Like anyone else, I’m sure you were sick and tired of the clumsier than usual political punditry in the run-up to today’s Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act.
You’d incessantly hear things like: If the Mandate is upheld its a win for Mitt Romney because he can rally a base that’s as excited about him as a root canal. If the Mandate is upheld it’s a win for the President because his key legislative accomplishment will be validated. – The Mandate either being upheld or struck down is both a loss for the President, because, well, because random acts of God seem to be harmful to the President nowadays based on Beltway narratives. There were so many “winners and losers” pontificating that it would make a person with even the strongest constitution want to regurgitate in their mouth a little.
My take has always been that a win is a win. A blow out. A lost second Hail Mary pass to your wide receiver in the endzone. The other quarterback fumbling the ball on the goal line in the midst of a 60 yard comeback drive. A win is a win is a win. Even though you could parse what components of the Health Care bill were going to remain in place if the Individual Mandate was indeed deemed unconstitutional, it would be a political loser for the President and it would cast a shadow over his re-election campaign. Mitt Romney wouldn’t dare critique the bill with any specificity, being that he’s the architect of the fucking thing and all, but merely mentioning the decision would have fit into his overall narrative that the black guy with the funny name is in over his head.
But with the Individual Mandate remaining in tact, it does something interesting politically. It forces Mitt Romney to talk about Health Care. Sure, he doesn’t want to, he’d rather focus on the economy every waking moment possible – but with what I expect to be a constant angry drumbeat from a base that he’s desperately trying to win over and crazier than catshit House Republicans, I don’t see how he avoids it. The President in turn can relitigate the Health Care bill, possibly winning over some folks more perceptive to the benefits of the law now that the Supreme Court has had the last word. He’ll also be able to answer any Romney charge by pointing out that the robotic guy screaming from the Peanut Gallery just happens to be the architect of what many Americans know as “Obamacare”. Pointing out the millions of Americans Mitt Romney would strip of their health care. It’s the perfect trap. “Just Win Baby!”