Imagine a world in which Obamacare is deleveraged, either in whole or in part, by the Supreme Court. Would this endanger the President’s re-election chances? The conventional wisdom is that it will help the Obama Campaign.
But Jonathan Last thinks it would:
Even if unemployment is declining, it’s still likely to be at over 8 percent by the time the Supremes issue their decision. Even accepting the rosiest of economic forecasts, our recovery will still be tentative and far from touching most voters. Gas prices will probably be better off, for example, but the housing sector won’t be. In that context, a loss at the Supreme Court would feed the image of Obama as a failed president, a man who couldn’t accomplish what he promised.
Ross Douthat agrees:
I think this plainly true of a Supreme Court decision striking down the Affordable Care Act in its entirety. That kind of decision might be good for Democrats in 2014 and beyond, given the mess of our current health system and the Republican leadership’s determined refusal to embrace a plausible path to reform. But for Obama, the immediate perception of political incompetence — he passed this big mess of a bill, and he couldn’t even manage to make it constitutional! — would overwhelm any potential advantages that his party might reap from the decision.