Imagine Me and You, So Unhappy Togeeeetheeeer....

Here's another reason reconciliation is unlikely to help Democrats pass health care reform: The public, particularly the crucial independent voting block, won't like it.

Health care reform supporters have argued that post-vote surveys in Massachusetts actually suggest that voters favor moving forward with a health care overhaul. And indeed, polls do show support for some sort of reform—provided it's bipartisan.

That sounds about right: Voters, and independents in particular, are famous for disliking messy political conflict, so bipartisan support might win over significant public support. That's one of the reasons that opposition to the bill is so high now, and has grown so sharply over the course of the year.

But what voters are going to get instead is bipartisan opposition.

Today, three moderate Democratic Senators—Evan Bayh, Ben Nelson, and Blanche Lincoln—announced that they oppose the use of reconciliation to amend the Senate bill. Now, given that reconciliation only requires 51 votes, those three won't be enough to definitively shut down the process. But it's going to give Republicans the opportunity to claim that the move is partisan procedural trickery, and that there's bipartisan opposition to the bill. Indeed, the GOP will even get some assistance in selling this message from the defecting Democrats: Bayh is already saying that "just ramming through a bill on a purely party-line vote on a strictly partisan basis will not do much to generate the kind of progress around here on other issues that we need."

As per usual in Washington, it's the sort of bipartisanship that doesn't mean much except that, by appealing to the narrow political self-interest of a few mushy-moderates, one party peeled off a couple of the other party's weakest votes. But given the existing strong opposition to health care legislation and the pro-bipartisan bias amongst independents, this is likely to push public opposition to the bill even higher—and may help doom the Democrats' plan to pass the bill using reconciliation.

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  • Old Mexican||

    Here's another reason reconciliation is unlikely to help Democrats pass health care reform: The public, particularly the crucial independent voting block, won't like it.

    I don't think it matters - the Dems have convinced themselves that the people that voted for them are too stupid to understand such important matters.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    Indeed.

    I've feared that when pressed, they would go full kamikaze and it looks like that's exactly what they're doing.

  • ||

    If David Broder isn't Michael Palin, then who isn't John Cleese?

  • Joe M||

    Thomas Friedman?

  • ||

    Well, he's very strongly not Cleese. I'd say he's also not Palin or Chapman. Nah, not Idle either. Maybe the duck?

  • Sudden||

    Henry Waxman could be the rabbit... He's got these huge teeth.

  • ||

    I think we can all agree that Friedman is not the Black Knight. Nosiree, there is no way he's that un-self-aware, limbless nut job.

  • ||

    He moves for no man, certainly.

  • ||

    And the way he screams HAVE AT YOU! at David Gregory is just a coincidence.

  • Congressman #1||

    So I got you, first we pass the bill, then we read it.

  • King||

    No, no! I want you to stay 'ere, and make sure 'e doesn't leave.

  • ||

    Best use of that song was definitely in the (unintentionally hilarious) Isabel Huppert film Ma Mère.

  • Sudden||

    No love for "Ernest goes to Camp"?

  • Dick Cheney||

    (To GWB) "But Saddam has huge tracks of land."

  • King||

    And I would like for her to think of me as her dear old dad; in a very real--and legally binding--sense.

  • Steven Horwitz||

    Frankly, I think the House and Senate could use more huge.... tracts of land.

  • Ding Dong She had a sister||

    Peter Suderman, I thought all of you libertarian types thought the bill was dead. I guess you should have written: The Democrats' Five Stages of Grief Over Health Care + 1 stage of Hope.

  • Sudden||

    You didnt actually bother to read the article did you? Can't say I'm surprised, your allies in congress didn't bother to read any of the bills they passed either.

  • Ding Dong She had a sister||

    Yes, I did read the article and guess what? I could write an article on how you don't need to read any articles on Reason to know the contents. In fact, that applies to the the comments as well. Statist Statist Statist Negative rights Negative rights Negative rights free markets free markets free markets

  • Dang||

    Take a breath, Dong. You're turning blue.

  • Ding Dong She had a sister||

    Ding Dong Dang, clever but not Ding dong the wicked witch is dead. Take a nap, brother John.

  • Sudden||

    Interestingly enough, the article is about how dead the bill really is. This article is the proverbial equivalent of poking a corpse with a stick just to verify that rigor mortis has set in. And yet, you in your infinite and paternalistic wisdom, somehow derived from the article above that the health deform bill is somehow a now-imminent legislative triumph. However, that lack of understanding and coherence should be expected of anyone who supports this monstrosity of a lobbyist-authored legislative tyranny.

  • Ding Dong She had a sister||

    Sudden, tell yourself it is dead. Guess why polls show support for some sort of reform? Maybe, it is because people want it. The article should be about how you hope it is dead but the reality is HCR will happen.Btw, don't hold your breath.

  • Which polls?||

    The ones taken on the planet Kos?

  • Ding Dong She had a sister||

    Let me give you a quick link which mentions "polls do show support for some sort of reform". I am not very comfortable with the source. Sorry.

    http://reason.com/blog/2010/01.....so-unhappy

  • anonymous||

    If "it" is "some sort of reform", sure. If "it" is the reform Democrats would pass, not really. Shit, most of the libertarian crowd here supports "reform", it's just vastly different from the progressive version.

    "Support for some sort of reform" is a vote of no-confidence in the status quo, not a vote in support of Obamacare.

  • Ding Dong She had a sister||

    anonymous,"'Support for some sort of reform' is a vote of no-confidence in the status quo, not a vote in support of Obamacare."
    Reform is reform is reform. I don't think the problem was the Obamacare itself but all the FRONT-DOOR deals. Fess up: are you "Which polls?" too?|

  • ||

    No this is the denial phase.
    False Hope.

  • Ding Dong She had a sister||

    No this is the Alex Forrest/Jason Voorhees/Cher after a nuclear war phase.

  • ||

    Ya see, ya gots yer stupid party and ya gots yer evil party...

    Now, when they come up with things that are truly stupid AND evil, they call it bipartisan.

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