Does anyone doubt that the Obama administration's request for the Supreme Court to rule on the health care law ASAP is designed to decide the next election? If the court nixes the insurance mandate section of the law -- its crucial requirement -- then the law won't survive, except perhaps in pieces. If the court affirms the law in all its parts, then the Republicans have lost a crucial attack on the president and their constituency will be without its cause celebre.
The request from the administration is risky, of course, because if the law is struck down, Obama will have lost his signature piece of legislation and he will be left adrift without a major accomplishment to bolster claims that he deserves a second term.
The Republicans with their Tea Party allies in the driver's seat have been screaming about Obamacare ever since it was passed. The recent debates have highlighted the Far Right theme of Freedom from the mandate and illustrated the anger many feel for having to buy insurance, or else face fines or worse.
By asking the high court to decide the constitutionality of the law, the right will either be silenced or they will take to the streets, a doubtful reaction. What is more likely is that protest will come in the form of refusal to respect the mandate, to test the government's resolve to deal fairly with scoff laws.
It certainly appears that the administration has responded to the shouts and cries from audience members in the recent debates, not to mention the obvious refusal of any of the candidates to speak out against such audience reactions. It could well be that President Obama fears that without a final court decision, the issue could very well turn violent during the fall campaign.
Let's see if the court sees that possibility as well and moves quickly to decide the fate of the law.