Fred Barnes observes that the more Obama talks, the worse his and ObamaCare’s approval numbers go. “Two conclusions are inescapable. The first is that Obama is not Mr. Persuasive, a compelling orator like FDR, swaying public opinion with his words. . . . The second conclusion to draw is that Obama has been dragged down by his health care policy. The more he’s identified himself with it, the less the public likes him. There’s nothing irrational about this. Why should people without a partisan allegiance to Obama hang with him when they dislike his signature policy? There’s no good reason.”
From the “not on the same page” chronicles: “A day after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that health reform won’t get through the House without a public option, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Friday that the public option may have to go in order to get a bill passed.”
A freshman Democrat who voted for cap-and-trade faces the voters’ ire: “Freshman Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.) has gained plenty of attention—some of it unwanted—during the August recess for the tightrope he is walking in a conservative district on issues like health care reform. . . . Perriello’s district was one of the most surprising to go Democrat in 2008. Given a sizable student population and black population that comprises about a quarter of the district, the turnout model was highly unusual in 2008, when those groups turned out in record numbers for Barack Obama. Republicans hope the pendulum will swing back their way in 2010, and the race has frequently been listed among the top 10 House races in the country.”
He’s not the only one: Democrat Alan Boyd has figured out that voters are “scared” by ObamaCare.
In fact, it’s now a trend: “The divisive healthcare debate and sliding poll numbers for President Barack Obama are creating an even more difficult political environment for Democrats in 2010. Democrats can’t ride Obama’s coattails as they did in 2008, when a strong turnout among young and minority voters helped them increase their House and Senate majorities.” But the real bad news: “They can’t run against former President George W. Bush, whose unpopular policies were key to their winning control of both chambers in 2006.”
George Will muses: “We are already testing whether President Obama and other statists who have given his administration and this Congress their ideological cast have a doctrine analogous to Brezhnev’s. Having aggressively, even promiscuously, blurred the distinction between public and private sectors with improvised and largely unauthorized interventions in the economy, will they ever countenance a retreat of the state? Or do they have an aspiration that they dare not speak? Do they hope that state capitalism will be irreversible—that wherever government has asserted the primacy of politics, the primacy will be permanent?” Really, is there any doubt?
Mickey Kaus on the “death panel” flap and the equally creepy phone call with the rabbis: “At least when voters are having notentirelyirrationalfears that Obama would have the state play god by exercising yes/no power over life-ending medical decisions, he didn’t go and say something creepily extravagant and provocative like ‘we are God’s partners in matters of life and death.’ ”
How big of Bob Herbert to admit that not all the ObamaCare critics are “certifiables who are scrawling Hitler mustaches on pictures of the president.” Wow, there are, he fesses up, “Many sane and intelligent people who voted for Mr. Obama and sincerely want him to succeed have legitimate concerns about the timing of this health reform initiative and the way it is unfolding.” Actually, there are more than 50 House Democrats who match that description.
Obama’s approval poll average—not just a single outlier—is getting perilously close to dropping below 50 percent.
Andy McCarthy asks: “Compared to the infinite complexity of healthcare and health-insurance, cash-for-clunkers is kindergarten stuff. You trade in your old car for a new one that gets (slightly) better mileage and the government gives you money—between $3500 and $4500. How hard is that?” Well, it turns out, too hard to correctly staff and budget.
You knew this vile scene was coming: “Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi welcomed with a hug the only man convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing that killed 270 people and praised Scotland’s leaders for ‘their courageously right and humanitarian decision’ to release him.”