Today’s landmark Supreme Court ruling upholding Obamacare will go down as a bittersweet victory for progressives and the Obama administration. In upholding the individual mandate, the Supreme Court ruled that it was constitutional – as a tax.
This will become problematic in the 2012 election and beyond because Republicans will be able to effectively portray Obamacare as a tax increase in the billions of dollars. As a result, much like Roe v. Wade galvanized the pro-life movement and the Religious Right to join forces to elect socially conservative candidates, this decision will re-ignite the spark of the Tea Party and fiscal conservatives who believe government is too big and does too much.
Already today, House Majority Eric Cantor announced at vote to repeal Obamacare on July 11. Shortly after today’s decision, Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced he would repeal Obamacare from his first day in office.
“If nothing else the decision today shows the importance of the upcoming election,” Cantor said today.
Expect an unrelenting campaign – for years – to undue Obamacare. Just like Roe v. Wade did not settle abortion law, in fact, it kick-started the Culture Wars, today’s decision might have the same effect.
It will be a perpetual rallying cry, a “Remember the Alamo!” of sorts, for Tea Party-style small government types.