Friday, January 8, 2010

Marketing the unconstitutionality of Obamacare

Recently, the Wall Street Journal has been arguing that the pending health care legislation (what's in those 2,000 pages anyway?) is unconstitutional. In fact, even NPR is debating this, so I know it's serious. While I agree this is a necessary debate, the problem is that it is too little, too late. At this point, these justified concerns look like a last gasp attempt to halt a piece of legislation that conservatives happen to disagree with instead of a truly principled objection. Equate it to a prosecutor who changes the theory of the crime after each previous one is discredited. Every new theory has that much less legitimacy in the eyes of the jury.

Strategically, this issue should have been raised from the very beginning (I am sure some did). Early on, the debate should not have focused only on the efficacy of the health care legislation, but its legality (in fact this should have been primary). Republicans need to project an image of a party that believes in principles at all times, not only when it is politically expedient. Unfortunately, they have spent the last year missing a golden opportunity.


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