Last night’s Almanac roundtable featured a trio of campus-based idiots. Chief among the idiots was David Schultz. Early in the discussion, Eric Eskola asked St. Olaf’s Prof. Hofrening if the ruling would rally the GOP base. Eskola also asked if Thursday’s ruling turned the election into a referendum on the ACA. Here’s Prof. Hofrenning’s response:
Well, I think that’s the big question. To what degree will this rally the base. The question is ‘what will this decision do to the conservative movement today’? Clearly, it will rally some TEA Partiers but I think we have to keep a close watch on the intensity of that rally.
Prof. Hofrenning, this ruling didn’t rally just the TEA Party wing of the GOP. It rallied independents. It rallied ‘establishment’ Republicans, too. Joe Trippi got it right on Hannity the other night when he said “This ruling has the Democrat base breathing a sigh of relief. It has the Republican base breathing fire.”
After that exchange, Mary Lahammer asked Kathryn Pearson what the ramifications of the ruling would be on congressional races. Here’s Prof. Pearson’s response:
Well, the congressional elections of 2012, each member will be fighting for his or her own seat and we’re already seeing some glimpses of this. Democrats not going to the Democratic National Convention, they’re looking out for themselves first. We’ll see the same thing from Republicans as well.
But Republicans are saying ‘Just give us a Republican president and a Republican congress’ but it isn’t that easy. One of the dangers of that message is that it moves away from the economy because the economy is the #1 issue in the election.
Another of the problems is that they aren’t offering an alternative plan. So if you look at many of the individual items, they’re quite popular
First, this will be another wave election. This won’t end well for Democrats. The ACA ruling just intensifies the disgust for the ACA amongst TEA Party activists, independents and establishment Republicans.
Second, while we see proof that Democrats aren’t attending the Democratic National Convention, there’s no proof that Republican legislators and candidates will stay away from Tampa.
That’s because Republicans, while many of us aren’t thrilled with Mitt, won’t treat him like toxic waste. Democrats like Joe Manchin and Claire McCaskill are treating President Obama like toxic waste. Anyone who didn’t notice that shouldn’t be a political science teacher at a major university.
Third, while it’s true that the economy, specifically creating jobs and growing the economy, is a high priority, it’s equally true that the ACA has jumped up to being Issue 1A to the economy’s status as Issue 1.
I hope Mitt and congressional Republicans put out an alternative plan. That said, I don’t think it’s that important to offer an alternative plan at this point. Most people’s first priority after Thursday’s ruling is ridding ourselves of the ACA albatross.
Later, Mary Lahammer said that the GOP base “was lukewarm about Romney”, to which Schultz replied “That’s exactly the point is whether this translates into support for Mitt Romney in terms of they’ll really get behind him.”
Schultz then asked if Republicans would get behind the man who provided the model for the ACA:
This becomes a problem for Romney. How does he play this issue and I’m not sure he has alot of maneuver room on this one.
First, the fact that Mitt raised $5,000,000 in the 36 hours after the ruling should be more than an indicator to these geniuses that the base, and many independents, are steadfastly behind Mitt, especially since most of these contributions a) came through the internet and b) were small-dollar amount contributions.
Second, Mitt Romney has said repeatedly that he’ll repeal the ACA. Yesterday, Sen. Mitch McConnell said that he’d “repeal Obamacare” if he was the majority leader and Mitt was President.
He didn’t say that repeal would be a priority. Mitch didn’t say that they’d work on it. Mitch McConnell said that they’d repeal it.
Think of this as Mitt Romney’s and Mitch McConnell’s equivalent of Bush 41′s Read my lips moment. If they don’t repeal the ACA, history will record them as political failures. Their legacies will be tarnished.
A strong majority of the American people want the ACA repealed. That hasn’t changed since President Obama signed the bill into law. It’s consistently been that 55% of the people want the bill repealed. It’s consistently been that 40% of the people want it kept in place.
This will affect women’s reaction to the Obama administration. The townhall meetings of August, 2009 featured women who said that they’d never paid attention to politics before. That was the unofficial ‘birthplace’ of Sarah Palin’s Momma Grizzlies.
Health care reform awakened a sleeping giant. Most of the people in that sleeping giant were women that worried government-run health care would cost more while delivering lower quality care, which it will do.
Later in the roundtable, these ‘geniuses’ said that President Obama had to do a better job defending the ACA. That’s impossible. It’s impossible to defend the indefensible. It’s impossible to defend the 21-tax salute Congress and President Obama gave to the American people. It’s impossible to defend the massive growth in the federal government.
The problem isn’t that President Obama hasn’t done a good job selling the ACA. It’s that the ACA is a crappy product that a) the American people have rejected, b) was shoved down America’s throat despite the many monstrous TEA Party rallies and c) overpromises and underdelivers.
People will lose their health care plan because employers will drop people and pay the fine rather than continue covering their employees. Health insurance premiums will continue rising faster than the rate of inflation.
The first 50 hours after the ACA ruling shows that the intense opposition to the ACA hasn’t diminished since August, 2009. That’s a major problem for President Obama, Democrats running for re-election to the Senate and for House Democrats.
Prior to Thursday’s ruling, I’d said that I was confident Mitt Romney would defeat President Obama, partly because Democrats aren’t thrilled with him. Remember the convicted felon getting 42% of the vote in West Virginia? I do. Remember Undecided getting 41% of the vote in Kentucky? I certainly do.
Each election has 2 tracks in terms of polling. Daily tracking polls will reflect the blips covered during the news cycle. The weekly polling, however, shows the undercurrent that determines elections. People are frightened about the economy, the exploding national debt and dealing with the ACA.
That’s what these political science professors missed entirely. They don’t have a clue about what’s happening this election.
Tags: Almanac, David Schultz, Hamline, Kathryn Pearson, U of M, Dan Hofrenning, St. Olaf, President Obama, ACA Ruling, SCOTUS, Joe Manchin, Claire McCaskill, 21-Tax Salute, Democratic National Convention, Mitt Romney, Mitch McConnell, Repeal, Reconciliation, Republicans, Election 2012