One of the great triumphs of recent conservative thought has been to not merely persuade many people that the restrictive interpretation of the commerce clause is correct, but to persuade them that it’s obviously correct. So obvious that the disagreement about it can’t just reflect larger disagreements about political principles but obviously represents bad faith on the part of liberals. Hence this sort of “argument”:
Words mean things, and the power “to regulate commerce…among the several states” does not mean the power to tell Americans what they must buy.
Say what? Words mean things, and the power to regulate commerce among the several states means the power to enact comprehensive schemes of economic regulation, including of such commercial endeavors as the health insurance industry. If you’re worried that congress might enact regulatory schemes you don’t like, the solution is to not drive Arlen Specter out of your political party.