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July 28, 2009

The Great Communicator: Majorities Believe Obama's Plan Will Do the Exact Opposite of What Obama Claims

I know I'm going poll-crazy. Please forgive me. Unlike David Frum, I actually get enthusiastic when I start believing the GOP can win.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 47% are in favor of the reform effort proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats while 49% are opposed. Those figures include 25% who Strongly Favor the plans and 41% who are Strongly Opposed…

Currently, 76% of Democrats favor the proposal and 76% of Republicans are opposed. Among the unaffiliated, 35% are in favor and 60% are opposed. Notably, just 16% of unaffiliateds Strongly Favor the legislative effort while 47% Strongly Oppose it…

At this time, voters are skeptical about the ability of the reform effort to help control the cost of health care. Just 23% believe passage of the reform legislation will lead to lower health care costs. Most voters (53%) say it will lead to higher costs, while 18% expect prices to remain about the same…

By 50% to 23% margin, voters expect that passage of the congressional health care reform bill will cause the quality of care to go down.

A near-majority of independents do not merely oppose the measure, but oppose it strongly.

Normally, this would be game-set-match, assuming there were no other competing considerations. Alas, there are. For one, the Democrats have big majorities in both House and Senate and most of their members are strongly liberal. They can afford, they believe (perhaps accurately), they can afford to stick it to constituents and rely on the short attention span of the American voter to see them through.

For another -- Obama is right; stopping him on his two key initiatives would "destroy" his presidency. (Or, more accurately: Destroy the presidency he wishes to have, running hard to the left; stopping him would make him pursue a more accommodationist course, as Clinton did after his own HillaryCare debacle and the 1994 revolution. Another blogger or pundit noted that, but I forget whom.)

Democrats know this and may decide to push this abortion through anyway on the old theory that "We either hang together or we shall surely hang apart."

One more point. David Frum almost always characterizes his liberal-ish (or wholly liberal) policy prescriptions not as his own preferences -- which would be the honest truth -- but rather as objectively what must be done for the GOP to prevail. He claims there is no strong element of subjective desire animating his analysis; not that he just wants a more liberal GOP.

No, the claim goes, he's giving us the hard truth about objective facts. I'm not telling you what I personally want, he tells us; I'm telling you what simply is. And what is, he claims, is that we can't win unless we become more liberal.

Okay. Fair enough. Let's put it to the test. When Obama is self-destructing on health care -- when it seems we can and maybe even probably will win on this issue -- does Frum abandon his become-liberal-to-win thesis and instead encourage us to fight harder for this objectively within-reach potential victory?

See for yourself. What Obama Gets Right on Health Care, Dated yesterday, when it was, of course, perfectly clear that Plan Obama was crashing and burning, so he can hardly cast this as "telling conservatives a hard truth about what it takes to win."

. The Obama administration is at least recognizing the inescapability of choice [choosing some groups to be favored and others disfavored in the reconfigured health-care scheme-- ace]. And face it: many of their choices are the ones that need to be made, especially choices aimed at relieving small businesses of the crushing cost of healthcare. The health plan being drafted in the House currently offers small businesses the option of shedding their healthcare plans altogether in exchange for a tax equal to 8% of payroll. Many businesses will regard that as a very attractive proposition. And even many of those businesses that do not currently offer health coverage may be glad to know that they have relieved their employees of this concern for as little as 8% - buying into a plan would probably cost more. Republicans don’t like this option because the plan on offer is a government-run plan. But we ought to take seriously the need to provide small business some better answer than the current stark alternative of costly and remorselessly rising health insurance - or else no employee coverage at all.

Oh, I see now. We have to cling to Obama because it's the only way to win. And also, when it appears the only way to win is to oppose him, we should cling to him anyway, because, damnit, it's the right thing to do.

Does anyone kind of suspect Frum's real position is "Move in Obama's direction" without regard for whether it's politically savvy to do so or not?

The hard truth, David, is that you simply want a slightly less liberal alternative to the Democratic Party, and your reason for wanting that is entirely subjective and idiosyncratic, and only involves "what is necessary to win" by accident and happenstance.

Unfair, Ace: I inadvertently cherry-picked on that and posted the latest health-care post by Frum I found.

In fact, Frum opposed Obama care, and it's unfair and incorrect to suggest he supports it.

Nevertheless, I find it strange that the guy supposedly "just telling us the objective facts we need to know to win" thinks it's a great idea to plump for ObamaCare even as it implodes.

If he opposes it, and yet thinks there are some important ideas within the hot mess, why not wait until after it's shelved to begin picking through the wreckage to find the odd salvageable parts?

But you know he's just all about The Big Win.


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posted by Ace at 05:21 PM

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