Monday, October 26, 2009

Something smart printed in the Plain Dealer?

Believe it or not, the Plain Dealer has ONE columnist that has a clue...

Do we, the people, matter when the left is so close to seizing health care? - Kevin O'Brien

A newly released battery of polls confirms the worst fears of the White House and the Democratic leaders in Congress.

What? That the stimulus is turning out to be a monumental failure in the present and is consigning future generations to an economy crushed by government debt? No, that's future generations' problem.

That President Barack Obama's feckless dithering over Gen. Stanley McChrystal's request for more troops in Afghanistan puts troops in the field at risk and dims the prospect of U.S. success? Heck no. Political victories are what matter, and an Obama fund-raiser just nicked a bunch of Wall Streeters for $2 million-plus - then he told them to shut up and surrender to his plans for government micromanagement of the economy's financial sector.

That Glenn Beck might turn up another Obama administration radical praising Mao, signing a petition saying 9/11 was an inside job or talking about his conversion to communism? Well, that's a legitimate fear, but it's not at the top of this list. Besides, there's always room under the presidential bus.

Their worst fear is that Americans will figure out that health care "reform" - the House version, the Senate version, the White House version, they all lead to the same government control - is a scam.

Brand-new polling shows that Americans are catching on.

The Democrats knew they were in trouble if they couldn't get their rush job done by August. But then came the town halls, the tea parties and the sudden, wide spread rediscovery among congressional Republicans of a long-misplaced item of anatomy: backbone. They noticed it once their backs were pinned to the wall.

Information seeped out. Analysis happened. The Congressional Budget Office didn't get the first "play nice" memo.

As a result, Americans have been steadily drifting, walking or running away from the Democrats' health care power grab.

Last week, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found that despite the Democrats' best efforts to ignore, fuzz, hide or flat-out lie about the proposals' likely effects, Americans generally understand that their passage would give the government too much control over health care, do serious damage to Medicare, raise taxes and increase the deficit.

The Democrats' approach would do worse things, too, but those are the ones the public recognizes so far.

A Gallup Poll conducted at the same time found that, by 58 percent to 38 percent, Americans wish Congress would drop the idea of passing a comprehensive health care bill this year, and would instead work "on a gradual basis over several years."

But if Congress does something this year, Gallup found that 49 percent expect to oppose it and 44 percent expect to favor it. A lot of people would like to know more about what "it" is, but that's very unlikely. The game plan is to pass it, sign it and then, as necessary, explain it.

Also last week, CNN/Opinion Research Corp. asked Americans whether they agree or disagree with Obama "on the issues that matter most to you." By 51 percent to 48 percent, the answer was no.

To the same question in April, by 57 percent to 41 percent, the answer was yes. What a difference six months makes.

Here's how CNN polling director Keating Holland reads the numbers: "Obama is facing crunch time on a number of controversial issues, from health care to financial regulation to cap and trade to Afghanistan. The fact that most Americans no longer agree with him on important issues makes his task harder."

Yes, it does. But it doesn't make his task impossible, so this is no time for complacency.

The elitist left is tantalizingly close to realizing its long-held dream: power over the life and death of every American. (If you doubt the death part, read the horror stories coming out of Britain's press about the "Liverpool Care Pathway.")

The danger now is that, without public support, congressional leftists will accept the short-term political cost of ramming socialized medicine into law, so as to gain the enormous long-term political leverage that would come with government control of the health care system.

Americans don't want that, and they aren't going quietly. The great unanswered question is whether the Democrats, holding every lever of power, will allow the voice of the people to matter.

Call. Write. Keep the pressure on.

O'Brien is The Plain Dealer's deputy editorial page editor.

Sending quotes from our Founding Fathers in emails to each other does not count as "keeping the pressure on." I get tons of emails from people with cute little quotes from Jefferson, Washington, etc... but mostly these are the same people that never show up at rallies, or participate in calling our elected idiots.

Now is the time to stop complaining about the times of rallies being held, now is the time to stop talking about the sacrifices our Founding Fathers made -- and start making them yourself if you want to stop this government take over of our health care. This will only be the beginning if we allow it to happen!

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