Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday's fish fry

It remains hard to see where the Democrats will get the yes votes they need in the House to pass their bill:
"Congressional Democrats embarked on the final push for an historic health care bill on Thursday with no guarantee that they have the votes to pass it. And they made their task even more difficult by moving toward writing off anti-abortion members who voted for the bill the first time in the House. House leaders now believe they can’t change the abortion language in the Senate bill under the reconciliation process, which is only supposed to be used on budgetary matters. But that would likely mean several House members who think the Senate language doesn’t go far enough in banning federal funding of abortions would likely change from “yes” votes to “no.”

Read the whole piece. Maybe Nancy Pelosi and other Dem leaders truly believe the votes will come. Or maybe they believe that all this dithering is only making things worse, and so they need to seek a final vote, come what may.
I do think I know this: all the lengths to which the Democrats have had to go--embracing arcane procedural maneuvering to try to pass this bill, talking openly about avoiding final up-or-down votes on a final bill--cannot be helping them with the American public. Some say the public doesn't care about process. I think events have shown that not to be true. See all the outrage over the "Cornhusker Kickback" and the like.
Passing this bill won't magically change the polling on it--though Democrats apparently remain convinced it will.

Meanwhile, two more DEMOCRATIC pollsters--not Republican pollsters--weigh in today in the Washington Post urging Democrats in Washington NOT to pursue health care, and use strong language in doing so:
"...the battle for public opinion has been lost. Comprehensive health care has been lost. If it fails, as appears possible, Democrats will face the brunt of the electorate's reaction. If it passes, however, Democrats will face a far greater calamitous reaction at the polls. Wishing, praying or pretending will not change these outcomes. Nothing has been more disconcerting than to watch Democratic politicians and their media supporters deceive themselves into believing that the public favors the Democrats' current health-care plan. Yes, most Americans believe, as we do, that real health-care reform is needed. And yes, certain proposals in the plan are supported by the public. However, a solid majority of Americans opposes the massive health-reform plan. Four-fifths of those who oppose the plan strongly oppose it, according to Rasmussen polling this week, while only half of those who support the plan do so strongly. Many more Americans believe the legislation will worsen their health care, cost them more personally and add significantly to the national deficit. Never in our experience as pollsters can we recall such self-deluding misconstruction of survey data."

Read the whole thing. We've been talking about many of their points here for weeks. But what's striking is how many Democratic Party pollsters now get it...but Democratic politicians in Washington don't.

As for the Obama administration as a whole, read this NY Times story from today on former White House social secretary Desiree Rogers. Remember her? The one who took the fall for the two Washington society-wannabes who snuck into that big state dinner late last fall? Ms. Rogers certainly made her mistakes. But the Times' story suggests that the Obama folks very coldly left her to twist in the wind, and then were eager to dump her. Remember that when folks start gabbing about how compassionate the Obama folks are...

Gotta still be proud of the Irish--Notre Dame 50, Pittsburgh 45: for only the second time, the Irish advance to the Big East tournament semifinals. What a turnaround. Again, ND is doing a good job defending, being patient, and being tough. Key stats last night: Notre Dame holds Pitt to only 30% shooting from the field. And ND had 7 steals. Beating West Virginia tonight will be a tall task. We'll see if this Irish team is on an even bigger roll than anyone thought...