My first reaction to Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson's pearl-clutching? When you're owned by the Kochs, you do what the Kochs want you to, consequences be damned. So forgive me if I'm not moved by Johnson's sudden fears that Republicans will be blamed if the Supreme Court guts the ACA subsidies for states without their own exchanges.
That's a little like tossing a Molotov cocktail into a crowd and then worrying that you'll get blamed if anyone gets burned. Give me a break.
In a radio interview earlier this week, RoJo worried about what would happen if his side wins.
JOHNSON: Unfortunately, President Obama's response to an adverse decision — in other words one that actually follows the law — would be really simple. Just a one-sentence bill allowing people’s subsidies to flow to federal exchanges and/or offer the governors, 'Hey, we know you got those federal exchanges. Just sign the bottom line. We’ll make those established by the state.' And of course, he'll have the ads all racked up with the individuals that have benefited from Obamacare on the backs of the American taxpayer. He'll have all those examples as well so...
WEBER: And the sad sack stories about who's dying from what and why they can’t get their coverage.
WEBER: Oh yeah.
As Sahil Kapur notes, Johnson is one of the most vulnerable Senators in 2016. Current polls have him losing soundly to Senator Russ Feingold in a theoretical matchup.
Johnson's point was that Republicans must be ready with an effective response if the Court sides with their interpretation of the law and restricts the subsidies to state-run exchanges. So far, GOP leaders have sketched out ideas to mitigate the damage in such a scenario but appear short of a legislative solution that could unite the party. A ruling is expected by the end of June.
I guess Ron Johnson is learning that governing is hard. Perhaps he should step aside and let the adults handle the problem.