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Posted at 1:49 PM ET, 02/ 4/2011

John Thune cheerfully creates an alternate reality

By Greg Sargent

In recent days, Jon Chait and I have been howling at the moon about the fact that Senate Republicans continue asserting that there's majority support for full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, in defiance of reams of polling evidence.

Today Senator John Thune comes through with the most brazen example of this genre yet.

The only way to read his piece is as a deliberate exercise in creating an alternate reality. He argues that there's a "loud and growing chorus" for repeal, and even insists the repeal push constitutes one of the "great movements in our country," as if it's on a par with the great Civil Rights movements in American history. That language, of course, reveals more about the willingness of repeal proponents to feed the messianism and passionate intensity of the minority of Americans who want full repeal than it does about anything else. But onward.

Thankfully, in addition to all the over-the-top, information-free pronouncements, Thune does make two information-based statements that can actually be evaluated.

Thune claims that "solid majorities" of the American people "strongly" disapprove of the law. I have not seen a single reputable national poll finding this. Indeed, a recent Washington Post poll found that only 36 percent "strongly" dispprove of the law. And the Associated Press recently found that number is down at 30 percent.

Thune also writes that "the American people have said they want the law repealed." But this is an enormous distortion, if not an outright falsehood. Approximately half a dozen major national polls in the last couple months have shown varying degrees of support for repeal, ranging from pluralities in the more simplistic polls to small minorities in the more complex ones. While a couple of those polls have shown more support repeal than oppose it, more polls have found the opposite to be the case.

A lot of people are treating Thune's potential presidential aspirations very seriously these days, so it's fair to expect folks to treat the things he says with an equal level of seriousness. More broadly, as Chait has been arguing, it's becoming clearer that Thune's argument is of a piece with a larger effort to quite literally recreate an alternate reality in which there's an overwhelming public clamor for repeal -- an alternate reality that could conceivably influence the outcome of the repeal fight not just in Congress, but also in the courts. This, too, deserves to be looked at a bit more seriously.

Got that, Moon?

By Greg Sargent  | February 4, 2011; 1:49 PM ET
Categories:  Health reform, Senate Republicans  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Is the GOP's health repeal push creating "uncertainty" for businesses?
Next: The flawed conservative case against the mandate

Comments

"He argues that there's a "loud and growing chorus" for repeal."

Uh oh. He's hearing voices in his head.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 4, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of alternate realities:
-------

Last night Brigade tossed out what turned out to be a red herring...claiming women were simply using "emotional distress" instead of actual "physical" health threats. Jenn countered with the statistic of just 90 late term abortions last year and so perhaps brigade exaggerated the problem.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 4, 2011
=========================================

"Red herring" must be new lib-speak for fact. The statement I made isn't even debatable. As for Jenn's "counter" (more lib-speak, since it in no way countered my assertion), I wonder if RUK actually researched the topic----I mean other than simply taking Jenn's word for it. No?

==========================================

"I have a hard time accepting both that only 90 3rd trimester abortions happen per year . . . Something is wrong with the math there.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 4, 2011
===========================================

What are you going to do now, RUK? Two of your mentors and mental masters are at odds.

Posted by: Brigade | February 4, 2011 2:02 PM | Report abuse

"coming up tonight ... politician engages in hyperbole to support his cause. film at 11"

but to your larger point, if you spend anytime on Capitol Hill it becomes very clear that the whole place is an alternate reality.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | February 4, 2011 2:03 PM | Report abuse

While not unsympathetic for arguments advocating repeal, and usually not a supporter of the federal government attempting to directly solve intractable problems like healthcare . . . I don't see how anybody can seriously believe that the majority of people are opposed to someone else taking (or seeming to take) the responsibility for their healthcare, or anything at all.

And, predictably, many of the people unhappy with ObamaPelosiHitlerCare (and that, my friends, is irony, related to the previous threads. in case you don't catch it) . . . many of those people are unhappy because there isn't a public option, because private insurers are involved, because the government isn't paying more and/or doing more. They don't want "repeal" because they don't object to the ACA--they want much more government involvement (and by involvement, I mean, they want someone else to pick up the tab).

I think John Thune is trying to frame the narrative, not reflect reality.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 4, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Unlike you Cao posts bright, informed, and cogent posts.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 4, 2011 8:32 AM
==========================================

Do you realize that you spend half your posts kissing the butts of your liberal soul mates here, no matter how ignorant and contemptible they may be? And the other half insulting those who disagree with you? That doesn't leave much room.

I'm sure cao's heading is swelling, but do you really think he's going to invite you to Vietnam and a weekend of male on male debauchery?

Posted by: Brigade | February 4, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

It's kind of like the "government takeover of healthcare" lie.

If you repeat the story that "most Americans support repeal of Obamacare" often enough, a lot of people and the mainstream media will believe it, or at least, stop questioning the claim.

Posted by: dko63 | February 4, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Greg-

Even Jennifer Ruben on her conservative blog points out the disingenuousness of Republicans' contentions that repeal has overwhelming or even majority support. Thune is clearly speaking for the base he hopes will make him the Republican nominee for 2012.

Posted by: mobrien83 | February 4, 2011 2:15 PM | Report abuse

My vitriol has never come close to the death panel Conservatives. You people have absolutely no moral ground to stand on. Impugning your lack of ability to do basic arithmetic pales in comparison to demonizing those who help the sick.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 4, 2011
=========================================

Hmmmmmm ...

=========================================

As a progressive, I believe there should be illnesses that are covered in full and those that are not. I don't think medicare should be paying for Cheney's heart transplant at his age and with his resources, for example. So I believe in rationing based on medical efficacy. What is the relative improvement in the quality of life and life expectancy after this treatment vs the cost.

Posted by: srw3 | February 3, 2011 3:29 PM
==========================================

Your "progressive" view is exactly what prompts people to talk of death panels. Treatment vs. cost? Rationing based on medical efficacy? Who will make these decisions?

And don't bother responding that insurance companies already have death panels, because that doesn't mean that the government won't eventually be making the very same kind of decisions.

Posted by: Brigade | February 3, 2011
=========================================

Looks like DDAWD needs to do a little research on the meaning of death panels. Or maybe it's only conservative death panels to which he objects.

Posted by: Brigade | February 4, 2011 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Greg - I hope you'll pass along to your congressional aide contacts pragmatician's point from the last thread (also written about by Steve Benen): if it's unconstitutional to force people to do business with a private entity, then wouldn't that render the GOP/Wall Street dream of privatizing Social Security unconstitutional as well? Under all the proposed schemes, people would be forced to do business with private companies.

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 4, 2011 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Snow just started here. We're predicted to only get a couple of inches this time, then more on Monday and again next Wednesday. Which obviously disproves global warming.

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 4, 2011
========================================

I wonder how Liam's dealing with global warming there in Chicago.

Posted by: Brigade | February 4, 2011 2:19 PM | Report abuse

HUGE win for Obama. His reelection will be sweet.

Posted by: Observer691 | February 4, 2011
=========================================

Another poor soul who doesn't mind wars, ballooning deficits, or high unemployment as long as there's a liberal in the White House. How's the supply of government cheese holding out?

Posted by: Brigade | February 4, 2011 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Unemployment down, but fewer jobs created than expected.

Drill down though. The broader index, the underemployment number, dropped from 16.7% to 16.1%.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | February 4, 2011
====================================

Happy days are here again!

Posted by: Brigade | February 4, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Those opposed to the ACA are conflating general opposition to the law with support for repeal. Many polls show that a majority/plurality/whatever "oppose" the new law. I think Thune and others are simply making the jump from that to a call for repeal. Not a big deal to me.

http://polltracker.talkingpointsmemo.com/contests/us-health-care-reform

Posted by: sbj3 | February 4, 2011 2:27 PM | Report abuse

The GOP talking point is: "health care is widely unpopular. it will bankrupt the nation except for the public section unions, who will euthanize your loved ones. a filthy immigrant who probably doesn't even speak English or even know who Jesus is will be the one who pulls the plug."

The Dem talking point is: "health care will save money by mandating that more services be provided for free and/or through Medicaid, which also is free. We can control costs by using comparative effectiveness research panels who will be so wise that no lobbying effort would possibly override their decisions. controlling utilization is of no concern, as the treatments are free. Anyone who questions our accounting skills or pureness of motive is violent, racist and hates children, the sick, and cute woodland creatures. also the rich. and free."

Lather, rinse, repeat. always repeat.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | February 4, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

The progressive alternate reality: 63 House Democrats who defended Obamacare are still in office; 63 House Republicans who promised to repeal Obamacare, were not elected in November.

Posted by: bobdame | February 4, 2011 2:35 PM | Report abuse

John Thune.

I think we should get Bob Hoskins on the case. Damn Toons!

Posted by: Liam-still | February 4, 2011 2:38 PM | Report abuse

This week, several lawmakers in the House and Senate began exploring policy alternatives to the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act. What was interesting about this is that all of the lawmakers are Democrats.

In theory, mandate-hating Republicans should welcome these developments, right? After all, if they're sincere about their deep-seeded disgust for the mandate -- which they consider some kind of outrageous abuse, despite having come up with the idea in the first place -- GOP officials should jump at the chance to get rid of it. If the mandate is an affront to American freedom -- it's not, but just for the sake of conversation -- it stands to reason Republicans would gladly work with willing Dems on this.

But that's not happening. As best as I can tell, not a single GOP lawmaker -- literally, not one -- has stepped up this week to either propose a way to eliminate the mandate or work with Dems on an alternative.

I say this because I see many of you so absolutely crazed by the individual mandate. It's as if this is akin to "taxation without representation". You believe this is the first step on the slippery slope to fascism. Fine.

If that's the case, where is the simple proposal to lose the mandate? I know you'd have no trouble getting every Republican behind that bill. I bet you'd even get a fair number of Democrats. Heck, Senator Obama was opposed to it. So if you really, really hate the mandate so much, go ahead and lose it. [...]

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2011_02/027848.php

Posted by: pragmaticagain | February 4, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I've been trying to figure out the agenda that Mr Sargent hopes to advance by his word parsing. Essays about the polling data festoon this blog. I wonder why.

One theory that comes to mind is that Mr Sargent would much prefer to talk about the internals of polls than the constitutional crisis Obama is about to foment.

A judge in Florida held that Obamacare was unconstitutional. So are the various agencies and bureaux in the executive branch no longer working toward implementation? Isn't that incumbent on Obama?

Oh, and BTW, a Judge also found the Obama administration in contempt for imposing a drilling ban after he ruled that the original ban was unconstitutional.

Mr Sargent, it seems, can't find time to discuss the implications of these two facts of life. Instead he has time to yuck it up with Jonathan BS about polling data.

Obama is fomenting a constitutional confrontation, what the Democrat would call a crisis were a Republican in the White House.

I rarely do this, but the question must be asked: If the Bush admin were found to be in contempt, would Mr Sargent fail to discuss this on his blog? I seriously doubt it.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 4, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, "conservative" Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) voted with Harry Reid to preserve Pelosi-Care, proving his Republican challenger right in the 2010 Senate race who asserted (correctly) that candidate Manchin's opposition Pelosi-Care was a lie.

A Rasmussen poll of West Virginia likely voters in August, 2010 showed 69% of the state opposed to Obamacare, with 80% of those "strongly opposed".

&%^$! WV-taxpayers, says Manchin!

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 4, 2011 2:44 PM | Report abuse

"John Thune cheerfully creates an alternate reality"

I bet in Thune's house the next president is reflected in every mirror.

Posted by: bsimon1 | February 4, 2011 2:44 PM | Report abuse

"One theory that comes to mind is that Mr Sargent would much prefer to talk about the internals of polls than the constitutional crisis Obama is about to foment. ... A judge in Florida held that Obamacare was unconstitutional. So are the various agencies and bureaux in the executive branch no longer working toward implementation? Isn't that incumbent on Obama?"

OF the four rulings I'm aware of, two have decided the law is constitutional, while two have not. Of the latter two, one only found the mandate to be unconstitutional, while the most activist judge tossed out the whole thing. Even then, he declined to issue a stay. In other words, your 'constitutional crisis' is a fantasy. Senator Thune, is that you?

Posted by: bsimon1 | February 4, 2011 2:47 PM | Report abuse

"I've been trying to figure out the agenda that Mr Sargent hopes to advance by his word parsing."

Greg's a great guy who also happens to be a partisan blogger with admitted policy preferences. This week he seems to be pushing the Dem strategy in two ways: (1) get individual stories out there about the impact of repeal, (2) push the fantasy that the GOP wants to repeal the ACA without any replacement.

Posted by: sbj3 | February 4, 2011 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I love it when Skippy claims he "rarely does" what he does all the time?

What an Ultra Maroon!!!

Posted by: Liam-still | February 4, 2011 2:48 PM | Report abuse

@sbj3 "(2) push the fantasy that the GOP wants to repeal the ACA without any replacement."

I would say the jury is still out on this. As Liam notes, there haven't been any alternative bills introduced, to the best of my knowledge.

Posted by: jnc4p | February 4, 2011 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Oh really? A judge declared it unconstitutional, does that mean Obama gets to go first side to get to four wins? What part of unconstitutional don't you get?

And I note that you completely ignored the other, and more significant, aspect of Obama's lawlessness: the fact that the admin has been held in contempt of court over the drilling ban.

Apparently the lying Mr Salazar sees no need to comply with a mere court opinion. Now, just Imagine if Bush had decided to ignore Boumediene or Rasul. Mr Sargent's linens would look like the gordian knot.

so how about it lefties? Mr Obama gets to keep score does he? He gets to ignore the judiciary too. If he can, why can't I, or any other American for that matter?

And Mr Liar-still, kindly locate a single comment made by me that supports your contention. I'll be here, waiting with bated breath. Just cut and paste. You do know how to cut and paste don't you? Just put your lips together and blow boy.

It is sad to see such unbridled nastiness on this blog. I wonder why Mr Sargent tolerates this, but wouldn't tolerate righties with axes to grind. And righties that made far fewer personal attacks.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 4, 2011 3:04 PM | Report abuse

@jnc4p: "There haven't been any alternative bills introduced, to the best of my knowledge."

The linked article outlines the plan going forward.

"House Republicans are pursuing a three-part strategy. Part One was repeal; they promised to do it, and they did it. Part Two is replace, which in coming months will involve House votes on a series of GOP health care measures. And Part Three -- since full repeal can't win in the Senate -- is another series of votes on measures to repeal individual parts of Obamacare. The net result will be that Republicans gradually push more and more House Democrats -- and perhaps some in the Senate -- away from an all-or-nothing defense of Obamacare."

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/politics/2011/01/house-gop-begins-long-slog-dismantle-obamacare#ixzz1D1SFP0Lr

Posted by: sbj3 | February 4, 2011 3:05 PM | Report abuse

"strategy. Part One was repeal; they promised to do it, and they did it. Part Two is replace, which in coming months will involve House votes on a series of GOP health care measures"

So the plan was to leave millions without health care and then wait a few months before replacing the policy with another one?

Brilliant.

Face it. They don't have a plan. Not in the least. The GOP is has gone totally negative and totally nihilist.

"If you repeat the story that "most Americans support repeal of Obamacare" often enough, a lot of people and the mainstream media will believe it, or at least, stop questioning the claim."

Yep. That's the strategy. Repeat a lie often and long enough until your base believes it. The problem is the rest of the country is waiting for you guys to grow up and start being serious. Stop it with the birtherism, muslim hatred and the like. We have real problems and need the Republican party to grow up quickly.

Posted by: Alex3 | February 4, 2011 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I can live with calling it: Obamacare, because I fully support it.

And of course, that entitle me to call those repeal votes;

The Republicans' NoCare Plan.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 4, 2011 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I can live with calling it: Obamacare, because I fully support it.

And of course, that entitles me to call those repeal votes;

The Republicans' NoCare Plan.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 4, 2011 3:25 PM | Report abuse

@alex: So the plan was to leave millions without health care.

Umm, for those living under a rock or otherwise uninformed, the Senate is in the control of the Democrats and the President still has veto power.

Posted by: sbj3 | February 4, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

SBJ3 - You were the one who wrote "in the coming months. So you basically admitted there is currently no plan to replace. They bring forth a repeal bill and had it had passed, there would have been no replacement.

I remember at the time of the vote that several Repubs thought they could bring folks like Nelson and Lieberman over. So there was certainly a real hope it would repeal.

Posted by: Alex3 | February 4, 2011 3:35 PM | Report abuse

@Alex3 "So the plan was to leave millions without health care and then wait a few months before replacing the policy with another one? "

Most of the law hasn't taken effect yet, and in any event they would be no worse off than they were prior to the signing of the ACA on March 23, 2010.

Wikipedia has a pretty good overview of what takes effect and when:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patient_Protection_and_Affordable_Care_Act

If the implementation of any Republican alternative is faster, then it may be moot.

However, when it comes to the Republicans actually introducing and passing something comprehensive, "Trust but Verify" would seem to be appropriate.

Posted by: jnc4p | February 4, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

The DOJ does not want this case moved quickly, rabid fools like this one can run around spinnin and spinning trying to make the trash legislation make sense. This 2000 page piece of crap will be burned on the steps of the White House. Zero is signing his own death warrant a s the only way to put this to bed for good is to get rid of him in 2012 and that WILL happen.

The arrogant piece of trash will finally be put back in Chicago to head up the community organizers association

Posted by: TeaPartier | February 4, 2011 3:40 PM | Report abuse

@alex: There was never any hope that repeal would pass. Don't forget Obama's veto pen.

Posted by: sbj3 | February 4, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

The DOJ does not want this case moved quickly, rabid fools like this one can run around spinnin and spinning trying to make the trash legislation make sense. This 2000 page piece of crap will be burned on the steps of the White House. Zero is signing his own death warrant a s the only way to put this to bed for good is to get rid of him in 2012 and that WILL happen.

The arrogant piece of trash will finally be put back in Chicago to head up the community organizers association

Posted by: TeaPartier | February 4, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Everyone knows there is no GOP intention to reform healthcare beyond limiting malpractice and weakening state regs on healthcare by doing the end run to allow insurance to be sold across state lines.

Repeal, repeal, repeal. That's all it was ever going to be.

The only thing that seems to have changed in the GOP discourse is the mantra that the "U.S. has the best healthcare system in the world". You don't hear that too much anymore.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 4, 2011 3:44 PM | Report abuse

TeaPartier-

I agree the law should be repealed, but that's no way to talk about our president, like him or not.

Posted by: mobrien83 | February 4, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Alex3 just doesn't get it:
============
So the plan was to leave millions without health care and then wait a few months before replacing the policy with another one?

Brilliant.

Face it. They don't have a plan. Not in the least. The GOP is has gone totally negative and totally nihilist.

===============

the whining for a Republican alternative is just a poorly disguised effort at changing the subject. "let's talk about the Republicans instead of what folks don't like about us."

Not a chance. If the only argument you've got in support of your position is "Oh yeah, well what do you propose" you're sunk. Bereft of ideas. Negative and totally nihilist.

Oh, and when, exactly, does Obama care begin to cover those alleged millions without coverage now? Hmmmm? did it kick in yesterday? How about tommorrow? It is amazing to me that the liberals would crow about their faux crisis then pass legislation that takes years to be enforced. What do these poor folks do while waiting for Obama's CBO tricks to run their course? If it is a crisis, why didn't your boy do it now?

and this whine o gram is a classic:
=============
Yep. That's the strategy. Repeat a lie often and long enough until your base believes it. The problem is the rest of the country is waiting for you guys to grow up and start being serious. Stop it with the birtherism, muslim hatred and the like. We have real problems and need the Republican party to grow up quickly.
======================

this is just a target rich environment. First, how soon Alex forgets the recent calumny a thon wherein his liberal brethren repeated lies about Palin and Limbaugh and everyone else they hate in the hopes that they could destroy them. It was based on lies Alex, but hey, your end, such as it is, justifes any means and the people who disagree should do as you say and not as you, right?

Show us the statements you made demanding that the 9/11 truthers get serious. You have reams of these don't you? I mean I would want to think that you were ok with them, or even silent about them, yet have problems with the birthers.
I can't imagine that you'd be that two faced./sarc

Grow up indeed. You guys sound like spoiled little brats whose binkie was taken away.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 4, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Greg, I have a tough time reading this and seeing any alternate reality other than your own. Rasmussen's most recent poll on the healthcare legislation finds 38% for/in favor, 58% opposed/against. Those very tilted numbers certainly aren't subsiding- they've been that way for many months and seem to be getting more lopsided. You may not like the term "strongly opposed" or "loud and growing chorus' and may be a bit of an embellishment, but you still have your back against the wall. Rotten poll numbers, mounting losses in the courts and an a very understandable public mistrust of the government's abilty to handle healthcare: I daresay that if the shoe was on the other foot you would be screaming for repeal. As to the rest of the public, 58% want it to go away minus the theatrics.

Posted by: ald3 | February 4, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Greg, I have a tough time reading this and seeing any alternate reality other than your own. Rasmussen's most recent poll on the healthcare legislation finds 38% for/in favor, 58% opposed/against. Those very tilted numbers certainly aren't subsiding- they've been that way for many months and seem to be getting more lopsided. You may not like the term "strongly opposed" or "loud and growing chorus' and may be a bit of an embellishment, but you still have your back against the wall. Rotten poll numbers, mounting losses in the courts and an a very understandable public mistrust of the government's abilty to handle healthcare: I daresay that if the shoe was on the other foot you would be screaming for repeal. As to the rest of the public, 58% want it to go away minus the theatrics.

Posted by: ald3 | February 4, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Greg, I have a tough time reading this and seeing any alternate reality other than your own. Rasmussen's most recent poll on the healthcare legislation finds 38% for/in favor, 58% opposed/against. Those very tilted numbers certainly aren't subsiding- they've been that way for many months and seem to be getting more lopsided. You may not like the term "strongly opposed" or "loud and growing chorus' and may be a bit of an embellishment, but you still have your back against the wall. Rotten poll numbers, mounting losses in the courts and an a very understandable public mistrust of the government's abilty to handle healthcare: I daresay that if the shoe was on the other foot you would be screaming for repeal. As to the rest of the public, 58% want it to go away minus the theatrics.

Posted by: ald3 | February 4, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Kevin said: "I think John Thune is trying to frame the narrative, not reflect reality."

If he says X is true but actually Y is true (and he knows it) then he's lying, not "framing a narrative".

Posted by: bernielatham | February 4, 2011 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Greg, I have a tough time reading this and seeing any alternate reality other than your own. Rasmussen's most recent poll on the healthcare legislation finds 38% for/in favor, 58% opposed/against. Those very tilted numbers certainly aren't subsiding- they've been that way for many months and seem to be getting more lopsided. You may not like the term "strongly opposed" or "loud and growing chorus' and may be a bit of an embellishment, but you still have your back against the wall. Rotten poll numbers, mounting losses in the courts and an a very understandable public mistrust of the government's abilty to handle healthcare: I daresay that if the shoe was on the other foot you would be screaming for repeal. As to the rest of the public, 58% want it to go away minus the theatrics.

Posted by: ald3 | February 4, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Greg, I have a tough time reading this and seeing any alternate reality other than your own. Rasmussen's most recent poll on the healthcare legislation finds 38% for/in favor, 58% opposed/against. Those very tilted numbers certainly aren't subsiding- they've been that way for many months and seem to be getting more lopsided. You may not like the term "strongly opposed" or "loud and growing chorus' and may be a bit of an embellishment, but you still have your back against the wall. Rotten poll numbers, mounting losses in the courts and an a very understandable public mistrust of the government's abilty to handle healthcare: I daresay that if the shoe was on the other foot you would be screaming for repeal. As to the rest of the public, 58% want it to go away minus the theatrics.

Posted by: ald3 | February 4, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Greg...exactly what part of UNCONSTITUTIONAL do you not understand?

Posted by: SickandTired2 | February 4, 2011 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Greg...could you tell me, please: What part of UNCONSTITUTIONAL do you not understand?

Posted by: SickandTired2 | February 4, 2011 4:22 PM | Report abuse

I am almost starting to feel sorry for the Leftists whose job it is to shill for ObamaCare with these kinds of editorials. The tough aspect of this work for them is that people have learned about ObamaCare as instructed by Pelosi and decided they don't like it.

Who, for example, actually doesn't know that Obama lied repeatedly about "if you like your plan, you can keep your plan?" Over the next several months people will learn even more and I don't think they'll like it. But hey!, maybe in 2012, Dems will be rewarded for ObamaCare. But if I could place a bet, I'd say they are almost assured of losing the Senate.

Posted by: BillCarson2 | February 4, 2011 4:28 PM | Report abuse

@sbj3: There was never any hope that repeal would pass. Don't forget Obama's veto pen.

So you acknowledge that the healthcare repeal vote was political theater, and bad community theater at that...i.e. repubs wasting the time of the house on meaningless political posturing...

What happened to jobs jobs jobs?

I see the focus on redefining rape was another non-jobs issue brought up by the new "leadership".

Posted by: srw3 | February 4, 2011 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I am almost starting to feel sorry for the Leftists whose job it is to shill for ObamaCare with these kinds of editorials. The tough aspect of this work for them is that people have learned about ObamaCare as instructed by Pelosi and decided they don't like it.

Who, for example, actually doesn't know that Obama lied repeatedly about "if you like your plan, you can keep your plan?" Over the next several months people will learn even more and I don't think they'll like it. But hey!, maybe in 2012, Dems will be rewarded for ObamaCare. But if I could place a bet, I'd say they are almost assured of losing the Senate.

Posted by: BillCarson2 | February 4, 2011 4:35 PM | Report abuse

The idiot probably thinks Republicans won the House too. Moron.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | February 4, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

You prefer the Republican plan: NoCare?!

Posted by: Liam-still | February 4, 2011 4:38 PM | Report abuse

@srw: "So you acknowledge that the healthcare repeal vote was political theater?"

Well, duh!

Posted by: sbj3 | February 4, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

The latest Rasmussen poll of likely voters shows 58% oppose Obama Care and only 38% approve of it. Granted that is not a repeal poll but it might as well be. Your contention that Thune's claims are overblown is cynical in comparison to Obama and the democrats false contention about what this law will do... Read: Obama Care is a tangled web....at....
http://cooperscopy.blogspot.com/

Posted by: ronsuev | February 4, 2011 4:41 PM | Report abuse

The latest Rasmussen poll of likely voters shows 58% oppose Obama Care and only 38% approve of it. Granted that is not a repeal poll but it might as well be. Your contention that Thune's claims are overblown is cynical in comparison to Obama and the democrats false contention about what this law will do... Read: Obama Care is a tangled web....at....
http://cooperscopy.blogspot.com/

Posted by: ronsuev | February 4, 2011 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Those 58% have been brain washed by the Koch Brothers, and will receive remedial mental health care under ObamCare, but not under the Republican's Plan: NoCare.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 4, 2011 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Greg and Lil' Jon-Jon Chait are laughing at stupid republicans and their legendary
naivete about, say ObamaCare's popularity.

Hello, Mr. Greg Doofus:

Obama and Democrats'
Health Care Plan
Rasmussen Reports*
More US Polls »
For/Favor 38
Against/Oppose 58
Against/Oppose +20.0

I do truly feel bad for latter day wannebe hippies like Greg, but guys, the 60s are like a hundred years ago. They were fun, at least for those of us who didn't go so far off the reservation that we never returned. But they weren't that much fun. And the bad news for youse: the era of free love, the flower children belief in pseudo-socialistic entitlements, hell-no-we-won't-go? All gone kids. You missed out. Now take the fake flowers out of your hair and come live with the rest of us adults in the only world that exists, the soi disant real world.

It's not so bad--really!

Posted by: tom75 | February 4, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse

@Liam-still: "You prefer the Republican plan: NoCare?!"

I thought the Republican plan was "Pay as You Go". Or, "All the Care You Can Personally Afford".

Which is not the same as "no care". ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 4, 2011 5:05 PM | Report abuse

From today, at RealClearPolitics: Six national polls. In five, "repeal" polls high than "don't repeal". RCP average is "repeal" by 8 points.
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/repeal_of_health_care_law_favoroppose-1947.html

Posted by: west4567 | February 4, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

@bc2: The tough aspect of this work for them is that people have learned about ObamaCare as instructed by Pelosi and decided they don't like it.

Actually, people like keeping their children covered until age 26, the end of capricious rescission, and a raft of other specific parts of Obamacare. I don't see hordes of seniors turning down the money to close the donut hole (a masterpiece of political bait and switch by repubs when they had a chance (6 years of chances) to do something to improve health care delivery and insure some of the 40+ million unable to get insurance. It is a spectacular failure of messaging by dems and a stellar on message performance by repubs even if substantively repub claims about Obamacare are false in almost every instance.

Posted by: srw3 | February 4, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

If most healthy people opt out of purchasing insurance, the health care Insurance Industry, and most likely the Medical Providers system will collapse.

The Insurance Industry is based solely on having a large number of low risk, healthy people in their pools, to allow them to skim large profit margins, large salaries/bonuses, and operating expenses off the top of their premiums receivables. It is really a Ponzi scheme. Pay us when you are healthy, and we will drop you, if you look like you are going to start asking for a payout.

So who are the Republicans going to bat for, with their efforts to repeal the individual mandate? Isn't it mostly a bunch of free loaders, risk takers, or dead beats?

It has to be, or else the Insurance Companies would have already gone out of business.

So why are The Republicans going to bat for that minority of people, who just do not want to contribute their fair share?

They are still going to seek to medical care, as needed, but they just are not prepared to contribute to covering the over all costs of the system.

Should we also let them show up at restaurants, when ever they run out of food, and be allowed to eat for free?

I am not talking about people who are so poor they can not afford the premiums. The reform bill already addressed that issue. I am talking about people who can afford the premiums but do not want to pay anything for coverage, but still will seek medical care, when ever the get injured or become seriously sick.

It still strikes me, that all The Republicans are doing, is going to bat for that class of freeloaders.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 4, 2011 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Surely you jest:

The number of states pursuing legal remedies is now 28. In the case of the Vinson decision, the 26 plaintiff states are now FREE TO DESIST IMPLEMENTING IT.

The following from the CBO scoring of Reid's bill:

p 15: After the first ten years cost estimates are NOT MEANINGFUL (CBO's words) as uncertainties are simply too great.

p 19: It is unclear whether such a redcution in growth rate (Half TRILLION in medicare cuts) COULD be achieved, and if so, whether it would be accomplished through greater efficiencies in the delivery of health care (as odumbo claims) or would REDUCE ACCESS TO CARE OR DIMINISH THE QUALITY OF CARE.

ANYONE who claims/believes that offering an UNLIMITED ENTITLEMENT to 300+ MILLION people who will have UNLIMITED ACCESS TO THE ENTITLEMENT is going to reduce the cost of care or increase the access to care is dumb as a sack of nails.

Dr. Berwick, the recess appointee to run CMMS: The question is NOT IF we are going to ration care but whether we will do it with out EYES WIDE OPEN.

Anyone who supports this bill has simply not read, has not understood what they've read or is happy to get free stuff on other people's dime.

Posted by: JohnLeeHooker1 | February 4, 2011 5:39 PM | Report abuse

From today, at RealClearPolitics: Six national polls. In five, "repeal" polls high than "don't repeal". RCP average is "repeal" by 8 points.
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/repeal_of_health_care_law_favoroppose-1947.html

Posted by: west4567 | February 4, 2011 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Get out of your bubble and quit trying to parse the polls dude. The law, repeal or not, has NEVER had majority support in this country before during or after it was passed. All we are seeing is simple democracy at work which will continue into 2012. You can spin it in your head or in your words but elections are reality dude and nothing has changed since the mid-terms. Enjoy the Albatross ...

Posted by: cunn9305 | February 4, 2011 5:45 PM | Report abuse

If most healthy people opt out of purchasing insurance, the health care Insurance Industry, and most likely the Medical Providers system will collapse.

The Insurance Industry is based solely on having a large number of low risk, healthy people in their pools, to allow them to skim large profit margins, large salaries/bonuses, and operating expenses off the top of their premiums receivables. It is really a Ponzi scheme. Pay us when you are healthy, and we will drop you, if you look like you are going to start asking for a payout.

So who are the Republicans going to bat for, with their efforts to repeal the individual mandate? Isn't it mostly a bunch of free loaders, risk takers, or dead beats?

It has to be, or else the Insurance Companies would have already gone out of business.

So why are The Republicans going to bat for that minority of people, who just do not want to contribute their fair share?

They are still going to seek to medical care, as needed, but they just are not prepared to contribute to covering the over all costs of the system.

Should we also let them show up at restaurants, when ever they run out of food, and be allowed to eat for free?

I am not talking about people who are so poor they can not afford the premiums. The reform bill already addressed that issue. I am talking about people who can afford the premiums but do not want to pay anything for coverage, but still will seek medical care, when ever the get injured or become seriously sick.

It still strikes me, that all The Republicans are doing, is going to bat for that class of freeloaders.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 4, 2011 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Who's creating an alternate reality? According to RealClearPolitics, the score is 8-1-1 for repeal. So nice cherry-picking, lib. Further, given the success at the polls the GOP just had with anti-health care as essentially their #1 position, not to mention the scores of Dems who ran away from the issue, I'm betting internal polls are saying much the same.

The alterante reality is the one that exists among federal government employees, contractors and lobbyists and the lcoal newspaper that they read each morning.

Posted by: cfweckenmann | February 4, 2011 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Who's creating an alternate reality? According to RealClearPolitics, the score is 8-1-1 for repeal. So nice cherry-picking, lib. Further, given the success at the polls the GOP just had with anti-health care as essentially their #1 position, not to mention the scores of Dems who ran away from the issue, I'm betting internal polls are saying much the same.

The alterante reality is the one that exists among federal government employees, contractors and lobbyists and the lcoal newspaper that they read each morning.

Posted by: cfweckenmann | February 4, 2011 6:18 PM | Report abuse

1 Nov 2010
Folks,
Obama’s GAME (Great American Marxist Experiment) is over, a failure. Marxism goes against the basic human instincts that freedom is a natural, God-given right, that what you make (or earn) is yours to keep, that family, not government, is the basic social unit. Democrats have historically been the party to raise taxes and increase the size of government, but Obama, Reid, and Pelosi have taken these mistaken policies to the extreme. Republicans, Independents, and Tea Party members will now be forever vigilant of the Left and we will vote.
Tom Johnson, Largo, Florida

PS 19 Jan 2011
Obamacare is illegal. The original, very short, Commerce Clause is too loosely interpreted. Obamacare will NOT reduce total US health care costs by bringing an additional 30-50,000,000 people into the health care system, especially without tort reform. Democrats do NOT believe in the US Constitution as the supreme law of the land.
1. Federal health care is not one of the enumerated powers in the US Constitution, therefore, Obamacare is illegal. This only matters if you believe that the USA is a nation of laws and that the US Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It is clear that Democrats do NOT believe in the US Constitution. Obama supposedly taught US Constitutional law for 12 years, so he must understand the US Constitution. Since health care, as he signed it into law, is illegal, the only conclusion left is that Obama, and the Democrats who voted for health care, do not believe in the US Constitution.
2. The commerce clause was never intended to have such broad scope. These powers have been made up by the Democrats out of thin air.

Posted by: drtom312 | February 4, 2011 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Another Journolist who quotes lies with statistics.
There are about four sentences worth of proposals in this 2,700 page monstrosity that MOST Americans support.

Posted by: backsds | February 4, 2011 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Well, Greg, I don't know what polls you've been reading, but the one conducted last November swept in the largest number of Republicans since 1948. Most of them ran exclusively on repeal of Obamacare, so if you're looking for an alternate reality, maybe that's the one you should be looking at.

Also, if you want to get the full flavor of the hatred felt by the populace for the Individual Mandate, you might want to check out the results of voting in states like Missouri, with a full 71 percent voting to repeal that.

Sure, if you ask people if they want free stuff, Greg, most of them will say sure. But when it gets down to specifics, like the Individual Mandate, you Obammunists get slaughtered.

But don't take my word for it. Let's see what happens to Ben Nelson, Claire McCaskill, and other Senators in states that hate Obamacare. Maybe then you'll get an indication of whose reality is real. But I doubt it.

Posted by: pijacobsen | February 4, 2011 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Firstly, you are deceptive yourself using figures like 30-36% don't like the new health law. Those are only the people that really hate it. The polls are showing the country is about evenly split on whether they want the law or not, and about 60% do not want the insurance mandate, regardless. If you were a little more honest, you might have included that information, but apparently you’re not interested in the truth, you are interested in making your point, just like the guy you are making fun of. As far as the tide being strongly against this type of legislation, and the evidence of that being of historic proportions, I think Thune was referring to the midterm election results, which were historically significant in many regards. Perhaps you ought to brush up on the historical significance of these last midterms, and take a look at the comparative literature on the topic.

Posted by: davideconnollyjr | February 4, 2011 11:44 PM | Report abuse

I despise trutherism as well. I was there. I know what happened.

Somehow you never came around to denouncing Birtherism. Hmm?

Well, good luck with that.

Posted by: Alex3 | February 5, 2011 3:02 AM | Report abuse

Greg Sargent is also living his own reality. How does he do that? By picking and choosing the polls that fit what his bias has already driven him to believe. Fact is that polls are biased also. It is driven by how they select the pool of those polled. But recent polls shows as high as 58% of likely voters supporting REPEAL of HC. But we know where the votes went and we will see how it impacts 2012.

Posted by: josedfarias | February 5, 2011 4:15 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Greg Sargent, do you keep up with RealClearPolitics? Check the average of FAVOR REPEAL vs. OPPOSE REPEAL! There is one poll CBS News/NYT that shows people opposing the repeal, but the poll was conducted by CBS News/NYT ... does that tell you anything???

Posted by: josedfarias | February 5, 2011 4:24 AM | Report abuse

I cannot believe this guy. Hey dude, from the link your article provided. 1/16/11 poll on healthcare. Net approval of health care 43%. Net disapproval 52%. Yet there is all this support for Obamacare? The White House Propaganda Department is really proud of you.

Posted by: KeyserSoze2 | February 5, 2011 7:10 AM | Report abuse

GOP Alternate reality? Hello pot, this is kettle.

Dems take the prize for spinning tall tales, Greg, and only the most rabid ideologue would see it otherwise.
-Obamacare will lower the deficit?
-Obamacare will allow you to keep your plan?
-It's okay for the government to force people to buy a plan approved by Sebelius?

Anyone without their head up their arse recognizes these as lies.

Posted by: thereisnoutopia | February 5, 2011 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Thune is appealing to the "messianic" tea party base, which approximates the minority which wants full ACA repeal.

And many of those people do live in an alternate reality, where Obama is unqualified to be President, plus he's a Muslim, Marxist, communist, etc., out to get their guns.

Where do they get these outlandish and demonstrably false ideas? From right-wing talk radio, Fox "News" and websites like Drudge and World Net Daily -- all day, every day.

Which proves what we already know -- Big Lie propaganda works.

Posted by: devtob | February 5, 2011 8:29 PM | Report abuse

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