You can always tell when the Democrats and their media supporters are losing an important political argument — they suddenly announce that the public wants to “move on” to more pressing issues. It is a strategy they first devised in an attempt to prevent President Clinton from being impeached. Indeed, one of their most important front groups, MoveOn.org, was created for the explicit purpose of promoting this meme. The tactic failed, of course. Yet, in their panic concerning the upcoming midterms, congressional Democrats have resorted to it once again in a desperate effort to extricate themselves from the fatal Obamacare debate.
The pretext for exhuming this strategy was a Kaiser Health Tracking poll released in March. Like most recent polls, this one confirmed that Americans still dislike Obamacare, but the Democrats and their accomplices ignored that finding. They instead focused on a new question that had, not coincidentally, been added to the survey. This query asked if the respondents agreed or disagreed with the following: “I’m tired of hearing about the debate over the health care law and I think the country should focus on other issues.” More than half agreed, whereupon the legacy media trumpeted the poll as evidence that the public is over it.
Jonathan Cohn, for example, parrots the party line in the New Republic: “[S]urveys have suggested a majority of Americans simply want to move on to other issues.” Oddly, however, Cohn fails to mention another finding that can be read in the very same paragraph. The number of discussions among Americans about Obamacare has actually increased since the last survey was conducted and “those with a favorable view of the law are more likely to say they’re tired of hearing about the debate.” In other words, it isn’t Americans in general who have grown weary of the argument. It is the Democrats who happen to be on the losing end of it.
Along with most of Obamacare’s other cheerleaders, Cohn also touts last week’s New York Times Upshot/Kaiser Family Foundation poll, which purportedly reveals that clear “majorities of respondents oppose repealing the law outright.” Once again, though, Cohn fails to note an important feature of the survey. As Chris Cillizza reports in the Washington Post, the poll asks voters in four crucial midterm states if they would vote for a candidate with whom they disagree on Obamacare. The negative responses dramatically outnumbered the positive responses, the former leading the latter by double digits in three of the four states.
This hardly constitutes evidence that Americans want to move on. As Cillizza advises the readers of the Post, “What the question above shows is the enthusiasm problem that Democrats have when it comes to Obamacare. Republicans HATE the law… the energy on the issue is with the folks adamantly opposed to it.” This is why the President has twice this month been forced to pronounce the Obamacare debate over and assure the few remaining people who actually take his words seriously that “the American people don’t want us spending the next two-and-a-half years re-fighting the settled political battles of the last five years.”
But if the Obamacare battle were truly settled, would the President, congressional Democrats, and the establishment media need to work so hard to convince us of that fact? Probably not. George Will recently compared this claim to similar assertions made by those who wish to avoid debate about global warming: “You hear that from people who are finding the evidence inconvenient.” Will goes on to point out another irony in the President’s desire to stop debating Obamacare: “He says, we should all stop talking about this except Democrats this fall should campaign on the basis of the multiform excellence of the Affordable Care Act.”
The call to move on, then, is just another attempt by “open-minded” progressives to silence opposition to the pig’s breakfast they insist on calling “reform.” This is nothing new, of course. There are few things with which our friends on the left are less comfortable than open and honest discussion about important issues. And one can hardly blame them. When forced to discuss actual facts in the public square, liberals in general and Democrat politicians in particular almost invariably reveal themselves to be fools or liars or both. Thus, rather than engaging in honest debate, they vilify anyone and everyone who declines to shut up.
A classic example can be found in a recent Reuters column by Bill Schneider, in which he poses the following conundrum: “The fact that Obamacare is working should shut down the debate. But that’s not happening. Why not?” Schneider then provides the inevitable explanation: “Conservatives will never agree that it’s working — no matter what the evidence shows. They’re ideologues. Ideologues believe that if something is wrong, it can’t possibly work. Even if it does work.” That there is zero evidence that the law is achieving any of its ostensible goals is lost on Schneider. All he knows is that conservatives are, by definition, wrong.
And, because no one capable of critical thinking will take such an argument seriously, the Democrats and their media toadies are forced to chant the “move on” mantra. They know that, if the November midterms are about Obamacare, they can’t win. So they will try to avoid discussing it based on the claim that the voters are sick of hearing about it. It’s not going to work. The typical midterm voter just isn’t that dumb. It isn’t the Obamacare issue that they want to go away. It is the authors of that abomination that they want to see “move on.”