Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Symbolism Can Be Important

And while I called today's Missouri health care referendum symbolic and agree with mistermix over at Balloon Juice on the whole idea...

Though I’m sure we’ll be hearing how it’s part of a groundswell against Obama and Congress, I’ll take the simpler explanation that everyone wants to eat cake, but nobody wants to get fat. Mandatory insurance is the unpleasant part of HCR that makes the whole thing work, and it’s not surprising that the least palatable part of the bill is unpopular.

Steve M. takes a closer look at the numbers and delivers are very practical warning that the 73%-27% vote against the health insurance mandate is a big, huge neon CAUTION sign.

Really? I'm looking at election results here and I can't help noticing that there were more "Yes" voters -- voters rejecting the health care mandate -- than there were voters for all the candidates in the top-of-the-ballot GOP race, the primary for a candidate to succeed Kit Bond in the U.S. Senate.

The referendum vote was:

Yes: 667,680
No: 271,102

The total number of votes cast for the nine candidates in the Republican Senate primary (which Roy Blunt easily won) was 577,612 -- 90,000 votes fewer than were cast against health care reform. Which suggests that anti-HCR voters were more motivated to vote in the referendum than to vote in the primary, that virtually all Republicans voted with the anti-HCR majority, and quite possibly that a fair number of Democratic primary voters joined them.

The opposition to health care reform is Obama's other oil spill. He fought to pass the bill, but he did too little as the toxic, ill-informed anger against the bill spread. And now there's so much pollution in our discussion of this subject that we may never be able to clean it all up.

Steve has a valid point:  symbolic opposition to an unpopular mandate or not, it motivated people in both parties in Missouri to oppose the measure overwhelmingly and got them out to vote in a primary in August.  The lesson here is you will see Republicans want to put this on the ballot as much as possible in as many states as possible for November, 2012.

Yanking the mandate is the new gay marriage ban, and that was nothing but a winner for Republicans before for turnout.  That's what I'm taking away from this now.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails