No Reason for Eeyores

Posted: Mar 30, 2012 7:53 AM
It is amazing that, after a week in which ObamaCare was shown to be constitutionally suspect, some Republicans are pessimistic about the political implications of the law being struck down by the Supreme Court (they fear that the elimination of ObamaCare as an issue will depress Republican enthusiasm). The Wall Street Journal's Kimberly Strassel correctly categorizes them as "Eeyores" -- and she's probably right: They've simply listened to too many Democratic talking points.

On a bright and sunny Friday morning, let me posit an alternative scenario: Either way the Supreme Court comes down, it's not too great for the Democrats.  If ObamaCare is upheld, Republicans (and the millions of other Americans who hate the law) will be energized for the upcoming fall elections.  What's more, the GOP can point out that any repeal of ObamaCare will require not just a Republican president, but also a solid majority in the House and close to a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.  That's not great news for already-endangered senators like Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill.  And if nothing else, the extensive coverage of the Supreme Court arguments have educated a lot of Americans on just how flawed the legislation is.

In the alternative, if ObamaCare is struck down, it reveals the President -- an erstwhile constitutional law scholar -- as an empty suit, and worse, one who ignored the economic crisis to jam down an unpopular law that doesn't even pass constitutional muster.  It fits into a narrative that many Americans find compelling:  President Obama is just too naive to be an effective president.

Obviously, it's a mistake to count chickens (or Supreme Court votes) before they hatch.  What's more, I'd infinitely prefer the Court to strike down ObamaCare in its entirety; when it comes to something as important as defending freedom, the surest route to getting the job done is best.  But whatever happens, it's not necessarily true that the views of the Eeyores among us reflect reality.