This week, I’ve had a song in my head me and my closest 2,000 friends used to sing together at my high school’s pep rallies.
“Warriors, warriors, don’t be shy. Let me hear your battle cry. V-I-C-T-O-R-Y, that’s the Warrior battle cry.”
And no, it wasn’t because I felt like reminiscing on prom, basketball games and college applications. I was thinking about battle and teamwork—the kind of spirit that we had when we were an underdog in a big game, or struggling to get amped up.
Kind of like what’s happening to the Republicans right now.
I got talking with a friend yesterday—a Republican one—about Chief Justice John Roberts’ decision to go against the grain and side with the four liberal justices on the constitutionality of the PPACA.
When I asked if it upset her, she surprised me and said, “No. I thought it was pretty cool.”
It was pretty cool, she explained, that the Supreme Court didn’t have to be such a politically biased group. That they could be what they're, on paper, supposed to be—a group of judges making decisions based purely on the law, not on political affiliations.
Of course, we know how that’s turning out. If there’s anything unprecedented, or something to remember about this case, it’s that Roberts chose the side he did.
And he pissed off his party.
Not everyone is like my friend, unfortunately. If the health reform ruling decided anything, it’s that the PPACA debate is a political one at best.
Sure, President Obama looked like the clear winner out of this. He finally declared victory—for himself and for the American people (at least in his eyes)—and showed that his entire first term wasn’t dedicated to something that just was thrown out as fast as he conjured the whole thing up.
But sometimes there’s nothing more exciting than an underdog. In a lot of ways, GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney had a win-win here. If the law was ruled unconstitutional, he would have been right when he said Obama’s first-term was a waste. Obama didn’t focus on the economy and jobs—a sore spot for all Americans; instead he focused on something that was fundamentally flawed and needed a reform even bigger than what the president offered. (For one, it needed cost control.)
But the law is constitutional; it was upheld—and that, combined with Roberts’ decision to side with the liberal justices, might have handed Romney and the Republicans an even bigger boost. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee wasted no time in shouting “repeal and replace.”
And America listened. The campaign enjoyed a fundraising boom in the hours after the Supreme Court ruled to uphold the controversial mandate Romney and Republicans so vehemently spoke out against. Less than 24 hours after the court announced its decision, Romney's camp took in more than $4.6 million online from almost 50,000 contributors.
In a party that has had a hard time standing behind Romney as their nominee, Romney’s rhetoric is winning them over for now.
They are banding together for a Republican battle cry, hoping for victory in the fall. And the result of the rally just might leave the Democrats in tears.