Despite their earlier confident pronouncements that Obamacare was on extremely sound legal footing, liberals are starting to finally realize that the medical system law which Democrats shoved through the Congress in a purely partisan fashion has a very good chance of being thrown out by the Supreme Court. That realization is giving birth to a new plan, attacking anyone who disagrees.
If the Supreme Court strikes down the individual mandate in Obamacare, the result will be higher insurance premiums and, "we'll just blame Republicans for it," says Democratic strategist Bob Beckel, appearing on the Wednesday edition of Fox News' The Five.
Beckel's statement hints at the blame-game Democrats will play if part or all of Obamacare is struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Another Democratic strategist, James Carville, has said pretty much the same thing, asserting that Republicans will "own" healthcare over the next few years if the court strikes down the individual mandate or even the whole Obamacare law, and will pay a political price for rising premiums.
“You know what the Democrats are going to say -- and it is completely justified: ‘We tried, we did something, go see a 5-4 Supreme Court majority,’” Carville said on CNN Tuesday
. “The public has these guys figured out. Our polls show that half think this whole thing is political. Just as a professional Democrat, there’s nothing better to me than overturning this thing 5-4 and then the Republican Party will own the health care system for the foreseeable future. And I really believe that. That is not spin."
Carville's statements edge closer to how the Left is preparing to respond if the court strikes down Obamacare. They will not stop at blaming Republicans for higher insurance premiums. They are going to try to demonize the Supreme Court itself as simply a tool of the heartless Right.
Andrew Koppelman, writing in Salon today
, asserted that the arguments against the individual mandate amount to nothing more than "silliness," and said the "silly" arguments "nonetheless seemed to sometimes move Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito."
His implication: Roberts, Kennedy, Scalia Alito (and silent Clarence Thomas, "a sure vote to strike down the law,") are partisan right-wingers bent on striking down the law.
Kevin Drum, writing for the leftwing magazine Mother Jones, says
, "If the conservative justices are simply bound and determined to make their mark and overturn Obamacare, they will. But if they do, they're going to have to torture the law pretty hard to get there.
Michael Kinsely argued yesterday
that striking down the mandate would put at risk about 70 years of progress. "Every piece of legislation for about the last 70 years that rested on the Commerce Clause will suddenly be up for grabs," Kinsley writes. "This includes the Civil Rights Act. It includes laws protecting the environment and consumers."
(Ramesh Ponnuru pushes back on Kinsley here
The Associated Press' Mark Sherman writes
, "Here's a thought that can't comfort President Obama: The fate of his health-care overhaul rests with five Republican-appointed Supreme Court justices. If they stand together, his most sweeping domestic achievement could be struck down."
Steven Rosenfeld, writing at AlterNet
, says Republicans "don’t want to fix our broken healthcare system." He writes: "The Republican Party again showed its petulant, "party-of-no" face on Tuesday as lawyers representing 26 red states and conservative think-tanks told the U.S. Supreme Court that nobody should be forced have health insurance—even if people carrying insurance end up subsidizing the defiantly uninsured who get ill.
The message they want Americans to hear is this:Obama tried to give you healthcare, but Republicans got their five judges on the Supreme Court to take it away from you.