23 September 2009

quick hit

"In addition, 45% approve of Obama’s handling of health care, while 46% disapprove, which is up from his 41%-47% score last month. By comparison, just 21% approve of the Republican Party’s handling of the issue.

And who will get blamed if health care doesn't get passed this year? Per the poll, 10% say Obama, 16% say congressional Democrats, and 37% say congressional Republicans."

Couple quick points.

1) It seems obvious that the problem the Republicans have is that their "position" is not clearly staked out as anything other than obstinate obstructionism. They have no serious plan put on the table for public consumption. Those that are focus more on tort reform instead of health care. I've been waiting for them to back something like Wyden-Bennett or loot liberally from its ideas. But instead it's much easier to simply attack within a context of media. Without proposing a solution.

2) The public is, in my opinion, wrong about who should get the blame if it doesn't pass. I should think given the political atmosphere over the last several months that the Republican Congress/Senate members were not going to support almost anything Obama related or supported. But they also don't have the numbers to effectively stop anything Obama related or supported either. As a result, the political calculus is such that they, generally, will stand the most to gain from "health care" reform either succeeding or failing. If it passes with only Democratic support, they benefit for at least the next election because the public sort of has this strange sense of wanting checks and balances and gridlock and gets it by putting in place two parties that supposedly give it. If it doesn't pass, they win again, because they supposedly provided gridlock to the people who wanted it on this issue. Maybe that's why they get the blame (combined with the disproportionately loud amount of noise being generated from their dwindling numbers). But the reality is the blame will be within the opposing ends of the Democratic party: the far liberal wing which wants a firm public option at all costs and the Blue Dog wing, which doesn't, and also seems willing to tax health insurance. The real debate, such as it is, on health care matters has been going on between Democrats for months now but it's been sort of shouted down with the supposed effectiveness of the town hall rantings.
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