March 27th, 2012
05:18 PM ET
11 years ago

Carville: A Supreme Court loss will help Democrats

(CNN) - While the Obama administration fights to protect the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, Democratic strategist and CNN contributor James Carville said a Supreme Court overruling may not be such a bad thing for the president, politically.

"I think this will be the best thing that has ever happened to the Democratic Party," Carville said Tuesday on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

He added: "You know, what the Democrats are going to say, and it is completely justified, 'We tried, we did something, go see a 5-4 Supreme Court majority'."

Carville, who gained fame working on Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign, predicted health care costs will only increase in the future, in which case Republicans will be to blame for leading the drive to expel a federal program designed to help Americans cover those costs.

"Then the Republican Party will own the healthcare system for the foreseeable future. And I really believe that. That is not spin," Carville said.

Republican and editor Erik Erikson, meanwhile argued that an overruling would represent more mainstream sentiments than not.

"Both sides, not just the Democrat side, even if the laws were upheld or struck down, there is a 5-4 conservative majority, and historically you see Republicans picking justices who have a greater propensity to gravitate to the left than you see Democrat judges propensity to gravitate to the right," Erikson, also a CNN contributor, said. "This will be an undercurrent issue for both sides, though."

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soundoff (153 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    ""Both sides, not just the Democrat side, even if the laws were upheld or struck down, there is a 5-4 conservative majority, and historically you see Republicans picking justices who have a greater propensity to gravitate to the left than you see Democrat judges propensity to gravitate to the right"

    What a load of bunk. Thomas is so far right he went off the screen like PacMan. Scalia just does whatever he feels like and then tries to justify it with intellectually dishonest rationalizations...which can be seen in comparing his Gonzalez v. Raich decision to the obviously political decision he intends to render with respect to the ACA, as he telegraphed today by harassing the gov't lawyer and then barely even questioning the attorneys for the 26 redstates. And Alito and Roberts have proven very adept at the maneuver of secretly overturning precedent by pretending to follow it, all while ignoring the crap out of it to arrive at a predetermined decision. Nothing says "judicial activicsm" like the phrase "conservative justice."

    March 27, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  2. Thomas

    James is such an optimistic visionary eccentric realest.

    You love him and you dislike him, he's is a true Marine !

    March 27, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Hey, James. It's the economy, dude. Health care is polling in 20s, the economy is polling near 60.

    March 27, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  4. Grimes

    Lets hope that stuttering hillbilly is correct that it is overturned. If anyone is dumb enough to think it would actually save money they are worse off than Carville.

    March 27, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  5. Jules

    I think Carville is right – and so is the Supreme Court – really far right. We don'e need a Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum replacing a weary looking Ruth Bader Ginsberg. It is really an right wing activist court right now and another far right appointment would be terrible for moderates.

    March 27, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  6. Claudia, Phoenix, AZ

    If the Justices allow "Big Pharma" to pay them off, and yes they can, then we are all screwed whether we like President Obama's healthcare law or not.

    March 27, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  7. NVa Native

    We have a Supreme Court controlled by politically motivated right wing radicals that are arrogant about what they see as their right to impose their personal opinions instead of following the law.
    These are the activist judges who GOP complains about – but only when they aren't doing their bidding.

    March 27, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  8. FedUp

    I love James! He can have it both ways and eat his cake too. I don't know how Mary stands him!

    March 27, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  9. NVa Native

    Scored by the non-partisan CBO the HCRA saves money and reduces the deficit, have the degenerates of the GOP explained how they would pay for the loss of these savings??
    I guess the GOP will just treat it as a war and non’t care about paying for it – and clearly defeating the HCRA is a major part of their “war on the middle-class”.

    March 27, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  10. diridi

    If any judge is rationale, Health care will pass through SC. I am very optimistic. There is nothing unconstitutional about it. o.k, I am very positive.

    March 27, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  11. Jane

    Biggest reason yet to vote for President Obama again. My family is mostly republican and they are voting democractic this November.

    March 27, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  12. GOP = Greed Over People

    After listening to Kennedy's questions, it is a foregone conclusion that the activist neo-cons will be legislating from the bench again and strike down the mandate portion of the law.

    If they strike down the health care "mandate" that everyone has health insurance, please, accompany that by also striking down the "mandate" that emergency rooms take care of the uninsured when they show up, unless they can pay up front.

    I am tired of paying for the freeloaders, with my increasing insurance premiums.

    March 27, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  13. dan5404

    I think Democrats would be energized and come out in overwhelming numbers to get these ultrara-right- wing extremists out of offce in November. They could then get some serious progress on the economy and then nominate moderate, reasonable people to the SCOTUS when vacancies occur.

    March 27, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  14. Sorensen

    The "Supreme" Court unfortunately has slowly but surely lost all credibility. Big money in politics is only a small example.
    They have not quite reached 100% to the right, but they are surely working hard at it.
    Too bad for the reputation of the USA in the world.

    March 27, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  15. Patriot Awesome

    Even though things seem to have gone bad on the mandate side, this is such a pro business bench, that I doubt they'll strike it down. It's going to be a huge windfall for insurance companies and it was a conservative idea to begin with.

    But if the government wants to do a strait up socialized single payer system, then I'm cool with that.

    March 27, 2012 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  16. Logic n LA

    Healthcare reform when polled in parts has a 80% approval. Say the Democrats put it on the table and all hell breaks lose. If people would rerad and listenot all the reposts this past weekend they would see that healthcare reform is a must for this country. that is is not government run healthcare and that the mandate that so many complain about will only affect a small percentage of people.
    With only a small percentage of the paln in place 26 million poeple have already benefited from the plan with millions more kicking in on the sate level around the country. Read the fact- don't listen ot the hype.

    March 27, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  17. don in albuquerque

    Simple. The Supreme Joke has proven it can be bought and is just as corrupt as both sides of the aisle. Time to dump the Supreme Joke.

    March 27, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  18. maine liberal

    a loss will show that there are 2 other branches of government that can check the president. Obama is not omni-potent

    Obama 2012

    March 27, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  19. maine liberal

    It is time for single payer and univeral coverage. End co-pays and no-pays. getting well should not have an insurance company share holder profit motive

    March 27, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  20. Slightly Left of Center

    You see what Carville is doing, don't you? As long as he keeps saying that it would be great for the Democrats if it is struck down, the Supreme Court and the repubs will do the opposite 😉

    March 27, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  21. Debbie

    I think in the long term Carville is right. Much of industry is based upon insurance companies. They don't just sell health insurance they use the money as investments on Wall Street. So in essences the insurance companies who have trust status do impact much of the economy. As companies/corporations continue to outsource and downsize jobs and benefits soon enough no one will have healthcare. Not through their employer nor will they be able to afford it. The GOP has spent the last two years with budgets that cut the safety net so few will have any healthcare. There will no longer be a demand for doctors, hospitals, drug companies, etc. At that point the loss of the health care act will move people change their original positions but it will be more than too late by that time. The court that will strike down this as unconstitutional is the same court that has given personhood to corporations. Handwriting was on the wall when that fateful decision was made. Without the mandate the healthcare issue is empty. It may have parts that are considered constitutional but it will have no support/structure to function.

    March 27, 2012 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  22. Mike_in_LA

    The Supreme Court has no judicial integrity and hasn't for years – as Bush v. Gore proved. They're just political hacks appointed for life, out for their own self-interest. Wake up, people!

    March 27, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  23. BBear1

    Carvile's correct. By the way, what happened to the standard Republican argument that an "activist court" should not overturn legislation passed by a majority of elected representatives?

    March 27, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  24. outlaw48

    Thank god we have level heads on the Supreme Court, if the liberals had the majority this country would be in big trouble. Liberals just do not get it, the people of this country do not want it. What part of no don't these liberals understand.

    March 27, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Nine people hold the future of America in their hands. Nine people! I am not against health care. Yes I agree something must be done, the individual mandate is what is unconstitutional, Are we to remain a free Republic or go further down the path of becoming a Progressive socialist country?

    Understand this, if this is found to be constitutional; we no longer are a representative republic, it opens the door for Congress to mandate whatever it feels, is for or own good. If passed the level at which the federal government will interfere with the people of this country will know no bounds. And besides so many people have waivers what's the point. It has to be all or none. That is the only way this is going to work.

    March 27, 2012 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
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