WH Pollster Memo Omits Proof of Strong Support For Public Option

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Crossposted at Daily Kos

Under the spreading chestnut tree

I sold you and you sold me

– George Orwell, 1984

     Funny thing is, I don’t remember the part where I sold anyone.

    Okay, so the White House is circulating an upbeat polling memo citing a bunch of public surveys showing that public opinion still tilts heavily in Obama’s favor on health care.

    The memo, by Obama pollster Joel Benenson, doesn’t mention the public option (the White House may not be committed to it) and largely cites general numbers showing support for action and for Obama’s plan.

    But here’s the funny thing: We went back and checked, and virtually every poll cited in this memo also found strong support for the inclusion of a public plan.

By Greg Sargent


    More analysis and my own take on things below the fold.

     Sargent’s article, though short, is very to the point. Clearly, elements within the White House are very aware of the strong support for a Public Option.

    But that’s not what’s in the memo. The memo hardly metions the Public Option at all.

    In fact, the ONLY poll regarding the public’s opinion of the Public Option cited in the WH memo was an MSNBC poll that showed only 43% of the public approving of the Government funded alternative to private insurance. That poll, though, was a crock of shit, as it didn’t clarify that a Public Option was Optional, and not Mandatory.

    One of the recent polls referenced by CBS in the WH memo claims strong public support for reform, but leaves out the news from that same poll that 60% of the public wants a public option as opposed to only 34% who don’t.

    Another poll cited by CNN through August 31st claims that the public is very unsatisfied by the current sordid state of affairs in American health care, yet neglects to mention that the same poll has shown that 59% of Americans want a Public Option.

    I’m not going to give you my opinion on the matter of this memo here, I will leave that to be discussed in the comments below.

    But I will say this.

    I do not think the Obama White House is selling me to the insurance industry, not yet at least. The White House is clearly trying to sell Congress on the reform. But Congress IS trying to sell us all to the Insurance industry, and that can NOT go unpunished.

    I do not lay the blame for the Health Care Reform debate at the feet of President Obama. Rather, I think much of this is due to the team of rivals around him, who seem to have 20 different stories at any given moment. From Rahm to Sebulius to Gibbs and everyone in between I find it both amuzing and tremendously frustrating that it is easier to guess what the hell Glenn Beck is saying than it is to tell what the White House is saying. After all, Glenn Beck is an idiot, whereas the White House and the members of the Executive branch are just confusing.

    I think Obama means well and wants the best for us, but he and his advisors have judged our Democrat controlled Legislative branch and determined it ain’t gonna happen with these clowns (Exception for House Progressives and a few Senators) and have decided to make lemon juice, for the lack of a better term.

    The problem is, we’re gonna end up sucking lemons at best on this, when we needed something more wholesome and more fulfilling. Obama’s advisors have clearly reasoned that something is better than nothing here, and that is where they and I, and I believe the majority of America disagree.

    You see, the President may be good at 11 sided chess, but his advisors suck at it. In politics, much like in chess, you are best served by losing a piece in order to win. The thing Obama’s advisors fail to understand is that often you can make a small win and end up losing the whole game because of it. This is one of those moments.

    In doing so, by casting away the Public Option in order to avoid making the perfect the enemy of the good, the White House has miscalculated. Rather, this is an instance of not making the good the enemy of the corrupt.

    I can’t believe I have to say this at this point of the game, but it needs to be said.

If the Insurers support it, it is NOT ENOUGH OF A REFORM!

   But then, this brings us back to where we started, and where this legislation started, in Congress.

   Yeah, we have 60 Senators in our caucus and a big House majority. So Fucking What? On paper we have sixty. In reality we have 40 something. In the House the Majority is Conservative, Republicans and Blue Dogs. In the Senate the Majority is Conservative, Republicans and ConservaDems. Real Democrats and Progressives in p0articular are in the minority in both house. That needs to change fast.

    The problem is no longer MORE, it is BETTER, and until we address BETTER we are only going to see MORE of the same.

    That is not what I voted for, or anyone else here, I’ll wager.

    You have probably seen me link to The Progressive Electorate.com when I crosspost my diaries. I am an admin there and I am committed to getting true Progressives elected into office.

    And from now on, that is it. I will NOT help elect bullshit half conservatives anymore. I will NOT lift a fucking finger for them. I WILL work my ass off to undermine them, primary them and expose them for what they are, shills, crooks, corporate toadies, and the puppets of special interests without shame. I am all for a big tent, but it is pointless if the Bayh’s and Baucus’s are hell bent on pulling the tent down with us inside, and if the Rahm’s of this administration are advising that we coddle the Corporate dogs and shaft the Progressives because we will not leave no matter what, well, I got news for you Rahm, if we lose, it is your Dogs who are gone first, and in my book, politically, sometimes a loss is a win.

    A public option is a hill I will die on, politically. So is putting Bush/Cheney on trial for war crimes. In order for me to have Hope we must have Accountability. Otherwise, we could have 99 Senators but there will always be some excuse.

   So I will work for the best I can get, electorally. But no MORE. My goal is now officially BETTER. More is useless if all I am getting is more of the same.

   Therefore, I am not afraid of losing seats in 2010. Hell, I’ll be glad about it, I’ll be dancing for joy when we lose 20 worthless Blue Dogs, Harry Reid and Senators like him. While they sweat out the possibility of cleaning out their offices I will be working to bring Real Progressives who stand for something to Washington. Kennedy didn’t accept the first deal he could get. He knew it would be a win to lose for the right reasons and a loss to win for the wrong ones.

    So let the Blue Dogs slit their wrists with Michele Bachmann. I’ll consider their loss a gain.

Also crossposted at The Progressive Electorate.com


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  1. Until we get BETTER Congress critters in there we are only going to get MORE of the same

    • jamess on September 7, 2009 at 01:04

    I’d rather, see No Bill, than a Bad Bill (ie a Bill without a strong Public Option). And then WE try again later, starting from the Position of Single Payer, from a position of strength — since InsureCo’s aren’t going to suddenly become the darling of the People.

    If the Insurers support it, it is NOT ENOUGH OF A REFORM!

    damn right!

    The Insurance Lobbyists are drolling over “the Mandate” part of the Bill,

    to cover 45 million NEW customers, who have NO Choice, but the Private Insurer’s already crappy Policies.

    We don’t need MORE time (ie Triggers) to know, or to prove,

    that the Private Insurers already have a Monopoly on those crappy Policies! We just need to talk to anyone, ever denied care, or was canceled, for no good reason!

    A “Trigger”, is just another name for “Bait and Switch.”

    A “Govt-Run Plan” is just a slanderous label, for giving the People a Choice, to pick their own Insurance Model —

    One the is People-based, or one that is Profit-based!

    thx for the well-reason essay MoT

  2. should not echo lamestream talking points of the day.

    Google Strategic Communications Laboratories

    My decisions about my health should be mine and not the states.

    Google Massachusetts S2028

    Then swine flu+bioweapon

    Access to my money should be my decision and not the states.

    I should not be forced to buy junk insurance.

    Read fine print of application for Mass Health.

    No bill at all would be fine by me.

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