As soon as the verdict from the Supreme Court hit, the Republican response was entirely predictable. “It’s an out of control act of judicial tyranny!” bellowed Mike Huckabee, while Rand Paul wailed that it “turns both the rule of law and common sense on its head!” “This decision is not the end of the fight against Obamacare!” announced Jeb Bush. Similar sentiments echoed from the mouths and Twitter accounts of Republicans across the country, with a really unnecessary amount of vitriol over what should not be a controversial issue. The hypocrisy is incredible- how could anyone who even pretends to care about their constituents outraged over millions of American keeping their healthcare? Especially when they still have not proposed any kind of alternative.
The volume and ferocity of the GOP’s response to the healthcare ruling belies the fact that in reality, the ungrateful hypocrites are beside themselves with relief that Obamacare was saved. NBC’s Luke Russert tweeted out earlier today that “one prominent #GOP member says to me re SCOTUS and subsidies, ‘phew, that fight could have killed us.'” It probably would have. The GOP has been furiously and fruitlessly railing against Obamacare from the day it was proposed, but in those five years have failed to produce any kind of viable alternative, despite the constant, relentless barrage of falsehoods and vile slander directed towards the President and his noble efforts to bring healthcare to the American people.
Republicans would have had to eat the blame for the $353 billion dollars that the repeal of Obamacare would have cost our nation. While they’re perfectly willing to spend that kind of money invading foreign lands, the party of “fiscal responsibility” would have had trouble passing that off.
More important are the millions of people in battleground swing states that would suddenly find themselves without healthcare. Theda Skocpol of Harvard University found that the number of people who would lose healthcare subsidies in Florida, Ohio, New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania are equal to the 2012 presidential election winner’s margin of victory. Crucially for the GOP, “these are middle income people — making between around $30,000 and $80,000. A lot of them around the median income depend pretty heavily on the subsidies. Many of them are Republican voters…and they’re not as easily ignored by Republicans as poor people are” says Skocpol.
It is really astonishing how Republican politicians seem to operate in their own narcissistic fantasy, one that is entirely divorced from reality. The GOP’s entire character, down to the core, from their policies to their pronouncements, is a hollow shell full of nothing but shameful, self-serving hypocrisy. The Supreme Court did them a huge favor today, saved all their jobs and let their absurd circus of a presidential primary continue with the delusion that they have a chance at securing the Presidency. The Republican Party is the antithesis of civilized governance; their policies which make life worse for the people who vote for them, the lies and hypocrisy that prop up the bigoted and judgemental moral pedestal they teeter on, the economic plans that destroy economies and funnel the profits to the richest Americans. This ruling was a huge win for Obama and the left, but the real battle for America’s future is far from over.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.