Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 5, 2009

JINDAL DECLARES THE END OF THE HEALTH CARE DEBATE.... Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), who fancies himself something of a health care policy wonk, had an odd op-ed in the Washington Post today, arguing that the debate over reform is over. At first, I was delighted -- I thought Jindal was prepared to concede that Democrats had won.

Alas, he made the opposite case. "[M]emo to Washington: The debate on health care has moved on," Jindal wrote. "Democratic plans for a government takeover are passe. The people don't want it. Believe the polls, the town halls, the voters."

Kaiser_Summer_Poll.jpg

This line of thinking might make Jindal feel better, but his understanding of public opinion is shaky, at best. Indeed, if policymakers should be expected to listen to the polls and the voters, the public option would be the single most popular health care reform measure in Washington right now.

For that matter, consider this chart from the Kaiser Family Foundation, released last week. What its research showed was that national support for reform -- far from being "passe" -- improved in September. A majority want reform passed now, and believe the country would be better off if reform proposals become law. As Kevin Drum noted the other day, "Republicans took their best shot at sinking healthcare reform over August, but it turns out that public support for their position was sort of a like a convention bounce: sharp but short-lived. "

What's more, Chris Good reminds us that the polls also show that "Americans think Obama has better ideas on health care than Republicans in Congress: the NY Times/CBS poll showed Obama beating congressional Republicans 52-27 on that question, which probably means the Democratic Party's 'Party of No' attack on the GOP is sticking."

Memo to Jindal: The debate on health care hasn't gone as well as you think it has.

Steve Benen 1:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (32)

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Comments

it is unfortunate that sweet bobby is wrong about one thing: that the debate is NOT over. if obama had rammed the thing thru in august, baby-face bobby would be muttering in his sarsaparilla.

Posted by: neill on October 5, 2009 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

The reppublican party has become nothing more or less than a cult. No matter what reality is they believe what ever suits their need to hold or grab power. Facts what facts we believe whatever we want to believe should be their motto.

Posted by: Gandalf on October 5, 2009 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

This is just the latest installment of "Pretending with Piyush." Pretend that "the people don't want it," pretend that Piyush is really "Bobby," pretend that exorcism really works . . .

Posted by: penalcolony on October 5, 2009 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Notice how the Republicans always use the phrase "government takeover" as equivalent to healthcare reform. Jindal, like all good Republicans, knows that for his constituency, impressions are everything; substance is nothing.

Posted by: DelCapslock on October 5, 2009 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

Rep Alan Grayson is right. If Jindal says the debate is over and its time to move, then there is no plan.
1) Don't get sick.
2) If you do get sick...

Posted by: Tom_23 on October 5, 2009 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder if Bobby wrote the Op-Ed, or if it was written by Sarah Palin's ghostwriter. It has the same whistling past the graveyard quality.

Posted by: Ron Byers on October 5, 2009 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

I'm inclined to think that people in the conservative echo chamber actually believe this. From their limited point of view, the August town hall protests were the death knell for health care reform. That's what they've been told, what they tell each other.

And, frankly, both sides tend to disbelieve polling which doesn't validate their instincts. Conservatives like Jindal just disregard the polling that says that a majority of Americans support reform.

Posted by: Keith M Ellis on October 5, 2009 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder if Bobby wrote the Op-Ed, or if it was written by Sarah Palin's ghostwriter.

In contrast to Caribou Barbie, Jindal's supposed to be a reasonably-bright fellow. I have, however, yet to see any evidence of this.

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on October 5, 2009 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

pretend that Piyush is really "Bobby"

If Piyush calls himself Bobby and wants to be called Bobby, then he's Bobby.

We have enough to criticize him for without casting aspersions on his birth name because it sounds furrin. We don't dig it when the right goes around shouting "HUSSEIN Obama" and I don't see much difference here.

Posted by: shortstop on October 5, 2009 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

Reader comment on the op-ed page of my local paper today:

If the health care bill passes with the public option it will confirm to me that this administration doesn’t give a darn what the majority of Americans want.

They believe in their own reality-teabag parties outdraw the inauguration, town hall imbeciles are a majority in this country, true patriots cheer when the USA loses the Olympics.

Posted by: howie on October 5, 2009 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

If Piyush calls himself Bobby and wants to be called Bobby, then he's Bobby.

We have enough to criticize him for without casting aspersions on his birth name because it sounds furrin. We don't dig it when the right goes around shouting "HUSSEIN Obama" and I don't see much difference here.

Agreed. But I am still allowed to mention that I think he looks just like Gilligan, right?

Posted by: howie on October 5, 2009 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

This is just more Big Lie. Whether Jindal believes it or not isn't really significant (as if often noted "stupid or evil" isn't an either-or question); he's BS-ing, and the real scandal not that he's lying, but that he doesn't care if it's true or not, as long as it works.

Posted by: Redshift on October 5, 2009 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Agreed. But I am still allowed to mention that I think he looks just like Gilligan, right?

Yes. Kenneth the Page comparisons are perfectly acceptable, too.

Posted by: Redshift on October 5, 2009 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

What is really disconcerting is that one region of the country, the South, really does seem to have a different reality -- the opposite reality -- from other regions. So they can say with perfect confidence that aspects of health care reform or all of health care reform is thwarting popular opinion, and they can mean it in good faith -- because it would be true where they live, and they are not obligated to look further afield.

It's not healthy.

Posted by: Barbara on October 5, 2009 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Reading Booby's 'opinion' was interesting.

"...Republican Party has an opportunity to demonstrate that conservative principles work when applied to real-world problems."

"...Republicans have to join the battle of ideas."

"The people do not want Republicans to offer their own thousand-page plan to overhaul health care..."

Bobby then lays out his 10 ideas to make all well again in health care for our country.

"Voluntary purchasing pools..."
"Portability..."
"Lawsuit reform..."
"Require coverage of preexisting conditions..."
"Transparency and payment reform..."
"Electronic medical records..."
"Tax-free health savings accounts..."
"Reward healthy lifestyle choices..."
"Cover young adults..."
"Refundable tax credits..."

It is an interesting read. Of course, lawsuit reform is always at the top of the list for rethugs. Cover young adults by keeping them on their parents insurance until ??? I like the 'make your parents pay' approach.

Refundable tax credits is still my all time favorite repugnican theme. Give everyone a max $5K tax credit and tell them to get their own! As if a family could get medical insurance for $5K a year! As if!

--------------------------------------------
2008 Tax Year Hypothetical family of 4 - living in rented quarters - earning $40,000 gross - standard deductions.

Social security tax paid = $2480
Medicare tax paid = $ 580
Federal income tax due = $1513

Jindal's tax credit to get family's own health care coverage = $1513!!! Do rethugs actually believe that meaningful private medical insurance policies for a family of 4 can be purchased $1513???

For this family, the federal income tax would be less than 1/3 of the federal taxes paid. For rethugs, the other 2/3rd don't really count - therefore this must be a deadbeat family!

Posted by: AmusedOldVet on October 5, 2009 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

Agreed. But I am still allowed to mention that I think he looks just like Gilligan, right?

Certainly. I'm not unreasonable.

Posted by: shortstop on October 5, 2009 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Did plenty of progressives show up at the Town Halls, or did the media just ignore them?

Posted by: Neil B ♪ on October 5, 2009 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Tax credit: rubbish of course, since rebates are higher, the higher your income (unless it's just an $X write-off, but even then: what if your liability is less?

Posted by: Neil B ♫ on October 5, 2009 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

"...Republican Party has an opportunity to demonstrate that conservative principles work when applied to real-world problems."

I thought they had their opportunity from 2001 through 2008? How'd that work out, again?

Posted by: Stefan on October 5, 2009 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, shortstop, but it's time to fight fire with something more than good manners. Piyush is his given name; he adopted Bobby as a nickname because of an adolescent crush on Bobby Brady.

Barack Hussein Obama didn't give himself some sort of boy-crush nickname and the right wing loonies went, well, loony.

So, all references to the Governor of Lousiana by me will be Piyush Rindal. And if he ever asks for Dijon mustard in public, I'm going postal.

Posted by: Lifelong Dem on October 5, 2009 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

"Reward healthy lifestyle choices..."

Wait, so now Jindal is for a nanny state? We can't trust big guvmint, but we're supposed to let it monitor and "reward" our lifestyle choices? So if we make unhealthy lifestyle choices, then the government is going to punish us? What's next, Comrade Jindal, government death panels for the fat and flabby?

Posted by: Stefan on October 5, 2009 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Someone should remind Bobby that ONE of the reasons the GOP is unpopular is because they LIE. They come out and write an op-ed that is totally untrue and they KNOW it...but they think the public doesn't know it. Everyone shakes their head and moves on. Someone should call these liars out.

Posted by: SYSPROG on October 5, 2009 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

Lifelong Dem: Sorry, shortstop, but it's time to fight fire with something more than good manners.

It's not about manners. Few here would argue that I miss opportunities to embrace my rude inner child. It's about staying true to a liberal principle: you don't use someone's ethnicity -- in and of itself and not as it relates to that person's policy stances or public statements on ethnicity -- against him or her. Even when they're Republicans.

Stefan: I thought they had their opportunity from 2001 through 2008? How'd that work out, again?

Like Hoover, who was callously ousted in the midst of steering the country into a painless recovery, the GOP grapes of the past eight years were cruelly ripped from the vine before they could ripen into the mellow, mature policy they were going to be. Faithless voters, you have sold this wine before its time.

Posted by: shortstop on October 5, 2009 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Sad to say, clueless fellow Democrats, they're setting us up. "Government takeover of health care" sounds overblown now -- but when the individual mandate passes and the average middle class family finds out they're REQUIRED BY LAW to turn over 10-13% of their after-tax income to insurance companies, that phrase will resonate quite differently, ie. THE GOVERNMENT (OBAMA) IS STEALING YOUR MONEY! And there will be an electoral bloodbath. I wish it weren't so, but Democrats are seriously underestimating the blowback from an individual mandate coupled with a "public option" limited to very few.

Posted by: dalloway on October 5, 2009 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

Wait, so now Jindal is for a nanny state?

But of course. The GOP luv-luv-luvs the nanny state when it's remonstrating with that Republican obsession, the "undeserving." That woman should have to carry that pregnancy to term because she doesn't deserve to have sex without consequences. That immigrant should have to walk around untreated (with swine flu or TB, 'cause the GOP ain't that bright) because his lack of documents means he doesn't deserve healthcare. That family should be told exactly what to spend its food stamps on because it doesn't deserve to get to make its own food choices.

With all their busybodying, it's a wonder these people have time to live their own lives. Right, they don't have any.

Posted by: shortstop on October 5, 2009 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

With all their busybodying, it's a wonder these people have time to live their own lives. Right, they don't have any.

Well, they do have lives. Just secret ones. Secret, shameful, sinful lives that no one must ever, ever, ever find out about....

Posted by: Stefan on October 5, 2009 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Bobby Jindal's 11th solution for health care reform: anyone who isn't in the least impacted by my first 10 reforms should become a Christian Scientist.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on October 5, 2009 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Why don't we do this middle name thing for all GOPers?

Mark Sanford becomes "Clement", John Ensign becomes "Eric", Eric Cantor becomes "Ivan".

Posted by: howie on October 5, 2009 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), who fashions himself something of a health care policy wonk,[...] -- Steve Benen

On the strength of a single exorcism? And we don't even know how successful it had been? Jindal bell, Jindal bell, Jindal all the way, oh what fun it is to ride on a crazy Jindal sle-eigh ...

And, Howie, @15:36. I always do it, especially when I know that the person in question absolutely hates that given middle name (for whatever reason). Like George Felix Allen. And John Sidney McCain (the Third). Did it long before Barack Hussein Obama, too :)

Posted by: exlibra on October 5, 2009 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

i suspect than when jindal writes that "the debate has moved on" he means in the south....that's certainly true...ironically, it's one of the regions where whites would benefit from a public option...but they don't see it that way

Posted by: dj spellchecka on October 5, 2009 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

It seems as if the top priority of conservatives is convincing themselves and each other that they're winning, regardless of objective reality.

Posted by: Daddy love on October 5, 2009 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

It seems as if the top priority of conservatives is convincing themselves and each other that they're winning, regardless of objective reality.

But you forget what Turd Blossom said: the GOP looks w/disdain @ the 'reality-based community.' Because, as Stephen Colbert so accurately observed, reality has a well-known liberal bias.

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on October 5, 2009 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK
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