The Supreme Court justices voted on Obamacare last Friday and Drudge immediately speculated that one of the left-wing justices tipped off the president. Joseph Curl thinks that Obama's actions over the past few days show that the president was tipped-off and knows that the ruling will go against him.
And Mr. Obama no doubt already knows that's just what the court will do when it rules in June. The justices fiercely questioned the president lawyer over three days, mocking his often indefensible arguments for why the government can force Americans to buy health insurance, and then took a preliminary vote last Friday. Clearly, a justice sympathetic to the president passed along the outcome -- and Mr. Obama's comments this week certainly appear to show the court is planning to rule against the trillion-dollar mandate.
If President Obama were unsure about the ruling wouldn't he be playing nice? If he received a leak and heard that Obamacare is going to be upheld, wouldn't we be hearing "I have confidence in the Supreme Court to make the right decision"? The only possibility that fits the evidence is that Obamacare is toast.
What's most interesting to me is that Obama didn't attack the conservative justices exclusively.
US President Barack Obama on Monday challenged the "unelected" Supreme Court not to take the "extraordinary" and "unprecedented" step of overturning his landmark health reform law.
Though Obama said he was confident the court would uphold the law, the centerpiece of his political legacy, he appeared to be previewing campaign trail arguments should the nine justices strike the legislation down.
In a highly combative salvo, Obama also staunchly defended the anchor of the law -- a requirement that all Americans buy health insurance -- as key to giving millions of people access to treatment for the first time.
"Ultimately, I am confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress," Obama said.
He says the word "confident", but he is acting defensive and angry. You do the math.
Notice that Obama doesn't decry the possibility that a conservative majority might strike down Obamacare in a narrow 5-4 vote -- he attacks the whole court. My guess:
- Obamacare is toast
- Obama knows that the vote is currently shaping up to be worse than 5-4 against him
- Obama is trying to intimidate one or more left-wing justices to vote with him and narrow his loss
- Obama is shaping the narrative in advance of this historic rebuke
A 5-4 loss might be the best outcome for Obama's reelection. Nate Silver disagrees and says that a Supreme Court loss will be a huge defeat for the President.
The latest fad seems to be articles claiming that if the Supreme Court declares President Obama's health care bill to be unconstitutional, it would be good news for him politically. This position has been argued by the Democratic pollster Mark Penn, the Democratic strategist Bob Shrum and CNN's James Carville, among others.
The theory seems to rest on the notion that Mr. Obama could use the health care bill to rally his base, either by railing against the Supreme Court or by trying to advance a new plan.
There are a few basic problems with it:
1. Mr. Obama does not face a major problem with his base, but his standing is tenuous with swing voters.
2. Among swing voters, the health care bill is not very popular.
3. The Supreme Court declaring the health care bill unconstitutional will not make it more popular among swing voters.
The health care bill is not popular with swing voters, but a properly designed (and Constitutional) replacement might be. I guess we'll just have to wait and see how this plays out.