I have on my desk a print-out of an editorial in the left-of-center New York Daily News where the editors, urging the president to pull the plug on his health care overhaul, point out:
Just one in four voters supports the reform bill as written; half want Congress to start over. Compare that with the popular support other major pieces of social legislation enjoyed before passage, like welfare reform (68%), Medicare (63%) and civil rights (60%).
Even if we buy the fanciful numbers of one of our perennial critics, we still don’t even have a majority for Obamacare, not even a plurality. Nearly every prior major reform enjoyed support of at least three-fifths of all Americans. And those reforms didn’t have the president shilling for them as regularly as this president has been shilling for an overhaul of our nation’s health care system.
In every election where health care has been an issue these past six months, it has played to the GOP’s advantage, even in states that voted overwhelmingly for Obama in 2008. The Democrats seem to recognize that their bill isn’t that popular as they have had to pay off various Senators for their votes and are busy crafting payoffs to secure the votes of waving Members of the House. Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) said, “there is a lot of ‘arm-twisting’ to attract votes, adding that leadership officials are asking members what they want in the yet-to-be-released reconciliation package to secure their votes.”
Don’t think they’re doing that asking in front of C-SPAN cameras.
Democrats know they’ve lost on the merits, so the only way they can win is with back room deals.
They’ve lost this fight politically, but, alas, as I’ve said before, they could still win it legislatively.