December 26, 2011

Scott Walker is the first of Politico's "top unanswered questions for 2012."

Here's how they phrase it: "Can Democrats claim a scalp in Wisconsin?" (Why isn't "claim a scalp" politically incorrect by now?) The question is whether the Democrats can take down Scott Walker in a recall election. I'm predicting they can't. I think the more interesting question is: Will the Democrats' effort to oust Walker have repercussions in the fall elections to the ironic point where it is Wisconsin that tips the Senate and the presidency to the Republicans?

There are a bunch of other questions. 2 are about the Supreme Court: "Will the Supreme Court deliver for the GOP?" and "Will a liberal retire from the Supreme Court?" Again, Politico is obtuse. For example, it says: "If the court strikes down the controversial individual mandate, it would be a jolting setback for Obama just a few months before he’s up for reelection." But striking down the individual mandate would help Obama! How is it a setback? The unpopular law would be gone. Obama could claim it was a good thing and blame the bad old Supreme Court for being all "activist." If, on the other hand, the Court upholds the law, Obama will feel the full force of the opposition to it. And the spotlight will be on the liberal Supreme Court Justices who won't enforce limits on congressional power, which will leverage the GOP to say: Do you want Obama naming the successors to those terrible liberals Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Steven Breyer?

19 comments:

The Crack Emcee said...

Striking down the individual mandate would help Obama! How is it a setback? The unpopular law would be gone. Obama could claim it was a good thing and blame the bad old Supreme Court for being all "activist."

And you guys would play along like there's any truth to the statement.

I hate the "game" that's made of reality, and our lives in general.

It should be shameful to even write that.

All it adds up to is "who's the bigger liar?"

MikeR said...

I still think Politico is right. Whether they admit it or not, there isn't too much that liberals have to be proud of from this administration. They controlled the entire government, and what did they get for it? The Stimulus bill? The auto bailout? Wall Street? Guantanamo? Cap and Trade? Health Care Reform, immensely flawed as it is, is at least "progress", a fulfillment of a two-generation-old liberal dream. (I said this at the time: They are going to pass the bill, _period_, _no matter what you pundits think_, because they care about it more than anything.) Take that away, and a lot of them may just decide to bag it.

james conrad said...

But striking down the individual mandate would help Obama! How is it a setback? The unpopular law would be gone.

Hmmmmmm, noooooo, I am going to disagree here. My view is, this issue is a loser for Obama no matter which way the court rules. If the court strikes it down, Obama will take the blame for wasting 1-1/2 years enacting the mess when he should have been dealing with the economy. It will reinforce the notion of Obama as clueless & incompetent in a very powerful way.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Althouse: (Why isn't "claim a scalp" politically incorrect by now?)

The pendulum is swinging the other way. You can start saying "Indian" again, too. But be prepared to point out that either phrasing is entirely European in origin.

Scott M said...

Why isn't "claim a scalp" politically incorrect by now?

It is, if the Cato Institute is group using it.

traditionalguy said...

Scot Walker is the right man at the right time. That is what most infuriates the Demogogue Party that cannot knock him off using the usual lies.

Walker's success is as big a threat as cheap shale oil , cheap oil sands and cheap fracked natural gas are to the Solar and Wind power industries.

If those efficient energy sources are allowed to succeed (and they will magnificently succeed if the political cabal to kill them doesn't win by using the usual lies), then the game is over.

shiloh said...

Walker is Manna from Heaven for liberals. Much like Kasich, Scott, Snyder, Haley, boehner/cantor et al.

Praise the Lord!

Leland said...

It's Politico. If you want rational political commentary, you read Althouse or Instapundit.

Calling for a scalp of a politician should be a two-fer in politically incorrect things to say. Either that, or let us go back to creating maps with surveyor marks.

SMGalbraith said...

But striking down the individual mandate would help Obama! How is it a setback? The unpopular law would be gone. Obama could claim it was a good thing and blame the bad old Supreme Court for being all "activist."

Exactly.

If the Court strikes it down his liberal base will energized. They'll complain about a "right wing" activist Court "taking away people's healthcare."

And more important, they'll take away an issue that he won't have to defend or explain. It'll be moot.

His left will be energized and Obama won't have to defend an unpopular law to moderates.

Crimso said...

Never mind the political correctness, you forgot the "civility bullshit" tag. Unless cutting off someone's scalp is now considered appropriate in polite company.

edutcher said...

The "top unanswered questions for 2012" is why anyone pays attention to a Demo rag like Politico.

Elliott A said...

In my non lawyer opinion, it seems that the Supreme Court has been very good at rendering parsed decisions that uphold or strike down parts of the question while leaving the larger question muddied.

My prediction would be disallowing the mandate from a federal source, but allowing through the opinion the mandate from a state source AND federal penalties to states who do not have one. An example of this would be the 1980s era withholding of federal highway funds to states which did not enforce the 55mph speed limit

The result of this decision will be to make a terrible plan worse, and leave the Republicans the issue.

Rabel said...

What if they invalidate the individual mandate but leave the rest of the reform in place?

Won't we be left with an unworkable system that will have to go back to congress to be made right with no answers in sight?

Won't that be a complete fiasco with Obama'a name all over it right at election time?

Will I phrase all of my comments as questions?

EDH said...

Ever notice how much Scott Walker looks like Scott Mechlowicz who plays Scott Thomas in Eurotrip?

Scotty Doesn't Know

bbkingfish said...

For me, the 2012 election shapes up as a mirror image of 2004.

The out party hates the incumbent, but nominates a stiff, patrician liberal from Massachusetts with limited appeal to a base desperate to be fired up.

Bush also was able to help himself by enlisting Dem support for raiding the Clinton budget surplus for the Medicare Part D giveaway, piecing off the over 55 vote for all incumbents.

I think we all witnessed the same kind of choreography between Obama and the Rs last week. The deal has already been made. Republican leadership has decided that Obama's re-election is the price they have to pay to be re-elected themselves. Tea Party RIP.

There are some jokers still remaining in the deck, of course. But it's hard to see any of them cutting in favor of the GOP.

Ron Paul, for instance. Will he run as a third party option? He might. If he does, can Romney carry even a single swing state? I'm open to being convinced, but only by some fairly convincing numbers.

Scott Walker in WI? Depends on who runs against him. If it's Barrett, then the election is a slam dunk for Barrett. Anybody else, and the situation is much more fluid.

deepelemblue said...

Whichever way the Supreme Court goes it will hurt Obama.

Upheld: Republicans appeal to the majority of Americans who don't like the law, say "We have to get the Senate and the White House to repeal this monstrosity."

Struck down: After Obama attacks the Court, Republicans slam Obama as still defending an unconstitutional power grab and trying to destroy the independence of the judiciary.

It's all a lose-lose for the President. No matter what, his image as a nanny-state powermonger is what the public sees.

Joe Schmoe said...

#1: Why isn't "claim a scalp" politically incorrect by now?

It is.

The "top unanswered questions for 2012" is why anyone pays attention to a Demo rag like Politico.

Nobody does. That's why they got away with #1 above.

Big Mike said...

I think that you are dead on the mark with your observations, except that I think the GOP candidate will not need Wisconsin to win next November (so, no "tipping the presidential election").

Voltimand said...

The Scott Walker recall charade is not about Scott Walker. It's about the people who voted for him in 2010 having their votes annulled. This is the unions' true enemy.

A recall-signature pusher in Wauwatosa asked me early on if I would sign the recall petition. I said to him, "I voted for Walker. Why would I want to nullify my own vote?" He responded, "I have no idea."

Of course he doesn't. That's because the unions have a vested interest in not publicly looking straight on at the opposition to recall in the face. This recall is tantamount to declaration of civil war by other means against a more than half the population of Wisconsin (as per the victory margin in 2010) who voted Walker into office in the first place.

Until that fundamental dimension of this recall is publicly acknowledged we're going to continue to waltz around this recall business without ever getting to who exactly is the enemy the recall effort is directed at.