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July 02, 2012 1:57 PM Street Demonstrations Strangely Muted

By Ed Kilgore

Per Ezra Klein, a new Kaiser Family Foundation survey casts some doubt on the conservative suggestion that the Supreme Court’s health reform decision will draw an aroused citizenry into the streets to protest this tyranny, before Americans calm down enough to march to the polls to elect Mitt Romney by a landslide. By a 56/38 margin, respondents want to see the law’s opponents “move on to other national issues” rather than “continue to block the law from being implemented.”

The survey’s other big finding should be sobering to all us political junkies: 41% of Americans were not aware of the decision and/or its major finding. That includes 18% of the public who asserted that the decision had not yet been made.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

Comments

  • c u n d gulag on July 02, 2012 2:04 PM:

    "The survey’s other big finding should be sobering to all us political junkies: 41% of Americans were not aware of the decision and/or its major finding. That includes 18% of the public who asserted that the decision had not yet been made."

    FTW?!?!

    Are 41% of American, deaf, blind, lazy, stupid, or ignorant - or still living in caves, so they don't get cable or internet?

    My money's on lazy, stupid, AND ignorant!

    Do they at least know that "Lucky Lindy" made it, Amelia Earhart didn't, and that Americans landed on the moon 43 years ago?

    Don't answer that!

  • TCinLA on July 02, 2012 2:06 PM:

    41% of Americans were not aware of the decision and/or its major finding. That includes 18% of the public who asserted that the decision had not yet been made.

    Further proof that Mencken was right: "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people."

    This is a country, after all, where 48% believe humans co-existed with dinosaurs, and 40% believe the sun revolves around the earth.

    Sixty years of "education reform" and the country is markedly more stupid than it used to be. Perhaps those who can't teach, so they teach teachers, should look at these figures.

  • T2 on July 02, 2012 2:07 PM:

    wait until the TeaBags get going....all the Media will have feverish presentations of frothing TP's carrying racist signs and screaming for the dissolution of the Government in order to save the Constitution....and they'll play the clips over and over, carefully editing out any wide shots that show there's only 17 people at the rally and all are white guys and their wives with beehive hairdo's, and all are on Medicare and SocSec. (which is why they can "rally" in the middle of a work week). But none of them will admit to liking Romney, and 41% think Mormon's are cultists.
    The Obama rally drawing 100,000 across town will be mentioned in passing.

  • Ron Byers on July 02, 2012 2:10 PM:

    The finding that 41% of Americans don't know the decision has been handed down should give anyone liviing in fear of cable tv pause. The finding that of those who know about the decision that the American people want us to move on to other issues should tell Mitt Romney something about relying on Fox News to sell his message.

    The bloom is off the tea party.

  • Hedda Peraz on July 02, 2012 2:12 PM:

    Y'all need to realize that not everybody is as tuned in as PA readers.
    Hell, the number of Americans that even watch the TeeVee news is a small percentage of the population.

  • Hedda Peraz on July 02, 2012 2:20 PM:

    Further research:
    Less than 3 million watch cable TV , and only 21.7 million regularly watch the network news.
    The rest of the 311 million citizens are apparently otherwise occupied.

  • ckelly on July 02, 2012 2:25 PM:

    How many Americans think the Scotus overturned the ACA courtesy of CNN and Faux News?

  • Idiehard on July 02, 2012 2:38 PM:

    It's just like the 2000 election. When Fax called it against Obamacare, that ended Obamacare. The recount that came out 5-4 in favor of Obamacare was fraudulent!

  • Anonymous on July 02, 2012 2:54 PM:

    Yikes! Scary stats, indeed! Just wait until that ignorant 41% find out what happened within the ivy-covered halls of that socialist SCOTUS! But even then there will be no protest marches and by November they will have reverted to more pressing matters such as anchor babies and the drones hovering outside their bedroom windows.

    The interesting stat is that the 56/38 margin is virtually identical to that noted in a previous WaMo article several months ago, citing "The Economist." This indicated that while the approval rating was 45/50 for the ACA, this included 12% who felt it did not go far enough, such as single payer or public option. Factoring in that 12% results in 57/38 margin for the current or stronger version.

  • jjm on July 02, 2012 2:56 PM:

    I suspect the Tea Bag frenzy is over with on both sides...on the side of the tea partiers and on our side, us being the poor recipients of their hysterical rants. Maybe they can gin up more 'outrage' and other nonsense over something but they've really overplayed this hand. They won the public's attention by completely misrepresenting the law, but now that's over with as far as the public is concerned.

    And surely the news media must know by now that the Tea Party is not an automatic lure to readers/viewers.

    Look what happened to CNN when it hitched its wagon to the Tea Party's 'star.' Kersplatt!

  • June on July 02, 2012 3:20 PM:

    I work in an environment surrounded by people of different political persuasions, most with college degrees. On the morning of the decision, at the moment it was to be announced, not a single one of them were interested in the outcome. People were at their desks gossiping, checking out sports videos, looking at online catalogs, etc.

    After the decision came down, a mention of it brought glazed eyes/yawns/puzzlement as to why anyone should actually be interested.

    Yeah. Pretty sobering to know people weren't the least concerned about a court decision that could vitally impact their lives and their families' lives.

  • DisgustedWithItAll on July 02, 2012 3:38 PM:

    "The survey’s other big finding should be sobering to all us political junkies: 41% of Americans were not aware of the decision and/or its major finding. That includes 18% of the public who asserted that the decision had not yet been made."

    This is EXACTLY why the country (and world) is in the shape it's in. It's what allows Republicans to lie without fear (or shame) and it's what makes false equivalence so insidious.

  • T2 on July 02, 2012 3:48 PM:

    June, its not surprising that most folks do not know much about ACA except it's called ObamaCare. The Obama Administration's extremely inept job of explaining it to the American public played right into the hands of the FOX types and GOPers that were able to lie without challenge and confuse the issues.

  • SYSPROG on July 02, 2012 4:54 PM:

    That's because they 'surveyed' my kids. They thought the law (ACA) had already been implemented and didn't pay any attention to the Supremes...which may or may not be a good thing!!!

  • castanea on July 02, 2012 6:01 PM:

    "The Obama Administration's extremely inept job of explaining it to the American public played right into the hands of the FOX types and GOPers that were able to lie without challenge and confuse the issues."

    My friend, I realize that you are an Obama hater, but June's comments disprove your assertion. Obama and Democrats did a decent job of explaining the ACA to people who were engaged enough in their own future to listen or read.

    The problem arises when a critical number of Americans would rather watch "America's Next Biggest Surviving Top Idol" than take the time required to learn about the ACA.

    Democrats can't visit everyone's home and give a 30-minute presentation on what the new health care law means. The populace has to show enough interest in its well-being to be able to pay attention on its own.

  • jjm on July 02, 2012 6:13 PM:

    The GOP made such a big deal out of "repealing Obamacare on day one" of winning the House, that my son, who lives abroad and is a very avid reader of the news thought that ACA had simply been killed. Another child, also very up on politics wrote me and asked, "Can they really cover everyone for just $700 apiece?" That "it's gonna cost you $700" has been sold as a horrible burden on everyone (along with the new one, 'the highest tax hike in the history of the universe'!) is the only thing the news reports on.

    So as far as "The Obama Administration's extremely inept job of explaining it to the American public" is concerned that is simply untrue. What is true is that the news media gave inordinate publicity to each and every insane charge against it and completely refused to detail its actual features. (I also have to object to the GOP's perpetually referring to ACA as a 'bill' still, even after it became a statute nearly three years ago!)

    So when Obama went over the important features of the law when he commented on the Court's decision in his press conference it may have seemed boring to us, but it was eye-opening to a lot of people. The fact that it takes being the president who wants to make an announcement specifically about this law before people get a chance to hear its features is one of the major impediments.

    I seem to recall a certain press conference about the law that Obama was holding when the WH reporters kept interrupting him for comments about the Cambridge police arresting Henry Louis Gates... ALL news media carried THAT story for days.

    WH inept? Or the press remiss? You decide.