Wednesday, March 17, 2010

In the Echo Chamber

According to Greg Sargent, Democratic leadership aides are circulating the following information:
In an effort to stiffen Dem spines, senior Dem leadership aides are circulating among House Dems some polling numbers from the 1960s that underscore how controversial Medicare was in the months leading up to its historic passage.

Dem leadership staff is highlighting a series of numbers from 1962 on President John F. Kennedy’s proposal. In July of that year, a Gallup poll found 28% in favor, 24% viewing it unfavorably, and a sizable 33% with no opinion on it — showing an evenly divided public.

Medicare passed in 1965, so there's a big gap there in polling.

In fact, there's a noticeable gap in all of the 1960s poll numbers that leadership aides are supposedly sending around and that left-wing bloggers are talking up: polling from 1965 when Medicare actually passed.

That's a much more depressing story for Pelosi and crew. Medicare was very popular when it passed. According to Gallup, 63% of voters supported the passage of Medicare back then. Health-care reform isn't there yet.

So the narrative that the huge bipartisan majorities that passed Medicare in the sixties (and they were huge and they were bipartisan, unlike the voting on behalf of current "reform" package) faced down huge majorities opposed to the progam? Pretty weak.

Does leadership actually think that on-the-fence Democrats will buy this? Is leadership really that much sucked into the bunker mentality? What else (with equally shoddy foundations) is leadership hoping that members will buy?

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