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“Do They Really Understand How Unpopular This Is?”

Reynolds says this morning [1]:

RASMUSSEN: 44% “Strongly Disapprove” of Obama; only 43% approve of Obama at all. [2]

23% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-four percent (44%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -21. That matches the lowest Approval Index rating yet recorded for this President (see trends). . . .  Overall, 43% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President’s performance. That also matches the lowest level yet recorded for this President. Fifty-six percent (56%) disapprove.

Will the press start talking about “the increasingly unpopular President Obama” any time soon?

Well the obvious answer is ‘No, they won’t’. …  but it gets deeper, here.

In my travels across the country in the last few weeks, I got into many discussions on the impending Democrat-made healthcare  disaster. One question that kept popping up tells me that they really don’t understand the motivations behind this government takeover of healthcare.

“Do they really understand how unpopular this is?”

My answer, particularly in watching the story the last few days is that they really do understand. They just consider it part of the longer term endgame.

Jennifer Rubin: [3]

Should he squeak it out, Obama’s “victory” would come with a heavy price. Gone is the image of a policy sophisticate (try watching that Bret Baier interview a few times without wincing). Gone is the “moderate” moniker. And gone is the notion that he’d usher in a new era of less contentious and less corrupt politics. (It’s a new era, perhaps, but hardly a better one.) There is no mistaking now the depth of the campaign deception. The public has figured out what he is all about. And increasingly, [4]they dislike what they see.

Thing is they’re not interested in short term popularity. They’re interested in long term power. They understand as Stalin did before, that a short term political price must be paid to get to the degree of socialism they want to see. And that is the goal, my friends, make no mistake, here.

OK, I know. I hear you saying: “But Eric, don’t they need to be popular to get elected?”

No.
Watch closely, here and take the long view in the doing.

Notice, please first, that the consequences of this bill… the higher taxes etc, none of these come into play until after the current administration is long gone, and presumably, the Democrats in Congress with them. That’s one f the few details we;ve managed to get out of the ever changing bill.  So who gets the blame for this Democrat made disaster? The party in power,  that’s who.   I point out, that will not be the Democrats by that time.

Megan McCardle adds: [5]

This I am confident of: they’re not going to “pass this bill and then fix it,” and the people saying that this should be the priority of people who are against the bill–including people like Rep. Lynch–seems borderline delusional.  You think the Democrats are going to take up health care again this term?  Given that they look more likely than not to lose the House, you think Democrats are going to take it up again before these laws go into effect?

Those like my colleague Andrew, who want Republicans to turn to the task of improving this monstrous bill–how is that going to happen?   The “fixes” are all the unpopular stuff: the taxes, the spending cuts.   You think that now that Democrats got to hand out the goodies, Republicans are going to be the nasty folks who volunteer to hand around the bill for a law they didn’t even want to pass?
The idea that you pass a program of dubious sustainability because you can always make it sustainable later, seems borderline insane.  I can’t think of a single major entitlement that has become more sustainable over time.  Why is this one supposed to be different?

So, now we all understand the thing isn’t going to be made better… just worse. More….. I already pointed out that the CBO numbers as presented on this monster, are more than a little twisted. Greg Mankiw takes that perception to a new level today, [6] saying:

There has been a lot of talk lately about the CBO scoring of the health bill.  Here is one thing people should understand about their numbers: When they estimate the budget impact of a bill like this, they assume the path of GDP is unchanged.

Recall that the bill raises taxes substantially.  Some of these tax hikes are the explicit tax increases on capital income to pay for the insurance subsidies.  Some of these tax hikes are the implicit marginal rate increases from the phase-out of the insurance subsidies as a person’s income rises.  Both of these would be expected to reduce GDP growth.

Indeed, to be very wonkish about it, these tax changes could have especially large GDP effects.

Now of course all that won’t become apparent to the electorate until after the GOP regains power in Congress, and presumably the White House.. At which point it’ll be too late to close the barn door… the horse being a mere echo in the hills. The press, of course will be quick to pin the whole thing on the GOP. As Glenn points out they’ll never cast any leftist in the correct….bad… light.

So in the long view, the Democrats will have both the socilaist legislation they’ve coveted for so long and will by that point have regained the power. .. and none of the blame for it being such an expensive pile of crap.