Is the Obama Administration trying for a clean healthcare slate?

Back in the 40s or 50s, Esquire Magazine, when it was still a magazine for gentleman, published some quite funny, if very risque cartoons.*  One of them showed a gorgeous, voluptuous, obviously purely decorative woman talking on the phone in her apartment.  Behind her is a kitchen piled to the ceiling with dirty dishes.  It is quite obvious that she is on the phone with her milquetoast husband:  “All is forgiven, Dear.  Come home.  I miss you terribly.”

That cartoon, which I haven’t thought about in decades, popped fully formed into my head when I read that the Obama Administration is doing what it can to hasten a Supreme Court hearing about ObamaCare.  Alana Goodman posits that this rush has a purpose:  “Maybe they reasoned that Obama would have more time to recover from a SCOTUS decision the June before his election, rather than risking a potential September or October surprise?”

Goodman shares the same assumption I do, which is that the currently constituted Supreme Court will reverse ObamaCare, probably in its entirety.  If that happens in June, Obama has the perfect campaign strategy:  We tried, our first effort was flawed, we now have a clean slate, so let us try again.  You know we’ll get it right the second time.  And all I can think about is that old Esquire cartoon.


*I hasten to add here that I was not around when Esquire first published these cartoon.  My Dad loved books that gathered together magazine cartoons, and one of the gems he found at Goodwill or St. Vincent de Paul’s was a collection of Esquire cartoons.  I also inherited from him a lovely book that put together the best cartoons from the old British magazine, Punch.

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  • BrianE

    Could it be that the President is so determined to keep the 2012 election from a referendum on the economy he’s willing to make it a referendum on Obamacare?

    Because if the Supreme Court upholds it (and from what I’ve read, it far from certain that the Court will overturn it) the election will ride on the Afordable Care Act. It will be the shining achievement of the administration to liberals and a laser-focused campaign by conservatives to elect enough conservatives to repeal it (does desparate sound right).

    If the SCOTUS overturns it, it will be the raison d’etre to re-elect the president (without him there will be no chance of a second bite at the single payer apple). Of course that would allow conservatives to focus on the poor economic record of this administration.

    Hmmm! It kind of makes you wonder what else they’re smoking at the White House. We already know they’re smoking Marlboros.

  • suek

    I don’t see how they can uphold it. But then – I couldn’t believe the Kelo decision either.

  • Mike Devx

    The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled ObamaCare unconstitutional – but it was only a panel of 3 of the 11 judges that did so.   If the Obama Administration had issued the request for the “en banc” decision, all 11 judges would then have judged the case.

    The full en banc court would almost certainly have ruled ObamaCare unconstitutional as well, because the full court is more conservative than the three-judge panel.  In fact, it is likely they would have declined to even re-hear the case, which is the quickest way for them to say: “We agree with the result and the written opinion of our three-judge panel.”

    So, the *only* purpose of an en banc request by Obama would have been a delaying tactic to prevent ObamaCare form going to the Supreme Court “too soon”.  Now that it is on the fast track, the Supreme Court final decision should be complete and published by June.  With an en banc delay built in, it would have occurred approx in September.

    Book says,
    If that happens in June, Obama has the perfect campaign strategy:  We tried, our first effort was flawed, we now have a clean slate, so let us try again. 
    I think that’s right.  Even more importantly, Obama will make the argument: “Do you want us to try to get it right, or do you want those evil, vicious Republicans to try to get it right?  Those Republicans that want to throw your aging mother over the cliff?  That want poor people to suffer!  That want women to suffer!  That will heartlessly leave you to die as they slash Medicare and Medicaid!  We’re on your side!  They want you dead!”

    More or less, it will be an attack line.  That’s *all* they’ve got left, these Democrats. The MediScare campaign is all they have left, and they have no choice but to rely on it… and hope that they can fool the American People with the attack.  Having a billion dollar war-chest set up to send a tidal wave of attack ads over the entire country, they just might succeed.  Or they might pull attention away from their “jobs” disaster.

    I don’t think so, myself.  This strategy looks as ridiculously flawed to me as their 2010 “It’s A Recovery Summer!” campaign.  That one locked them into a disastrous and failed strategy until September 2010, and then it was too late, after the crash and burn failure, for them to recover.  I think such a 2012 “It’s An ObamaCare Summer” campaign, from June-September 2012, would crash and burn SPECTACULARLY as well, and once again leave them with no room to maneuver.

    So grab your popcorn, sit back and enjoy the show!  Our GOP primary remains wide open.  The Democrats are the ones in disarray, with significant power blocs and special interests becoming hostile to Obama, and Democrat Senators up for reelection becoming VERY nervous.  After that, the primary season starts in earnest in a few more months.  Then we’ll watch Obama’s billion dollar war chest be unleashed in a tsunami of advertising the likes of which we’ve never seen before.  Can blatantly lying propaganda rule the day?  We’ll see.  Can our conservative (well, GOP) candidate inspire the middle of the road voters and create another seismic shift the way Reagan did in 1980 and 1984?  There’s a lot of ferment out there on both sides, conservative and liberal, and the nation appears poised for such a momentuous shift.  So, yes, grab your popcorn and enjoy the show.  If you’re in a state where elections are up for grabs, maybe even get actively involved!