In today’s Washington Post, Democratic pollsters Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen warn that ObamaCare will be a disaster for Democrats:
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…
[A] solid majority of Americans opposes the massive health-reform plan. Four-fifths of those who oppose the plan strongly oppose it…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…
By 51 percent to 39 percent, respondents feared the decisions of federal government more. This is astounding given the generally negative perception of insurance companies…
Health care is no longer a debate about the merits of specific initiatives…[but] about the government and a political majority that will neither hear nor heed the will of the people.
This oped reminds me of a Bruce Reed article on the differences between hacks and wonks:
Strip away the job titles and party labels, and you will find two kinds of people in Washington: political hacks and policy wonks. Hacks come to Washington because anywhere else they’d be bored to death. Wonks come here because nowhere else could we bore so many to death. These divisions extend far beyond the hack havens of political campaigns and consulting firms and the wonk ghettos of think tanks on Dupont Circle. Some journalists are wonks, but most are hacks. Some columnists are hacks, but most are wonks. All members of Congress pass themselves off as wonks, but many got elected as hacks. Lobbyists are hacks who make money pretending to be wonks. The Washington Monthly, The New Republic, and the entire political blogosphere consist largely of wonks pretending to be hacks. “The Hotline” is for hacks; National Journal is for wonks. “The West Wing” is for wonks; “K Street” was for hacks.
After two decades in Washington as a wonk working among hacks, I have come to the conclusion that the gap between Republicans and Democrats is as nothing compared to the one between these two tribes. We wonks think we’re smarter than hacks. Hacks think that if being smart makes someone a wonk, they’d rather be stupid. Wonks think all hacks are creatures from another planet, like James Carville. Hacks share Paul Begala’s view that wonks are all “propeller heads,” like Elroy on “The Jetsons.” Wonks think the differences between hacks and wonks are as irreconcilable as the Hutus and the Tutsis. Hacks think it’s just like wonks to bring up the Hutus and the Tutsis.
The Democrats’ dogged, bloodthirsty crusade for universal coverage has been possible only because the wonks have seduced or silenced the hacks within the Democratic Party.
The hacks may be launching a rebellion, with Caddell and Schoen’s oped the opening salvo.