Friday, June 29, 2012
The 2012 Election Week in Review (June 29, 2012)
With this post, I am beginning a new phase of this blog, essentially more frequent, shorter posts. I will split up my normal Monday post into four separate segments: the Dashboard/Obameter on Monday, the Week in Review on Friday, with the Topic of the Week, Song Parody and other items filling in the other days. Hopefully you will bookmark this blog and come back everyday!
WEEK IN REVIEW (June 29, 2012)
Of course the news this week was dominated by the Supreme Court's ruling upholding ObamaCare. Forgive me my unabashed display of self-promotion for my "called shot!" I've had a number go the other way (in the same June 25 post, I endorsed Rich Becker for the Democratic primary for the newly re-districted 18th Congressional District in New York – he lost!), so this one felt good!
Regardless of how you might feel about the merits of either the law itself or the Court's ruling, the political implications are as follows. It has to be a win for Obama, of course – a surprising affirmation of his signature legislation from this Court that is hard to argue. And the fact that it was Chief Justice John Roberts, widely respected personally, as a Chief, as a jurist and as a conservative, who cast the decisive swing vote (and not Justice Kennedy, the usual swinger) was a particular bonus.
The decision will, of course, ignite both "bases." For the left, this decision represents a continuation of an Obama winning streak that started with his support of gay marriage, his revised immigration deportation policy and the Supreme Court's ruling on the Arizona immigration law (more below) earlier in the week. This type of proactive activity and unexpected Court validation certainly cranks up the dial for the Dems. But of course the flip side is the outrage this is sparking on the far right, which will tend to make them overlook Romney's faults and engage even more on his behalf to defeat Obama. But to the extent the independents are watching – and how could they not be? – this has been a good stretch for Obama.
For Romney himself, ObamaCare continues to be an uncomfortable and therefore underexploited issue, due to his own compromised history of passing virtually identical legislation (right on down to the mandate) in Massachusetts. Republicans were quick to use the Court's logic to attack ObamaCare as a "tax" – that is, every Republican except Mitt Romney, who continued to attack it (merely) as a "job-killer." He just won't go much beyond his vow to repeal it "on Day One" of his presidency.
Earlier in the week, the Court struck down most of the Arizona immigration law while upholding the notorious "show us your papers" clause. This is a bit of a win-win for Obama…the Court basically preserved the Federal government's leadership role in setting immigration policy, while at the same time also preserved the one aspect of the law that was most unsettling, thus continuing to agitate the Latino community. The Court essentially ruled (8-0 on this aspect of the law) that the "show us your papers" clause is fine today but could (when actually implemented) result in cases that may not withstand constitutional scrutiny with respect to racial profiling. In other words, see you in Court again in a few years on this one.
I'll be back Monday with revised Dashboard figures….my bet is more movement toward Obama on those measures, including the Obameter….