The Partisan Wisdom of the Polls, Health Reform Division


If, God help you, you will be at a social occasion this weekend in which the politics of health care reform comes up, consult this National Journal poll of cross-party political insiders for all the reasons why your side is going to come out great and their side is screwed, as well as, of course, vice versa.

And if you are above this partisan battle, God bless you, mock both of their calcified certitudes that they rule, the other side drools–with almost surprising unsurprisingness, 77 percent of Dems polled say their side will be more energized at the polls this year by health care reform, and 97 percent of Republicans polled say their side will be.

Some Dem talking points:

"We won. And we delivered on a Democratic promise decades in the making."

"Better to run on something accomplished rather than nothing."

"The Democratic base is coming out of a fog. Republicans will be embarrassed by 'tea party' overreach!"

"Americans are finally getting a real glimpse of the disingenuous rhetoric of the Republican Party and the radical, racist, and sometimes violent tactics of the tea party they court."

Some GOP talking points:

"Anger is a better motivator in an election cycle."

"Obama managed to divide and deflate Democrats while uniting and enflaming Republicans in the health care debate. As a result, Democrats will face severe losses in the fall."

"In all my years of being around politics, I have never seen our base—and a whole lot of people who haven't been in our base—so angry and motivated by Obamacare's taxes, debt, and control provisions."

"The Democratic base wanted a single-payer public option. And what they got was something that won't even take effect until 2014. Meanwhile, Republicans have been near unanimous in their opposition to Obamacare: Remember those health care town halls last summer."

"You will have to put our folks in a cage to keep them from voting; they are so energized and committed to voting out the Democrats."

It hurts me to know that I can't figure out a way for them both to lose in November.