The Emperor Has No Plans

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Great catch by James Pindell, digging inside a new AARP poll:

Likely Republican voters were asked how familiar they were the healthcare plans of all their candidates, even including non-candidate Fred Thompson.

The results? In Nevada 29 percent said they were familiar with Thompson's healthcare plan. In New Hampshire it was 15 percent, in Iowa 18 percent, in Florida it was 22 percent and in South Carolina had 24 percent with some idea about his plan.

Huh?

Thompson makes no reference to healthcare in his short stump speeches and has yet to even enter the race much less offer a healthcare plan.

Nonetheless voters in these states told the pollsters at Woelfel Research, Inc that they were more familiar with Fred Thompson's healthcare plan than they were of Tommy Thompson, Tom Tancredo, Ron Paul, Duncan Hunter, Mike Huckabee and Sam Brownback.

AARP theorizes that Republicans "could be making up their minds about the candidate and the issue from years before." But I don't think Thompson has ever had a serious plan for health care reform. He's harrumphed a couple of radio commentaries on the subject but they've been facile stuff—Ezra Klein fisked one without breaking a sweat.

Obviously Thompson's appeal never had (yeah, I'll use past tense) anything to do with his ideas or plans. It was about his larynx and pineal gland. This is pretty solid evidence of the non-emphasis voters place on grand schemes and the priority they put on feeling good about a candidate.

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  1. Or it could just be that 20% the people the AARP is interviewing are senile and afraid to appear so by indiciating they didn’t know about a candidate’s healthcare plan.

    Fred Thomposon has no ideas, no reason to be in the race and no doubt an ability to hand a win to Guliani.

  2. If I were asked, I might say Thompson’s “Health Care Plan” is “leave it to the states,” which seems to be his plan for everything. Best thing he’s got going for him, really.

  3. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Democracy just doesn’t work.

  4. LIT beat me to it, but yeah this is an AARP poll. Old fuckers, in other words. They don’t know what time it is, let alone who has what health plan.

    Or, put more precisely, they just want to hear “more money for old fuckers’ Viagra and social security”, and probably think that since Fred looks kinda old, he’s with them.

  5. Maybe they correctly understood that Fred doesn’t have a health care plan.

  6. A rich guy like that? At his age? Of course he has a healthcare plan. Probably with Aetna.

  7. I wonder if he’s gone to see what the doctors can find about that Innsmouth Look.

  8. Nah, it’s presidential. I think he had that done.

  9. Keep in mind that just because Mr. Wiegel isn’t familiar with Thompson’s health care plan does not mean that he doesn’t have one or that others are not familiar with it.

  10. Or rather James Pindell…

  11. Keep in mind that just because Mr. Wiegel isn’t familiar with Thompson’s health care plan does not mean that he doesn’t have one or that others are not familiar with it.

    Find this plan.

  12. …this is an AARP poll. Old fuckers, in other words. They don’t know what time it is, let alone who has what health plan.

    You can join AARP when you’re 50, Episiarch.
    About 17 years out from retirement for most people.
    Any other crackpot theories?

  13. Yes.

    Human beings can be immeasurably stupid creatures.

    Exhibit A: the current crop of morons we chose to be our ‘leaders’.

  14. One of Bush’s few positive points is that he doesn’t have any real healthcare plan (at least, now that he’s given us the bank-busting drug-coverage plan). Now if Congress wants to reform healthcare, have at. It’s none of the Executive’s damned business.

  15. Find this plan.

    I didn’t say he had one, I’m just saying that just because I don’t know what it is doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.

  16. If you’re planning a run for the presidency shouldn’t your plan be easy to find? If you can’t find it in stump speeches or your website, then you have “no plan”. Maybe he has one in his head, but that does us no good.

  17. Maybe it’s a secret plan.

    Like Nixon used to have for Vietnam.

  18. Nonetheless voters in these states told the pollsters at Woelfel Research, Inc that they were more familiar with Fred Thompson’s healthcare plan than they were of Tommy Thompson, Tom Tancredo, Ron Paul, Duncan Hunter, Mike Huckabee and Sam Brownback.

    Mr. Weigel:

    This, in a twist of logic may in fact, be true. I was not aware of any plan that Thompson had for healthcare. Apparently, he has iterated no plan, made no mention or allusions to a plan, therefore, my assessment of his plan is accurate. I know nothing of the plans put forth by Tom Tancredo, Ron Paul, Duncan Hunter, Mike Huckabee and Sam Brownback, yet I hear tell they have plans. So therefore I know more about Thompson’s plan than I do about the other candidates which have declared.

  19. I didn’t say he had one, I’m just saying that just because I don’t know what it is doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.

    So Dan T. is Claude Elsinore?

    Claude Elsinore: And I’d like to point out that these tapes have not been faked, or altered in any way. In fact they have a time code, which is very difficult to fake.

    The Judge: Would you please explain for the court “time code.”

    Claude Elsinore: Well, uh, just because I don’t know what it is, doesn’t mean I’m lying.

  20. You can join AARP when you’re 50, Episiarch.
    About 17 years out from retirement for most people.
    Any other crackpot theories?

    Ever heard of snark, ed? You might have seen it at reason before. What are you, 49 or something?

    Seitz,

    Niiiiice. Strange Brew reference, and a really obscure one too.

  21. AARP has a minimum age of joining of 50 — last I checked, it isn’t compulsory. I sure as heck am not going to join that group of effing statists in a few years. So, the poll sample is largely limited to statists 50+ years old looking for government handouts.

    Hardly a reliable basis for extrapolating to all Americans.

  22. this is also evidence that people don’t want to look stupid to polsters.

  23. You know, the people that said yes, out of fear of looking stupid, would feel pretty stupid if the next question was, “What is it?”

  24. Isn’t it the pituitary gland that’s responsible for growth?

  25. I’m too lazy to go get the link, but one can Google the Onion and the Idgit vote for a good laugh along these lines.

  26. One of Bush’s few positive points is that he doesn’t have any real healthcare plan (at least, now that he’s given us the bank-busting drug-coverage plan)

    I suppose it goes to show just how spectacularly irrelevant his domestic policy initiatives have become that the second-largest theme of this year’s State of the Union — laying out the administration’s health care plan — is regarded just seven months later as if it never existed. (The biggest theme, for those who forgot that, too, was the “surge” plan.)

    The Bush health care plan through most of his time in office has been — HSAs, association health plans, and medical liability caps. He successfully got the first one through. The second has a few Democratic fans, but ain’t likely to go anywhere. The third has no shot in Hell.

    The plan put forward in this year’s SOTU took a small piece out of the Presidential Tax Reform Panel that Connie Mack and John Breaux chaired last year. It would have capped deductibility on employer provided health benefits, extended equivalent deductibility to health insurance bought in the individual market, and created some block grants for Massachusetts-type experiments.

    Charley Rangel said that night that it was dead on arrival, and so it has been. At least the president said that stuff once. He’s never even acknowledged the existence of anything else in the (generally quite sensible) tax reform report Mack and Breaux put together.

  27. Old fucks like him becuase he was on law and order for awhile.

  28. Er, last I remember, Thompson went out of his way to go head-to-head with Michael Moore and the socialist propaganda film Sicko.

    Why, yes, in fact, a quick google search on the string “Fred Thompson health care” and “Fred Thompson health plan” already show him to strongly oppose the Medicare Part D prescription drug program and single payer systems.

    What a lot of no position and plan!

  29. Speaking of Ezra, he has a fabulistish an interesting post defending TNR in the PV1 Beuchamp affair (you knew Pvt. Beauchamp got demoted again, tight?)

    According to EK, TNR has fact checkers out the ears! Apparently they were out knocking back Manhattan Martinis with Andrew Sullivan and Lee Seigel when they were supposed to be “working.”

  30. Um, David, from reading the posts it looks like neither you or Ezra do your homework.

    Were you knocking back martinis with Siegel (or that guy in DC who looks like him)?

  31. Um, so the uproar over fake prosecutor guy is over, right?

  32. Fred Thompson: We’re hearing those phrases again; national health care, universal health care, socialized medicine. We’re being told that government bureaucrats can take over our entire medical industry — which by the way is the best and most complex in the world — and make it better.

    It used to be a lot easier to make the case for nationalizing health care before we actually started looking at the countries that have it. A lot of people don’t seem to have noticed but, in recent years, the grand experiments in bureaucratic medicine are coming apart at the seams.

    Nearest home, it was the Canadian Health Care system that lost its luster. Despite paying nearly half their incomes in taxes, and as much as 40 percent of each tax dollar on health care, many Canadian experts have recognized that their health care system’s in a state of crisis. The problem has been, simply, not enough health care facilities to serve the population — leading to long and sometimes fatal delays while waiting for treatments. Many Canadians have started coming to the US for treatments that they just can’t get at home.

    Now, top officials of the British National Health Service, often held out as an example of the kind of socialized medicine America should adopt, have acknowledged that they have similar problems. One in eight National Health Service hospital patients has to wait more than a year for treatment. Thirty percent wait more than 30 weeks.

    Think about it. This is what we’re supposed to copy? The poorest Americans are getting far better service than that. And there’s nothing about Americans that would make us any better able to run a government health care bureaucracy than the Canadians or the British. In fact, we’ve got less practice at that sort of thing than they do — and we might be a lot worse at it.

    Could people be basing their positions on his recent statements about healthcare?
    Ya think?

  33. When you are talking about government plans having “no plan” can be quite refreshing.

  34. Fred Thompson’s campaign song (sung by Leon Redbone):

    Lazy-bones, sleepin’ in the sun,
    How you ‘spect to get your day’s work done?
    You’ll never get your day’s work done
    sleepin’ in the noon day sun.

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