Via Instapundit, we learned CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin has a piece in The New Yorker called “Obama’s Game of Chicken with the Supreme Court.” He imagines who will suffer if the Supreme Court rules against the Obama Administration in the Obamacare subsidy case, King v. Burwell. If individuals in more conservative states without state health exchanges lose their subsidies, Toobin says the political blame is landing on Obama:
If the Obama Administration loses in the Supreme Court, the political pain will fall almost exclusively on the President and his Party. To paraphrase Colin Powell and the Pottery Barn rule, President Obama will have broken health care, so he owns it. To the vast mass of Americans who follow politics casually or not at all, Obamacare and the American system of health care have become virtually synonymous. This may not be exactly right or fair, but it’s a reasonable perception on the part of most people. . . .If the Supreme Court rules against him, the President can blame the Justices or the Republicans or anyone he likes, and he may even be correct. But the buck will stop with him.
Toobin doesn't buy the argument of liberal blogger Jonathan Chait that a ruling against Obama will blow back against Republicans. That's in part because Team Obama went to court claiming they would have no backup plan if they lost:
Better than anyone, Administration officials know the scale of the problems that would be created by a loss in the Supreme Court. Advertising this possibility makes sense as a litigation strategy; Obama officials don’t want to make it easy for the Supreme Court to rule against them. In testimony before Congress and elsewhere, Sylvia Burwell, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (and the defendant in the case), said that the Administration has no contingency plan for an adverse ruling in the Supreme Court. But playing chicken with the Justices only works if it works. If the Supreme Court strikes down the subsidies, the Administration will also have to answer for why it didn’t prepare for this possibility.
Elizabeth Price Foley at Instapundit concluded: “Toobin says this reluctantly, but at least he says it....Of course there are many, many other liberals/progressives in the mainstream media who continue to stick their heads in the sand and dare not criticize the Great Leader on anything. But it is good to see that, for at least some of them, they are beginning to see that the Emperor has no clothes.”