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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Rush to judgment

Shouldn't we wait until there's a decision before opining about the dire consequences of the Supreme Court overturning the health care mandate?

The airwaves and print are alive with speculation that the tough questions posed to Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr., was a sure sign the Obama administration's signature legislation is destined for the trash heap.

Now I'm not a lawyer or a veteran court watcher, so I am prompted to ask: don't they always ask tough questions to poke holes in legal arguments to see if they stand up?

But in our 24-7-365 news cycle, tough questions are automatically translated into provocative comments meant to signal doom and gloom. And even the most seasoned and reasoned writers can fall into the trap.

I'm thinking principally of Jeffrey Toobin, a lawyer by training and a legal affairs writer for The New Yorker, a publication not known for haste or overstatement.

But Toobin also collects a check from CNN, the allegedly sober member of the cable news fraternity -- and also the ratings trailer. And Toobin wasn't wearing his New Yorker hat yesterday:
"This law looks like it's going to be struck down," Toobin said earlier today on CNN. "All of the predictions including mine that the justices would not have a problem with this law were wrong."
Toobin may indeed qualify as an experienced court watcher, but his prediction of doom includes an acknowledgment that he's already got a shaky track record on this case.

Shouldn't we all take a deep breath and recall the famous words of life observer Lawrence Peter Berra?

"It ain't over until it's over."

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well even if the madate is struck down shouldn't Barack be able to have a fireside chat televised and explain to the populace that inclusion in the program is in everyone's best interest. The program will be administered competently and everyone will be able to get heart transplants just like Cheney. I'm sure everyone will join up voluntarily.

March 28, 2012 8:59 AM  

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