(If you're wondering why I'm not writing about the catastrophe in Haiti, the answer is simple: I have nothing to say beyond the obvious. The situation is appalling, and morality demands that even the strapped among us make some donation, however small, to a reliable relief organization.)
Right-wingers have a formidable ability to scry absurd conclusions from agreed-upon facts. Today, the agreed-upon facts are these: Matha Coakley, the Democrat running for Ted Kennedy's old seat, is in serious trouble. Her Republican opponent is bludgeoning her on the health care reform issue. If Coakley loses, the Democrats no longer will have a senate majority large enough to override a filibuster.
(To me, that's a good
thing. I don't like this reform bill and I long to see a real filibuster.)
My previous piece about Obama's toxic coattails was quoted by a right-wing pundit
with whom I have little or nothing in common. Said pundit then segued into these words of Charles Krauthammer:
The reason for today’s vast discontent, presaged by spontaneous national Tea Party opposition, is not that Obama is too cool or compliant but that he’s too left.
First things first: The tea party movement was created by Richard Viguerie. Its origins were "spontaneous" only in the same sense that an Intel CPU can be considered a spontaneous creation. (Not that you can ever convince the teabaggers of that fact. People who follow post-hypnotic suggestion will always tell you that they acted according to free will.)
The pundit who quoted the euphoniously-named Krauthammer goes on to add:
Obama is trying to speed up the Left’s stealth conversion of America. Obama is trying to do in four years what the Left would have accomplished under cover of creeping regulation by a behemoth Leftist federal bureaucracy in twenty.
I fear, however, that this bullshit will soon become common wisdom.
Just what has Obama done that was so bloody "leftist"? He's easily the second-most conservative president since Reagan -- perhaps since Carter.
In terms of public opinion, it's clear that Obama and the Democrats would have suffered far less political damage if they had stood up for the values traditionally associated with the Democratic party. Caro at Make Them Accountable
offers some illuminating links which prove the point.
At a time when long-time Democrats should be cashing in on their years in the minority to pass legislation that favors the majority of Americans, and that the majority of Americans want, instead they’re quitting in droves.
She links to Political Wire
President Obama’s job approval rating has fallen to 46%, according to a new CBS News poll…
Key finding: “Domestic issues — and not his response to terrorist threats — appear to be driving the president’s approval rating downward.”
The key domestic issue may be Obama's transformation of health care reform into a giveaway program for the insurance industry. Guys like Krauthammer want you to think that the public has soundly rejected socialized medicine, even though the proposed plan does not contain even a tiny dose of the stuff. Greg Sargent
Could Obama’s dip to new lows on health care be driven partly by the fact that the reform proposal isn’t ambitious enough?
The internals of the new CBS poll suggest that this could be the case: They show that more people think reform doesn’t go far enough in multiple ways than think it goes too far.
In every one of those polled — covering Americans, controlling costs, and regulating insurance companies — more think the bill doesn’t go far enough.
To be sure, Americans seem close to evenly divided on the question of whether the proposal goes too far or not far enough. But the latter category outnumbers the former, suggesting that the desire that reform be more ambitious is a key factor driving dissatisfaction with Obama — even though that possibility is rarely discussed by the big news orgs or by top-shelf pundits.
Emphasis added. Obviously, if discussing that idea were not considered Beltway Thoughtcrime, then the polls would be even more one-sided.
Americans don't hate Obamacare because it represents "socialized medicine." They hate it because it isn't
socialized medicine.All of the polls
(except for Rasmussen, notorious for its right-wing bias) indicate that a substantial majority of the American populace favors a single-payer Medicare-for-all approach. For some odd reason, those "top-shelf pundits" never
discuss those polls.
The more recent polls cited above mirror the findings of this one
from February, 2009:
A New York Times/CBS News poll released last week shows, yet again, that the majority of Americans support national health insurance.
The poll, which compares answers to the same questions from 30 years ago, finds that, “59% [of Americans] say the government should provide national health insurance, including 49% who say such insurance should cover all medical problems.”
Only 32% think that insurance should be left to private enterprise.
These days, it's difficult to get 59% of the public to agree that the world is round. Yet 59% wants single-payer -- and only 46% wants Obama to keep doing the same job.
Keep those numbers in mind whenever some well-paid big media asshole tries to convince you that Obama's "socialism" lost the public's confidence.
The Republicans want to persuade the nation that Obama failed because he's the reincarnation of Lenin. In fact, the public fell out of love with him because he is the reincarnation of Bush. The public is sick of Democrats who won't act like Democrats
Poll: Americans think standing for principle is more important than bipartisan compromise.
Asked what actions elected officials could undertake to increase trust in them, a majority said that “making a stronger effort to stand up for principle” would help “a lot” while only 35 percent said more focus “on compromising with members of the opposite political party” would help “a lot”
Nevertheless, the GOP propagandists will insist that up is down, north is south, vice is versa and Obama went too far to the left. Alas, the American public has an appalling ability to fall for a well-publicized hallucination.