Catron recalls how in the 2008 Democratic primaries,
...Obama repeatedly touted his opposition to an individual mandate as one of the major distinctions between his "reform" plan and that of his main rival for the nomination.
During the 2008 Democrat debates he routinely upbraided Clinton for advocating a policy that he said was fundamentally unfair: "[T]he reason people don't have health insurance isn't because they don't want it, it's because they can't afford it."
To drive home his point, he frequently employed the following mordant analogy: "If a mandate was the solution, we can try to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house." Such heresy produced denunciations from a variety of progressives, including Paul Krugman, who accused Obama of "echoing right-wing talking points."
Such criticism notwithstanding, Obama's ostensible aversion to government-imposed mandates was shared by most voters. Moreover, Obama's stated position was correct on the merits...Of course things changed once Obama assumed office.
Perhaps it was the hubris of having won the election. Or perhaps it was political expediency. But it would be ironic if the legislation Obama hoped would seal his historical legacy was overturned because he foolishly embraced a bad idea he was shrewd enough to reject earlier in 2008.
If the Supreme Court overturns ObamaCare (and I hope it does), it would still be Obama's historical legacy -- but just not the way he intended.
(Read the full text of "The Supreme Irony of Obamacare's Constitutional Travails".)