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Monday, August 3, 2009

The President's Stubborn Drive Toward Political Kabuki

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)


Anonymous said...

Wow, just wow. Am I to believe that health care reform won't pass because a group of right-wing mobs have been hired by Dick Armey to terrorize Democratic lawmakers (and by extension, their supporters) into submission?

You must be proud, Mike. You and your brethren at Americans for Prosperity have managed to accomplish in a matter of weeks what took ACORN years. That's right, Mike. YOU have become the new ACORN.

mike volpe said...

Speaking of ACORN, that comment is very Alinsky of you. Identify, isolate, freeze, escalate. Very nice.

Well, either Armey will be able to hire a bunch of folks to show up at townhalls all over the country, this will be the only one, or this is a real grass roots movement. Americans for Prosperity are not my brethren.

There is no reason to believe those folks are anything more than common folks that went to a townhall and questioned their politicians. Do you have any evidence that these folks were hired and bused in?

Anonymous said...

I cannot let the above comment go without comment. These impassioned folks weren't organized by ANYONE. They are there becaase they know how badly the government will screw up healthcare and how much more it will cost with them involved. They oppose bad legislation. No one has to organize them to show. They care.

Anonymous said...

I like the way the minimize these protests.
First of all none of the major media outlets are reporting them because they stopped "reporting" and started "promoting."
One I was at had 3000 people and it was reported as a couple of dozen by our local news media and one in Ohio had 8000 people and it was reported as 300. I guess they get their marching orders from the Whitehouse or they don't want to look foolish after promoting Obama as their "chosen" candidate.
Of course the media followed Cindy Sheehan all over the country for 9 months and will air a protest of 3 or 4 code pinkies.
We all know if these "millions" of insignificant people were protesting a republican president the media would be having a field day with it.
They must be nervous if they are purposely ignoring it.
Something else they choose to ignore:


Huskers-For-Palin said...

Hey does it feel to get some ACORNs thrown at you!!!

The bill is not slated to take effect until 2013 and it encompasses 17% of our economy...what's the rush????

Anonymous said...

The rush is so Obama can say "See I did something about Healthcare"
It's all about appearences.
Because next year when the republicans get control of congress like they always do after a few years of people realizing the dems aren't really about "for the people" but the special interests,he won't be able to get it through then.
What a stimulaitng idea in a recession,let's put through all this massive legislation with huge costs. Yeah that'll work.