How to Save Health Care Reform Even If It's Overturned:
If the Rude Pundit was some kind of strategist for Democrats right now, the first thing he'd do is smack West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin's rock-shaped head just on principle. Then he'd be laying down a ramp for getting out of the health care reform quagmire of bullshit that Democrats have found themselves waist-deep in. Because, see, the Supreme Court is probably going to be making a decision in 2012 on the Obama administration's appeal of Judge Rodger Vinson's decision that the entire Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 be tossed aside like a used fuckrag. That means that, like the 2010 debacle, the 2012 election will be another referendum on health care reform, and, oh, fuck, do we really wanna go through that again? Do we really wanna see morbidly obese diabetics and stroke victims-to-be waddling around with illiterate protest signs as they demand their right to go bankrupt when they lose their insurance? Fer fuck's sake, no.
Look, the Rude Pundit was one of those on the left who celebrated the "flawed but necessary" law because, like on a date with a particularly shy virgin, you gotta get to first base before you can feel some boob. The bill was the start, not the end. And it sucked in lots of ways, mostly because the White House and the Senate fucked up by negotiating away a public option and, with the individual mandate, by enriching the vile health insurance companies who pushed the nation to crisis in the first place because of some abstract notion of the "good" of the free market. And it was all to pleasure the withered balls of Ben Nelson. But even the President approached the law's passage as merely a step to solving the larger problem. We on the left were told again and again, by people we trusted, that this was a good law, that it was better than nothing, that it contains many provisions that change the game for Americans with insurance (that part's true), and that Congress would be able to go back and "fix it" later. Then Democrats lost their nerve and cowered and ran from health care reform like they were being chased by a chainsaw-wielding Glenn Beck. Meanwhile Republicans controlled every aspect of the discussion of it, even if it was an argument that Democrats could have easily won (and still could, according to most polls). Thus we got a nice chunk of the losses of last November.
So the Rude Pundit would advise the White House to start prepping for what happens if the Supreme Court strikes down the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. That means more than just a few rallies by the president. That means that Democrats need to get on board, especially those who voted for it. Shit, it's gonna be used against Democrats in 2012, even if everyone who supported it ends up claiming they were victims of Kenyan hoodoo mind-control. Double down on that motherfucker. Make commercials with people who benefited from it. Run 'em on Fox "news" to twist the heads of the yahoos. It won't be difficult.
Wanna know why? Here's a real conversation between the Rude Pundit and an ultraconservative relative this month:
Relative: We got good news. [Relative's pregnant wife] won't have to have her baby at the charity hospital because we found out we qualified for Medicaid. We're not sure how that happened, but it did. And instead of going to a clinic for check-ups, she gets to go to one of the best ob-gyn doctors in town.
Rude Pundit: You wanna know why? You're not gonna like it.
Relative: (sighing, knowing what's coming) Go ahead.
Rude Pundit: Because Obama's health care reform expanded Medicaid. It just went into effect.
Relative: So I guess I have to support it now.
Rude Pundit: Yeah, you do.
That's an absolutely true story. Feel free to use the script for an ad. (And, yes, the true teabaggers would say, "Hey, look, she could have gone to the clinic and the charity hospital and ain't that great." And you can say, "Either way, you're paying for it, motherfucker. This way's just cheaper overall.")
In other words, make it so that people fucking fear the Supreme Court overturning the law. Make it so that they're willing to vote out of office anyone who wants to take it away. Make it so that they're begging for the law to have a public option so that there's no question over the constitutionality of it (remember: we're prepping for a negative ruling). Make it so that the next Congress will have to fix it.
The anti-health reform forces scare people into thinking it's the beginning of communist tyranny fascistic Nazi Stalinism. Or some such shit. The counter-argument can't be, "No, that's silly." It has to be, "You'll fucking die without it."