Been trying to craft a post today on the Democrats mad rush to pass a bill, any bill, just so they can do what they (public opinion polls notwithstanding) believe Americans have long been wanting Congress to do, you know, complete the unfinished business of the New Deal and enact massive health care reform. It seems their zeal to overhaul our nation’s health care system has superseded concern about the particular contents of said reform and their commitment to a transparent political process.
Rather than post the bill online and have our representatives return to their various jurisdictions to hear what their constituents have to say about the bill, they prefer to craft in behind closed doors (with only Democrats present), while making back room deals to secure the support of wavering Senators. No televised negotiation on C-SPAM as per a certain Democrat’s campaign promise.
Two bloggers (actually one blogger and one blogress) have offered succinct explanations for the Democrats failure to rally popular support behind their efforts at overhaul.
Jim Geraghty faults proponents for refusing “to listen to the skeptics or engage those who think it’s a bad idea“:
Every step of the process, the leaders of the majority have engaged in the worst possible responses — avoiding meetings with skeptical voters, clinging to talking points in the face of counterarguments, attacking the motives of the critics, demonizing them as extremists, un-American, etc. If they had treated the concerns that the plan will only expand bureaucracy and increase costs with respect from the beginning, the debate would be quite different today.
People just don’t want this bill. I think the big mistake was skipping the step of winning public support for a particular plan. It wasn’t enough that people believed there was a problem. People needed to believe the solution wasn’t worse than the problem. We were supposed to look away and trust them. The trust was never won, never earned. It’s been a horrific mess, and it just looks messier and messier as time wears on.
Emphasis added. Perhaps, they would have won that trust had they (as per Geraghty above) handled concerns with respect rather than labeling those articulating them as astroturf paid for by the demon insurance companies.