Everyone with a mouth or some other means of communication is making predictions today. Of course, damn few of them will be correct, but what the hell, it doesn’t stop them. So being a very poor amateur pundit, it won’t stop me either. Prediction: It doesn’t matter who wins this election.
It’s not that the political outcome of the race is unimportant. There will be big policy differences whoever wins. Both candidates have fundamentally different visions of the future, but it will look nothing like the one they ran on. It will begin to change with a switch to a new DJ at the inaugural Ball and won’t stop for 4 more years. But whoever wins, voters will all fall into one of two huge blocks – winners and losers.
The recent Supreme Court decision on Obamacare has ignited a debate over how the Presidential candidates frame their arguments about the individual mandate. Republicans – despite Romney’s meander toward the “T” word – frame it as a new “tax”. Anti-Romneylans don’t call it a “tax”, but a “penalty”. Is there a difference in practical terms for your average uninsured citizen?
It’s not as though this is a new argument. Bush the Elder made the Romneyesque boner of his career when he gave a rousing speech at the 1988 Republican Convention. The Mother of All Sound Bites was his now famous guarantee, “Read my lips, no new taxes” which would dog him for the rest of his political days – days not unlike those we’re suffering in the run up to the 2012 election.