Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I'm not the guy you want to turn to for an assessment of the legal chances of the nullification lawsuit being filed by a number of state attorneys general, but it seems to me that the key part of David Weigel's analysis isn't the part about the legal arguments -- it's this:

"I don't know what people are telling their donors," said Curt Levey, executive director of the conservative Committee for Justice, "but litigation is always lengthy especially where, as here, the final answer will likely come from the Supreme Court... Courts will typically move things along faster when a case is as important as this one, but it's unlikely that we would get a final decision from the Supreme Court before the 2011-2012 term."

Well, I don't know what people are telling their donors either, but I think I know what people are going to be telling their donors:

Please give. And give again. And again. And again.

Litigation will drag out for years? That's perfect -- perfect to keep the faithful alert and enraged, and the faithful's wallets open, possibly through two election cycles. (The same is true, by the way, for repeal efforts in Congress: even if Republicans were to win both houses of Congress in 2010, they'd need two-thirds majorities to be able to override a presidential veto -- and they're not going to have majorities anywhere near that. So if they can keep the rage going, they can prolong this fight, and collect checks on it, for years.)

Or it may just be that they'll shift strategy and just try to pick away at health care reform. The anti-abortion movement pioneered that approach: frustration at not being able to overturn Roe seems to have morphed into a recognition that always having one new piecemeal victory just in sight (banning late-term abortions! mandatory sonograms! mandatory practitioners' warnings based on dubious health claims!) keeps the movement alive. Same for the gunners -- they want concealed carry! Now they want open carry! Now they want guns in national parks! And guns on Amtrak! The demands never stop -- and, I'm sure, neither do the dollars.

So as long as the anger flames can be fanned, this could be a cash cow for the right. Fighting "fascism" could be the right's business -- and business could be (and remain) very, very good.

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