This is a HUGE week! For those who follow politics, you know why.
For the rest of you, let me put in perspective: This news is bigger than Snooki getting pregnant. Bigger even than the finale of Dancing with the Stars and The Biggest Loser.
This week, the United States Supreme Court is expected to decide the fate of the Affordable Health Care Act -- also known "affectionately" as Obamacare.
Will the law be upheld or will it be struck down in whole or in part? It's like trying to guess the identity of the person Kim Kardashian will marry next and then quickly divorce -- everyone has an opinion and there are no wrong answers. (My view is that the Supreme Court will uphold the law, deferring to Congress, thus allowing the issue to be resolved in the political arena.)
To me, the most intriguing part of this impending decision is its political implications. The prevailing wisdom -- if "wisdom" is even a word that can be applied to anything involving our politics today -- is that if the Supreme Court strikes down the law, it will be a big blow to President Obama and will negatively impact his reelection campaign. I completely disagree.
Even though this law is one of President Obama's greatest legislative accomplishments, it's very unpopular. Recent polls indicate that only one third of Americans support it and, worse yet for Obama, only 21 percent of Independents.
Mitt Romney views the law as such a liability for Obama that he made it a central part of his very first campaign commercial after effectively securing the Republican nomination. In this ad, Romney sets out what he would do "Day One" of his presidency, which includes his boast that he would dismantle Obamacare. In contrast, if I were elected president, on my first day in office, I'd be more focused on picking out the best closets in the White House and finding the good Chinese restaurants in the area.
But if the Supreme Court strikes it down, Romney will be deprived of promising he will save us from this scary law. How many voters will be moved by Romney saying: "Remember that health care law we didn't like, well if it was still in effect, I would get rid of it"? It would be like Captain America coming to save us from a monster that has already been killed by The Hulk.
The Supreme Court finding this law unconstitutional also hurts Romney in another way. Romney has claimed that if Obama is reelected, he will be "unrestrained by the demands of re-election," meaning Obama can run amuck and do whatever he wants in his second term. Who knows what he might do? Ban guns? Impose communism? Force straight people to marry gay people?
But the Supreme Court striking down Obamacare proves that the checks and balances enshrined in our Constitution work. If one branch goes too far, another branch will rein them. This is the express purpose of our checks and balance system: to avoid tyranny as James Madison famously stated in The Federalist Papers.
Bottom line: Mitt Romney has to be rooting for the Supreme Court to uphold the health care law and especially the unpopular individual mandate portion (which ironically is the same mandate Romney championed in Massachusetts when he was Governor.)
In any event, a recent poll found that 77 percent of Americans want Congress to start work on a new health care bill if this law is struck down -- meaning that this issue is not going away even if the court strikes it down. Perhaps striking it down gives Obama another shot at it that more people will support.
So America, set your DVRs and invite your friends over to watch the U.S. Supreme Court announce the decision of the decade live on TV! Oh yeah, you can't watch it live on TV because the U.S. Supreme Court won't let cameras in. Parenthetically I think this is a mistake -- I could envision a new popular reality TV series: The Real Judges of the Supreme Court.
If the health care law is struck down this week, watch Mitt Romney 's response closely to see if you can detect that he's actually unhappy. He should be.
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