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.