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David Axelrod: 'Reconciliation is a tool that is there to be used'

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"The Republicans have it both ways," David Axelrod said in a conversation with a handful of journalists this afternoon. "They have the ability to block, but they assign us the responsibility to govern." But pressed for the White House's answer to that dilemma, Axelrod fell back on platitudes. "They either work with us or they have to pay the price for working against us," he replied. But what price?

For the last year, Republicans have worked, assiduously and effectively, to derail the Democrats' legislative agenda. This, in fact, was a constant in Axelrod's remarks. "They made a decision they were going to sit it out and hope that we failed, that the country failed." It's been an inarguable success for the Republican Party. Health-care reform is on life support. Republicans just won a Senate seat in Massachusetts. Election experts are beginning to talk about a potential Republican takeover in November. There is no case to be made that the GOP is in a worse position than a year ago.

Which made Axelrod's threats of consequences a bit tinny. "If they want to block everything," he said at another point, "they will be held to account." Later: "We are going to very visibly seek their support moving forward, and we will shine a bright light on them when they don't." Asked whether the administration had a new strategy for doing any of that, Axelrod had no real answer.

But if it's hard to shine a light on minority obstructionism, it's entirely possible to launch an attack on the tools of obstructionism. Axelrod repeatedly identified the filibuster as the central problem without going quite so far as to say the administration was interested in changing it. "That's a worthy discussion to have," he said. "There were more filibusters in 2009 than in the 1950s and 1960s combined." But, Axelrod continued, "I am more interested in what we get done this year."

The problem, however, is that the filibuster makes it unlikely that the administration will get much done this year. And the White House's disinterest in making an issue out of the filibuster ensures that the public won't really know why they're not getting much done. A Pew poll released today found that only 26 percent of Americans could correctly identify 60 votes as the numbers needed to break a filibuster. Twenty-five percent thought 51 votes was sufficient, and 37 percent had no idea.

Similarly, 39 percent of Americans have no idea how many Republicans voted for health-care reform. Only 32 percent know that zero Republicans voted for health-care reform, at least in the Senate. For that matter, only 39 percent of Americans know who Harry Reid is.

It's a depressing poll, and for the White House, it should be a troubling one. Their argument essentially relies on a fairly deep level of procedural knowledge and interest. Enough, at least, to understand that the amount of governing the majority can do is dependent on how much governing the minority lets them do. It's not an easy argument to make, and it's even harder if the White House does not plan to make an issue out of its premises.

At the very least, that poll suggests that there will be little political sympathy for an unsuccessful Democratic majority. Republicans may be responsible if health-care reform fails, but Democrats will bear the blame. "It would be a great political mistake to walk away from this," he said. "It will allow the negative characterization from the opposition and the insurance industry to stand. We will be held responsible for a caricature."

Passing health-care reform through a Senate where the Republicans hold 41 votes and see enormous opportunity in killing the bill once and for all will be challenging, to say the least. The Democrats' only real hope is using the 51-vote reconciliation process to pass a package of amendments in the Senate that will convince the House to pass the Senate's bill.

Asked about reconciliation, Axelrod chose his words carefully. "Reconciliation is a tool that is there to be used," he said.

Photo credit: By M. Spencer Green/Associated Press

By Ezra Klein  |  January 28, 2010; 6:09 PM ET
Categories:  Interviews , Obama administration  
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Comments

Count me among those who thought 541 votes was more than sufficient.

Posted by: slag | January 28, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans think bipartisan means 50/50.
Many Dems think bipartisan means 90/10 or 85/15

Bipartisan means 60/40 or 65/35 in terms of what makes it into a bill

Posted by: craig18 | January 28, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Those polls about how few Americans can identify the the VP, the Speaker, the Majority leader, etc., are terribly depressing. Ironically, there's probably a big majority of these people who also dislike "elites."

Posted by: StokeyWan | January 28, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, if only someone in the House could come up with "a very good bill that's very smartly designed" and pass that by reconciliation. But that's crazy talk I know.
http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/ezraklein_archive?month=01&year=2009&base_name=the_politics_of_starks_plan_wo

Posted by: beowulf_ | January 28, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

In fairness, I'm not sure if now's the time to make congressional process the center of Democratic messaging, which is Axelrod's job. Raising a fuss about obstruction when the obstruction is working against less than popular legislation only looks like whining in defeat. The best prescription remains passing the bill.

Even if they want to highlight obstruction going forward, it's better to do it from a position of strength.

Posted by: fbacon2 | January 28, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

"Which made Axelrod's threats of consequences a bit tinny."

What makes Axelrod's threats of consequences a bit tinny is that the health care bills suck and a majority of the public WANTS the Republicans to kill them. You want the Republicans to stop obstructing? Craft a bill that accomplishes at least one or two of the major goals of health care reform without scaring the bejesus out of the public.

You can lower costs. You can provide universal coverage. You can't do both.

Prohibit limitation of coverage for preexisting conditions in return for an increase in costs and you'll get a majority of the public behind you, and the Republicans will no longer obstruct.

There are lots of things you can do to reform health care that not only will the Republicans not obstruct, they will feel compelled to join. But as it is, there is no penalty whatsoever for their obstructionism because they are doing what the majority of the people want.

Posted by: bgmma50 | January 28, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

"The Democrats' only real hope is using the 51-vote reconciliation process"

Yes, that's what I think they should do. And when an outraged public returns the Republicans to power in 2010 or 2012, they won't have to repeal the damn thing, they can just use the reconciliation process to neuter it.

Posted by: bgmma50 | January 28, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

And why did the Republicans have an ENTIRE year play the obstructinist card? Axlerod says: "They made a decision they were going to sit it out and hope that we failed..." You did fail..fail to counter this strategy, that is. Obama tried to make nice ALL YEAR LONG because he boxed himself into the "bi-partisan" role. He should have run against the Republican party. Recently he even adopted the Republican "balance the budget idea". What a blunderer. Maybe he should have watched more Roosevelt videos.
http://vodpod.com/watch/1406318-fdr-i-welcome-their-hate-

Posted by: lynnlee31 | January 28, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

One way to show the obstructionism is to actually hold cloture votes on popular topics on a regular basis. Bring the bank tax up for a cloture vote and let it lose 41-59, thereby getting the GOP on the record voting for the bankers. Then do it for foreclosure reform, credit card reform, the consumer protection agency, and etc. The current strategy of burying legislative initiatives when the GOP threatens filibuster is too opaque for the general public to understand.

Posted by: meander510 | January 28, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

I agree with fbacon2 above, in that the White House shouldn't be making the congressional-process-as-villain argument their central attack now, because it can't be remedied anytime soon. The soonest would be next January, at the start of the 112th Congress. And while I'm confident that Dems will retain control of the senate in November, if they nevertheless take a shellacking, and lose 5 or more seats, whoever is left standing to become Majority Leader is absolutely, positively not going to use the nuclear option. I suppose there's a better chance that the leader could decide to go the Udall route, and hold a floor vote on new rules to govern the new Congress. But I wouldn't bet on it.

That said, I also have a "due deference to separation of powers" problem with the Executive branch mounting a public attack campaign against the senate and how it chooses to conduct its business. We've grown accustomed to political attacks from all sides, on all institutions. But whereas Congress has a Constitutional right to examine what the Executive Branch does and how it does it, and of course enact laws governing such, the reciprocal is not true. Article One, Section 5 says, Hands Off My Rules.

The White House using its bully pulpit to shine a light on the problem is fine. But they should go only as far as Axelrod has gone, and decline to prescribe a solution.

Posted by: andrewlong | January 28, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

As employed today, the filibuster is immoral. Because of its use, millions of Americans may be denied health insurance because. Consumers may be denied strong consumer protection. Our transportation system remains stuck in the mud. And, most importantly, a livable climate is in peril.

All because of a procedural move that is not even defined in the Constitution.

The Senate is going to need to find the courage to deal with this problem. If they don't, our problems will only continue to mount.

Posted by: orteleus | January 28, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

I never heard the whining about the filibuster when confirming Bush appointees.

Amazing!

Look, the problem is the message. The Democrat party is now controlled by the far left wing and the moderates are not calling the shots.

And now they whine and wonder why with the 60 votes, yes...they had a 60 vote majority, that they couldn't move their socialist agenda.

Who's surprised?

*NOW* they want to change the rules since they are unsuccessful. Be careful what you ask for, you might just get it and have to live with it when the other party is ruling.

Posted by: WrongfulDeath | January 28, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

'One way to show the obstructionism is to actually hold cloture votes on popular topics on a regular basis." posted by meander 510

Ummm. If cloture votes are held on "popular topics", defined as those issues enjoying wide public support, no cloture vote is necessary because the Republicans won't obstruct them.

Which is precisely why the Democrats should go back to square one and craft a bill that will enjoy widespread support. Not only will the Republicans not obstruct it, they will want to be a part of it.

Sheesh. It's really not that hard.

Posted by: bgmma50 | January 28, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

@WrongfulDeath

Puh-leeze. It isn't the moderates who keep giving up positions to the liberals. It's the other way around.

Posted by: StokeyWan | January 28, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

For clarity, the Pew Research Center is a corporation (EIN 20-0881724) which had revenue of $29,982,925 in 2008. Of this revenue 17% was spent on management compensation, with top-level executives making more (both statistically and numerically) than those of insurance giant AIG.

As a non-tax-paying corporation, the books, invoices, and other records of Pew Research Center are available for public inspection. In 2008, the corporation's CEO had a salary of $353,934 (plus retirement and other benefits), with other employees earning (exclusive of benefits) $262,080 (VP), $200,000 (VP), $253,769 (forum supervisor), and $248,271 (internet supervisor). In total, 76 employees make over $50,000 (plus benefits). The corporation's part-time accountant made $244,064.

Gee... it makes me blush that a multi-billion-dollar corporation like AIG is required by law to pay its employees less than Washington-based corporations like Pew Research Center pay their employees. In fact if I add the salaries paid to each employee by the Pew Charitable Foundation (EIN 56-2307147) to those paid to the same employees by Pew Research Center (EIN 20-0881724), some of the employees look as if they're making out like bandits!

Posted by: rmgregory | January 28, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Total political malpractice. I'm sympathetic to these guys, but they really need to get the frack out of the way, and make room for someone who understands the situation.

Posted by: antontuffnell | January 28, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Reconciliation is a side issue.

The Senate bill is better than no bill, both substantively and politically, and the House Dems are craven fools for not passing it.

Posted by: newjersey_lawyer | January 28, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Harry who? A cousin of Harry Potter perhaps?

Just kidding.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | January 29, 2010 12:05 AM | Report abuse

To portray GOP as the party of 'no' will be relative easy and if Dems are serious, they will be able to do that.

The question is not about such an ability to portray them so, the question is in light of having been not able to achieve anything because of this 'party of no'; will Dems get the votes in Nov 2010.

In other words, what Ezra rightly points out, it is the question of whether Dems are willing and ready to point out 'filibuster' as the reason for their inability to achieve legislative victories.

Naturally the next question is why would Dems be reluctant to point out that. Is it their own past history when they used filibuster successfully to stop legislation which other wise they were not ready to accept? Or is it the future when Dems cannot avoid this very use as and how they become minority? What is it?

I suspect Americans will be okay if Dems come out and say past usage on their side was not correct and they are ready to say that they will not do so in future. That is the tricky and hard part. If Dems were to give such a commitment for future, American public may still back Dems.

Until such a commitment, we will have what one can describe as 'chicken Dems'!

Posted by: umesh409 | January 29, 2010 12:54 AM | Report abuse

It's just shorter to start using reconciliation out of the blue and then when the GOP screams go 'They always scream' and have America shrug and go 'That's true' and move forward, only with legislation that is passed. President Obama was already teeing it up with his "the House has passed X, I urge the Senate to pass X" refrain in the SOTU. What you want is for the White House political operation to play it's hand with all it's cards on the table. That's never going to happen in real life in any political climate, ever.

Posted by: jamusco | January 29, 2010 2:14 AM | Report abuse

They are disinterested in making the filibuster an issue, a clearly non partisan way of opposing obstructionism since it cuts both ways. They're disinterested in brokering a deal between the House and Senate on what is putatively the administration's top domestic priority.

Is there anything they actually are interested in, you know, doing?

Oh yeah. Bank bailouts. Worked overtime on that.

Posted by: pj_camp | January 29, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Klein,

You're spot-on re: the filibuster.

And worse still: the administration expresses a desire for bipartisan behavior, but rarely punishes Republicans for willful obstruction.

The language is always conditional: "a fight we're willing to have"; "a discussion worth having."

Where are the consequences for sitting on the sidelines (Republicans); or playing it safe (moderate Democrats)?

I fear the President and Axelrod are subconsciously speaking to historians and posterity, instead of living in the moment and speaking to the citizens. This only reinforces the "disconnected" narrative.

The President cares about how he's perceived: "listens to dissent; runs a good meeting; safeguards principles." We hear so much about the facts, the debate, the historical context in his staff meetings. Why doesn't he share that with the citizens?

Posted by: NicDem | January 29, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

"You can lower costs. You can provide universal coverage. You can't do both" - bgmma50

Not True. Any real universal system -- whether single-payer, all-payer, or individual payer -- would cost much less than what we're spending now.

What you can't do, is run a patchwork of programs with disparate financing models and call that "universal". You can't add yet another expensive program and tell people that the result will be some marginally less spending in the future.

The Democrats are their own worst enemies. The bills concocted in Congress weren't designed to reform anything; they were designed to retain the worst parts of our financing model and extend the dysfunction to more people.

They need to man up and propose a coherent plan to get from where we are to an actual universal system.

Posted by: Athena_news | January 29, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, but David Axelrod looks like the Penguin from Batman.
When he speaks it is always the word "Republican".
Since their base is as small as the Dem's now, it just looks unhealthy to not grow his vocabulary.

In fact this Fed has a NO CONFIDENCE vote from the people, who moved their voter registrations to the Independent party.

This Fed represents no majority's will.

The people all seem to want Congress to go after the ethics violations of illegally closed intel by a Public Ofiicial, and the ObamaGates squeeze of a cop for a crony.
It appear that they want to place Biden, just to get a new cabinet that is at least above the current prison material.

Posted by: dottydo | January 29, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

*One way to show the obstructionism is to actually hold cloture votes on popular topics on a regular basis. *

Pointing out the absurdity of the obstructionism and backing your opponents into a corner isn't "a new kind of politics" or "change you can believe in," you know.

Posted by: constans | January 29, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Axelrod cannot even spell "Reconciliation"... He must be using the presidents TelePrompTer.

Posted by: yokohlman | January 29, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

It is indeed lamentable that the US Senate has become so partisan that it can no longer function. But remember, they are nothing more than a reflection of the same partisan ignorance that now characterizes the average American voter.

The polls you cited reflecting the appalling ignorance of voters as to how their government works validate other surveys that reflect that Americans generally do not stack up very well with citizens of other advanced democracies. But, even a recent survey of Iranian indicated that they have a much higher level of understanding of how our government functions at both the legislative and executive level than do our own citizens.

It is a stunning indictment of our educational system that so many American citizens are as well, dumb as they are. But, our educational system isn't wholly to blame. Our media must share a huge part of the blame because of their obsessively negative narrative of how government works.

This very morning furnishes us with an excellent example of how the media acts to disinform the public and keep them in a state of ignorance. The economic reports this morning showed a vigorous 5.5% growth in GDP and a surge in consumer confidence. Yet the morning political chat shows virtually ignored it. Once the reports showed a positive trend, the media morning talk shows lost interest.

Not enough attention is being paid to the destructive impulses of a media that seems obsessed with peddling gloom and doom. Perhaps Ezra, you and others should undertake this as a project.

Posted by: jaxas70 | January 29, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

"You can lower costs. You can provide universal coverage. You can't do both."

Then why does every other developed country have universal coverage *and* lower costs?

Posted by: PeterH1 | January 29, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

'*NOW* they want to change the rules since they are unsuccessful. Be careful what you ask for, you might just get it and have to live with it when the other party is ruling.'

WrongfulDeath, we already have to live with it when Republicans rule. There were an awful lot of things passed through reconciliation under the R Senate (for example, the tax cuts that have gone so far to help build the deficit). So it's a bit of a hollow threat.

Posted by: rpy1 | January 29, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

"The Republicans think bipartisan means 50/50.
Many Dems think bipartisan means 90/10 or 85/15"

No, Craig, that's just not true-- it's rank Broderism. This bill is already more than 50-50 Republican ideas. We already gave up on single payer in favor of a strong public option, gave up on a strong public option in favor of a weak public option with an opt-out not tied to Medicare rates, we gave up on the weak public option in favor of Medicare expansion, and gave up on Medicare expansion in favor of just passing the damned bill.

That's not 85/15. It's not even 50/50. This is 100% the best bill you could come up with to save the Healthcare system working from what are purported to be Republican principles.

Posted by: adamiani | January 29, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

"This bill is already more than 50-50 Republican ideas. We already gave up on ..." - adamiani

Yep. That's why the Democrats should just draw up a bill that is 100% what they think the country needs and let the Republicans deal with that.

Instead of comprimising principles internally, and avoiding politically troublesome issues (e.g. elimination of the employer tax exemption, Medicare negotiation for drug prices, etc.), Dempcrats should start with a coherent program to actually change the dysfunctional model we have and let the Republicans themselves justify watering it down.

Posted by: Athena_news | January 29, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

The poll results are depressing but not suprising, especially when you consider the recent poll that revealed that Fox News is the most trusted source for news: the American public is apparently seeking information sources that reinforce their political perspective, not sources that challenge their thinking. The Pew results are even more depressing when you look at the results by age group: the only area where the 18-29 year-olds did better than the older groups was in identifying Steven Colbert as a comedian. I'd love to see a poll that focuses on this group only to determine why they don't pay more attention to the news, though I suspect that the reasons are many and complex.

As for the filibuster, I find it curious that Obama used the SOTU to poke at the Senate for not being as productive as the House, but he never came out and explained why. Nor do we ever see those charts that demonstrate the dramatic rise in the filibuster filings during this Congress in mainstream sources. (Not that it would probably make much difference in public opinion, given the Pew poll results, because no one would pay attention to it.) But if Republicans are so proud of their obstructionism, why don't they call more attention to it? Or better yet, why don't the Congressional D's make it one? And not on the health care issue -- focus, for example, on motions filed on bills like the one Coburn has filed on increased benefits for veterans. If there are over 140 filings of intent to filibuster, there have to more examples of issues where the public would be outraged to see the effects of Republican obstructionism. Poll the issues, if need be, to better gauge public support. And then get out in public and hammer the R's with it. Make it an election issue. (Personally, I think they should go after McConnell for leading such an obstructionist strategy, the same way that the R's demonize Pelosi and Reid, but I understand why they don't, given that the American public is sick of the partisan bickering.) Make the R's accountable.

Posted by: reach4astar2 | January 29, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

"Not True. Any real universal system -- whether single-payer, all-payer, or individual payer -- would cost much less than what we're spending now." Posted by: Athena_news

Not without either reducing quality or expanding supply.

You can have universal healthcare.
You can have quality healthcare.
You can have affordable healthcare.

You can't have all three. You try to get more of one, something else will suffer.

In my opinion, the best way to try maximizing all three would begin with training more doctors and nurses. But that's just me.

Posted by: bgmma50 | January 29, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

"To portray GOP as the party of 'no' will be relative easy...."

And with the recent actions of the Democrat party, this might be a boon for Republicans.

Posted by: WrongfulDeath | January 29, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

“Then why does every other developed country have universal coverage *and* lower costs?”

Monopsony. But remember there is no free lunch. If you set the price of healthcare (like the NHS) too low you are likely to get teeth like an Englishman.

Posted by: kingstu01 | January 29, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I say Nuke the filibuster. see Nuclear Option 2005. The filibuster only hurts Democrats. Republicans are happy to completely trounce it when it gets in the way of their agenda. And happy to completely abuse it to obstruct progress when they've lost majority power. How is this helping progressives??

Or at the very least redesign the health bill for reconciliation. Hell we've already missed the deadline. I'll be satisfied with Medicare for all. I don't want to hear any more whining. Are the Congressmen afraid they might have to stay late some nights?

Posted by: wilderhouse | January 29, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Without doubt, Republicans would not hesitate to use the 51 vote reconciliation tool if the situation were reversed. Take off the gloves. There is no such thing as bipartisanship in our Congress. Act for the people. Universal coverage for all...now!

Posted by: bl1942 | January 30, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

After a year of playing hardball, ridiculing and shutting out all Republican ideas and bills, literally locking Republicans and C-Span out of the backroom negotiations, why do you think Republicans should now be anything but the party of "Not No, HELL NO!" My congresswoman said the House Republicans offered over 800 bills and amendments, and every single one was voted down. It wasn't the Republicans who blocked out the public option as a single payer subterfuge, it was the moderate Democrats. It's a failure of White House leadership to insist on a moderate health care reform that took ideas from both sides that would have been passed. A budget neutral bill that did not increase taxes and costs, reformed the insurance market, controlled malpractice lawyer greed, encouraged market competition, connected the real cost of everything spent for a patient to his wallet, and did not come tainted with special interest payoffs and Congressional bribes, would have passed. Easily!

Educating the young is a great idea. Dick Morris showed that when 20 somethings were educated on their being mandated to buy Obamacare, even against their will, at premiums 30 to 70% higher depending on who you read, enforced with fines and IRS pursuit, they turned from 70% in favor to 60% opposed. The Jan. 22 Rasmussen poll shows 58% of voting Americans oppose the final Obamacare bills, 40% favor, and 61% think Congress needs to move on to more pressing problems.

Posted by: Patriotdoc | January 30, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Eric Cantor, a member of the minority party, has a rather strange definition of "bipartisanship" -- pass what we agree on and put aside whatever his minority doesn't want. Is that the way it worked when Republicans controlled Congress? I think not. When will Axelrod, Reed, Pelosi et al educate the GOP about what it means to be IN THE MINORITY -- it means it's NOT UP TO YOU TO MAKE THE FINAL DECISION. You lost, GOP. Get used to it -- and stop trying to pretend you still have the right to call the shots!

(And for the Democratic leadership: START CALLING THE SHOTS! Via reconciliation is fine with me -- the GOP used it all the time during Bush Jr's admin, when they didn't even have 59 votes in the Senate!)

Good grief. If it's this obvious to those of us out here in the real world, why can't Harry figure it out?!

Posted by: marcywrite | January 30, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

P.S. to Patriotdoc (just above me in the string) -- your Congresswoman either lied or is brain-dead-ignorant. More than 150 GOP amendments WERE INCLUDED in health reform legislation. Obama and Dem Congressional leaders met regularly w/GOP members of Congress and included them in all hearings (unlike the GOP, who literally shut Dems out of hearing rooms during GW Bush's tenure). The Gang of Six in the Senate, which held up the health care legislative process for several months while they sought compromise on the bill -- and during which the GOP members of the "Gang" got virtually all they wanted (and still voted no, I might add) -- was made up of three conservative Dems and three Republicans. Obama went to Congress and met with Republicans. He invited them to the White House and met with them there. STOP REPEATING FAUX NOISE'S NONSENSICAL LIES! As for the authoritative sources you cite -- Dick Morris is a GOP shill, and Rasmussen's polling leans decidedly right. They get the results they do because of the way they ask their questions. Try checking a more objective source once in a while -- you might actually LEARN something CORRECT about what's gone on in D.C. for the past year. THAT would make you a patriot -- right now, all you are is a parrot.

Posted by: marcywrite | January 30, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

marcywrite, I don't know if my Congresswoman lied or not, but I doubt it. Did your congressperson tell you about 150 amendments included? If not, what is your source? What sort of amendments were they? Please educate me. I know the GOP members were included in the hearings, some of their comments are on you tube. However, the actual writing of the House and Senate bills, and the final reconciliation process shut out the GOP and C-Span according to multiple news reports. Did the news get that all wrong, and if so, based on what? Dick Morris used to work for Bill Clinton, as his chief strategist for a while, then he had a change of heart when he saw the results of liberal feel good policies. Does that make him a shill? He simply has told the story to anyone who will listen with an open mind that young people change their minds when educated about Obamacare. Whether you like Rasmussen or not, his system accurately predicted Scott Brown's surge and possible win before any other poll. What poll do you have that says America really, really wants the Democrats' socialized health care system?

Posted by: Patriotdoc | January 31, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

2010 and 2012 we will see the voice of Americans who are fed up with this out of control train ride. You can count on it. we in Missouri say show me. I have had enough change to belive in for ten lifetimes. If it sounds to good to be true. you know what they say.

Posted by: svickers68 | January 31, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

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