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On the horizon

Posted: December 14, 2010 4:02 p.m.
Updated: December 15, 2010 5:00 a.m.

Three situations worth watching:

• Monday’s ruling by a Virginia judge that a key provision of the Obama health care plan is unconstitutional will touch off a legal battle that will probably go all the way to the Supreme Court. Judge Henry Hudson said the constitution prohibits the government from forcing people to buy health insurance, just as it prohibits mandating that people buy certain cars, houses or rugs. Hudson is a Republican, and whether his ruling stands or is reversed, we will probably hear the same shrieks from the far left that came following the Supreme Court’s decision in the Bush-Gore race. Many legal scholars have felt from day one that the provision requiring people to buy insurance was not legal; the real fight will now begin.

• Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, has been a lightning rod for controversy since he was elected to the post. His comments and actions haven’t always seemed grounded in common sense, but it’s hard to argue with the GOP’s performance in the recent elections. His supporters say he should be credited for that; his critics say it was the ineptitude of Democrats and not leadership on his part. Steele says he’ll seek another term as chairman though there are several candidates waiting to challenge him, many on the premise that he has failed to raise funds and has left the party in financial shambles. There will be an interesting dogfight ahead.

• In a rare show of bipartisan cuddling, the U.S. Senate passed President Obama’s tax package, which will now go to the House, where Democratic opposition is still strong. Most people in both parties have realized this is not a perfect bill but is the best compromise possible, yet many on the left fringe of the House continue to decry it. Our bet is when the rubber meets the road, most House Democrats will not risk incurring the wrath of the President of the United States and most of them will “grudgingly” accept it. The quotation marks will be added to their campaign re-election materials.


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