Today, the US Supreme Court has ruled. In a 5-4 decision, ultimately dominated by Chief Justice John Roberts, Obamacare was upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court. While many were shocked that a conservative Justice, appointed by George W. Bush, ruled with the majority in favor, the court did what it has done for over 200 years. It ruled with courage and focus on law.
No matter what many members of both the House and Senate, or political candidates, believe or say, repealing Federal law is not easy. Even when a political party takes full control following disliked laws from a previous Congress, repeal is incredibly rare. We must all now simply accept that this is the law of the land, deemed fully constitutional by the ultimate arbiters of what is or is not legal. The time for debate and political contention over this issue is over.
Many a political conservative is seeing their party focused more on fighting this issue than helping millions of Americans suffering in a depressed economy, creating jobs and a better business environment. They’re going centrist and planning to vote for the ones who make the most sense for economic growth – in this case, Obama. To many moderate and conservative Republicans, that’s never going to be any party whose purpose is negativity rather than protecting Americans first.
Ultimately their decision had to balance the legality (constitutionality) with the good of the people. Somewhere in their minds must have been the fact that universal healthcare was a Republican ideal fought for originally by Teddy Roosevelt. Even in the liberal, Democratic era of Franklin Roosevelt, a national healthcare plan couldn’t be enacted. For more than 100 years, this issue has been a festering sore, made more painful by the fact that smaller nations without our resources provided healthcare universally.
With that understanding, Republicans still have many points upon which to fight President Obama and Democrats in this election cycle. However, they have an obligation to Americans and indeed themselves, to stop the fighting now on this topic, and move forward to the more important issues, such as economics, improving the job market, and providing a more productive environment for business.
The President and his party are being handed several winning causes by the Republicans. For one thing, fighting to repeal Obamacare in light of the ruling seems indicative of the failure to focus on positive thinking. While Republicans love Ronald Reagan, they’re forgetting, though Obama is not, that Reagan won millions of Democrats and Independents by inspiring positive goals for the nation following an economic recession. As long as Obama continues being inspirational and focused on Americans first, he’s going to do as well as Reagan.
Another issue in Obama’s favor, presented by the opposition is the recent attacks on the Fast and Furious scandal. Dozens of Republican pundits and former Presidential candidates came out swinging on this issue last weekend, citing Watergate and Nixon as a benchmark comparative. Is it really wise to suggest that the benchmark for Presidential scandal is something that has been a black-mark for Republicans for nearly 40 years? Democrats can easily point to the fact that if Nixon or Watergate are the standard, then it only shows that Fast and Furious doesn’t come close to the Republican standards.
Lastly, the House Republicans holding the Attorney General, Eric Holder, in contempt, demonstrates its contempt for African-Americans, and their willingness to politicize anything negative for political gain. That seems a fool’s errand, given the number of quality arguments they could be making on economics, financial reform, employment and other issues. Obama and his people can easily point out that the first sitting Cabinet member to be held in contempt is also the first black Attorney General. That’s a win-win for Obama as it will easily rally the troops among the ethnic communities. Holder’s not going to be forced to resign, and even if he were to do so, it would be after the election, so the effort is essentially both moot and counter-intuitive.
Fighting Obama on same-sex marriage is also moot, as he did not introduce Federal legislation on this issue, merely expressing an opinion of a personal nature. However, keeping their bent for negativity, many Republicans went screaming into the night that Obama is turning America gay. Meanwhile, former Vice President Dick Cheney, the Conservative’s conservative, celebrated the wedding of his daughter Mary to her long term life-partner, in a perfectly legal same-sex marriage in Washington, DC.
Until and unless Republicans focus on the real issues affecting the average American, the message of fighting for the sake of fighting will not help them win votes, but may help them win the animosity of many within their own party. While the election of Reagan created Reagan Democrats, Obama has comparably created Obama Republicans, largely with the help of the Republicans themselves.