While some in the NY Conservative party and in the Right Wing blogosphere are trying to portray Tuesday’s historic defeat in NY-23 as a victory, the proof is really in the pudding.
Immediately past the election the House Democrats and Nancy Pelosi are scrambling to clear some hot button issues for a rare Saturday vote on Healthcare.
Here’s what Nancy says on the election from The Hill:
Although the Democrats lost two governors’ mansions in Tuesday’s election, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) picked up two more votes: John Garamendi, who replaced a Democrat in California, and Bill Owens, who won a GOP-held seat in upstate New York. Pelosi said Owens called his win a “victory for healthcare.”
“From our perspective, we won last night,” Pelosi said Wednesday. “We had one race we got involved in.”
The “Twooooo Konservatives” are such geniuses, this reminds me of the time they defeated Immigration Reform during the only period in which Republicans could hold sway over the shape and form of it. So this matches exactly with my final election tally yesterday for NY-23:
* +1 vote for public option
* +1 vote for cap and trade
* +1 vote for immigration reform
* +1 vote for Speaker Pelosi.
In the latest Rasmussen poll two thirds of Independent voters and 4 out of 5 Republicans say no bill passing is a better outcome than the House version(s) passing.
Not surprisingly, there is a huge partisan divide on this issue. Sixty percent (60%) of Democrats say passing the legislation in Congress would be the best course of action. However, 80% of Republicans take the opposite view. Among those not affiliated with either major party, 23% would like the Congressional reform to pass while 66% would rather the legislators take no action.
Voters who earn less than $20,000 a year are evenly divided but a majority of all other voters would prefer no action. Middle income voters, those who earn from $40,000 to $75,000 a year, are most strongly in favor of taking no action.
I’ve pointed out the weakness of the house version(s) several times here and in debates in many threads over at Little Green Footballs. It’s a cobbled together mess of input from staffers, lobbyists, and NGO’s. If you want to know who put what in the bill go back and look at who took Pelosi and Dingell staffers to lunch during the weeks prior to the initial draft releases.
This doesn’t mean that Americans are opposed to health care insurance reform – and remember, this bill does nothing to reform health care, it just reforms insuring care. So a few things that conservatives and the public are in favor of are in the bill, however they are tied to so many other negatives and unknowns that nobody wants the Pelosi version. Do the math: 40 percent of Democrats, 66 percent of Independents, and 80 percent of Republicans opposed. That’s a large majority opposed. If you are a Democrat you might say that Nancy and her staffers pretty much have let down the side on this.
UPDATE: Here are just two examples of the problems with the bill – to be able to characterize the bill as “budget Neutral” the money has to come from somewhere. Try a takeaway of half a trillion from Medicare based on pie in the sky imaginary savings, and new taxes. This is why the CBO report rocked O’s world so hard. I think most Americans are going to figure out this shell game flim flam before the recess is over.
So the hardball questions aren’t really about death panels – they are about what are you cutting in Medicare?*** Who’s determining that? Whose Taxes are you raising and how?
***People dwelling in the real world know that the “cuts” are political legerdemain for “we’ll just hide the costs in Medicare and let the next generation deal with the shortfall.” The first time any senior died or got denied care post passage it would be nationwide news quicker than you could say “Schiavo” and you also know that the Erin Brokovich fans on the left would be demanding congressional investigations vociferously.
The real story for Obama is grim right now: unemployment is at new-century record highs, his first six months in office are a failure, his budget is delayed, transparency is delayed, health care reform is on the rocks, and dissension within his caucus is at an all time high as they wind down toward recess.
If the real story were front page and center now everyone would be focused on the house and the splintering over health care going on there. The press would be dissecting the bill and the points of contention for the public with a bit more vigor than the shorthand of triggers and public options. It’s at the point where there could be a rebellion and coming leadership change in the Democrat caucus if things continue this way. Even though there are outward signs of unity, this is surface only, and with elections looming in 15 months more is on the line than it would seem at the moment.
True to form when faced with real opposition and a bad news cycle, President Obama has a habit of changing the subject. That’s why the Gates gaffe was made and in my opinion it was intentional. It’s also probably not a coincidence that nirtherism is front and center in the news again, even though left, right, and center are all calling birth certificate conspiracists marginal and crazy.
These things take the focus off of what’s important and change the subject to topical and idiotic irrelevancies. These are very skillful distractions, everyone has an opinion on racism – with the public in overwhelming agreement that it’s bad — and they all want to talk about it. Much more fun than talking about the boring points of a trillion dollar health bill, n’est ce pas?
It’s also always more fun to talk about marginal nutballs on the right than the unemployment picture too.
Obama is very skilled at these smoke and mirror tricks and by making himself the lightning rod he’s managed to take the focus from the real story for a moment: but his first six months are still not sitting well with the public, and his health care reform is a boat on the rocks of a distant shore.