If the current polls are correct and large majorities of voters want the law repealed, it's possible the congressional numbers against Obamacare will grow. Conservatives rail against Chief Justice John Roberts, but they agree with his commonplace observation that elected leaders who disappoint voters can always be thrown out of office. I have no idea whether Roberts wrote the majority opinion to save the court from cries of "politics" and avoid the perception that the court was legislating from the bench, or whether he thought the court had become too conservative. Whatever his motivation, he has put the ultimate decision to the voters on Nov. 6.
But we still need to know everything that's in the legislation. Nancy Pelosi's remark that Congress had to pass the legislation to find out what was in it was both true and utterly cynical. Now we have another opportunity. Democratic congressional candidates who were loathe to talk about what was in it before they voted will have to defend their votes at home. That's not good news for Barack Obama.
A Newsweek/Daily Beast poll of likely voters taken after the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare found that 58 percent of those polled now disapprove of the president's performance on health care; only 37 percent approve.
If there's a new president after November, and if Mitt Romney follows through on his promise to "repeal and replace," Roberts will make his point. If that happens we'll get a clearer understanding both of who we are, what we want and what the future holds. If, on the other hand, we keep the president who has visited all the grief on us, we'll get what we deserve. Pogo the Possum, the comic-strip philosopher from Georgia's Okefenokee Swamp -- "hard by that rare native tree, the Presidential Timber, struck down in mid-sprout by the jawbone of a politician" -- said it best: "We have seen the enemy, and he is us."
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