Remember the beginning of June? Lousy jobs numbers, Obama’s muddled message and the popular assumption that the president was going to lose court cases on immigration and health care? Hope and change came quickly and it’s the Republicans who are back on their heels. For now.
Not only was the Supreme Court’s health care decision a deflating coda to the term that also saw most of Arizona’s immigration law struck down (though the right can still claim a victory over checking papers), the news that Chief Justice Roberts actually changed his decision is proving to be too much on the rightward flank. Never mind that the court struck at the heart of the left wing’s argument that the Commerce Clause allows Congress to require people to buy health care, or that the states would lose all of their Medicaid funds if they don’t comply with ACA. That turncoat Roberts voted to uphold the law!
What’s worse is that the Republican message machine went into overdrive, using the court’s ruling to call Obama a taxer gone crazy, only to have Mitt Romney say that it’s not a tax. Conservatives already suspicious about Mitt’s devotion to their cause will turn even redder over that.
The polls are not being any kinder to Romney as support for the health care law rose after the decision, though a majority still do not support it. The silver lining is that the GOP base is fired up big time and that could pay dividends in November.
But Mitt is not the only Republican facing headwinds. Chris Christie called a special session of the New Jersey Legislature on Monday to get the Democrats to support his proposed tax cut, but to no avail. He even tried to make some room in the budget by line item vetoing $650 million dollars worth of social programs that serve women and children, but those darn lefties wouldn’t budge.
This is but one week in a long campaign, but the GOP was banking on a health care win to bolster their summer message. It might actually work to their advantage to have the ruling go against them because their fundraising has increased and Obama is still polling below 50% in most surveys. Still, I think they saw a different scenario and Mitt’s going off message will not help. More fireworks for the fourth of July.
Ain’t this a great country?