For weeks the country has teetered on the edge of its seat, waiting for what -- not so surprisingly -- ended up being a rather anti-climactic end to a seemingly endless Supreme Court deliberation on Obamacare." All the while, pundits and analysts have sparred over what every possible ruling might mean in terms of November’s general election. And, truth be told, they did a rather bang-up job of it. Of course, what they failed to see was the ruling that would eventually be handed down as a possibility.
Maybe because it has seemed that even the Obama administration itself can’t get the facts straight. First (and repeatedly, according to even Obama himself) it wasn’t a tax, but then it was -- but only inside the walls of the Supreme Court, and even then only in the sense that it’s not a tax, but that the government has the authority to enforce it as if it were a tax.
What came down the pipe this morning put all confusion -- and possibly Obama’s hope for a second term -- to an end.
The truth is, for most conservative and swing voters, if the outcome had taken any other path, this might not be the case. The media has largely ignored the administration’s Supreme Court defense of the individual mandate as a tax. The idea that a supposedly middle-class-friendly president would implement one of the largest tax hikes on the poor and middle class in the history of the country has flown under the radar.
Caption: March 27, 2012 - Washington, District of Columbia, U.S. - Protesters from both sides campaigned outside of the U.S. Supreme Court as the court began listened to oral arguments over the constitutionality of the individual mandate portion of the health care law championed by President Barack Obama. (Credit Image: © Fang Zhe/Xinhua/ZUMAPRESS.com)
Before today, those people who supported Obama were going to vote for him and those who don’t support him weren’t -- in my opinion, regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision on what has been hailed as his only real accomplishment in office. Today’s 5-4 ruling might just change that, in the same way that it has changed the entire facade of Obama’s public persona.
According to the highest court in the land, the individual mandate is a tax -- and a steep one at that. And if it’s a tax, Obama can no longer even pretend to be the guy who will lessen tax burdens on the "99%" and refrain from playing the same old political games. He has actively engaged in both, and not just in subtle ways -- in hugely public and history-making ways.
If there’s anything conservatives and their liberty-minded swing-voter counterparts like less than government intrusion, it’s government intrusion by way of the IRS. While the left is hailing today’s ruling a success for the Obama Administration, it could spell even bigger trouble come November.
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