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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Moving Opinion on Health Care

Pollsters Scott Rasmussen and Douglas Schoen explain why the president's health proposal remains in trouble:

The reason President Obama can't move the numbers and build public support is because the fundamentals are stacked against him. Most voters believe the current plan will harm the economy, cost more than projected, raise the cost of care, and lead to higher middle-class taxes.

That's a tough sell when the economy is hurting and people want reform to lower the cost of care. It's also a tough sell for a president who won an election by promising tax cuts for 95% of all Americans.

In recent days, the president has tried to rally support by attacking the insurance industry. He may seem to be following Saul Alinsky's advice to focus on an enemy, or "target." If so, he is overlooking an important passage from Rules for Radicals:

[The target] must be a personification, not something general or abstract such as a community's segregated practices or a major corporation or City Hall. It is not possible to develop the necessary hostility against, say, City Hall, which after all is a concrete, physical inanimate structure, or against a corporation, which has no soul or identity, or a public school administration, which again is an inanimate system.

The "insurance industry" is even more abstract than a specific insurance company. The president needs a better enemy -- especially since the other side has several: Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid, and of course, him.