Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Big Health Reform/Civil War Analogy

There's a good chance that I'm engaged in wishful thinking here, but my gut feeling is that health reform is going to pass with a public option. What makes this extraordinary is that Obama has been fighting the health care battle the same way Shelby Foote said the Union fought the Civil War--with one hand tied behind his back.

Obama could be doing rallies with 70,000 plus people. He could also be taking the fight to the Republicans and the teabaggers in a highly partisan manner. But Obama hasn't taken those weapons out of his holster yet.

And it doesn't look like he's going to either.

To me, it looks like Obama and the Democratic leadership in the House and Senate are grimly determined to win the health care fight on Obama's terms of reasonable discussion and reaching out to the other side.

And I think they're going to win it on their terms.


Anonymous said...

Poll numbers going in the wrong direction.
For public option: 43%
Against public option: 47%
One interesting comment from pollster Frank Luntz yesterday was that if the poll asked about "public option" the polls came out relativly even. If the poll asked about "government option" results were dramatically different.
The dems are masters of using euphemisms. Gotta give them credit. Masters of "How can we fool them today" I'm sure that they poll test all of these terms.

Ric Caric said...

Not really. The NBC/WSJ changed the question in a very significant way that biased the results. If the question had been asked the same way it was asked before, the results would have been a lot better for the public option. Here's the HuffPost article about the poll. Note that the original poll had support for the public option in the 70's as I claimed in an earlier post.(

As for Luntz, big deal. It's not exactly a stunning surprise that the Dems would look to present their position in an appealing way and to avoid presenting their position in an unappealing way. Luntz himself is a master at spinning things in terms of appealing vs unappealing words.

Anonymous said...

Your argument is meaningless. My point is that if the poll were presented in a more truthful way, so that people better understood that this is another wasteful government program, you would get a more honest result. What part of "government option" do you find misleading? I can tell you that I do find the phrase "public option" misleading.
You need to come up with stronger arguments than Luntz spins and that the Rasmussen poll is right leaning. Pretty shallow arguments.
In regards to "It's not exactly a stunning surprise that the Dems would look to present their position in an appealing way and to avoid presenting their position in an unappealing way." At least you agree with me that coming clean with the public (government option) is unappealing.

Ric Caric said...

Public option would be deceptive if there was any thought that the government wouldn't be running the program. But I haven't seen any indication that the Obama people are trying to deceive people that way.

Anonymous said...

Here is a good example of the left attempting to deceive. "The Employee Free Choice Act". Again, think "How can we fool them today". This is a laughable title for a bill that would take away a worker's right to a secret ballot on a day certain, supervised by NLRB and replace it a system where union organizers could pressure the worker to sign an undated card (so this process could go on for months, perhaps). The secret ballot would be gone. Obama strongly supports this bill. Employee Free Choice?