…for Congressional candidates, Obamacare may be the issue that wins the day.
This could quickly become a redux of 2010.
In my previous post, I argued that Romney should only talk about Obamacare in reference to its effects on the economy. It is the largest tax and regulatory bill in American history, and its deleterious effects on the economy and job production fit nicely into Romney’s single issue campaign.
But for congressional candidates, they need only to look at the last midterms to understand the benefit this provides. Chief Justice John Roberts may have used somewhat convoluted legal arguments to come to the decision, but he now forces a stark reality upon Democrats.
Obamacare is a tax. Arguably, the largest tax ever.
Numerous candidates who support Obamacare must now defend raising taxes in the middle of a stagnant recessionary economy; or if you believe Joe Biden, a depression.
Just a few examples.
1. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri. McCaskill has already been lagging her Republican contenders for months, and is certainly one of the weakest candidates out there. Can she now defend Obamacare? What political capital does she possess to make that argument? And even more so…how does she explain the comments of Democrat MO Governor Jay Nixon, who said the mandate is bad for Missouri?
2. Tim Kaine of Virginia is in a dog fight with Republican George Allen. Allen now has a new weapon against Kaine: force him to rationalize a huge tax increase during a recession. Kaine either has to accept it as a tax and defend it, or give a convoluted Pelosi-like answer that most moderates are unlikely to buy.
3. Jon Tester of Montana is in a tough re-election race against Republican Johnny Rehberg, who has early as May had already hit Tester on voting for Obamacare. How long before the tax argument arise? I wager days, if not hours.
This does not even begin to argue about House seats, especially marginal ones in red states, where in 2010 the Obamacare issue was destructive, as it annihilated the Blue Dog caucus.
Mitt Romney needs to take a macroeconomic position and focus on the country at large. In doing so, he will frame Republicans as the party of economic growth and job creation. But the down ballot candidates need to focus on how critical their role is for the repeal of the unpopular Obamacare law even more now than ever.
Starting this weekend, and continuing today on social networks, liberals are using every excuse they can to define Obamacare as anything other than a tax. That, in a nutshell, shows you the political bind they are in. They will try to spin it as anything but what the Supreme Court said it was…and of course, that is a losing proposition for them. There was one message from the Obamacare ruling: it is constitutional because it is a tax.
The GOP blueprint for victory and claiming the majority in the House and Senate is clear: 2010 redux.