Let me cut right to the chase on the Supreme Court’s healthcare ruling: The big winner on Thursday June 28, 2012 is President Obama. The big winner on the evening of Tuesday, November 6 very well could be Mitt Romney.
You can take to the bank that the decision to uphold Obamacare will energize the Tea Party, evangelicals, and the broader Republican base like we haven’t seen before. Yes, more than 2010.
President Obama can claim healthcare as part of his legacy but come the morning of Nov. 7, 2012, being a one-term president could very well be a big part of his legacy, too.
Mitt Romney may be the luckiest guy alive. In the GOP Primary, all the candidates ended up splitting the Teavangelical vote and he won the nomination. Then he’s had three and a half years of Barack Obama to use in order to get the base riled up.
And now comes a tie-breaking deciding vote by (surprise, surprise) Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts in favor of the constitutionality of Obamacare. Romney may not have been able to rally the base to his side on his own but Barack Obama and John Roberts have given him a major boost.
What’s interesting here is that President Obama always claimed that the individual mandate was not a tax and yet the only reason the law was ruled constitutional is because a majority of the Supreme Court Justices said the mandate is a tax. So in essence, Obamacare was ruled constitutional because the majority of the court disagreed with the president!
Huh? Oy-gevalt. By the way, when President Obama spoke about the decision today, I’m surprised he didn’t start out his comments with the following line: “I’d like to thank President George W. Bush for nominating John Roberts to the Supreme Court.”
So what’s next? Well, Romney can now go around the country and rally the troops around the message of repealing and replacing healthcare. However, he better be ready with a COMPACT answer as to what he would replace it with. He doesn’t have to go into full details but he needs a 20-second Sunday Morning show answer.
As for Congress, nothing’s really going to get done in terms of reversal unless Mitt Romney becomes president and even if that happens, they’re going to need a Republican-controlled House AND Senate if they want to do anything.
Moreover, the only way to really change the policy is to start electing more constitutionally conservative Republicans up on Capitol Hill. A president can only do so much by Executive Order. If the law is to be repealed and scrapped and eventually replaced, the numbers in Congress must change.
That’s where the Teavangelicals come in. This Supreme Court decision will energize them like never before, despite Romney’s shortcomings. While the short-term goal may be to elect Romney as president and replace Obama, the longer-term goal is that this Supreme Court decision may indeed inspire Teavangelicals to run for elective office and really start affecting change for years to come.