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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

The Political Fallout

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Whatever one thinks of the NFIB v. Sebelius, it is a boon to Mitt Romney’s campaign.
And it is a boon to me, both because the first chapter of my new book is “The Nightmare of Obamacare” and sales are very brisk as a result, and because I am speaking tonight to the Western Conservative Summit in Denver tonight on The Stakes of 2012,” which certainly clarified over the past few days. As the New York Times’ Peter Baker writes this morning, Obamacare is back at the center of American politics, and I am very glad to have a new book out reminding people of the promises the president made about Obamacare –promises that have mostly been shattered already as I document.

Discussions on the Chief Justice’s opinion will go on for, well, decades. The first round of assessments should sit awhile and digest. My Townhall.com column assessing the decision from yesterday is here. See also the assessment of former Roberts’ clerk Joshua Hawley, and of Orin Kerr at The Volokh Conspiracy on the question of whether the Chief Justice changed his vote.

Then leave the legal debates behind and focus on the election.

The political impacts of the ruling are immediate and deserve some sustained focus.

The key is that president made promises and predictions about Obamacare, some of which that were very highly visible –“If you like your doctor you can keep him. Period. If you like your health care plan you can keep it”– and are known by millions to have already been broken as employers have dropped or switched coverage.

The president also promised cost containment and everyone’s premiums have shot up, and will go higher still.

Now there is clarity that the law is just a massive tax scheme.

The only way to get rid of this public policy cancer is to defeat the president and win enough Senate seats to make repeal via the reconciliation process swift and certain.

Mitt Romney received a huge gift. Sure, 40,000 new donors poured millions into his campaign and every health care business and large employer in the country gained an incentive to find the best SuperPac and contribute liberally.

But it isn’t just or even mostly the immediate energy on display in the campaign coffers and volunteer networks. The decision clarified for everyone that they have to get rid of the law if it is going to be gotten rid of. No one else will save them. Every organization is re-energized, reawakened, and back on the trail that led to the results in 2010.

Docs4PatientCare gets a boost, for example, as all MDs and affiliated professionals wake up to the fact they have to win to be free of the IPAB.

The JobCreatorsAlliance.org should also get a burst of new members as the small and medium businesses around the country realize they need a new voice –an effective voice, and Bernie Marcus and Steve Zelnak are the guys to get it going.

Catholics may still hope with good reason that the HHS regs will be struck down by the Court when they arrive there, but now they must join their bishops in realizing this is not a result on which they can rely. They need a two-track solution. Every pastor in every pulpit in the country is going to have to weigh the messages they give this summer and fall because their affiliated institutions are under assault. Will they defend their Church even though some critics will say the tax law prohibits them from doing so? Will Evangelicals and Mormons join in the effort to preserve the freedom of conscience rights of Catholics?

Every Tea Party in every state should be back at political battle stations, and every small contributor in the past and those who were fence sitting or simply lazy now have a huge prod to get busy. All the Senate races listed by me at my ActRight “key campaigns for 2012” button got new supporetrs and will continue to get more. (Have you contributed yet to Romney and at least one Senate race that matters to the repeal of Obamacare?)

Mostly, though, the Court’s decision wrenched the campaign back to the two key questions of Obamacare and the economy, away from the president’s illegal immigration order and the president’s demand for a tax on the wealthy. An international crisis may yet intervene, but the Supreme Court put the issue Obamacare decision squarely in the voters’ lap, and as we round into the 4rth and a day of celebration, the furious campaign ahead will be all about repealing and replacing Obamacare and returning to vibrant, indeed explosive job growth in the private sector, a near impossibility with the dead weight of Obamacare hanging over the economy, driving deficits higher and higher and creating a disincentive for employers to expand their workforces.

Mitt Romney has to be feeling very, very good these days. Take a quick look at MittRomneyCentral.com to get a few facts as to why.

Thanks to David Parker for his very kind words about my book, congratulations to him on his own book about the campaign ahead and about Mitt Romney whom he knows very well, On The Brink, and thanks as well to those who continue to enter the promotion contest to become my co-host for an hour. My book didn’t intend nor want to be assisted by disappointment over the Supreme Court’s ruling or dismay over rising unemployment, but those are the issues driving the election and those are the opening chapters of the book. The president talked a lot -a lot– about what he would get done. It was a good thing to keep notes of what he said and to compare those promises and predictions to what he has actually done.

The Brief Against Obama: The Rise, Fall & Epic Fail of the Hope & Change Presidency

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