One thing that was very much in the news today was a WashingtonPostt/ABC News poll showing that the president's approval ratings, that of ObamaCare and of politicians supporting ObamaCare has taken a nasty turn south.
Opposition to the new health-care law also hit a record high in the survey, with 57 percent saying they oppose the president’s most significant domestic initiative. Forty-six percent say they are strongly against it. Just a month ago, as the enrollment period was beginning, the public was almost evenly divided in its assessments of the law.
Disapproval of Obama’s handling of the health-care law’s rollout stands at 63 percent, with a majority saying they strongly disapprove. Last month, 53 percent disapproved.
The findings are the first since Obama’s news conference last week in which he repeatedly acknowledged his and the administration’s mistakes in handling the legislation. He also sought to assuage the anger among millions of Americans whose individual policies were canceled because they did not meet the new requirements.
With all the controversy surrounding the implementation of the law, Americans are evenly divided on whether the Affordable Care Act can be fixed.
Responses to that question differ dramatically depending on party identification, with Democrats overwhelmingly confident that the legislation can be made to work and Republicans overwhelmingly pessimistic about its viability. A majority of independents say it cannot be made to work
The health-care law has become a political burden for elected officials who support it. Almost four in 10 Americans say they are more likely to oppose a politician who backs the legislation, while just over a fifth say they would be more likely to support such a politician. That’s the biggest gap recorded in Post-ABC polling during the entire debate over the law.
On three measures of leadership and empathy that have been tested repeatedly in Post-ABC polls, Obama now is underwater on all three for the first time. Half or more now say he is not a strong leader, does not understand the problems of “people like you,” and is not honest and trustworthy. Perceptions of the president as a strong leader have dropped 15 points since January, and over the past year the percentage of registered voters who say he is not honest and trustworthy has increased 12 points.
The new survey also asked people whether they consider Obama a good manager. In what appears to be a direct link to the problems of the health-care rollout, 56 percent say no and 41 percent say yes.
The president's job approval rating? On average, 40.6 per cent.
So what does all this mean?
First off, as far as I'm concerned I take most of this poll with a grain of salt.The Washington Post is a very pro-Obama paper,and as we've discussed before, polls depend a great deal on whom you sample,what percentage of your sample they are, and how you phrase the questions you ask.
Back in 2012,before the WAPO stopped publishing their mechanics so you could actually see what they were doing, I used to bust them routinely for ridiculously oversampling Democrats to get a pro-Obama result. 17% was not uncommon. And yes, when it comes to Barack Obama, oversampling black voters also helps queer the numbers:
As Muhammed Ali once told me, the funniest joke is the truth.
The WAPO says that President Obama's overall approval numbers are well over 42%, something that puts him enough above the other polls out there to raise his overall average, but not too much, so it doesn't totally destroy their credibility.
I'd bet my dollar to your dime they had to work pretty hard to skew things to get the president's numbers up even this much.
But then there's the question of what this means.
To me, the most significant parts of the poll are the lowering of Obama's number on the so-called 'three measures of leadership and empathy' and the numbers when it comes to voting against politicians who support ObamaCare.
For years, most of the media have been telling us how smart, how empathetic and how wonderful Our Dear Leader is, and by and large the low information voters bought it, even when this president was stealing them blind and raping their freedoms with impunity. By and large, a lot of them are dependent on government and benefit in some way from the status quo. What the collapse of ObamaCare did was to bring the war home so to speak. It was something they could directly see and feel the pain of in a way that Benghazi, IRS-Gate,NSA-Gate, Fast and Furious and all the other scandals bubbling around the cesspool in Washington didn't. After all, when you personally pay no taxes, what does it matter if somebody else's money is wasted?
Except now, it's personal. The low information voters see that it isn't the Ruling Class whose hours are being cut or whose spouses and children are being tossed off of their health plan. These people notice now that it isn't the Ruling Class screaming in frustration at their computer monitors trying to get health insurance, now that what they were promised by the Prevaricator-in-Chief they could keep has been cancelled.The Ruling class screamed and were heard immediately, and got themselves a waiver.The rest of us are still reeling at what it's going to cost for less coverage with higher deductibles and co-pays.
In fact, ObamaCare's poster girl, the one the White House was pushing as the successful example, one of the few who actually signed up successfully has now informed the world that after getting a look at the price, she's opting for the penalty. She won't be the only one. It's the height of irony that ObamaCare, which is still being sold to us as a device to see to it that more Americans have healthcare is actually going to see to it that a lot more Americans don't.
Oh, and by the way, the White House, which proudly embraced 'ObamaCare' as its own, very special achievement is now running away from that name like the bubonic Plague. The White House is actually issuing talking points to Democrats instructing them to refer to it as the Affordable Care Act.
We have always been at war with East Asia.Just ask Big Brother.
My point here is simple. The pain is going to resonate. But whether that's going to translate into actual numbers at the polls in a year is another question. President Obama, after all, isn't running for anything. And a year is a very long time in politics. Remember, by nature a great many people have trouble concentrating on politics for any length of time. In fact, politics is slowly becoming not a forum to discuss ideas and pick leadership but almost a new form of Roman Circus, with new diversions and spectacles constantly demanded to keep people's interest at the rare times the Ruling Class wants them to pay attention.
The president has already shown that he has no problem breaking the law for the sake of partisan politics, and there's no telling what might be in store. ObamaCare, as toxic as it is won't be going to go away until its repealed, and even if the Republicans take the Senate and retain the House by sufficient numbers to do that in 2014, ObamaCare will not be able to be repealed until January 20th, 2015. A great deal can happen between now and then, and Obama and what Michael Barone, the usually even tempered dean of American political analysts called to my surprise 'that lawless gang' will lie, cheat, manipulate, steal and propagandize to keep it in place, assisted by their ever helpful minions in the media.
Here's a great example of the latter. Politico runs this story with the headline: President Obama to insurers: No bailout. It's subject is the meeting the president had with the CEO's of the major health insurance companies he just screwed over to the tune of millions of dollar. Your immediate impression is that here's our gutsy president standing toe to toe with those bad apple insurers, as he called them. And telling them that they'll take it and like it. No bailouts for you..they don't poll well as they used to.
The whole beginning part of this story is all about that. But a funny thing happens when you hit the bottom part of the story, when most people have stopped reading.
By paragraph 6, after 5 paragraphs about how a bail out isn't going to happen, we get this in paragraph 6:
“As the president emphasized, there is not an unlimited amount of money out there for the government to do that [make up for extra costs],” said Jim Roosevelt, CEO of Tufts Health Plan, one of more than a dozen insurance company leaders who attended the 90-minute meeting.
'amount of money'? Wait a minute, I thought there was no bail out going to happen?
By paragraph 11..well what do you know:
The 2010 health law had several tools aimed at helping insurers through some of the fiscal bumps in the new markets. To address the industry concerns about additional costs if they revive the canceled plans, administration officials said last week they would tweak one of those tools — called “risk corridors” — to give them more help.But Obama made clear that the financial support has a limit, according to the two health executives and several other industry sources who were briefed on the meeting.
Well, well..."risk corridors", AKA increased costs incurred because of ObamaCare, is the euphemism they're using for " bailout due to losses suffered from ObamaCare." And 'financial support' is a bribe using your tax dollars to pay insurance companies to compensate them for the extra costs they're now going to incur from the larger 'risk corridors' of President Obama's bogus fix.
In other words, B-a-i-l-o-u-t.
That's a 180 degrees from the headline saying 'no bailouts'. But our friends at Politico were willing to aid and abet this president's messaging, sticking the information about the offers to bribe the insurance companies at the very end of the article, long after the casual reader has clicked on something else.
I use this fairly egregious example just to show you what we're up against in terms of the PR battle. A lot of this stuff is a lot more subtle.
Of course, the insurers might balk at exposing themselves to criminal liability for writing policies that are against the law, no matter what Barack Obama says.But when you have a president willing to use the IRS as his own personal political goon squad, other things come into play that can influence that decision.
The president and his minions will not let go of this easily. They will continue to try to spin crap into gold, and they'll happily spend your last dime and sacrifice your freedom to do it, if you let them.
The solution, of course is a strategy designed to keep this in front of the low information voters while energizing the anti-Obama base. After all, no one can vote against Barack Obama again, but they can vote against ObamaCare and take revenge on the tools that supported it who are up for re-election.
So the Opposition, if they're smart, will shout "no bail out for ObamaCare" at the top of their lungs early and often. They will remind people again and again of how they were deliberately and knowingly lied to, and warn them against trusting anything this president says. They will take steps to unite their caucus, now that Ted Cruz and Mike Lee have been proven right about what a nightmare ObamaCare is. Apologies are in order. And they will avoid the Democrat's attempt to smear them with the same ordure by attempting to trick them into being part of a 'bi-partisan fix'.
There is no fixing ObamaCare.In fact, any attempt to fix it needs to be avoided at all costs, with the simple mantra that we now know what's in the bill,we don't like it and neither do the American people. The word that needs to be repeated over and over again is 'repeal'.
If the Republicans do that, there's a decent chance they may be able to repeal this monstrosity called ObamaCare come 2015.
But that's what it will take.