One Man Without Perspective Makes For Hilarity

Politics & Current Events

One man with courage makes a majority. — Andrew Jackson

One man without courage makes a majority. — John Roberts

One man without perspective makes for hilarity. — Grandy at Popehat

As requested by a leading authority, we took a scientific poll of the entire internet yesterday, assisted by you, our valued readers.

The goal?  To find the most hysterically overwrought, or most pissily priggish, reactions from people who believed that they "won" or "lost" in the United States Supreme Court's decision of the consolidated Affordable Care Act cases, or the contempt vote against Attorney General Eric Holder.

We had many strong entries.  The early favorite in our voting, submitted by commenter Jober and several others, came from Patrick (no relation) Gaspard, the executive director of the Democratic National Committee, who tweeted this:

Of course, Gaspard's tweet, reflecting the President's oft-stated goal of moving beyond partisanship, to an America that is neither red nor blue, was a refinement and an elaboration on an earlier tweet (sadly now deleted), which read:


As potential Democratic voters, we're glad that Patrick Gaspard presents himself as such an articulate and bright and clean and nice-looking executive director of his Party's national committee.

Moving on…

The artists of the world spoke out against injustice, best typified by this picture, which is surely worth a billion words:

Among those words would be "Planet",  "Of", "The", "Apes", "Red", "Dawn", and "OMGWTF911!!!". Thanks to CWK for sharing.

Ann Bransom pointed out that little people can speak with all the eloquence of political dignitaries such as Patrick Gaspard, and artistic luminaries like the master behind the "Day Freedom Died" photoshop.  Don't believe me? Listen to EastKy, commenting at the Lexington Herald Leader:

There goes my marriage. It's a sad comment on where our freedom is headed when a marriage has survived everything that can be thrown at a marriage and after 37 years of vowing to stay together no matter what we will now be forced to divorce because he cannot afford to add me to his insurance and would now be forced to do so.

Our young men and women have fought nad died for our freedom only to have our president and congress take it away.

One hesitates to tell EastKy, who has no doubt had a rough life, that when the husband to whom she's been married 37 years tells her he needs a divorce because the government has forced him to add her to his health insurance policy…

Well, one hesitates to tell her.

As great as all of those reactions, and many more, were, we were all inspired, moved, and in fact awed by the constitutional analysis of Ben Shapiro, the noted graduate of Harvard Law School, syndicated columnist, bestselling author, Editor-At-Large, and Freedom Center Shillman Journalism Fellow.

Our butts hurt in sympathy for Mr. Shapiro, and for America.

Now, we didn't attend Harvard Law (well, one of us did, but he's a Stanford man at heart), and so we have no fancy book-larnin in the law, but  we were motivated to learn by Shapiro's subsequent challenge to find a case more awful than yesterday's. Was National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius the greatest destruction of individual liberty (presumably at the hands of the United States Supreme Court, which allowed us to disregard extrajudicial and foreign tragedies such as the Great Leap Forward and GULAG) since Dred Scott?

And in our many seconds of study, we could only name six:

Korematsu v. United States, in which the Supreme Court affirmed the deportation of every Japanese American from California to a concentration camp;

Plessy v. Ferguson, in which the Supreme Court affirmed that states could segregate Dred Scott's descendants, now American citizens, into separate facilities such as schools and buses, facilities which turned out not to be quite equal to those provided the descendants of Dred Scott's master;

Schenck v. United States and its progeny Debs v. United States, which had something to do with imprisoning people and stripping their citizenship for expressing unpopular political opinions;

Herrera v. Collins, in which the Court held that executing prisoners whom post-trial evidence shows to be actually innocent of any crime is not a "cruel" or "unusual" punishment;

Bowers v. Hardwick, in which the Court held that it's constitutional to jail two consenting, unrelated adults for the physical act of love; and

Kelo v. City of New London, in which the Court held that government may seize valuable private property for the purpose of giving it away to government cronies who intend nothing more than to flush it down the toilet.

We're sure that with a few extra minutes, or even hours, we could find several dozen more. Perhaps our commenters will do so.

Nonetheless, congratulations to Ben Shapiro, for producing the most histrionic utterance, on the entire internet and from a Harvard man no less, concerning yesterday's events.  And congratulations to commenter Beth Kingsley, who will no doubt spend the Fourth of July bellowing KHAAAAAAAN! along with Captain Kirk and her new blu-ray copy of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

We're pleased to announce that Mr. Shapiro has won a copy as well, and will be notifying him shortly as to how he may claim it.


Popehat friend and commenter Jack B. has immeasurably improved "The Day Freedom Died" image. Feast your eyes on "The Day Freedom Died, and the Eagles Cried".

Last 5 posts by Patrick Non-White



  1. Jack B.  •  Jun 29, 2012 @3:28 pm

    I'd add Buck v. Bell to the list.

  2. Ken  •  Jun 29, 2012 @3:33 pm

    As a Harvard man, I find this….actually I find this entirely predictable and appropriate.

  3. Chris  •  Jun 29, 2012 @3:37 pm

    I didn't think that one should win until I got to the last sentence: "No exaggeration." Until I read that, I just assumed he was exaggerating.

  4. Beej  •  Jun 29, 2012 @3:50 pm

    Well, that was quite a let-down. Especially if you're actually familiar with the Act and know what's coming. And I'm pretty sure Ben Shapiro is.

  5. Patrick  •  Jun 29, 2012 @3:54 pm

    I'm sorry Beej, entries are closed!

  6. Rusty  •  Jun 29, 2012 @4:03 pm

    I'll second Jack B.; Buck v. Bell has got to be at or near the top of the list.

  7. Tony  •  Jun 29, 2012 @4:05 pm

    Ooh! Ooh! I know what's coming! It's death panels, right? Right???!?

  8. Random Encounter  •  Jun 29, 2012 @4:16 pm

    So disappointed, but the one I posted didn't go up until after the bell anyway.

    It was inevitable, however.

  9. Nicholas Weaver  •  Jun 29, 2012 @4:16 pm

    Another one after a few more seconds: Buck v Bell

  10. Jack B.  •  Jun 29, 2012 @4:46 pm

    That "The Day When Freedom Died" graphic is a little too nuanced, so some people might miss the point. I fixed it.

  11. Gal  •  Jun 29, 2012 @4:52 pm

    It is one of life's greatest tragedies that we won't be able to see Ben's face when he learns what he has won, and how.

  12. Ken  •  Jun 29, 2012 @5:01 pm

    "No exaggeration" is sort of like "LITERALLY," isn't it? It's the illiterate cherry on top of the emo sundae.

  13. Xenocles  •  Jun 29, 2012 @5:03 pm

    Wickard and Raich are pretty odious.

  14. leo marvin  •  Jun 29, 2012 @5:09 pm

    Figures that in this post-apocalyptic lawless dystopia I'd be deprived of my rightful prize (not that I understand how any decent, sensible person could not already have a copy of Wrath of Khan).

  15. Robert White  •  Jun 29, 2012 @5:22 pm

    I had wished I was a Democrat who could get air and audience time when the "Death Panels" thing first came up.

    Death Panels would be a -great- improvement. Right now the person who decides whether you get medical care under your insurance policy is a random not-medically-trained accountant or actuarial who looks at your file and says "nope, to expensive, denied"

    Actual death panels would mean there would be some sort of process, and accountability, reasonable expectation, and appeal involved in the otherwise random and arbitrary decision to kill you by withholding treatment.

    If I'd been in front of those audiences I would be "Death Panels? Oh I wish! We should be so lucky!"

  16. Xenocles  •  Jun 29, 2012 @5:28 pm

    I think it's cute that you're assuming there would be accountability.

  17. Lindsay K  •  Jun 29, 2012 @5:34 pm

    To correct a minor pet peeve- Patterico is quoting an account of the tweets that is wrong. More accurate account is here-

    Several conservative blogs are reporting that the "I got over excited" tweet occurred BEFORE the "it's constitutional. bitches" tweet, but I suspect the person who first said that doesn't understand how twitter feeds work. The screenshots on Blaze show that the not-quite-apology happened about half an hour AFTER the bitches tweet.

    Like I said, minor error, but I do like my factual accuracy. ;)

  18. nlp  •  Jun 29, 2012 @6:05 pm

    I can't remember the name of the case, but it was decided around 1942. A farmer was not allowed to raise hay to feed to his own cows. I remember looking at that one during my paralegal training and thinking, "that right there. The government went nuts, right there."

  19. Xenocles  •  Jun 29, 2012 @6:12 pm

    @nlp – That's Wickard v Filburn

  20. David  •  Jun 29, 2012 @6:14 pm

    @Ken: As a Yale man and futurist, I heartily register my concurrence. Not surprising in the least. Now where's the Armagnac?

    @Patrick-ad-Beej: Hilarious!

    @Jack B.: Well played.

  21. nlp  •  Jun 29, 2012 @6:19 pm

    @Xenocles, yes, I finally located it, and was just coming over to clarify.

  22. sta  •  Jun 29, 2012 @6:37 pm

    Your totally awesome paralegal skillz make me damp.

  23. Patrick  •  Jun 29, 2012 @6:44 pm

    Jack B., I've already given the prize, but I promoted you to the front page.

  24. Jack B.  •  Jun 29, 2012 @7:22 pm

    Thanks, Patrick!

    I'd have to disqualify myself from the prize anyway, because I totally forgot to add "No Exaggeration." to the image.

  25. JW  •  Jun 29, 2012 @7:54 pm

    Someone with good Photoshop skills should replace that green background with a tattered, dirty American flag.

  26. Adam O.  •  Jun 29, 2012 @7:57 pm

    Pace v. Alabama (1883). Anti-miscegenation laws a-ok.
    Breedlove v. Suttles (1937). Poll taxes a-ok.

  27. Jacob W.  •  Jun 29, 2012 @8:01 pm

    You forgot to add the decision where the SCOTUS decided that money=speech. That seemed a bit worse…

  28. Adam O.  •  Jun 29, 2012 @8:07 pm

    I also feel compelled to note that the picture is based on the Cloverfield poster. No apes were appropriated.

  29. Lindsay K  •  Jun 30, 2012 @6:45 am
  30. Luke  •  Jun 30, 2012 @6:50 am

    I am kind of impressed that the Lexington Herald Leader had a quote like that which was not related at all to UK basketball.

  31. MET  •  Jun 30, 2012 @6:57 am

    Always a day late and a dollar short…because I definitely read some calls to arms that might have been competitive. And possibly treasonous, which is always entertaining. And terrifying. Enterrifying? Territaining? Enterrifitaining!

  32. Random Encounter  •  Jun 30, 2012 @7:43 am

    @Lindsay K. Good thing I wasn't drinking when I clicked that, or I'd need a new keyboard.

  33. Tsarina of Tsocks  •  Jun 30, 2012 @9:05 am

    @Lindsay K. Quick! Credit The Oatmeal for the art! Otherwise you may find yourself having to threaten to sue him for defa… for viol… for… um, wait, what do they call it again when you have to punish somebody for being your victim? I'm sure Mr. Carreon could provide a technical/legal term for it.

    Also. @Ken… sorry to go all fan-girl yet again, but I have to say that comparing "No exaggeration" to "literally" with "it's the illiterate cherry on top of the emo sundae" has to be up there among the top epigrams EVar. Ruling the internetz again – I keep reaching for the damn Retweet button.

  34. Tsarina of Tsocks  •  Jun 30, 2012 @9:05 am

    @Lindsay K. Quick! Credit The Oatmeal for the art! Otherwise you may find yourself having to threaten to sue him for defa… for viol… for… um, wait, what do they call it again when you have to punish somebody for being your victim? I'm sure Mr. Carreon could provide a technical/legal term for it.

    Also. @Ken… sorry to go all fan-girl yet again, but I have to say that likening "No exaggeration" to "literally" with "it's the illiterate cherry on top of the emo sundae" has to be up there among the top epigrams EVar. Ruling the internetz again – I keep reaching for the damn Retweet button.

  35. Tsarina of Tsocks  •  Jun 30, 2012 @9:07 am

    (Phooey – Manual Dexterity FAIL. Accidental premature click of Submit button. Apologies.)

  36. Doublebonus  •  Jun 30, 2012 @9:26 am

    Harvard Law school accepts legacies? I thought you had to be smart to go there.

  37. Valerie  •  Jun 30, 2012 @11:09 am

    IANAL, but what about the governors like Bobby Jindal who are threatening not to implement the plan? That seems both overdramatic and unconstitutional.

    I seem to recall that the last time a southern governor refused to comply with a supreme court ruling President Eisenhower put a great big ol' federal boot up their ass in the form of the 101'st Airborne.

    I'm not suggesting this dispute is on par with that, because I'm not nuts. Still, do the governors have a legal leg to stand on?

  38. EH  •  Jun 30, 2012 @12:08 pm

    Valerie, I don't think it matters whether they have a leg to stand on (yet). It's just posturing, and in an election year to boot. I never discount the simple explanations of abject and opportunistic partisanship at times like these.

  39. Patrick  •  Jun 30, 2012 @1:42 pm

    Valerie, they don't have to implement the plan. It isn't unconstitutional for states to disregard the plan, as a reading of the opinion itself would tell you.

    The plan isn't a Supreme Court ruling. It's an act of Congress, a funded mandate which threatened to take funding from other programs away for non-implementation which no longer may (if you're speaking of the Medicaid expansion), or a voluntary insurance exchange.

  40. Jennifer  •  Jun 30, 2012 @1:44 pm

    @JW: It's not the greatest shop, but I gave it a whirl. :D

  41. Robert White  •  Jun 30, 2012 @2:00 pm

    @Valerie – I suspect it will turn out like one of those stimulus packages from back when, where all the Red State Governors were all "we aren't going to take that money cause its evil" but then once the news cycle moved on a bunch they all took the money.

  42. rhapsody  •  Jun 30, 2012 @8:13 pm

    Is that the Regretsy Crying Glitter Eagle? That just got 20% cooler.

  43. unicornpoo  •  Jul 1, 2012 @12:59 am

    I hope I'm not too late to the linkpile.

    Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad (1886) was also a doozy.

    Longtime listener, first time caller. I love your work.

  44. Jober  •  Jul 1, 2012 @4:05 pm

    Thanks for the shout-out, Patrick!

    I explained this crushing – and, yes, humiliating – defeat to my wife tonight; she replied, "well…I guess we'll just have to watch The Wrath of Khan on Netflix.

    Truly this is a dark day for America.


  45. Deoxy  •  Jul 2, 2012 @10:28 am

    Death Panels would be a -great- improvement.


    A)an unelected, unaccountable bureaucrat at the only game in town (the government) decided you are not ALLOWED to have a procedure AT ALL

    is better than

    B) an accountant at one of many private firms (whom you could shop around for) deciding that their company won't PAY FOR a procedure, which you may then pay for yourself

    OK, then.

    And yes, I think the "accountable" claim is cute, as well. It makes me giggle.

  46. lemonade queen  •  Jul 2, 2012 @12:20 pm

    Wickard is my vote if we're talking "restricting personal liberties." I mean, you're a wheat farmer who can't make a loaf of bread out of your own wheat?

    Laws about sex and marriage and slavery and institutionalized racism abound and always have since there have been "laws". They must be viewed in the context of the culture that produced them. That's why I view Wickard as a special case.

    (And yes, I graduated from – not Harvard, but a pretty good law school.)

  47. lemonade queen  •  Jul 2, 2012 @12:37 pm

    P.S. Why waste time debating the fabricated paranoia-inducing fantasy of "death panels"?

    P.S.S. Governments have also been seizing personal property since – forever. Not that I don't think those S.Ct. opinions aren't despicable. Just, not special.

  48. Bob  •  Jul 2, 2012 @5:22 pm

    These look eerily like the responses to Citizens United.

  49. lemonade queen  •  Jul 2, 2012 @7:08 pm

    Bob: Are you surprised? Same court, same – ah, audience – so …

  50. mb  •  Jul 3, 2012 @9:17 am

    We've had "death panels" once before in this country. Originally, we had a panel that was supposed to decide who would and would not get renal dialysis. Turns out, everybody got renal dialysis and we began funding it through the Medicare program for EVERYONE (regardless of age) who has end stage renal disease and who also is or will be (if they live to 65) eligible for Medicare. That is almost 100% of all U.S. citizens. Anyone not covered by Medicare would be quickly impoverished and qualify for Medicaid which generally pays for renal dialysis.

    This experience suggests that there is no existential threat from "death panels." Not to say there are no budgetary concerns.

  51. Piper  •  Jul 3, 2012 @11:57 am

    Patrick, well done! KHAAAAAAN! in Blu is so much more early 21st Century, don't you think?

  52. Michael  •  Jul 3, 2012 @1:44 pm

    If “It's constitutional, Bitches" is the most histrionic thing said by a Democrat, you must be really disappointed, and if that rant from the Cato institute is “thoughtful analysis” then your critical reasoning is even more damaged by partisanship than I imagined. When you told AlphaCentauri “that’s not what we're looking for” you really gave your bias and lack of perspective away.

    I expected you wouldn't enjoy this as much as you thought you would, when the decision didn’t go as you expected and the real histrionics were on your side.

  53. PLW  •  Jul 3, 2012 @2:03 pm

    Michael, who is on which side again? I have no idea what policy position the various Popehatters take on ACA, but I'm pretty sure they are all on the side of whatever delivers the maximum hilarious non-self-aware histrionics.

  54. JWH  •  Jul 6, 2012 @3:15 pm

    I know this is a late entry, but I offer Ted Nugent:

    Because our legislative, judicial and executive branches of government hold the 10th Amendment in contempt, I’m beginning to wonder if it would have been best had the South won the Civil War. Our Founding Fathers’ concept of limited government is dead.

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