How does the Obamacare ruling help Obama?


Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts may have transformed the presidential campaign when he cast the deciding vote on the Affordable Care Act. The Democrats appeared surprised the conservative Roberts would side with the court’s liberal bloc to validate the individual mandate. At best, Democratic leaders expected the individual mandate would be declared unconstitutional, but the ACA would survive.

The Republicans were clearly anticipating the SCOTUS would declare the individual mandate — and quite possibly the entire law — unconstitutional. It would have fit neatly in the Republican strategy to attack Obama’s legitimacy on his signature legislative achievement. Were it declared so, it would have added to the larger narrative about Obama’s legitimacy to be in the White House. A bad economy, so the strategy goes, would help seal the deal.

During the past 3 1/2 years, the GOP has consistently questioned Obama’s legitimacy as President. Take the issue of his birth certificate. The birther movement would have faded in a second had the Republican leadership not tacitly tolerated it. Donald Trump, a strong Romney backer, has kept the myth alive. No president has been subjected to a such a constant barrage about his qualifications.

When Osama bin Laden was killed in a breathtaking venture, Republicans found ways to minimize Obama’s role and his daring decision to press against world’s foremost terrorist. It seems Republicans have chosen to set up a fictional Obama calling him a socialist, the most radical President ever, unAmerican, and lately accusing him of selectively choosing to observe the laws he likes.

The campaign against Obamacare was primarily launched immediately in the courts to question its legitimacy, despite the fact it was modelled along Republican Mitt Romney’s law in Massachusetts. And in so doing, that of its principal instigator, Obama.

The health care ruling may go a long way to derail the wider GOP attack on Obama’s legitimacy. And it is this that may be Obama’s ultimate victory in the SCOTUS ruling.

The decision also gives Obama a historic achievement after more than a century of attempts by successive administrations to expand heathcare to an overwhelming majority of the population. Had the Court ruled otherwise, the Republicans would have claimed the President wasted the nation’s time and energy during the throes of a major recession. It would also have given new life to the “Obama is illegimate” narrative.

How will Obama’s victory affect the campaign and his chances for a second term? It certainly creates momentum and adds to his list of first-term achievements that includes preventing an economic depression, getting bin Laden, saving GM, reforms in education with Race to the Top,getting out of Iraq, building a coalition to bring down Gadhafi, and putting in place a plan to withdraw from Afghanistan.

But it is early to draw conclusions. Already, the Republicans are promising to repeal Obamacare. Mitt Romney vows to replace it. The Tea Party will re-energize and GOP ranks are bound to close. The only caveat is that overdramatizing the SCOTUS ruling reduces time spent on attacking Obama’s economic record where he is most vulnerable.

Now that the “Obama is illegitimate” narrative took a beating with the constitutionality of Obamacare and an earlier ruling in the week generally supporting the Obama administration’s position against the Arizona Immigration law, it obvious the man in the White House is having a good week. And this cannot hurt his chances at this stage in the campaign.

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How does the Obamacare ruling help Obama?

  1. Obama looks black…..and that alone makes him ‘illegitimate’ in the eyes of many Americans.

    All else….the birther nonsense, the ‘socialism’ tag, his religion etc is just gravy…bs gravy.

    The ‘last hoorah’ of the white minority in the US.

  2. John–the problem with your premise that the “‘Obama is illegitimate’ narrative took a beating” is that this presupposes that Republicans are rational actors. They simply are not. It’s just like the contempt citation against Holder–it’s not historic; Republicans would have cited a ham sandwich if they could have done so in order to stymie Obama. The Supreme Court could have ruled 9-0 that Obamacare is constitutional, added a line that it was the best idea since sliced bread, AND given every child a pony, and the Republicans would still attack Obama.

    As someone who has lived in the US for 18 years, I can say that no matter how bad and sillly politics can seem in Canada, Canadians should thank their gods that they do not live here.

  3. Where do you get your information? Democrats were _hugely_ confident that the court would find the act constitutional, almost to the point of arrogance.

  4. “The campaign against Obamacare was primarily launched immediately in the courts to question its legitimacy, despite the fact it was modelled along Republican Mitt Romney’s law in Massachusetts. ”

    Massachusetts has nothing to do with it. State on one hand, federal on other. You write about US politics, so I can’t figure out why you think something permissible for a state should translate equivalently to the US federal government.

    You forgot to include his Nobel prize among his achievements. It surely makes as much sense as crediting him with any of the others.

    PPACA survived by the narrowest of threads, and in a way which leaves it vulnerable to further evisceration. Since the anticipated 6-3 ruling on the basis of the Commerce clause failed to come about, I doubt Obama’s position is as strong as you think it is. Ask any of the Democratic House and Senate candidates how closely they intend to tie themselves to Obama and his signature act.

  5. Once again, Parisella pens an article that proves he is nothing more than Obama’s lapdog. People working in the DNC are being paid huge sums of money and do not or cannot create anything that even comes close to the slobbering adulation that Parisella bestows on his Dear Leader.
    If the ACA (aka Obamacare) was merely a quest for Universal Health Care, the American people might embrace some form of it. We are as tired of out of control health costs as anybody. The ACA is as more about restricting free choice, religious freedom and the largest tax grab in the history of the country as it is about affordable care.
    Time and space will not allow me to itemize the consequences of this law, but if you are interested in the truth and the costs of Obamacare simply google “Townhall” then select the article “The Coming Obama Tax Bomb.”
    If we do not or cannot defeat this man in November, it may well be the last free election this country will ever see.

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