justice appointed by his son.
As a young man, Bush the elder when given a gift, would promptly take it to school and tell his friends: "Have Half." While acquiring the nickname "Have Half" because of a desire to share is a wonderful thing on the playground, for your friends and allies in the trenches of political warfare it can be maddening. In 1990 President Poppy Bush famously told Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, "Have Half," despite his promise in the '88 campaign not to raise taxes and left his friends and allies bewildered by the betrayal.
Those legal scholars who seek to tease out important constitutional principles from this decision will likely be disappointed, for the simple answer may very well be that there are none, except for that principle first articulated by young Poppy Bush on the playgrounds of his youth, surrounded by fellow WASPy sons of privilege: "Have Half."