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June 29, 2012

Obama's "Crowning Achievement" Is... A Tax

Before that, let me agree with Legal Insurrection: This is a loss, and a bad one. It can be avenged, and it can be undone, but the cheerleaders claiming this is some kind of victory are addlepated.

Sure, we now are motivated for November. And maybe in the end we will get rid of Obamacare.

But that is then and this is now. And under any reasonable theory of conservative judicial restraint, the Chief Justice should have allowed Obamacare to fall of its own weight, of a weight born of a political process in which the mandate could not be called a tax because the nation would not have stood for it.

This is now, and today we should have been rid of this monstrosity.

We live to fight another day, but don’t tell me we won because someday possibly in the future in some other case with some other set of Justices we maybe might achieve some doctrinal benefit from the Commerce Clause ruling.

So please don’t delude yourselves. Today was a bitter loss because it was one we should have won.

But now, about that ObamaTax.

Now, Republicans can attack the law not only for being “big government” but for being a huge tax during in weak economy, adding burdens to middle class taxpayers and slowing economic growth. And the GOP doesn’t have to come up with a detailed plan to “replace” Obama’s health care plan.

“Since politics is the ultimate zero-sum game,” writes Quinnipiac’s Brown,” what’s good for Obama is bad for Romney.”

Well, maybe, but in this case there are two issues – the legal and the political.

The Court’s decision doesn’t undercut Romney’s opposition to the law. Instead, it gives him more political ammunition: taxes.

So in the end, the Court’s ruling is something of a split decision: A big legal win for President Obama that enhances the Republicans’ political position heading to November.

That said, we already could call it a tax, or tax-like; I don't think we get anything more from the Court's characterization of it as a tax.

But we ought to try, anyway. And the RNC is already trying:

I was annoyed that they didn't include audio of Obama's Solicitor General arguing it's a tax -- because that really makes the connection. To the public, he says it's not a tax; in court, he says it is.

The ad, as it stands, leaves open the possibility, in the minds of those who don't know, that the Supreme Court came up with this characterization themselves.

They didn't. Obama's lawyer argued it.

Oh: See the funny photoshop at the end of this post.


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posted by Ace at 09:36 AM

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