The White House has no contingency plans in place in the event the Supreme Court rules the healthcare law is unconstitutional. White House officials said Wednesday they remain “confident” that the healthcare reform law is constitutional and is implementing all the provisions of the law. If the law is thrown out, there's “no contingency plan in place,” principal deputy press secretary Josh Earnest said at Wednesday’s press briefing with reporters. “We're focused on maximizing the benefits of this law.”
That's the brave face approach. Other Obamacare supporters are dubiously claiming that they'd welcome a hostile Supreme Court decision, while still others are openly attacking the Court's legitimacy. Regardless of how they're behaving publicly, the Washington Post reports that the Left is really starting to sweat behind closed doors:
By the time oral arguments ended this week, supporters were rattled by the tough questions, with legal scholars and others observing that a majority of the justices seemed inclined to strike down the law’s key provision, an individual mandate to obtain health insurance. That has prompted a larger conversation about what happens if they do. The court will effectively render judgment on the leadership of the president. It was Obama who, at every turn during the original health-care debate, pressed for a more ambitious package that required Americans to purchase insurance. A nullification would serve as a dramatic rebuke of that decision as well as the judgments Obama and his advisers made about the legality of the law.
In today's Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove argues the White House could react one of two ways if the individual mandate or full law is invalidated:
Mr. Obama could announce he respects the court's decision and pledge to fashion a bipartisan solution to provide access to affordable health-care insurance for all Americans. This would help his re-election by repositioning him back in the political center, as he was in 2008 when he ran television ads that said "both extremes"—"government-run health care [and] higher taxes"—"are wrong."
But he could instead lash out against the court's majority—as he did in the Citizens United case upholding free speech for corporations—and insist on an even larger role in health care for Washington. Perhaps he would advocate a "public option" where government competes with private and not-for-profit health-insurance companies, hospital consortiums and the like.
Gosh, I wonder which approach he'd adopt. Finally, since I made passing and flippant mention of Russia at the beginning of this post, I thought I'd update you on the fallout from President Obama's "flexibility" open mic moment. Outgoing Russian President Dmitri "I will transmit this information to Vladimir" Medvedev has attacked Mitt Romney over his criticism of Obama's whispered remarks, effectively acting as an Obama surrogate. The DNC actually promoted Medvedev's comments. Within 24 hours, the Soviet-era newspaper, Pravda, endorsed Obama's re-election effort and blasted Romney. Transmission received.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography