Wednesday, November 7, 2012

One Vote

I would propose that one person's vote, and one alone, may well have changed the course of this election and the shape of our political future. If Chief Justice John Roberts had decided that the Affordable Care Act did not withstand Constitutional scrutiny, the next President of the United States would have been Willard Mitt Romney.

The central piece of legislation of the Obama administration was the health care reform that eventually bore his name. Much political capital was expended during the initial 2 years of the President's first term on this issue. While the country struggled to deal with the economic mess left behind by former President Bush, the Obamacare debate raged. If that fifth vote in the Supreme Court had been different, much of the conversation thereafter, during the debates and on the campaign trail would have focused on the time wasted and lost by the Democrats and their President on a matter that was ultimately of no consequence and no benefit to this nation.

Certainly, there are myriad reasons for the Republican defeat on November 4. The party will, as it did after the 2008 election, have to determine whether the path it had chosen was too extreme, too exclusive, to garner enough support in an ever shifting demographic. But despite all their shortcomings, despite having chosen a candidate who never gained his footing or found a true voice, despite all the errors along the way, we might well this morning be waking to a very much altered political landscape were it not for John Roberts.

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