The Spectacle Blog

CNN: So What If Public Hates Health Care Bill?

By on 1.19.10 | 9:22AM

The headline from CNN:

Poll: Most prefer House's tax on rich over Senate's high-end policies

Yes, of course. And by that logic, the following must also be true:

Most prefer a punch in the stomach over the discomfort of a poke in the eye.

…people prefer a punch in the stomach?

In truth, people don't really much care for punches, pokes, or the Democrats' health care plan.

As noted by Phillip Klein and in the New York Times, if a Scott Brown win takes the Senate out of further health care contention, Speaker Pelosi might have to force the Senate's version of the bill down the House's throat.

Well, don't worry, thanks to some terrific new polling by CNN, that just means the public will get the health care bill they "most prefer." The Senate version of the health care bills polled higher than the House version. That's just the kind of political cover Reid and Pelosi might need to duck behind in the coming days. And since the article links back to…itself for support of its very own contentions, I guess we have to take the polling pontificators at face value.

It appears that the Democrats and those carrying their water want you to think:

1. People like the Democrats' health care reform.

2. If (perhaps) some people don't like the bill, at least they don't really, really, really not like it.

3. Of all the vast hordes who love health care reform, most are quite fond of the House version.

4. If a Brown win stops the Senate version, Congress will go with the version of the bill that the people "prefer."

5. ...not very much.

The fine print at the bottom of the article gets to the only relevant point -- the health care bill is very unpopular:

According to the survey, only 4 in 10 support the health care bills passed by the House and Senate, with 57 percent opposed.…The poll also indicates that 28 percent say they would be angry if health care legislation passed, with another 23 percent suggesting they'd be displeased.

So, with 6 in 10 opposing the bills, neither version is actually "preferred." It seems most people would feel like they'd been punched or poked if it passed -- not happy. At least their displeasure is only "suggested." What a polite group of participants!

More:

"Despite the controversy that has surrounded that legislation since last summer's contentious town hall meetings, most Americans don't seem to have an extreme position on health care.…"

Despite that whole shooting thing, Mrs. Lincoln...

No, they're just angry, displeased, marching on the National Mall, packing town hall meetings, turning back elections in New York, Virginia, and turning Massachusetts on its head. But that's nothing you'd call extreme: not if you were the party that reads all the current political trade winds wrong.

A mere 52.9 percent voted for a new direction in 2008. Not extreme numbers but certainly extreme positions. Most Americans wanted anything to do with George W. Bush -- out. I think anger and displeasure was certainly present in November of 2008. We didn't need polls to tell us that.

Similarly, we don't need polls to tell us that we're witnessing some inconsequential malaise when roughly 60 percent of the country is taking a referendum back from their recently elected leader. That is extreme.

Who could possibly read so little out of so much? -- a spiraling political party and desperate political scientists, perhaps.

As Mr. Keating Holland, CNN-poll-diviner extraordinaire concludes: "This may explain why the Democrats are going full-steam ahead on health care despite majority opposition to their bills." (Emphasis mine).

If by "this" he means a willful indifference to the public outcry against the Democrats' agenda, he's 100 percent right.

And "this" may also explain why the Democrats are headed for real trouble in November.

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