The wait for the Supreme Court to release its decision on the constitutionality of ObamaCare is fraying the nerves of the chattering classes as they ponder its impact on the presidential election. Until the decision is announced, all both parties and the pundits can do is engage in idle speculation, but the pessimism on the left about the possibility of the president’s signature health care legislation being thrown out is leading to some interesting, if intemperate ideas. A good example comes from Juan Williams, who writes in The Hill to urge President Obama to try to make political hay out of what might otherwise be considered a disaster if the bill is junked.
Williams proposes that the president react by attempting to “blow up the system” in a manner that has not been seen since Franklin Roosevelt’s failed attempt to pack the Supreme Court in 1938. According to Williams, rather than the end of ObamaCare being seen as a humiliating failure, it would merely serve as an invitation to:
Use the bully pulpit of the White House, and the national stage of a presidential campaign, to launch a bitter attack on the current court as a corrupt tool of the Republican right wing.
It is a move that could energize Democrats and independents even as Republicans celebrate a major legal victory.
Some Democrats, sensing a political windfall, can’t wait to start the offensive.
But while an attack on the conservative majority on the High Court would be very popular with the liberal base of his party, it’s far from clear it would help him with independents or moderate Democrats. The comparison with FDR’s court spat should serve as a warning to the White House of the pitfalls of running against the separation of powers.