The Right, Aggrieved
One of the more bewildering things the right did during the Bush era was complain endlessly about how under assault it was. For those of us who lived through the Clinton presidency, it was a strange thing to hear. The right had the White House, House, Senate, and the Federal Judiciary. In the game of American political power, there isn’t much more to achieve.
And yet, if you tuned into the right you would think it we were living though some sort of combination of the Progressive Era combined with the New Deal. Even when they win and control everything, they have to be the victims. Even when they get the media to cheerlead a war, it is the boogeyman “liberal media” that is hidden behind every grassy knoll. Even when they control the levers of power, there will always be a Democratic to blame for the sin of breathing.
Now, with the news of an apparent change in position by Chief Justice Roberts on the individual mandate, no matter how many other right-wing positions he has upheld — and will likely uphold for decades into the future — they now have a well-cemented betrayal narrative once again in place. For years now, we will hear about how the man who made it to the top of the conservative legal establishment was total putty in the hand of the nefarious left.
The Roberts Betrayal will be yet another clarion call for the right. Never mind the idea that John Roberts upheld the Heritage Foundation’s health care mandate. Mere details are just so much noise for the right and their betrayal narrative.
Even when they win, they must find a way to manufacture some method in which they are under assault. It is who they are.