The Campaign Spot

Republican Ideas Are Very Unpopular… In the L.A. Times Newsroom

The Los Angeles Times is shocked that Republicans aren’t running a campaign designed to appeal to the editors of the Los Angeles Times, and are instead attempting to appeal to, you know, Republicans:

More than two-thirds of Americans say the country is “seriously off on the wrong track” under President Bush. Still, a remarkable thing is happening among Republican candidates for the White House: They are enthusiastically embracing Bush’s major policies and principles — even some of the most controversial and unsuccessful ones. Mitt Romney wants to keep the Guantanamo Bay prison open — even expand it — and

This was the most recent poll reference I could find:

Polls show that voters are evenly split on whether the government should be allowed to keep terrorism suspects at Guantanamo indefinitely without charging them, 44%-43%. Republicans support the policy (63%), and most Democrats (57%) are opposed.

Again, remember whose votes the Republican candidates have to win right now. Also, I have yet to find a poll result of asking Americans, “do you think the detainees in Guantanamo Bay should be brought to the U.S.?” Somehow I suspect Americans aren’t eager to have Khalid Sheik Mohammed in the prison down the street.
I would also note from the link above, “None of the Democrats have specific plans on how to shut down the prison. McCain and Biden advocate moving the Guantanamo prisoners to the military’s only maximum-security prison, Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. That might run into a space crunch: The military prison there can hold 500 prisoners and currently has 450 inmates, according to Janet Wray, Fort Leavenworth spokeswoman.”
The Times continues:

endorses Bush’s failed plan to overhaul Social Security.

Notice the report doesn’t spare a single word on what that plan was, such as private or personal accounts. When asked about those ideas, separate from the name Bush, people tend to like them. When you put the name Bush next to them, the level of support usually changes to (surprise!) around Bush’s approval rating. When pollsters emphasize the risk and downplay the benefits, people (surprise, again!) grow more cautious. Back in 2005, during the fight over President Bush’s plan, groups opposed to the idea made sure to emphasize the risks and downsides in every survey they commissioned, and then touted the public’s opposition.

Rudolph W. Giuliani, like Bush, sees tax breaks as the key to expanding health insurance coverage.

We’ve been over this before – the general public’s preference on health care is, “give me all the health care I could ever want, and get somebody else to pay for it.” Republican proposals will never poll as high as their rivals’ “And we’ll throw in a free pony for the kids” plans.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona is a stalwart defender of a war that has left the nation unsettled.

Almost as unsettled at war opponents facing poll results showing 54 percent of Americans believe the war is not lost.

All the leading GOP candidates want to continue Bush’s tax cuts.

Because, you know, raising taxes is always a political winner.

And like Bush, they all oppose a bill to expand a health insurance program for children.

Cripes, this reporter is hell-bent on interpreting every issue through the DNC lens.

 

Everybody likes S-CHIP, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, which was designed to pay for health care coverage for poor children. The problem is certain states have an ever-elastic definition of who qualifies as poor children. Pardon me for quoting myself:

I’m looking at the 2006 guidelines, and it says that four times the poverty level for a family of 3 in the 48 contiguous states and D.C. would be $66,400. (From Hillary’s release, apparently it got bumped to $70k this year.) For a family of four, it’s $80,000. This would be expand a program designed to help the poor to created taxpayer-funded health insurance for some folks who I don’t think can be called “poor” by any stretch of the imagination. They may not be wealthy, they may not be having an easy time meeting their expenses, but with the average annual wage at $36,952 in 2005, I don’t think they’re who the program was designed for.
The second thing is, the “C” in S-CHIP is for “children,” so you would think that this program helps states pay for the health insurance of children. Wrong. As Heritage notes:
Adult Eligibility. Moreover, some of the projected FY 2007 shortfall states use SCHIP funds to cover adults.[16] Five of the 14 shortfall states—Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin—cover parents, pregnant women, or childless adults.[17] According to the General Accountability Office, “Adults accounted for an average of 55% of enrollees in the shortfall states” in FY 2005.[18] While the Deficit Reduction Act prohibited the Secretary of Health and Human Services from approving any new state waivers to cover childless adults, existing waiver states are exempt. As a way to prioritize those shortfall states that remained focused on children, states were prohibited from applying DRA redistribution funds toward coverage of non-pregnant adults, but the redistributions since then have not been limited in this way.[19]Okay, if you’re a non-pregnant, childless adult, why is your health insurance being covered by a Children’s Health Care plan?

I know it would never happen, but it would be nice to see, just for once, a Los Angeles Times story that began, “Like most Americans, Mitt Romney has grave concerns about shutting down Guantanamo Bay, and bringing captured al-Qaeda to U.S. soil. Rudy Giuliani has no interest in bringing the efficiency of your local Department of Motor Vehicles to the health care system. John McCain, like most Americans, opposes an immediate withdrawal from Iraq. All of the leading GOP candidates believe that taxes are high enough, and they believe that a taxpayer-funded program designed to help poor children should focus on poor children first.”

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