Then, there is this video of Congressman Lloyd Doggett being confronted by voters in his home district outside a grocery store.
These sets of videos are making the rounds and they should be a warning to all Democratic politicians. Forget the polls. What is clear is that the passion and energy is on the side of the of those opposed to the health care plan that is filtering through Congress.
For weeks, everyone predicted all sorts of excitement once the politicians got back to their districts and met with the constituency. We just got a peek at this with these sets of video. This is not pretty.
What should be even more startling is that the regular voters that are opposed to the Democrat's health care reform are parrot ting the talking points of the politicians. One lady raised the chart the Republicans put out that looks much like a very sophisticated maze you create for a mouse. One asked how we can trust politicians with health care when they so underestimated cash for clunkers. Another asked how politicians can vote on the bill without reading it. Several asked for the process to slow down. All of these are Republican talking points.
This is only happening for one of two reasons. First, the voters believe the talking points and that's why they're parrot ting them. Second, the talking points have been verbalized effectively whether they're correct or not. Either way, what this means is that the Republicans have snagged the debate. It is their points that are finding the most effective audience.
This is one town hall in one state. So, we should all not take too much from it, though I doubt anyone that thinks this will be an anomaly. If this becomes the standard then two things will happen. First, politicians will come back to D.C. scared of health care reform. Second, this scene will become a standard viral phenomenon. Just imagine seeing a new townhall scene like this nearly every day throughout the month of August. The perception will be clear, even if by chance the reality is different, that the folks are against this plan.
Now, as the first in a series of townhall meetings portends that Democrats will have a lot of very nervous townhall meetings, the president and his allies are moving forward full speed ahead. Nancy Pelosi has changed the Democrats' talking points and now they are attacking insurance companies. The president and his team will spend the month of August selling health care. The House still intends to vote on the bill in September. The Senate is still trying to create its own bill. No one is talking about any moderate plan like Wyden/Bennett. The Democrats have no plans to make any substantial changes even though these videos follow a series of other signs that the current health care reform path is failing. Polling shows that the public is happy with their own health care overwhelmingly. Polls also show that people are worried that the current health care pass will make their health care more expensive, not as good, not as available. The public doesn't like the plan and its polling continues to fall, and that's just the consensus of all the polling.
It appears more and more clear every day that the president is willing to commit political kabuki and move forward with this health care plan despite 1) that it won't pass and 2)that it will cost him a good chunk, if not all, of his presidency. I suspect that the scene we just witnessed will become repeated all over the country and it will create the perception that the public at large can't stand his health care plan. Yet, rather than trying to change it and make the changes necessary to make it better, the president moves forward in a stubborn act of political suicide. For his presidency's sake, he had better heed the lesson early, this health care plan is roundly being rejected by the public at large.
(by the way, as of now, none of my three legislators, Mike Quigley, Dick Durbin, or Roland Burris have scheduled a townhall though I hope to report from one as it is scheduled)