Pete, the poll data is compelling. In yet another poll, Time‘s newest survey shows: “By significant margins, survey respondents said they believe the final health-reform legislation is likely to raise health-care costs in the long run (62%), make everything about health care more complicated (65%) and offer less freedom to choose doctors and coverage (56%).” And the latest poll shows Republican Bob McDonnell leading by double digits in the Virginia gubernatorial race. And as you note, politicians are watching — very closely.
It seems that Obama has done a bang-up job of convincing congressmen — prominent ones in his own party — to be very concerned about the dangers of government-run health care. He had some help from the House Democrats, who managed to come up with a bill so extreme that they took two weeks to get to a vote, with only four of seven Blue Dogs expected to roll over. (The four Pelosi poodles are Arkansas Rep. Mike Ross, Tennessee Rep. Bart Gordon, Indiana Rep. Baron Hill, and Ohio Rep. Zack Space.) It seems that just about everyone in D.C. is looking over their shoulders and wondering why they are rolling the dice on a plan this expensive and complicated that isn’t popular with the voters.
Over the next month as the conversation continues, Americans can continue to make their views known. And next week, when the new national unemployment figures come out, they might ask their representatives why they are working on a giant nationalization and tax scheme while the country is still bleeding jobs. The rest of the year will be an epic battle as Obama tries to stop the bleeding and the center/right coalition in America struggles to regain ground.