A survey of 1,000 adults taken Tuesday, 34% say demonstrations at the hometown sessions have made them more sympathetic to the protesters' views; 21% say they are less sympathetic.
Independents by 2-to-1, 35%-16%, say they are more sympathetic to the protesters now.
This combined with the Rasmussen poll that came out earlier in the week show a clear trend. First, the public has not only turned against this plan but support continues to weaken. Second, these town hall protests are having an effect on the public perception. The Rasmussen poll shows a five percent drop in support since they started. The Gallup poll shows a 13% edge of the public to the view of the protesters and independents favor their view 2 to 1.
So, what are the Democrats thinking? Do they have a plan? At this point, they appear to be committing political suicide. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee took a phone call during a question from a cancer survivor. Meanwhile, Rep. Baron Hill (D, IN-9) is refusing to hold town hall debates calling the protesters "political terrorists.
Meanwhile, Congressman Green from Texas wants to require photo IDs of anyone attending a townhall. In a bit of ironic twist, this is the same Congressman that opposed requiring photo ids to vote.
Finally, the president's PR Secretary Robert Gibbs referred to these town halls as tools of cable news prompting Bill O'Reilly to say that the White House has declared war on Fox News. This follows on the heels of the DNC referring to them as a "mob", Speaker Pelosi and Steny Hoyer calling them "un American", and Rep. Baird calling them neo Tim McVeigh's.
So, not only are Democrats challenging citizens, but they're challengins citizens that are liked by the public a lot more than themselves. Do they have a political strategy? I don't think so. I think that one day political science classes will analyze just how politically suicidal this strategy was.
In fact, at the risk of showing too large an ego, the protests have gone pretty much as I predicted. More than a week ago, I predicted that these town hall protests would be the final nail in the coffin of health care reform about a week and a half ago. The next day, I predicted that Democrats and their media allies would try and define them as extremists in an attempt to marginalize them. I even predicted that these same protesters would wind up on television for interviews. In fact, they're winding up not only sympathetic media. Here is the now famous Katy Abram who's line "you've awakened a sleeping giant" gave her 15 minutes and more fame on MSNBC.
I also predicted that these town halls would be organic and thus no elite pundit could predict their outcome. I said this after both conservative pundit, Charles Krauthammer and conservative pundit Stephen Hayes said that the confrontational behavior would hurt their causes. Clearly, it hasn't.
We're not even half way through the month of August and it's now clear that the Democrats are committing political Seppuku. (h/t to an astute reader for correcting me originally) There's no turning back now. They have squarely put themselves on the other side of American citizens, activists, and most importantly VOTERS. These voters are driving the story and the debate. They are defining the way we will view health care in the month of August. That's because they're real, not some slick orchestration. Their passion, anger, and disgust is real, and as such, they represent what most people feel. Here's how I predicted the way these town halls would drive the story and the debate.
So, the town halls will become a recurring story over the next month. As such, what we'll hear is an endless stream of voters that hate the health care plan. They will spend a month picking it apart, all on video, and cutting it up bit by bit. The Obama health care reform bill is about to suffer death by one thousand paper cuts only they won't be paper cuts but video clips. Is this really the position the Obama administration wants to be in right now?
Now, I have called the town hall confrontations the metamorphosis of the Tea Party movement. There's no question that the same sort of folks that would have attended a Tea Party is very likely to attend one of these town halls. Now, this very Tea Party movement is in a position to bury health care reform. In fact, they can bury it so badly that Obama's presidency would suffer irreparable damage along with it.
That's exactly what is happening now. Health care is polling in the low 40's. It will be in the 30's by the end of the month and with it, health care reform, at least in its current form, will die a very painful, for the Democrats now supporting it, death. Like I said originally, the the moment for the Tea Parties has arrived and they are driving the final nail in the coffin of health care reform.