The Supreme Court ruled and Obamacare prevailed 5-4, with Justice Roberts delivering the surprise swing vote. It was a clear, convincing triumph for the President, since a reversal had been widely expected.

The pundits, analysts, and talking heads will chew over this for weeks, if not months, to come. All the so-called “experts” were wrong. The Mandate was thought a fait accompli to be struck down; the only question remaining was whether the rest of the ACA would survive. Countless hours of interviews given, countless words and column inches expended, countless cubic feet of atmosphere inhaled and exhaled, and all for naught. There are no experts, and the Court’s behavior is totally unpredictable (and apolitical), especially when there is so long a gap between oral arguments (March) and their final decision being handed down (June).

The immediate line that Romney’s supporters will spout is that this is a good outcome. More people dislike the new law than support it (49-38%, according to a recent poll), so their logic is this ruling gives a new imperative to Romney winning the election: Romney wins, and “On Day One, I will dismantle Obamacare,” as he’s said.

But that’s not reality. If you spoke to a Romney supporter at around 10:22 am on June 28th, they were disbelieving, crestfallen, totally incredulous. It was as if Christmas morning had been canceled, and instead, you got hit with a totally unexpected multi-thousand dollar car repair bill.

Romney and his allies can attempt to spin this any way they want, but the Court’s ruling was a huge loss of almost immeasurable proportions. That’s how they feel deep inside today, regardless of what public face they attempt to put on it. Romney’s biggest hope was this: The Court rules the Mandate unconstitutional, thus gutting the ACA and giving Romney the ability to pin the “incompetent” label on Obama.

Romney wanted to say, “How could a supposed Constitutional scholar not know that this legislation skated too close to the edge to be safe? He should have known better. He showed such poor judgment. The Law is disliked by more people than like it. And most important, he wasted the country’s time on this failed effort instead of concentrating on restoring the economy. His Stimulus was a failure—unemployment is still over 8% and gas is $3.50/gallon. Obamacare is unconstitutional, because he should have known better. This man just can’t be President even a day longer than one term.” That’s what Romney wanted to say. It would have been very powerful. After the decision, his reason for culling the undecided vote is a lot less compelling, a lot less clear.

So Romney can’t say that the President made a bad situation worse. Instead, Obama’s huge advantage with the liberal MSM will reap him advantages that multiply the decision’s impact tenfold. Obama will be trumpeted by the NY Times, the Washington Post, the network news stations, Oprah, Letterman, Stewart, Time, Newsweek, NPR, etc. as the man who finally solved the healthcare dilemma that has vexed our country for decades. Many have tried, but only he succeeded. Not even the vaunted Clinton political machine succeeded in their universal healthcare effort. The country is now fundamentally better off, forevermore, because of President Obama’s courage, foresight, and tireless actions. He did it where no one else could. That is the new liberal media narrative.

Putting aside a discussion of the actual merits and deficiencies of the ACA, the preceding paragraph is how this will be presented to the public from a political standpoint. It’s probably worth an immediate 3-5% in the polls to Obama’s advantage.

The old cliché is that the “three months until the election is an eternity.” Granted, there’s plenty of opportunity for either candidate to mess up terribly and completely mishandle any number of situations. And how they fare in the head-to-head debates in October—when many undecideds make up their minds—has yet to be determined.

However….the liberal MSM will be saying over and over that President Obama is a man of vision, a man of courage, a gifted individual in the presidency when the country needed him the most, indeed, he is a man of destiny. And a significant number of those undecideds may very well think to themselves, “Yes, he is.”

Comments

  • Tom 1969

    Obamacare could be repealed before the election; the GOP-controlled House had already scheduled a vote to do just that for mid-July (presumably in case any portion of the law survived the SCOTUS challenge.)  Now that the SCOTUS has clearly identified Obamacare as a TAX, every (D) Congressperson and the 23 (D) Senators who are facing the voters in four months will have to figure out how to vote for a law that jacks up middle class taxes by as much as 7-10%.  If any (D) Senators are too afraid to do so, the repeal bill will likely land on Obama’s desk before November – and he will be forced to either sign it or explain to the voters why vetoing the repeal (and raising voters’ taxes) is “the right thing to do” in a stagnant economy with 8% unemployment.

    If Obama signs it, Romney wins because it takes Obama’s one-and-only “accomplishment” in his first four years off the table.  Romney goes into the home stretch campaigning on, “What has Obama accomplished with the four years we gave him?  He approved a Navy plan to kill Bin Laden – great, that accounts for, what?  Two days, max?  What else has he done?”

    If Obama vetoes the repeal, well … the Romney ads write themselves after that.  “You don’t want it.  Congress voted to get rid of it.  But President Obama wants you to have universal healthcare whether you want it or not.  And he’s willing to raise your taxes in an election year to see that you get it!”

  • Tom 1969

    Obamacare could be repealed before the election; the GOP-controlled House had already scheduled a vote to do just that for mid-July (presumably in case any portion of the law survived the SCOTUS challenge.)  Now that the SCOTUS has clearly identified Obamacare as a TAX, every (D) Congressperson and the 23 (D) Senators who are facing the voters in four months will have to figure out how to vote for a law that jacks up middle class taxes by as much as 7-10%.  If any (D) Senators are too afraid to do so, the repeal bill will likely land on Obama’s desk before November – and he will be forced to either sign it or explain to the voters why vetoing the repeal (and raising voters’ taxes) is “the right thing to do” in a stagnant economy with 8% unemployment.

    If Obama signs it, Romney wins because it takes Obama’s one-and-only “accomplishment” in his first four years off the table.  Romney goes into the home stretch campaigning on, “What has Obama accomplished with the four years we gave him?  He approved a Navy plan to kill Bin Laden – great, that accounts for, what?  Two days, max?  What else has he done?”

    If Obama vetoes the repeal, well … the Romney ads write themselves after that.  “You don’t want it.  Congress voted to get rid of it.  But President Obama wants you to have universal healthcare whether you want it or not.  And he’s willing to raise your taxes in an election year to see that you get it!”

  • Marshport

    The chief justice gave us a gift in his ruling when he said:

    “Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”
    — Chief Justice John Roberts in the majority opinion in National Federation of Independent Business et al. v. Sebelius et al.

    Now if only we will follow through by voting in Romney and a conservative Senate and House, that will reverse this monstrosity and send Obama back to Rev. Wright.

  • Marshport

    The chief justice gave us a gift in his ruling when he said:

    “Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”
    — Chief Justice John Roberts in the majority opinion in National Federation of Independent Business et al. v. Sebelius et al.

    Now if only we will follow through by voting in Romney and a conservative Senate and House, that will reverse this monstrosity and send Obama back to Rev. Wright.

  • Anonymous

    What you say may very well happen. It is not a stretch in the least. On the other hand….

    When the Dems were pushing this law in 2010 the Dems got hammered for it at the ballot box. They lost control of the House and almost lost the Senate. Liberals believed the law would become more popular as people learned what was in it. It did not, they were wrong. The law has gotten more unpopular as time has passed. Conservatives assumed they had the Supreme Court to correct the legislative branch’s overreach of power. It did not, conservatives were wrong. 

    This decision today puts Obamacare back on the front pages as a major campaign issue. The Dems, especially those House members and Senators in at-risk districts will have to run for their lives from this healthcare legislation once again. However, his time, thinks to Chief Justice’s opinion, the mandate is in fact a “tax”, and, as conservatives have been saying all day, the largest tax increase in American history. Obama will now have to run on that reality and his deception in 2010. Obama will also be running on raising taxes again in January of 2013.  There are worst positions that Republicans could be in than to find themselves running a presidential campaign against an extremely unpopular, expensive, tax increasing legislation.

    Team-Obama was ready to rally the troops today and run a campaign against the ideological Supreme Court. That bullet is gone. Obama does not want to debate and discuss health care. His speech this afternoon made that quite clear. I do not blame him for saying such. I would not want to face reelection on a law that is extremely unpopular. 

    I also suspect that the economy will take a hit from this decision today and the next few months Obama will be faced with an increasingly declining economy for which Mitt Romney will beat him over the head with by blaming Obamacare for the steep decline.

    Once again Obama and the Democrats own health care. For their sake they better hope and pray it goes down better the second time. For if it does not, they will lose big in November.

    We shall see who is right in four months.

    I hope you are wrong.

    • Anonymous

      I hope I am wrong too.  My faith in the people correcting the mistake named Obama isn’t very strong after today.  

      The way things have gone I would bet you that he wins re-election, the Senate does not fall, and Republicans lose the House.

      If that happens, my statement is very much a fact and this country, as we knew it, no longer exists. That is because there would be no way to recover from this mess with an electorate that has become so dependent on government.

  • Anonymous

    What you say may very well happen. It is not a stretch in the least. On the other hand….

    When the Dems were pushing this law in 2010 the Dems got hammered for it at the ballot box. They lost control of the House and almost lost the Senate. Liberals believed the law would become more popular as people learned what was in it. It did not, they were wrong. The law has gotten more unpopular as time has passed. Conservatives assumed they had the Supreme Court to correct the legislative branch’s overreach of power. It did not, conservatives were wrong. 

    This decision today puts Obamacare back on the front pages as a major campaign issue. The Dems, especially those House members and Senators in at-risk districts will have to run for their lives from this healthcare legislation once again. However, his time, thinks to Chief Justice’s opinion, the mandate is in fact a “tax”, and, as conservatives have been saying all day, the largest tax increase in American history. Obama will now have to run on that reality and his deception in 2010. Obama will also be running on raising taxes again in January of 2013.  There are worst positions that Republicans could be in than to find themselves running a presidential campaign against an extremely unpopular, expensive, tax increasing legislation.

    Team-Obama was ready to rally the troops today and run a campaign against the ideological Supreme Court. That bullet is gone. Obama does not want to debate and discuss health care. His speech this afternoon made that quite clear. I do not blame him for saying such. I would not want to face reelection on a law that is extremely unpopular. 

    I also suspect that the economy will take a hit from this decision today and the next few months Obama will be faced with an increasingly declining economy for which Mitt Romney will beat him over the head with by blaming Obamacare for the steep decline.

    Once again Obama and the Democrats own health care. For their sake they better hope and pray it goes down better the second time. For if it does not, they will lose big in November.

    We shall see who is right in four months.

    I hope you are wrong.

    • Anonymous

      I hope I am wrong too.  My faith in the people correcting the mistake named Obama isn’t very strong after today.  

      The way things have gone I would bet you that he wins re-election, the Senate does not fall, and Republicans lose the House.

      If that happens, my statement is very much a fact and this country, as we knew it, no longer exists. That is because there would be no way to recover from this mess with an electorate that has become so dependent on government.

  • Anonymous

    Welcome to the USSA.

  • Anonymous

    Welcome to the USSA.

  • Whodat

    I believe that the 55% of Americans who do not like Obamacare will be the gross
    popular vote for Romney.  This ruling by Roberts should galvanize us and motivate
    us.  I believe that Justice Roberts has done the bravest and best favor for conservatives
    that any justice has done.  He has said to us, “You want the law removed, you do it!”
    I’m in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous

      I could not agree more, Whodat. I won’t be so arrogant as to challenge the Chief Justice on the constitutionality of the law. 

      A wake up call it should be to all. Losing elections, throwing tantrums, and running bad unelectable ideologically pure candidates that lose in general elections is not a strategy that will ever work in our favor.

  • Whodat

    I believe that the 55% of Americans who do not like Obamacare will be the gross
    popular vote for Romney.  This ruling by Roberts should galvanize us and motivate
    us.  I believe that Justice Roberts has done the bravest and best favor for conservatives
    that any justice has done.  He has said to us, “You want the law removed, you do it!”
    I’m in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous

      I could not agree more, Whodat. I won’t be so arrogant as to challenge the Chief Justice on the constitutionality of the law. 

      A wake up call it should be to all. Losing elections, throwing tantrums, and running bad unelectable ideologically pure candidates that lose in general elections is not a strategy that will ever work in our favor.