Visual source: Newseum
Yesterday I was on Daily Kos radio with David Waldman to talk about health care polling:
I’m often on at ~ 9:10 to chat about politics and polling. The charts and graphs we discussed can be found here. Tomorrow, maybe we’ll talk about whether the dial can be moved at all.
What should you take from the Pew poll? That assuming that the electorate is paying close attention to the political goings-on — even when they are so seemingly high profile as the court ruling on health care — is a mistake.
Most people — especially those who are unaffiliated or independent voters — tend to be relatively low information voters. That is, they don’t have all the facts on an issue — and they don’t really care to find them out.
Sobering for those of us who watch the political machinations on a minute-by-minute basis? Yes. But also very important to remember when writing and analyzing the impact any given event will have on the November election.
David and I discussed a similar theme yesterday using Kaiser Family Foundation data:
NY Times editorial, same theme, my bold:
Nearly two dozen Pennsylvania residents, interviewed recently by Abby Goodnough of The Times, said they were opposed to President Obama’s health care reform law. Though almost all of them would benefit from it, they expressed fears about a loss of control over their health care that is nowhere in the law.
So why not view Chief Justice John Roberts’ decision to endorse the essence of the law as a break in this pussy-footed approach? If the law is good enough for a George W. Bush nominee who presided over Citizens United and plenty of other conservative rulings, it ought to be good enough for the White House. The fight over the Affordable Care Act now shifts fully into the political realm, with Mitt Romney (the law’s pioneer!) as its last line of attack. Which means that it will be up to Barack Obama and other Democratic candidates to finally be making the forthright, full-throated defense they have until now shied from.
It is not at all clear, despite critics being correct that Obama didn’t explain it enough, that it would matter. See Cillizza’s post about Pew (more to come today on Pew from Joan McCarter.) Still, House Democrats have learned their lesson from 2010. The question is whether Obama pivoting to the economy and ignoring health care is good for November 2012 but bad for the longer term.
Insurance is a good thing. Everyone needs it. Still, let no one underestimate the intrusion, the copious misunderstandings and the incalculable hours medical personnel waste as they address the idiosyncrasies of a dozen different uncles all loudly calling the shots with one eye on the patient and the other on the marketplace.
It’s enough to make you wish for another option.
A week ago David Frum said:
The Republican Plan B is to repeal Obamacare on Day 1 of a Romney presidency.
Good luck with that.
First, today’s Supreme Court decision will make it a lot harder to elect Mitt Romney. President Obama has just been handed a fearsome election weapon. 2012 is no longer exclusively a referendum on the president’s economic management. 2012 is now also a referendum on Mitt Romney’s healthcare plans. The president can now plausibly say that a vote for the Republicans is a vote to raise prescription drug costs on senior citizens and to empower insurance companies to deny coverage to children for pre-existing conditions. Those charges will hurt—and maybe hurt enough to sway the election.
He’s looking smarter than a lot of other conservatives today.
And in honor of today, July 4:
What may not be so well-known is that “This Land Is Your Land” belongs to an American tradition of patriotic pieces made by critics of capitalism. The authors of the Pledge of Allegiance and “America the Beautiful” also took a distinctly leftist view of the U.S. economic system.
Which brings me to another story worth pondering this Fourth of July: West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette.
Barnette may be the most important case about religious liberty and the American flag to ever be decided by the Supreme Court. However irritating you find the Jehovah’s Witnesses when they ring your door bell, please remember you have them to thank for securing your liberty one screw tighter.
Witnesses refuse to salute any flag or take any pledge of allegiance because they take literally biblical injunctions against graven images and blasphemous pledges. Their refusal to salute and take oaths caused them misery and death in Nazi Germany – and it didn’t make life easy for them in America, either.
Their refusal to allow their children to salute the flag and say the pledge incensed most Americans in the 1940s. America was at war and, very much like today, Americans wore their patriotism on their sleeves, lapels and probably even as decals on their bumpers.