As a conservative, I am, of course, disappointed in the US Supreme Court's ruling upholding the individual mandate in President Obama's health care act which forces consumers to buy insurance. It seems as if the Court is saying, "if it's good for you, Congress can do it." Limited government is a concept being discarded in favor of allowing politicians unlimited power in the name of good intentions.
Politically, the ruling is a big victory for President Obama. Going forward, he will tout the law as a signature achievement and will emphasize the law's good points and ignore the unpopular portions.
Republicans, meanwhile, will have a two-pronged approach going toward the next election. They can appeal to Republicans by emphasizing that individual freedoms are under attack. They can win independent voters by referring to the mandate as a "health care tax." That's how the Court upheld the mandate--not under the Commerce Clause, but as a tax necessary to implement the law.
The message by the GOP to independents will center on the fact that President Obama was "hired" to fix the economy, but instead, his main achievement is the imposition of a "sick tax."
One thing for certain: this ruling will fire up BOTH bases. Republicans will rush to the polls in defense of limited government, while President Obama will appeal to Democrats to preserve the health care gains of his administration and repel GOP efforts to destroy them.
The deciding vote, once again, will be independents. They will decide if the good in the health care law outweighs the bad--or vice versa.