American Elephants

Is Contempt for the Voters a Winning Proposition? by The Elephant's Child

Democrats Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen, pollsters for two Democrat presidents, have a warning in the Washington Post for Congressional Democrats:

Their blind persistence in the face of reality threatens to turn this political march of folly into an electoral rout in November. In the wake of the stinging loss in Massachusetts, there was a moment when the president and the Democratic leadership seemed to realize the reality of the health-care situation. Yet like some seductive siren of Greek mythology, the lure of health-care reform has arisen again.

Bluntly put, this is the political reality:

First, the battle for public opinion has been lost. Comprehensive health care has been lost. If it fails, as appears possible, Democrats will face the brunt of the electorate’s reaction. If it passes, however, Democrats will face a far greater calamitous reaction at the polls. Wishing, praying or pretending will not change these outcomes.

The polls are wrong, they say, or Americans will learn to love it once they learn what is in the bill.  As soon as Obama gives his 53rd speech on health care, his magical persuasive powers will change everything.

The notion that once enactment is forced, the public will suddenly embrace health-care reform could not be further from the truth — and is likely to become a rallying cry for disaffected Republicans, independents and, yes, Democrats.

The country, Caddell and Schoen say, is moving away from big government , with distrust growing more generally toward government’s role in our lives.

Scott Rasmussen asked last month whose decisions people feared more in health care: that of the federal government or of insurance companies. By 51 percent to 39 percent, respondents feared the decisions of federal government more. This is astounding given the generally negative perception of insurance companies.CNN found last month that 56 percent of Americans believe that the government has become so powerful it constitutes an immediate threat to the freedom and rights of citizens. When only 21 percent of Americans say that Washington operates with the consent of the governed, as was also reported last month, we face an alarming crisis.

We’ll see if Nancy Pelosi’s members of the House share her contempt for what their constituents think, and her lack of concern for her House members jobs.


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