Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Let's see: it was a mediocre bill, it was relentlessly described as much worse than it actually is (in fact, as the death of civilization as we know it) by the most skilled propagandists in America, none of its provisions have taken effect, at least one of its most popular provisions seemed for a while as if it wasn't going to take effect as advertised, and it's still being relentlessly attacked -- wow, no one could have predicted that its popularity would fail to skyrocket overnight:

Democrats who held out hopes that President Barack Obama's health reform win would mean a quick boost to the party's political fortunes are getting a reality check....

Obama and his health reform plan did get a bump in several surveys immediately after the House vote eight days ago -- but the numbers in some of those polls flattened out.

...Obama's approval in the Gallup daily tracking poll stands at 48 percent -- near his all-time low of 46 percent in the three-day rolling average....

Right-wingers are (understandably) crowing about the fact that Republicans lead in Gallup's the generic-ballot question -- something that wasn't even true before the 1994 election.

And the interminable HCR campaign goes on:

President Obama defended his health care program in [a Today show] interview broadcast on Tuesday morning [i.e., this morning], portraying it as a "centrist approach" that Republicans are opposing mainly because they want "political benefit in November."


On Thursday, Mr. Obama will be in Maine, home state of two moderate Republican senators who opposed his health-care plan, to promote the health law.

Stop. Please. JUST STOP.

Want people to like this bill? Stop defending it. When you never stop defending it, you seem defensive.

The way to win support for health care reform is to do something else. Do something you don't have to spend half your time defending because it's something the public, or at least the non-hater public, can understand. Do something real about jobs. Do something real regarding mortgage relief. Do something that will actually get banks to lend to small businesses again. Do something real about the underregulation of the Wall Street casino.

This is how you and the Democrats can earn back the goodwill of the public -- not by selling HCR the same way you've been trying to sell it to the public for a year, with limited success. You're doing the same thing and expecting a different result. STOP. Move on.

I know my relentless repetition of this message is tiresome. But I told you that passing HCR was never going to be a magic bullet for the Democrats, and, well, it isn't. You can't just reverse the results a yearlong (and still-unrelenting) propaganda barrage like that overnight, especially with a flawed bill.

So do something that's less flawed. I know it's naive of me to ask that, but it's political suicide for you not to do it.

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