What a difference a Supreme Court hearing makes. Before the recent hearing, the Left told the world that ObamaCare was most certainly constitutional. They even mused that Justice Scalia would uphold the law.
The hearings, however, sent an arrow through their balloon and the spinmeisters into full action. James Carville went so far as to suggest that ObamaCare’s demise would be the greatest thing ever to happen to the Democrat Party. Carville couldn’t be more wrong.
ObamaCare, keep in mind, is Obama’s self-proclaimed signature achievement. More than the Stimulus plan or Cap & Trade, it was to be Obama’s mark on the American system. Its demise, however, will be celebrated, not missed.
The only comparable striking down of a signature Presidential program by the Supreme Court related to FDR’s first New Deal. In a series of cases decided in 1935 and 1936, key aspects of the first New Deal were declared unconstitutional. During that process, FDR was every bit as arrogant about his efforts as Obama.
After his legal losses, FDR attempted to pack the Supreme Court to get around, “the nine old men,” and declared that “we cannot seriously be alarmed when they cry ‘unconstitutional’ at every effort to better the condition of our people.” FDR asserted that “We will no longer be permitted to sacrifice each generation in turn while the law catches up with life.”
Such language can be found in the arrogance of unchecked power.
In a key difference between FDR’s Presidency and Obama’s, however, the voting public still heavily backed the Democrats. In 1936, FDR was reelected by a landslide and the Democrats picked up 12 House seats giving them 3/4s of the House. It is safe to say the public was behind FDR’s efforts and did not support the Supreme Court blocking FDR’s New Deal efforts. In response, FDR offered a second New Deal, which a chastened Supreme Court approved and changed America forever.
Neither Obama nor Obamacare enjoys anything near the support levels enjoyed by FDR and his policies. Quite to the contrary, after ObamaCare was enacted, the Democrats lost 63 House seats and the Speakership with them in the 2010 midterm elections. Their losses extended to many State Houses as well.
In addition, for months and months now, Obama’s approval ratings have been upside down with more people expressing disapproval of him than approval. But that is not all.
ObamaCare itself is unpopular. Since it’s inception, the polls have consistently shown that a majority of Americans did not approve of it and that remains true to this day. Worse yet, the individual mandate is even more unpopular with 2/3rds of Americans against it. None of that should be a surprise. After all, Obamacare was forced down Americans’ throats even after Scott Brown won the “Kennedy seat” in what became a national referendum on the Democrats’ efforts to push ObamaCare on America.
The key difference, therefore, if and when this Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare, will be that a strong majority of Americans will be more than happy. Given the national debt, the failure of the Stimulus program and our utter skepticism of government programs not prevalent in FDR’s time, today’s Americans will not rally to more such legislation as they did for FDR.
In the final analysis, by late June, Obama will have been dealt the largest Supreme Court defeat in the television age. Bereft of a plan to fix the American economy, let alone gas prices, Americans will have little reason to support Obama this Fall – and no amount of spin will save Obama or the Democrats this Fall.