James Carville Argues that an ObamaCare Defeat Helps Democrats
James Carville might be onto something, but for the wrong reason. Carville is arguing that if the U.S. Supreme Court kills ObamaCare, Democrats can hang that failure around the necks of Republicans. Carville believes that future escalating health care costs will sour voters on Republicans, who Democrats will associate ObamaCare's defeat.
Carville, like many of his fellow Democrats, actually believe that a massive federal government program like ObamaCare won't produce massive costs and gross inefficiencies, which will increase year after year. That's the history of big government programs.
What Carville elects not to acknowledge is that ObamaCare has never enjoyed good favor among a majority of Americans, which polls -- and the 2010 congressional elections -- affirm.
A Supreme Court slap-down of ObamaCare, as welcome as that would be, may help President Obama and congressional Democrats in that it relieves them of an election-year albatross. It renders Republican arguments against Mr. Obama's health care program moot. The president and congressional Democrats would be free to move beyond ObamaCare to call for more proscribed health care reforms that majorities of voters might favor. They could push the compassion angle on health care more palatably, in other words.
Doing so, of course, would require the president and Democrats to exercise discipline and focus. It would necessitate putting their statist aims on the shelf until after the 2012 elections, when, if re-elected, Mr. Obama's lame duck status freed him to pursue other angles and approaches to create government-run health care.
Yet Republicans needn't rest on their laurels. Mr. Romney, the presumed GOP presidential nominee, and congressional Republican candidates could ballyhoo that the court's striking down of ObamaCare as a triumph for Americans, many of whom didn't want the program in the first place; triumphs for limited government and freedom of choice. The GOP could open a dialogue with voters on free market alternatives to government-centered health care. What a superb opportunity for Republicans to educate and persuade Americans.
This, too, would take discipline, focus, and... guts, which is often in short supply among Washington Republicans. Washington Republicans tend to be difference-splitters entranced by pollsters who insist that "working across the aisle" is what voters demand. Going with arguments favoring free market solutions to health care problems would be met with much opprobrium from the mainstream media. That makes many Republicans downright shaky.
What the U.S. Supreme Court can't relieve Mr. Obama and the Democrats of is a dreadful economy and a national government wallowing in debt. Voters around the nation are living the crummy Obama economy everyday; all the spin and propaganda emanating from Democrats like James Carville and the fossil media can't change people's daily realities, which beat whatever fantasies are manufactured in Washington and New York.
Election-year Republicans need to speak up and act boldly for free markets, across the economy and in health care. Doing so are ways to meaningful election victories.