What a Week!

June 29th, 2012 at 5:44 pm

I want to be careful not to get too upbeat about some…um…positive political and legal developments this week but one wonders if perhaps the ice might start cracking a bit.  I’d guess not—that we’re still stuck with horribly divisive politics and the ensuing gridlock for a while.

But on occasion today—a day filled with fractious debates about the health care decision and other matters of political economy—I had a vision that perhaps some Americans who are currently disengaged, dissatisfied, and suspicious about anything coming out of the DC debate might see things a little differently…just a little…maybe…

That is, I wondered if some people might see the President and his allies trying to deal with a big problem—one that looms large in their own lives: insecurity around health coverage, while the opposition is almost purely negative: It’s a tax! Repeal and replace! Government overreach!

I’m just wondering if there comes a point where people who are not firmly on one side or the other—those folks won’t change their minds—start to view all that opposition as counterproductive.  A conservative Supreme Court made the call, and the ACA is now solidly the law of the land.  I can imagine non-partisans essentially seeing the relentless opposition as bad losers.  And America doesn’t like bad losers.*

This is a testable hypothesis.  If I’m right, then I’d expect to see polling data start to show move favorable views towards the ACA.  Obviously, they’ll be tremendous noise trying to drag public opinion the other way, but that’s been in the ether for a while now.

Let’s see what happens.

Have a great weekend, OTE’ers everywhere!

*Like this guy from the NYT: “Every provision of Obamacare must be repealed, not selective parts of it,” said Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa. “Obamacare must be ripped out completely, lock, stock and barrel, root and branch — no vestige left behind, not a DNA particle of Obamacare retained.”

A touch shrill…no?

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8 comments in reply to "What a Week!"

  1. Nhon Tran says:

    Thank you. I am overjoyed about the decision, too, although perplexed that it’s a tax. If people are interested in reading about Judge Roberts, Judge John Paul Stevens’s memoir “Five Chiefs,” (2011) has an informative chapter about him. Regards.


  2. eternal skeptic says:

    The penalty for not buying insurance was ALWAYS going to be enforced by the IRS. Yet not a peep from Conservatives about this until Robert’s decision. Now the shrieks are being heard from Maine to California. “It’s a tax, it’s a tax, Obama promised never to raise taxes on the middle class.” I’m amazed Grover Norquist isn’t in apoplexy; then again, maybe he is.

    There are days I feel like I’ve teleported to a parallel universe.


  3. Michael says:

    I’d be cautious about saying blithely that just because the Supreme Court said something was ok, it was ok. Do Democrats simply accept anything a Republican President passes, and the Supreme Court says ok to (Citizen’s United anyone?)Granted, Citizens United wasn’t a law but it was ok’d by the Supreme Court as being constitutional, and I’m sure as heck hoping someone finds some way to put a limit or reversal on it. One of the bad aspects of Democracy is that there are so few absolute laws, the rest have to be fought and re-fought. Nothing is set in stone, all is mutable. Passionately ignorant does not mean the Republicans are acting in a way the Democrats couldn’t (or even shouldn’t.) If nothing else, I wish more Democrats were as passionate after a bad Republican law was passed.

    Futhermore, why are ignorant independents to be courted so much? Do I need to raise the spector of Casablanca to make the point that neutrality isn’t a moral choice but an abdication of moral choice? If you haven’t gathered enough information to pick a side, you aren’t informed.


  4. Rima Regas says:

    At the root of our country’s most serious problems, in my very humble opinion, is the lack of a solid social ethics foundation. Every single issue, when analyzed goes all the way back to that. Wall Street? Broken ethics. Prison industrial complex in all states? Broken ethics. Education? Ditto. Politics? Well… We’re at the point where, if a certain GOP candidate gets elected, we might well be ditching a good portion of our social contract. Did you catch Charles Blow’s column for today’s NYT? It resonated with a lot of people, including me. Far be it for me to ever defend a Bush appointee, but it happened. I defended Justice Roberts. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/30/opinion/obama-for-the-win.html?_r=1

    What is going on in our society is beyond appalling.


    • Jared Bernstein says:

      Just read the Blow piece–ironically, after spending about an hour catching an escaping cat!–and agree–excellent and important.


      • Rima Regas says:

        I used to have a cat that loved it when we leashed and took it out on walks… It stopped escaping. Maybe you should try that.


  5. Michael says:

    Only if the media doesn’t deliberately confuse the issue. Most folks don’t know that it’s Republicans opposing everything, because Obama’s too good to keep people informed, and our media confuses everything.


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