"This is not spin," former Clintonista James Carville admonishes viewers, just before launching into a preposterous piece of spin on CNN:
See how this works? If the Supreme Court upholds Obamacare, those idiot Republicans were wrong all along. But if they toss out the mandate (or the whole thing), it's the greatest day in the history of the Democrat Party, or something! This is the adult version of a pre-emptive "oh yeah, well we didn't want to win anyway" argument. But thanks for resisting the urge insult us with ludicrious spin, James. Just for kicks, let's see if I can follow this logic in this hypothetical:
Step 1: The rare Democrat Congressional super-majority and White House advocate a bill that the public doesn't want, relying upon wild promises that people don't believe.
Step 2: This Democrat juggernaut rams their unpopular bill through Congress with nary a single Republican vote, using backroom deals and legislative tricks that further alienate the public.
Step 3: The law begins to go into effect, violating several core pledges right out of the gate. The law remains deeply unpopular.
Step 4: The public elects anti-Obamacare Republicans in 2010, and overwhelmingly demands that the Supreme Court invalidate either the individual mandate or the entire law.
Step 5: The Supreme Court invalidates the individual mandate.
Step 6: The remaining shell of Obamacare begins to crumble as its unconstitutional tent pole (the mandate) is ripped out. Premiums shoot up to truly stunning levels, as insurers are forced to issue "insurance" to all sick comers, but without the near-universal mandated coverage to help limit premium growth.
Step 7: The public rushes to reward Democrats for the mess they -- and they exclusively -- made by passing an unwanted law that turned out to be constitutionally and practically untenable.
In what possible universe does this make any sense? Carville says he believes the American people will magically go wild for the party that just epically bollixed up the entire system while in full and unimpeded control of the levers of federal power. Yeah, good luck with that. One possible argument I can fathom is that with the American healthcare system lying in ruins, Democrats could use the genuine crisis to force through single-payer, government-run healthcare. This is highly unlikely because full government control is even less popular than Obamacare, and Republicans aren't going to be reduced to 39 Senate seats again any time soon. National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru has more on this point.