The president would catch blame for spending a good chunk of his first term in office, and an enormous amount of his political capital, pushing through Congress an unpopular health care law that was unconstitutional in the first place. And all at a time of mounting public debt and economic turmoil.
Voters would likely see this as gross incompetence. But the political ramifications go even deeper.
Obama has reportedly told Democratic donors that he will work on fixing his health care law in his next term if the Supreme Court overturns it.
What a great pitch to run on! Barack Obama 2012: Elect me and I’ll spend the political capital of my second term fixing the unpopular, unconstitutional health care law that I wasted the political capital of my first term pushing through. Then I’ll get to the issues that you care about with whatever diminished political capital I have left.
The president obviously won’t frame it like this, but that’s the reality. I find it hard to believe that Americans will find it appealing in November.
So when the Supreme Court rules on Obamacare, there will be no great gifts for President Obama and his campaign operations.
Politically, he’ll be receiving either a box of coal or, more likely, a bag of horse poo from the High Court as an early birthday present.