Tuesday, June 12, 2012


As if he's elbowing John Roberts in the ribs to get his attention, Jonathan Allen writes this at Politico:

Republicans are cheerleading for the Supreme Court to strike down President Barack Obama's health care law.

But there's one Republican who might be sorry: Mitt Romney.

There's fear in some GOP circles that if the court wipes the Affordable Care Act off the books Romney will lose a rallying point for the movement conservatives he has been struggling to inspire....

"Obamacare is the one permanent and potentially irreversible [effect] that Obama will have on the country, and if it is overturned, it makes the election, by default, less important," a conservative operative intimately involved in the campaign who has reviewed extensive polling and focus group research on the topic told POLITICO earlier this week. "If the court overturns it, 10 million conservative activists suddenly breathe a great sigh of relief, and may not be quite as intensely active." ...

And if that doesn't make clear what kind of decision the Republicans on the Court see, or ought to see, as in their best interest, consider this:

"I could argue it both ways, and I have argued it both ways," Rep. Patrick Tiberi (R-Ohio) told POLITICO. "I could see the president, if the mandate is thrown out, using it to rev up his troops."

And this:

The pivotal battle may be over who gets blamed for a rate shock if premiums increase in the wake of the decision.

"Rates are going to skyrocket," Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) said. "We have to pin them on the fact that it's Obamacare."

What does all that add up to? It adds up to keeping the law and declaring the mandate unconstitutional. That way the GOP Supremes still have the Republican base fired up and ready to vote for the guy who promises to overturn the hated law. They don't have liberals fully fired up in response to a massive, sweeping Supreme Court overreach.

And they have the GOP well positioned for the long game. You see, rates are going to skyrocket if healthy people aren't mandated to purchase coverage. Do Republicans want that blamed on a Republican Supreme Court invalidating the entire Obama health care law? Or do they want the opportunity to blame it on the Obama law itself?

The answer is obvious: they want it blamed on the damn liberal commie socialist Democrats. So my money's on the core law being upheld, with the mandate struck down.


BH said...

My money too, Steve, for precisely the reasons you cited. Well, and the fact that poor little Sammy Alito's STILL pouting over that meanie President saying bad things about him & his playmates! And in front of Congwess, too!

Victor said...

Yup, I'm in!
Sounds like very solid analysis to me.

Anything the feckin' Conservatives on the SC can do to feck Obama and the Democrats for the rest of this year, and the next 5-20+ years, they WILL do - welfare of the people and the country be DAMNED!

Party over country!

Heil MITT!!!

Bulworth said...

Nothing would really surprise me, but a decision that OK's everything except the mandate would still leave a mess for Romney and Boner to have to clean up. They'd be stuck with the more popular pieces that would require additional action--something probably as unpopular or unworkable as the mandate--to maintain.

OTOH, I don't really see where throwing out the whole law hurts Romney. His campaign would then pivot to (1) Obama admin was incompetent and acted unconstitutionally in "ramming the law down out throats" and (2) if the country gives Obama four more years he'll pass something far worse, like single payer.

In any event, I have a hard time thinking the court won't throw out at least the mandate. I doubt Roberts and Alito care about the teabaggers, but they're Federalist Society buddies wouldn't have them over for dinner anymore.

BH said...

Bulworth, I see your points. But, I think there's another factor in play too. If the SCt majority decision appears to take a selective approach, tossing some ACA provision(s) while leaving others alone, it looks less partisan than the meat-ax approach of tossing the ACA in toto. The SCt's rep among the public isn't any too high at present, & I think the majority may calibrate its decision so as to help Mitty & the R's while attempting to avoid looking quite so much like an adjunct of the RNC. Just a guess, though.