Last Thursday was a day of high drama. I had prepared myself for the SCOTUS to at least throw out the insurance mandate portion of the law and possibly the whole thing. It completely took me by surprise how the court finally ruled, finding the law constitutional, not under the Commerce Clause, but under the power of congress to levy taxes. I wasn’t the only one caught off guard by the ruling, the political right went ballistic.
The Patch became immediately energized with people condemning the SCOTUS decision and claiming the world as we know it is coming to an end. This reaction wasn’t entirely unexpected, but the level and intensity was surprising. I think, part of the adverse reaction was due to the fact that the political right thought they had this one in the bag. They were counting on a big political blow to President Barack Obama by the overturn of his landmark piece of legislation. The right was so convinced of winning the ruling that there was no “Plan B” if the legislation held as written.
Just as the political left here in Wisconsin reacted to ACT 10, with claims the world was coming to an end, the political right is making the same claim, which is purely emotive. ACT 10 has led to a different direction in politics in the state; but the direst predictions have yet come to pass and the state’s political left has been forced to work within a set of new parameters. The same can be said for Obamacare, the institutional systems will learn to live with it and those things that need to be changed will be changed.
The political left’s rhetoric has grown to include the financial collapse of the United States pulling the world into a black hole of economic chaos and a call by the most extreme to arm themselves for an insurrection to take back the government and restore democracy, right out of the Turner Diaries. As usual, I tune into right wing talk radio on a daily basis to see what the latest talking points are. Charlie Sykes had a parade of elected Republicans who were beating the drum of despair and Mark Belling was on a rant that I hadn’t heard in a long time, claiming the United States was doomed.
It appears that the political rights "Plan B" is to immediately repeal the legislation as soon as Mitt Romney has won the presidential race in November and the Republicans have taken control of both chambers of congress. It’s an all or nothing strategy that is filled with a few major problems. First, it is not a certainty that Romney will win; and second, even if the Republicans gain control of both chambers, it will be meaningless unless they win a filibuster proof majority in the senate. The probability of winning that large of a senate majority is slim to none. Therefore, the Republicans need to settle down and figure out ways of improving the law because it looks like it will be around for some time to come.