The Washington Post is trying to spin a Pew poll that clearly demonstrates that with the general public, opponents of Obamacare have won the day.
In order to spin it it, they must turn reality upon its head. The first reason they cite is that it was the fault of the media’s coverage. The media is to blame.
First, the media coverage focused heavily on the politics and the strategy of the legislation as opposed to the guts of the actual proposed law. Roughly 40 percent of the media coverage during that period focused on “politics and strategy” while just 23 percent zeroed in on describing the substance of the plan.
(Cue media criticism. It’s a fair discussion but not relevant to whether or not the political fight over health care can now be won by Democrats.)
Here’s a chart of how all of the health care coverage during that period broke down:
That focus on the politics and strategy clearly benefited Republicans since much of the story during the health care fight was of a Democratic party divided between its liberal base, who wanted a broader bill, and its more pragmatic center that preferred a bill that could be passed.
The spin: The media hurt the popularity of the bill by focusing on the politics of it rather than the merits of it.
Hogwash. That is a complete re-write of history. Yes, the media focused on the politics of it because every time that they (the media) or the President would talk about the actual details of the proposal, it would become even more unpopular. The Republicans were constantly trying to talk about what was in it!
Besides the media laying down cover fire for the Democrats, the other reason that the politics was the topic is that the final bill was kept completely under wraps until passage. Remember “We have to pass it to find out what is in it.”
The original versions of the bill were so wildly unpopular that the Dems purposely kept the final bill from the Public and most of Congress. How was the media to report on the details of a bill that was purposely kept hidden from the public.
The Dems lost the battle over the healthcare bill because it is a terrible bill and no amount of revisionist history will change that.