Thursday, June 28, 2012


Charles Johnson:

Search it and you get a lot of links to Fox Nation quoting Arizona congressman David Schweikert --"Supreme Court just woke up a sleeping giant... election just rolled back to 2010 because it was driven by ObamaCare" -- as well as links to rank-and-file wingers saying more or less the same thing. Meanwhile, Politico brings us Sarah Palin's thoughts:
Sarah Palin says Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling will be a boon for conservatives -- because it will get them more fired up to vote in November.

"Thank you, SCOTUS. This Obamacare ruling fires up the troops as America's eyes are opened! Thank God," she said in a message posted on Facebook.
As I said in my last post, that seems to have been the motivation of John Roberts for upholding the mandate while calling it a tax -- I suspect he thinks gutting the bill would have helped President Obama in November, so he's hoping a ruling framed as Obamacare is a big fat tax!!! will awaken that giant catching Z's.

But the GOP base already hated Obama about as much as is humanly possible. This didn't so much awaken that giant as prevent it from going back to sleep.

The giant the GOP needs to alert about is the swing-voting population. Does this decision wake those folks up?

My feeling is that it won't, based on one simple fact: the health care law was unpopular and Obama was winning anyway. I say "the health care law was unpopular," and that's pretty much what every poll says, but there are two kinds of opinions a poll can uncover: opinions that are visceral and deep-seated -- e.g., for the past few years, "the economy sucks" -- and opinions that people apparently focus on when asked a poll question. In the latter category, I'd put "I disapprove of the health care law." Wingnuts hate it with every fiber of their being, but the rest of the country is flat-out confused. Disapprovers in the middle don't have a gut hatred of it -- if they did, Obama would be as unpopular as the law.

So I think right-wingers are deluding themselves. They're not going to see a sharp and lasting uptick in base motivation -- that motivation was already there, and has been showing up in the polls. As for the folks in the middle, they mostly look at the law and say "Meh," not "To the barricades!"

The only question is whether right-wingers can up the rhetorical ante to the point where even swing voters believe their fevered pronouncements. Tying the word "tax" around the law's neck might help in that effort -- but we'll see. Wingers forget that other Americans aren't as unalterably opposed to taxes as they are.

On the other hand, repeal will now be the only thing Congress will try to do between now and 2014 if Obama is reelected.


pwlocke said...

Well, of course Schweikert, Palin and the others would thank the Supreme Court for waking the sleeping giant, but they are simply making the best of a bad (and completely unforeseen)decision. (Let me clarify: bad for Schweikert, Palin and the others.) They need to fill air time and the need to appear confident. But I'm going to sleep better tonight knowing how dismayed and miserable they REALLY are!

I suspect that the basis of the decision - the taxing authority rather than the commerce clause - was a calculated compromise to get Roberts on board in this awkward majority. Roberts' motivation? To the extent that it goes beyond a strict, impartial reading of the Constitution, I believe Roberts looked into the abyss that would result from striking down the law and recoiled... the tax basis is a way to maintain some conservative cred and provide the Republican minions something to grasp.

I'll give Roberts the benefit of the doubt and applaud him for acting like a grown-up, even if he had to pretend to do it for a politically palatable reason.

Victor said...

This provides quite a problem for Mitt.

Mitt's association with "RomneyCare" means that he can't touch this.
After a couple of days, he'll have to drop this like a hot-potato - even though he'll miss a chance with 'the base,' who are fired-up about "repeal," and don't give a sh*t about "replace."
The Congressional R's will want to continue this fight, for their own benefit, trying to continue to incite their base.
This is a BIG problem for Mitt, and the R Party.

We've ALL seen the video of Mitt bragging about the mandate in MA.
He knows that Obama's campaign will add that to their anti-Bain ads between now an Nov.
Hence, the problem Mitt will have with Congressional R's, running for election and re-election.

Mitt's left with some slim-pickin's.

Mitt HAS to hope that gas prices go back up.
He HAS to hope for Europe to collapse economically.
He HAS to hope for another 9/11 between now and November.

In the meantime, he HAS to run on the economy and jobs, and his unique ability to create them:
In India, Pakistan, Vietnam, The Philippines, etc.

I'm going to watch the R's with a great deal of interest.
They're now stuck with a candidate who CAN'T go along with them on ACA, without losing the base.
And Congressional R's see this as a winner for them.

Quite a pickle they're in, eh?