An Arrow Gone From Obama's Quiver
Wednesday June 27, 2012
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The Supreme Court decision on the Arizona immigration law was not the victory for President Obama the White House would have you believe.
The Arizona ruling - which included Chief Justice John Roberts voting with the majority - was certainly not a Conservative v. Liberal decision. It was based upon what Supreme Court Justices are supposed to do: Look at the law, weigh it against precedents and the Constitution, and decide whether it meets the test of Constitutionality.
But, that's not the big thing. The big thing is: If, as expected, the Court knocks down some or all of Obamacare it is going to be very difficult for the President and his political allies to claim the Roberts Court is only interested in partisan politics, not the law.
If that were the case, then it would have upheld the Arizona immigration law.
That is not to say the Obamas won't wring their hands and whine but I wouldn't look for too much support from Democrats on the Hill save for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-I-Don't-Run-Again-Until-2016).
Remember Obama made House and Senate Democrats walk the plank for Obamacare (although it wasn't called that then) only to watch a political tsunami wash over them leading to the House returning to control of the GOP and the Senate going from 59-41 D to just 51-49 D.
According to an Associated Press poll:
"Just a third of Americans [and only a fifth of Independents] back President Barack Obama's health care overhaul on which the Supreme Court is about to pass judgment, a new poll finds."
The AP goes on to day that fully 77 percent of those polled want the Congress and President to "Start work on a new health care reform bill."
As I suggested here the other day, there was no guarantee that the Supreme Court of the United States would issue its ruling on the Affordable Care Act - Obamacare - on Monday. Indeed, it now appears Thursday will be the day.
The cable news channels couldn't take the chance that the ACA decision would be handed down so it was all hands on deck starting at about 9:45 AM with breathless punditry about what might happen, and when it did happen, what effect it would have on the Presidential campaign.
It is not clear to me that anyone I saw - at one point CNN had six people in boxes on the screen - was an actual lawyer, much less a Constitutional lawyer, but as I've long ago learned: On TV it's not so much what you say as how you say it.
When the Arizona decision was released, it was obvious that Obamacare was not yet baked through and would have to wait until Thursday morning.
The problem with wall-to-wall coverage of a live event like a Supreme Court decision is: You can't be looking into a camera and reading the decision at the same time.
On-screen personalities were saying one thing ("this is a victory for Obama") while the Chyron typists were posting "Arizona Law Upheld" along the bottom of the screen.
After 10 or 15 minutes everyone had someone who knew what they were looking at scan the decision and rationalized the on-screen commentary with the actual facts and it was left to the pundits to try tell the rest of us what had happened.
I am constantly annoyed by the modern theory that it is not enough that I am watching and listening to someone spew forth on TV, but the networks think they need to reinforce what I've just learned by posting a four-word summary of what some guy just said:
Glotz of GotRocks Partners: "Euro in Big Trouble"
Happens every five minutes on CNBC every morning immediately after Harry Glotz has told me he thinks the Euro is in big trouble.
No matter what the decision, it will be a much tougher sell to try and convince an American public already disposed to mistrust Obamacare, that it was overturned for political gain.
I have no idea what the political impact of the Arizona decision might be. And I know how that one came out. To try and guess what the impact of the SCOTUS decision on Obamacare might be is just plain foolish.
Galen: "Obamacare in Big Trouble. Maybe"
On the Secret Decoder Ring today: A link to the AP poll and to an excellent summary of the Arizona decision. Also a rare topic-appropriate Mullfoto and a Catchy Caption of the Day.
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