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Video: Why the White House should be afraid, very afraid, over the ObamaCare arguments this week
Hotair ^ | 03/29/2012 | Ed Morrissey

Posted on 03/29/2012 10:15:53 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Reason's Damon Root attended the final day of the ObamaCare oral arguments at the Supreme Court yesterday and has extensively analyzed the proceedings from earlier in the week as well, and concludes that the White House underestimated the difficulty of its task. While the Left has focused most of its blame on the performance of Solicitor General Donald Verilli, Root says that the problems stem from the arguments that the Obama administration made about the PPACA, and how quickly the justices poked significant holes in them:

"If I was in the Obama administration, I would not be comfortable with how the last three days went."

Reason's Damon Root was in attendance for the third and final day of oral arguments before the Supreme Court on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which focused primarily on the issue of severability, which brings into question whether the individual mandate be excised from the law, or if the law in its totality must be struck down.

Now that the case is in the hands of the Court and a decision isn't expected until late June, Root thinks the Obama administration has reason to be concerned not only because their Solicitor General’s performance rated poorly, but because “their arguments were nowhere near as strong as they thought they were going to be.”

Democrats are starting to hit the panic button, as this Washington Post article makes clear. While a few publicly say that a Supreme Court rejection would make for good politics for Barack Obama and other Democrats in the fall election, most understand privately that losing the entire bill or even just the mandate would be a huge political embarrassment:

The Supreme Court’s skeptical consideration of President Obama’s landmark health-care legislation this week has forced his supporters to contemplate the unthinkable: that the justices could throw out the law and destroy the most far-reaching accomplishment of the Obama presidency.

The fate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is uncertain. A ruling is not expected until June. White House officials are refusing publicly to consider that the law might be struck down or to discuss contingency plans, insisting that they do not address hypothetical questions.

Other Democrats have begun assessing how such an outcome could affect the political landscape of 2012, with some surmising that a backlash against Republicans could follow a ruling against the law. But supporters argue that on a substantive level, the results would be devastating. …

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.

“He’s mortgaged his presidency, at least his first term, on health care,” said George C. Edwards, the author of a new book on Obama called “Overreach” and a historian at Texas A&M University. The law “would have restructured a major aspect of life in America. It would have been a major, major legacy for the president. If that is thrown out, he has much less to show for it.”

Meanwhile, the White House is keeping a stiff upper lip, at least publicly. Yesterday, deputy press secretary Josh Earnest insisted that the Obama administration hadn’t begun gaming out a Plan B in case the court tossed ObamaCare out:

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.”

Don’t bet on that. After this week’s developments at the Supreme Court, no political organization would shrug off the possibilities of defeat. If nothing else, they will have begun to formulate a political plan of attack in the event of a total or partial loss when the decision comes down, most likely in late July, and you can also bet your bottom dollar that it will include a strategy of launching nasty attacks on the integrity of the justices who vote it down — unless the final vote comes out differently than the 5-4 split everyone is expecting.

Update: Perhaps this is a trial balloon for the post-overturning strategy?

Obama pollster Joel Benenson at Third Way breakfast downplays #hcr; “the president has many signature accomplishments over his first term.”

Well, there was the stimulus that failed to stimulate, the Recovery Summer That Wasn’t, bankruptcies at Solyndra and other Obama-donor-linked companies that cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, high gas prices, and … er … the Lily Ledbetter Act. Yeah, that strategy probably won’t fly.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: obamacare; scotus; scotusocareanalysis; whitehouse

1 posted on 03/29/2012 10:15:59 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Just as an “aside” - someone on another board posted the link to the Ulsterman report (I know, I know) that the WH “insider” is saying that IF obamacare is knocked down by the SCOTUS, the WH is planning a healthcare “war” over the summer. I tried to post the link, et al. on here but was unable to do so as a new thread. If someone could post it, I think it’s worth reading.


2 posted on 03/29/2012 10:22:00 AM PDT by Student0165
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To: SeekAndFind

Do the Supreme Court justices have body guards? Should they?


3 posted on 03/29/2012 10:27:02 AM PDT by NEMDF
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To: SeekAndFind

Two points:

The SC read all the briefs and knew pretty much everything they were going to know before the arguments were presented. There were no bombshells to change their minds.

It’s going to come down to Kennedy and Roberts - and it could very well go 6-3 to uphold the law if they decide not to get involved in a high-profile case in an election year.

Our only hope is that the two are still smarting from the SOTU speech where Zero criticized the SC to their faces and the Rats applauded.


4 posted on 03/29/2012 10:34:11 AM PDT by NY.SS-Bar9
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To: SeekAndFind

A decision is not expected until June?

What a relief! Plenty of time to influence the Supremes...Michelle, hand me my Chicago Rolodex...


5 posted on 03/29/2012 10:36:26 AM PDT by MichaelCorleone (Stop feeding the beast; spend money only with those who support traditional American values.)
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To: SeekAndFind
At its core, the American Left wants a benevolent fascist state. That is what this case hinges on.

Of course, those adherent to a Constitutional Republic understand that a benevolent fascist state will cease being benevolent almost immediately, but the fascism only gets rinsed away with blood.

6 posted on 03/29/2012 10:36:53 AM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Embarrassment or not, killing this would be a political plus for Barry.

Get the albatross off of his neck and allow him to move on to other things. Plus he gets to demagogue Right Wing Extremists for tossing your 26 year old slacker off of your Blue Cross and taking away some poor student’s birth control. In turn that would free up huge numbers of Catholics to go back to pulling the straight party “D” handle as they’ve always done.


7 posted on 03/29/2012 10:38:13 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Student0165

0bama is also going to foment racial unrest. As we know, that’s already underway in Florida.

This evil bastard is going to create a crisis a week until the election so he can divert attention away from his treachery. Fortunately, more and more people are seeing him for what he is.


8 posted on 03/29/2012 10:38:59 AM PDT by unkus (Silence Is Consent)
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To: SeekAndFind
May the SCOTUS NEVER FORGET THIS:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k92SerxLWtc

9 posted on 03/29/2012 10:41:05 AM PDT by FedsRStealingOurCountryFromUs
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To: NY.SS-Bar9
It’s going to come down to Kennedy and Roberts - and it could very well go 6-3 to uphold the law if they decide not to get involved in a high-profile case in an election year.
.
Our only hope is that the two are still smarting from the SOTU speech where Zero criticized the SC to their faces and the Rats applauded.

So they might decide not to get involved, or they might operate on personal emotions.

You base this on what?

10 posted on 03/29/2012 10:42:10 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (I tried to buy a hoodie today but the store manager said they had all been shoplifted.)
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To: NY.SS-Bar9
Our only hope is that the two are still smarting from the SOTU speech where Zero criticized the SC to their faces and the Rats applauded.

Could very well be the payback. The justices do not like publicly being made to look bad.

And the terminally arrogant Liar-in-Chief has offended many many powerful people in the past 3 years.

11 posted on 03/29/2012 10:43:30 AM PDT by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: NY.SS-Bar9

I think they have a passion to stick it to Obozo and will rule 5-4 to 6-3 to strike it down completely.


12 posted on 03/29/2012 10:51:23 AM PDT by DarthVader (Politicians govern out of self interest, Statesmen govern for a Vision greater than themselves)
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To: FedsRStealingOurCountryFromUs

Thanks for the link.


13 posted on 03/29/2012 10:55:47 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The Global Warming HOAX is about Global Governance)
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To: unkus
Suspicion of the media had already been heightened following the 'Fluke' fiasco. I think the deceptive use of photos for maximum gain of sympathy for Trayvon and for maximum prejudice against Zimmerman by the media caused many Americans to rethink their perception of the media.

Over the next few months leading up to the election we should see Americans abandoning the traditional news outlets in droves (CBS,NBC,ABC,etc). Fox News ratings will skyrocket as a result.

14 posted on 03/29/2012 11:02:42 AM PDT by FedsRStealingOurCountryFromUs
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To: Jeff Chandler
You base this on what?

That they are human - OK maybe not Ruth, but I'm pretty sure about the rest.

15 posted on 03/29/2012 11:06:13 AM PDT by NY.SS-Bar9
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To: Buckeye McFrog

Maybe. But all the GOP has to do to blunt the first is to put forward a market-based reform that includes the “slacker provision” and the ‘Rats can’t demagogue this as the GOP taking away health insurance from the under 26 crowd. And I’m not sure those put out by the abortifacient/contraceptive mandate will be quick to forgive even if it’s become moot. (An awful lot of the Latins who pull the D lever are folks like Pelosi who weren’t bothered by the mandate anyway.)


16 posted on 03/29/2012 11:09:04 AM PDT by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know. . .)
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To: Buckeye McFrog
Embarrassment or not, killing this would be a political plus for Barry.

Get the albatross off of his neck and allow him to move on to other things. I don't see that. I think tossing this out puts the entire issue front and center for November because the question would be "what happens now"? And I think that dynamic actually hurts Obama, because the most obvious question for him will be "if you could just convert the mandate into a tax, the bill would be fine. Do you support that?"

So either he says he doesn't support his own concept, or he endorses something that voters hate.

17 posted on 03/29/2012 11:12:21 AM PDT by Bruce Campbells Chin
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To: FedsRStealingOurCountryFromUs

Good points.


18 posted on 03/29/2012 11:13:27 AM PDT by unkus (Silence Is Consent)
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To: NY.SS-Bar9

Bar9, you make good points.

I would add three comments:

1. I think the Justices were surprised at how poorly the Solicitor General’s defense came off;

2. Justice Kennedy has expressed concern for over-reaching and is not afraid to take a ocntroversial stance to protect the consitution - see Gore v Bush; and

3. Justices Sotomayor and kagan are NOT intellectually deep enough to sway Kennedy if he is in fact inclined to vote this mess down. In fact, they both - especially Sotomayor, came across a intellectual lightweights the past three days.


19 posted on 03/29/2012 11:21:41 AM PDT by Buckeye Battle Cry (Not Romney - Not ever!)
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To: SeekAndFind
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.”

I'm afraid that if only the mandate is struck down, insurance companies will be forced out of the market because they cannot give guaranteed issue and meet community pricing and still make enough to cover costs, let alone make profit. This will leave us all no choice but to go into the government pool giving the administration what it wanted all along... single payer.

20 posted on 03/29/2012 11:24:36 AM PDT by r-q-tek86 ("It doesn't matter how smart you are if you don't stop and think" - Dr. Sowell)
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To: Student0165

I love reading that when I see it posted/linked here. It never dawned on me to just go out and find it.

Anyways, whether it is true or not, it let’s me pretend (or not) that the worst things I think about that couple are true! I really need that some days.


21 posted on 03/29/2012 11:26:13 AM PDT by kevslisababy
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To: The_Reader_David
Actually, the GOP proposal can be even more simple than that. And as rotten as RomneyCare is, Romney's defense of it is the perfect argument for November. "I think that the people of each stat are perfectly capable of passing laws to implement whatever parts of that bill they liked, and to ignore the parts they don't. If they want coverage for 26 year olds, then why can't the people of each state decide that for themselves?

Let's face it -- saying the health care tar baby should be decided by the people of each state is something about which it's difficult to manufacture much outrage.

22 posted on 03/29/2012 11:30:55 AM PDT by Bruce Campbells Chin
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To: Bruce Campbells Chin

I think it could go either way. Other than getting bin Laden, his only claim to fame for anything he felt was a success was the health reform act. If that goes down, he could lose some support. On the other hand, he’ll no doubt spin it to show that he and all of the rest of us are victims of the Supreme Court, for taking away all of our free health care. He will be able to get away with that, unless the GOP comes out strong with all the reasons it is good to have the health care act repealed.


23 posted on 03/29/2012 11:44:28 AM PDT by NEMDF
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To: DarthVader

I see a 4-4 deadlock with Kagan abstaining. That would kick it back to the three Appeals Court s for review. That is the only politically correct decision to make for the SCOTUS. Anything else and one side or the other is going to play holy Hades over the decision.

OTOH, should the justices reach unanimous consent to either keep or overturn DeathCare, then any backlash would be blunted.


24 posted on 03/29/2012 11:53:52 AM PDT by NTHockey (Rules of engagement #1: Take no prisoners)
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To: FedsRStealingOurCountryFromUs
Suspicion of the media had already been heightened following the 'Fluke' fiasco. I think the deceptive use of photos for maximum gain of sympathy for Trayvon and for maximum prejudice against Zimmerman by the media caused many Americans to rethink their perception of the media.

If the attempted blaming of the Republicans and Palin for the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords didn't already permanently sour people on trusting the media, then nothing will.

The Republicans are put in a somewhat tougher spot if Obamacare is struck down. Suddenly instead of arguing against an unpopular bill, they have to create their own bill and sell it against something else new from the Democrats. Instead of being in the lead, they have to start the race all over again. And the public will either have forgotten about Obamacare or won't care by the time November rolls around. The notion that it was struck down will be a distant memory, something the media won't be talking about or asking about at the debates.

Romney won't have any special credibility on this issue because he can't point to what he did in Mass. as a model for the nation. He can push the states' rights angle, but that would contradict the idea of selling insurance across state lines, which conservatives seem to want. Although I'm not sure where RINO Romney stands on that issue.

If only the mandate is struck down, there could be a different type of fight or an interim fight. I'm sure that Congress will have enough votes to override a veto on striking down the rule that insurance companies have to cover pre-existing conditions. The insurance lobby will make sure of that. But the White House might set it up so Dems not up for reelection vote for that override, while Obama can publically tell people he vetoed an attempt to stop universal coverage while he insists Congress come up with new funding for it.

25 posted on 03/29/2012 11:54:37 AM PDT by JediJones (The Divided States of Obama's Declaration of Dependence: Death, Taxes and the Pursuit of Crappiness)
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To: SeekAndFind
Looks like the "I got Osama" strategy is going to get more and more play every day.

"Mr. President, how do you respond to the vast majority of Americans who think that gas prices are too high?"

"They may be high, but I got Osama!"

26 posted on 03/29/2012 11:55:29 AM PDT by HeartlandOfAmerica ("We have prepared for the unbeliever, whips and chains and blazing fires!" Koran Sura 76:4)
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To: Bruce Campbells Chin
Let's face it -- saying the health care tar baby should be decided by the people of each state is something about which it's difficult to manufacture much outrage.

That doesn't typically sell to voters. If Obama comes up with a detailed plan and promises a bunch of goodies and Romney's response is to say no, I have no plan, it's up to the states, most voters are going to with Obama. Yet any plan Romney comes up with is going to contradict his defense of Romneycare as health care being an issue for the states. So he'll be put in a very difficult position. If all Romney's arguing for is the status quo we had before Obamacare was implemented, people aren't going to go for it. Most conservatives want health insurance sold across state lines. The dems will just keep saying millions remain uninsured under that system.

27 posted on 03/29/2012 12:02:56 PM PDT by JediJones (The Divided States of Obama's Declaration of Dependence: Death, Taxes and the Pursuit of Crappiness)
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To: Buckeye McFrog

Once again, this turns out to be all about obama. How it affects him politically, etc. How about how it affects the American public?

I’m sick of this meme about how everything is about zero.


28 posted on 03/29/2012 12:17:14 PM PDT by Catsrus
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To: Buckeye Battle Cry
Justices Sotomayor and kagan are NOT intellectually deep enough to sway Kennedy ...

Don't forget this unhinged guy either ... Justice Breyer's unhinged Commerce Clause ramblings

29 posted on 03/29/2012 12:25:14 PM PDT by Servant of the Cross (the Truth will set you free)
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To: NTHockey

I don’t the long knives are out for Obotulism and they are going to help finish him off. 6-2-1 or 5-3-1 if Elena Kegface abstains as you say.


30 posted on 03/29/2012 12:35:32 PM PDT by DarthVader (Politicians govern out of self interest, Statesmen govern for a Vision greater than themselves)
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To: JediJones
That doesn't typically sell to voters. If Obama comes up with a detailed plan and promises a bunch of goodies and Romney's response is to say no, I have no plan, it's up to the states, most voters are going to with Obama.

By that logic, people should have loved ObamaCare. But people hated it, and it sunk the Dems in 2010. The problem is that while generalities may sound good, as soon as you start getting specific, you're inevitably going to say things that alienate people. That's why ObamaCare sank.

And the worst part of that for Obama is that he won't be able to get by with just generalities. When he had a chance to draft something, he came up with something people hated, and the GOP nominee can just say "why would you trust this guy a second time when he did something you hated the first time?

The reality is that Obamacare and the reaction to it has ratchetted up the usual distrust government of government solutions, so a "punt" to the states may well be the most inoffensive solution.

31 posted on 03/29/2012 12:50:51 PM PDT by Bruce Campbells Chin
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To: MichaelCorleone

I understand the decision will be made very soon, in the next week, but will not be released until June. I am unsure why that is the case.


32 posted on 03/29/2012 12:56:28 PM PDT by MarMema (freedom for Amir)
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To: Bruce Campbells Chin

Well, the conservatives and Republicans actually did a good job in the spin war and messaging war against Obamacare. They simultaneously made it sound like a single payer government takeover of health care, which it fell short of actually being, and also played up the mandate, making people see it as a tax increase. I think many of the people who hated the mandate/tax actually would have been covered by the “free health care giveaway” provisions of the law. But for some reason the Dems could never get that message across. I still think Obama can win the health care issue if he promises people free goodies and says he’ll tax “the rich” to pay for it. “Taxing the rich” still polls incredibly well. The Republicans have been doing some of their worst messaging on that issue. Bottom line I don’t think we’re well-positioned on the health care issue for the general election if Obamacare is overturned, at least not at this point.


33 posted on 03/29/2012 9:36:44 PM PDT by JediJones (The Divided States of Obama's Declaration of Dependence: Death, Taxes and the Pursuit of Crappiness)
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