One of the more amusing conflicts on the Right these days is the alternation of triumphalist and despairing memes about Barack Obama’s re-election prospects. On the one hand, the president, wielding his sinister Alinsky playbook, backed by union thugs, Hollywood and the entire MSM, and both willing and able to loot virtuous job-creators and our children’s patrimony of freedom in order to buy votes from the shiftless lucky-ducky poor and herd them illegally to the polls, is a formidable opponent. On the other hand, his secular-socialist radicalism, his traiterous allegiance to America’s enemies, his particular hatred for Christianity, and his determination to slay vast numbers of babies and old people, are so blatant that this center-right nation, awakened by Tea Party patriots, will rise up and reject him decisively.

Yes, all politically active people have their optimistic and pessimistic moments, but the hard-core Right seems to struggle to find any middle ground. An iconic example of the triumphalist strain was supplied by Washington Times columnist Joseph Curl, who started out trying t write an “analysis” of the possible impact of the Supreme Court’s ObamaCare decision and then just sort of lost it:

From the day President Obama’s trillion-dollar health care package passed in March 2010, political pundits have been pronouncing the Republicans’ top hopeful, former Gov. Mitt Romney, dead in the water.

How could the Massachusetts moderate possibly win, given that as governor he passed his own health care reform bill; one with an individual mandate, no less? And who is he to criticize the president, who simply took his state plan and made it national?

All that could change in June when the Supreme Court finally decides whether Obamacare is constitutional. And have no doubt: The court will void the entirety of the law because it IS unconstitutional.

Whoa! Why bother deliberating, eh?

I don’t know if Mr. Curl’s meds just kicked in at some point, but the columnist just gets more and more excited thinking about the certain impact of the certain Supreme Court action:

In the end, the High Court rejection of Obamacare would invalidate what Mr. Obama thinks is his highest achievement. Voters would go, “Hmm. Turns out all that health care reform stuff was unconstitutional — illegal. Why’s the president trying to do something that’s illegal?”

Yes, “center-right” America always thinks to itself in unison, and in this case, it will turn unanimously to Mitt Romney:

What’s more, overturning the overreaching law would end discussion of the matter, and Mr. Romney could pivot to key issues for voters: the economy and the federal government’s massive spending. In one swoop, he’d go from playing on Mr. Obama’s home field to his own. The 2012 presidential campaign will be dramatically altered and will likely force the president to go even more negative: Look what a Republican-majority court has done, America.

By then it will be too little too late. His negativity has already turned off voters, just as Mr. Romney’s Reagan-like optimism has encouraged them. The entire race could well be decided that June day of the Supreme Court ruling, and Mitt Romney can’t wait.

Why bother holding an election? Seems like a waste of money.

Seriously, this sort of inanity is a reminder that if Obama has a solid lead in the waning days of the general election campaign, many conservatives are not going to handle it very well. Like the campaign crowds that upbraided John McCain in 2008 for failing to yell about Jeremiah Wright, William Ayres, Muslims and ACORN, their mood could turn very dark; the conspiracy theories will come back out in force; and people like Joseph Curl could really freak. Romney had better put a contingency plan together and decide if he will try to calm his troops down or right the tiger right into crazyland.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.