The Corner

On Health Care and the Dems

Jay Cost has a (typically) excellent piece on the way health-care reform has hurt the Democrats. He notes at the beginning how many commentators leave out or downplay the Obamacare albatross in their discussion of the Dems’ dire prospects. For example, here’s Jonathan Alter:

Health-care reform was seen by many cable chatterers as shaping the outcome of the November midterm elections but almost certainly won’t. Nor will the flap over the planned mosque and Islamic center near Ground Zero. To make sure, Obama defended the constitutional principle at stake, but backed off on the specific siting. Why get tied down by another hot-button distraction, especially one that keeps the Muslim story alive in ways that help no one but the media? The collapse of the Greek economy, by contrast, is an example of something real, not hyped by cable news, whose reverberations first spoiled Obama’s PR plan for a “Recovery Summer” and now could sink the Democrats in the midterms.

As Jay puts it: “So, Greek economy, yes. Health care . . . no?”

Here’s just something to noodle. A lot of commentators, and not just of the liberal shill Newsweek variety, were for health-care reform. They carried a lot of water for it. They denounced, ridiculed, and “debunked” conservative objections to it. They believed the White House’s substantive pitch, but they also believed its political pitch. They thought this thing would be great not just for America’s long overdue need to become Canada-South, they also thought it would be great for Obama and the Democrats.

And they were wrong.

That also goes for many of the political consultants who are now leaking how bad Obama is doing because of “the economy.” Perhaps they leave out or downplay the health-care angle as well for much the same reason.

No wonder the political salience of Obamacare’s unpopularity isn’t getting the attention it deserves from so many outlets. That would amount to a confession of error by a whole class of people who like to believe they are never wrong.


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