There’s been a lot of speculation on how a potential Supreme Court ruling striking down the individual mandate or the entire health care reform law might affect this year’s election, if they hand down a ruling on the merits in early summer as many expect. Some have even speculated that such a ruling could help Obama’s reelection campaign, though that seems pretty fanciful to me. But this blog has an interesting argument that a ruling upholding the mandate could actually help Republicans:
I think that’s pretty smart. It probably would fuel Republican enthusiasm, in House races in particular. But I’m not so sure it doesn’t help Romney. Yes, we know that on a substantive level, Romney was all for the individual mandate and that he’s lying now when he says he’s against it. But does that really matter? He has backed himself into a corner where he would have to sign a bill repealing it if Congress were to pass one. And the only way Congress passes one is if they can take control of the Senate. So it might well fuel more Republican enthusiasm in Senate races, and those people have no one to vote for but Romney. Yes, Romney will be a hypocrite, but who else could they vote for? Obama? So I think it’s entirely possible that a ruling upholding the mandate could help Republicans this fall.
But, from a political standpoint, the right wing will explode. And perhaps even more so due to the fact that expectations of Obamacare being declared unconstitutional have been raised. That should give the Republicans a big boost in the current enthusiasm gap. Because you can count on them making repeal of Obamacare a signature issue. That might help Republicans running for Congress is some key districts, but I’m not so sure its would be a good thing for Mitt Romney. I suspect that with his history in Massachusetts, he’d prefer that Obamacare be taken off the table in this election. But for the rest of the wingnut crowd, it will become open season on the Supreme Court. Things are pretty sure to get ugly because, as we’ve seen in the past, that crowd doesn’t show the same kind of restraint that someone like President Obama has demonstrated.