The GOP comedy routine continues. Romney announced today that the health care mandate is a tax. He therefore, presumably also:
- Asserts that he raised taxes as Governor in Massachusetts, thus shattering a central plank of his campaign (it will be beautiful to watch his staff argue that the Massachusetts mandate he signed into law is not a tax, while the national mandate is a tax),
- Agrees that Obamacare has been constitutional all along, and
- Thinks the liberal justices on the Supreme Court are better constitutional analysts than Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy, and Alito — activist legislators to a man, no doubt.
Interestingly, evidently aware that the unelected, life-appointed Court — its members drawn from a tiny economic and social elite of attorneys who constitute just 0.3 percent of the population — is institutionally the most conservative branch of the government, he also strongly endorsed the idea that The Five are final legislators for the nation: “Well, the Supreme Court has the final word and their final word is that Obamacare is a tax. So it’s a tax.”
In reality, the Court is at most a co-equal branch, and does not have the final word on anything.
Of course, all of this is probably more amusing than meaningful to the Romney campaign, because from the start it has been predicated on the assumption that it doesn’t matter what he says on the campaign trail, or what positions he takes on the issues of the day, because the election will be determined by who has the most money to spend on advertising and public relations.
And so far, they’ve been right.