E. J. Dionne claims in today’s Washington Post that GOP analysts like Karl Rove are wrong to say that Democrats are running against health care, calling the conventional wisdom “patently false.” He specifically references Rove’s most recent column, which, he generously offers, “nicely summarized” the “standard Republican account” of health care’s unpopularity.
Rove’s piece, which I agree was nicely done, highlights the key misleading claims that Obama and his allies made in pushing their approach — that premium growth would slow, that those who wanted to would be able to keep their current health care, that the bill would bend down the cost curve, that no one under the $250,000 level would see their taxes increase, and that the whole package is paid for — and shows why each claim is wrong.
Dionne may be correct that certain specific regulations on insurance companies are individually popular, but overall, Americans seem to be unhappy with the fact that the Democrats overpromised and underdelivered.
I know and like both men. If I need to know the status of interfaith dialogue between two religious denominations in the U.S., my first call will be to Dionne. But if I need a hard-nosed assessment of the political impact of a given issue in an upcoming election, I’m calling Rove.