There are many Democrats who believe that, in political terms, the joke will be on Republicans if the Supreme Court adopts the preposterous claim of the plaintiffs who say that Obamacare subsidies in states without state exchanges violate the law. This is because millions of middle- and lower middle-class people who had a benefit suddenly will have it taken away. I feel like I've been to this rodeo enough times to know Republicans have a really high capacity to stick with unpopular policies if doing otherwise would cut against key ideological priorities. In functional terms, the complaints of a few hundred thousand of what Sen. Johnson and his interviewer called "sad sacks" who lose their insurance cuts a lot less than the base's ideological commitment to opposing Obamacare by any means necessary. But the calculus may be different in some key states - states that did not set up exchanges but are generally blue or purple in presidential elections.
There's a fascinating little piece in the Times today looking at Ted Cruz's life as college debate wunderkind as a foreshadowing of his presidential campaign and later public persona. Is past prologue? Believe it or not, yes!
Jason Horowitz finds a young ideologue who was extremely bright when it comes to logical reasoning and brain puzzles but awkwardly short on what psychologists now call emotional intelligence - with the latter often undermining the former in his quest for ultimate debate glory.