9 Jul 2012
Part One: The Opportunity
The Political Cudgel--and the Embedded Nail
The Supreme Court’s Obamacare-affirming decision--which can be summed up as “Read John Roberts’ lips, it’s a tax”--has put a political cudgel in the hands of Republicans. The cudgel, of course, is taxes. But a huge nail is also embedded in the cudgel: the fundamental deceit of Obamacare. Yet in the week since the Court’s decision, Republicans have yet to demonstrate that they truly grasp the significance of this weapon--or that they can effectively wield it.
Why? Some Republicans are worried that the fight over Obamacare distracts from the issue of the economy. What these Republicans fail to realize is that healthcare and the economy are inextricably linked; Americans now realize that Obamacare was a detour on the road to economic recovery, so to remind them of one is to remind them of the other. And the two issues, compounded, are all the more powerful.
Other Republicans believe that the healthcare battle has been lost, that Obamacare is just another permanent ratcheting of the welfare state. What these Republicans fail to see is that the “ObamaTax” issue provides an opportunity to reignite healthcare into the white-hot issue that it was in 2010. And if the 2012 elections were to be a repeat of 2010, huge changes in the status quo would be not only possible, but inevitable.
This November, if President Obama goes before the voters on the defensive--that is, on a rickety platform of defending Obamacare as a tax increase--it is he who has a huge problem. After all, his healthcare program was sold as a boon to the middle class, with a few regulatory sticks included therein. But if Obamacare can be exposed for what it is--a huge tax increase, the reality of which Obamacare proponents did their best to obscure--then the probability of his survival shrinks dramatically. To be sure, such an exposing of Obamacare as the ObamaTax will not be easy; the White House and the Democrats, as well as their handmaidens in the Main Stream Media, will do their best to armor up against any attack on the tax issue.
So Romney must wield that cudgel, and wield it hard. And so must Republicans, because if the campaign against Obamacare--the ObamaTax--is to be truly effective, it must be a top-to-bottom message. Indeed, as we shall see, the anti-ObamaTax message could be even stronger for down-ballot Republicans than for Romney himself.
The challenge is to keep the focus on the tax--the ObamaTax. Obamacare is many things, but the biggest single thing is the thing that they said it wasn’t--the ObamaTax.
The American people have shown that they can tolerate incompetent policy. But what they will not tolerate is being lied to. As a Jesuit might say, incompetence is a venial sin, but deception is a mortal sin. And so if troubling questions about Barack Obama’s incompetence turn into serious concerns about his character, the President will lose.
Link to Part II is below...