Politico: Those assumptions by Democrats on ObamaCare were way off, huh?

posted at 11:35 am on March 23, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Two years after the signing of ObamaCare by Barack Obama, it might be a little difficult to recall how political strategists in the Democratic Party predicted it would impact their party’s fortunes.  Politico’s Carrie Budoff Brown walks through five assumptions publicly offered about the politics of the ObamaCare push that turned out to be, well … as accurate as its fiscal projections (via Jim Geraghty):

President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies thought their political assumptions were airtight during the yearlong battle to overhaul the health care system.

Voters would reward them, they thought, even if Democrats muscled a bill through without Republican support. It was just a matter of getting out of Washington and selling the law. Obama would lead the charge, and rank-and-file Democrats would proudly campaign on the achievement.

None of it worked out that way.

At the two-year mark Friday, nearly everything that Democrats believed about the politics of health care has turned out to be false. And the cost of those miscalculations has been huge. They have haunted Obama’s presidency, soured business as usual at the Capitol and upended the conventional wisdom peddled by political strategists, who have rarely been so wrong about something so big.

In large part, these political strategists told themselves what they wanted to hear, in the hopes that wish fulfillment would follow.  By the summer of 2009, the political trajectory of ObamaCare was evident, as angry voters flooded townhall meetings held by Democrats in Congress to express their disgust over the government takeover of health care.  Rather than listen, Congressional Democrats simply stopped holding townhalls altogether to avoid the feedback, while claiming that the protests were just “Astroturf” on behalf of insurance companies — another assumption that proved false in the midterm elections.

What else did Democrats tell themselves that summer?  Brown has this quote from Howard Dean in late August 2009 from his appearance on MSNBC: “[A] lot of the things that have been done that have helped seniors in particular have been done without Republican support at all and there’s not going to be any political penalty. The only political penalty [that] will be suffered is if we don’t pass a bill, and the Republicans know that.”  How wrong did this turn out to be?  Dean wasn’t the only one making this point, but the end result showed that the only thing worse than not passing an unpopular bill once you’ve floated it is to actually pass it.  As in the film War Games, the ultimate winning  move is not to play.

Not that Obama took this lying down, either.  In January 2010, two months before the bill came to a vote, Obama urged his fellow Democrats to muscle up and pass the bill — and that he would protect them by making the sale: “[T]hat’s why I’ll be out there waging a great campaign from one end of the country to the other, telling Americans with insurance or without what they stand to gain; about the arsenal of consumer protections; about the long-awaited stability that they’re going to begin to experience.”  And how well did that work out?  The midterms tell you all you need to know — the loss of 68 seats in the House in the worst midterm drubbing for a President since 1938.

Jim Geraghty says that the lessons Brown lays out should give us even more pause about the impact of the policy:

If professional politicians completely misjudged the politics of the legislation they were passing, think about how well they assessed the policy implications of what they passed!

They didn’t turn out to be geniuses after all, eh?  Small wonder that two-thirds of Americans want the bill rolled back in part or in whole.  And small wonder that Democrats now want to talk about almost anything else but ObamaCare.

Meanwhile, the NRCC gets in on the ObamaCare anniversary with this ad parody:

Doesn’t Grandma look a little like … Olympia Snowe?


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A big ‘duh’ from me…

neoavatara on March 23, 2012 at 11:37 AM

That we would just ♥ national socialist healthcare?

Uhh, that’s a big fat NO!

Chip on March 23, 2012 at 11:38 AM

” Are you kidding me ? Are you kidding me ?”- Pelosi

Jabberwock on March 23, 2012 at 11:40 AM

President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies thought their political assumptions were airtight during the yearlong battle to overhaul the health care system.

Can’t understand how the greatest genius ever to grace the halls of the white house could ever be wrong.. /

Chip on March 23, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Wait, wait… just wait a minute.

How can ramming a 1000 page bill that no politicians have read and that a majority of the public doesn’t want down the nation’s throat not be insanely popular?

This is all very confusing.

BadgerHawk on March 23, 2012 at 11:41 AM

In large part, these political strategists told themselves what they wanted to hear, in the hopes that wish fulfillment would follow.

And this is news?

Tim_CA on March 23, 2012 at 11:43 AM

You mean adding 32 million people to cradle-to-grave federal welfare doesn’t cut costs?

Chuck Schick on March 23, 2012 at 11:44 AM

The real question is why has it taken Politico so long to figure out that Democrats aren’t very smart?

Tater Salad on March 23, 2012 at 11:48 AM

“But…but….
you can be a hippie and not worry about your health” – Pelosi

Electrongod on March 23, 2012 at 11:49 AM

nearly everything that Democrats believed about the politics of health care has turned out to be false.

fixed

Grunt on March 23, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Count it! – crr6

lorien1973 on March 23, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Misjudgment is a colossal understatement. Psychotic delusions have a way of coming home to roost.

Slainte on March 23, 2012 at 11:51 AM

yeah, but they’re totally sure it’ll hold up in court.

totally. fa’ sure.

bloghooligan on March 23, 2012 at 11:52 AM

This article and the comments with it paint a picture that the people that wrote the law and shoved it down America’s throat, herp-derp, were just wrong. They just miscalculated. They really meant the best but just didn’t think things through.

WRONG!

The people that wrote the disaster that is Obombacare, and the people that shoved it through congress and into law, knew EXACTLY what they had written. They knew exactly what the law would do and they knew what it would cost, in both money and political capital. They knew ALL of this. They didn’t care about uninsured people, or even healthcare.

All they cared about was POWER. What was it 1/6th of our total economy? Yeah, it’ll be way more than that when it all gets going. All they cared about was that this law would give THEM total power over every aspect of our lives. And that kind of power is priceless. This was all about power over us, and we as a nation let them do it.

We are SO screwed.

Meople on March 23, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Another unintended effect of liberal arrogance.

NapaConservative on March 23, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Democrats believed about the politics of health care has turned out to be false.

Predictable (and predicted widely) because politics is merely a rider on the real world. It can be dragged along but really can’t push unless the tanks roll. I don’t care how many of these Democrats are doctors (Ew. Imagine being Dr, Yarrrgh Dean’s patient) they know nothing about the business or economics or practice of medicine, in particular, and are epically ignorant of all those things in general. So Their political assumptions will be faulty out of the gate.

This is an exceptionally obvious result. It goes for most all other areas too. The only assumption Democrats can safely and consistently make is that the New York Timeses, the ABCses and the Time Magazineses of the world will do their damnedest to mask their incompetence and put whatever idiocy leaks through in the best possible light. I mean…Joe Biden fer cryin’ out loud. Just…Joe Biden. Tsk. Guy needs help.

curved space on March 23, 2012 at 11:55 AM

As in the film War Games, the ultimate winning move is not to play.

Bonus points for this reference.

steebo77 on March 23, 2012 at 11:55 AM

As in the film War Games, the ultimate winning move is not to play.

Tea Party = WOPR

Uncledave on March 23, 2012 at 11:55 AM

yeah, but they’re totally sure it’ll hold up in court.

totally. fa’ sure.

bloghooligan on March 23, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Well it may in the end, who knows. However, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should and hopefully the Democrats and Obama will discover that.

whbates on March 23, 2012 at 11:56 AM

It is the government way to low-ball the costs of virtually every program they dream up. When it is OPM, “Other Peoples Money” the government knows no bounds.

Dasher on March 23, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Count it! – crr6

lorien1973 on March 23, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Thank you President Obama.

crr6 on May 1, 2011 at 10:45 PM

steebo77 on March 23, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Count it! – crr6

lorien1973 on March 23, 2012 at 11:51 AM

I miss her…

We need to make the Dimocrats pay in NO-vember, starting with the grifter from Chicago…

Khun Joe on March 23, 2012 at 11:57 AM

What was evem more pathetic was how all the state run media networks kept giving Obama free airtime to do his uninterrupted town hall Obamacare infomercials.
They were all absolutely stunned that they could not control the masses anymore and that was where the fear of the Tea Party arose.

Just imagine, a populace who will not listen to them.
They must demonize the citizens they cannot control.

NeoKong on March 23, 2012 at 11:58 AM

The only back dear leader is covering is his own

Dems-suckers

cmsinaz on March 23, 2012 at 12:01 PM

“Wait a minute, you mean that was in the bill, that???” Pelosi 3/22/2012

right2bright on March 23, 2012 at 12:02 PM

For sure to be heard soon ” Obamacare is not from my administration, per se” – Obama.

And some will actually agree with him.

Jabberwock on March 23, 2012 at 12:06 PM

This is what happens when the elite Democrats make decisions based on their ideology, and not the basic common sense known to anyone who doesn’t have a stack of 100 dollar bills shoved up their hinders. Or hidden in their freezer.

Book on March 23, 2012 at 12:08 PM

“[T]hat’s why I’ll be out there waging a great campaign from one end of the country to the other, telling Americans with insurance or without what they stand to gain; about the arsenal of consumer protections; about the long-awaited stability that they’re going to begin to experience.”

You watch, he’ll blame Pelosi for deceiving him, since he never really knew what was yet to be in it, either.

pambi on March 23, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Perhaps next time you’ll take more than 8 hours to actively and vigorously debate a 1,200 page bill, you inept bastiges.

Jeebus I hate these people.

Bishop on March 23, 2012 at 12:09 PM

If they think Americans are mad about Obamacare now, just wait a couple of years until this monstrosity really kicks into gear (assuming the Supremes don’t scuttle it this year). Medical costs are going to skyrocket, and the quality and accessability of care are going to decline.

AZCoyote on March 23, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Funniest part is POLITICO finally waking up and smelling the coffee and still missing the obvious. Backroom deals, deafness and arrogance at Town Hall meetings, and saying utterly stupid things like ‘we have to pass the bill to know what’s in it’ and then going ahead an passing the bill and admitting you never read it – it’s why Dems that voted for this got smackdowned in 2010 and are going to get smackdowned again on November 6th! It’s so clear now because no one on the Dem’s side is celebrating this millstone around their necks.

Bob in VA on March 23, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Not Liberal troll will touch this one.

In their minds (I guess) the public wanted their big Government ideas, it was just a matter of “selling” the idea. Like so many of their ideas that are false, repeating them as through they were prayers has not made them even more popular. It is not just this bill either, some of their mantras are so stupid now that kids in middle school make fun of them. Examples:

Diversity is a Strength!

This one is such a classic that it deserves it own post. Mirroring Orwell’s 1984 constant refrain, the modern version is a favorite with kids. Since even the Ivory towers in Harvard know that Diversity is actually isolating and decisive (See: Putnam “Bowling Alone”) the defense of this mantra has weakened over the years, but it is the 10 year olds that really put a polish on the sarcasm associated with this stupid saying. From calling anything that is stupid with the answer “That’s Racist!” to saying “Don’t be Gay!” you really know that you have lost the battle when middle school boys roll their eyes at wound up Liberals when the single greatest factor in human conflict and social isolation is denied as real. (See “Stranger at the Gate”, by Kipling). Of course it has not helped that Liberals are notorious for preaching love for “Diversity” while putting their kids in all White Schools as far from “Diversity” as possible.

Save the Whales! now gets howls of laughter from the youth, along with an imitation that would make any Liberal squirm. The boys flash a V sign and in the mocking voice say, “Save the Whales! not realizing they are tromping on the two major symbols of the 1960′s generation, the v sign for Peace in Vietnam and the Earth worshiping “Environmental Movement”. The kids today know that Global Warming is a farce and Green Worship is the new stupid. (see: http://youtu.be/8-8cpkz5cZI )

Bulletchaser on March 23, 2012 at 12:14 PM

+1 jabber

cmsinaz on March 23, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Don’t know if this is allowed outside of a “Quotes of the Day” thread, but this just keeps playing over and over in my head.

So Wrong – Patrick Simmons

Mitoch55 on March 23, 2012 at 12:16 PM

nearly everything that Democrats believed about the politics of health care has turned out to be false.

That’s BS!!! Outside of 1 or 2 democrats anywhere, no one actually believed any of the crap they were force-feeding us. The only miscalculation they had was that we were supposed to forget about it by now.

jeffn21 on March 23, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Obamacare, the biggest abortion ever passed by the Democrats.

fogw on March 23, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Bishop on March 23, 2012 at 12:09 PM

My feelings exactly!

susietwo on March 23, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Perhaps next time you’ll take more than 8 hours to actively and vigorously debate a 1,200 page bill, you inept bastiges.

Jeebus I hate these people.

Bishop on March 23, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Hawkdriver says I can ‘loathe’ them-not ‘hate’ ….so help me find a better word for the SOB’s!

KOOLAID2 on March 23, 2012 at 12:26 PM

What a stupid commercial it’s almost as bad as the Health Care Bill itself. If this is the best that the NRCC can offer, then we are totally screwed. Health care is not Direct TV you idiots, its serious business.

DDay on March 23, 2012 at 12:28 PM

The democrats knew EXACTLY what they were doing, in that this isn’t really about healthcare but a seizure of liberty. But I think that as is kind of dumb

Jackalope on March 23, 2012 at 12:28 PM

None of this is going according to the “plans” of the latte liberal moonbats, but the true radicals got just what they wanted.

Barack Hussein Obama is currently in the process of systematically dismantling America’s private insurance and charity healthcare system through Executive Order. He can’t personally fund or build a Socialized medicine system, but he can single-handedly destroy every alternative to it. And that is exactly what he is doing.

The goal of this process is not to get people to WANT a complete government takeover, but to NEED a complete government takeover.

Once that’s in place, all this nonsense about “pleasing the voters” can finally be dispensed with once and for all.

logis on March 23, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Being a Lefty is easy: you never have to think past “stage one” of any policy. This is why most of what they dominate slowly turns to crap.

Economic illiteracy is the foundation of their world view…of their view of humanity itself.

visions on March 23, 2012 at 12:39 PM

But yesterday Pelosi said they knew what they were doing when they passed this bill…

KateNE on March 23, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Doesn’t Grandma look a little like … Olympia Snowe?

Way more than a little. I had to pause the video to check, and I saw actual life behind the eyes, so it isn’t really Olympia.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on March 23, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Consider this; for a contract to be enforceable, neither party can forced into the contract against their will. If the Supremes don’t kill this bill, then the Fedzilla beraucrats have no less power than did Stalin, Hitler, or Mao. The Republic will be dead and gone, and with it, our liberty, and our lives.

oldleprechaun on March 23, 2012 at 12:46 PM

I LOVE that photo of Howard Dean. YEEEEEHAAAAAA!

DuctTapeMyBrain on March 23, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Count it! – crr6

lorien1973 on March 23, 2012 at 11:51 AM
I miss her…

I saw her on a YouTube video with her fiance, trying to figure how long will it take a car going 80 miles an hour to travel 80 miles…

itsspideyman on March 23, 2012 at 1:07 PM

I LOVE that photo of Howard Dean. YEEEEEHAAAAAA!

DuctTapeMyBrain on March 23, 2012 at 12:53 PM

That’s from his, “I Have A Scream” speech. (wish I knew who I stole that from so I could give him / her credit)

Mitoch55 on March 23, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Consider this; for a contract to be enforceable, neither party can forced into the contract against their will. If the Supremes don’t kill this bill, then the Fedzilla beraucrats have no less power than did Stalin, Hitler, or Mao. The Republic will be dead and gone, and with it, our liberty, and our lives.

oldleprechaun on March 23, 2012 at 12:46 PM

ObamaCare Contract: Sign here:

Signed under duress, Turtle317

Enforce that, @$&wipes.

Turtle317 on March 23, 2012 at 1:10 PM

If professional politicians completely misjudged the politics of the legislation they were passing, think about how well they assessed the policy implications of what they passed

THIS.

antisocial on March 23, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Consider this; for a contract to be enforceable, neither party can forced into the contract against their will. If the Supremes don’t kill this bill, then the Fedzilla beraucrats have no less power than did Stalin, Hitler, or Mao. The Republic will be dead and gone, and with it, our liberty, and our lives.

oldleprechaun on March 23, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Worse, if the Supremes don’t kill this bill and a Republican administration and congress do, we are still screwed because just like Plessey vs. Ferguson, the Supreme Court ruling will define the reach of the federal government to mean what was never meant. At least in Plessey, one had to be engaged in an activity for the federal government to claim jurisdiction. If the Obamacare mandate is upheld by the Supremes, then the federal government goes from being able to intervene to stop an action by a citizen of a state to being able to compel citizens to engage in activities.

Plessey was pure evil because it defined pretty much any action on the part of a US citizen as impacting interstate commerce and thus subject to regulation. Obamacare will now say that citizens not engaging in an activity also impacts interstate commerce and those citizens can be compelled to engage in certain activities under the commerce clause. Nothing will be off the table at that point

AZfederalist on March 23, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Healing Broken Hearts and Healthcare Laws!

Mutnodjmet on March 23, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Ed, you have it all wrong. It isn’t that Democrats were telling themselves XY&Z. The Democrats KNEW they were lying to the public.

Instead, the Democrats were counting on being able to brainwash enough people to get along. If you tell a lie often enough, some will come to believe the lie. Especially if you have the media telling your lies 24/7.

And to some extent, the Democrats were right. They took a pounding in 2010, but not near as much as they should have, given what they did. Even if the Democrats don’t remain in the majority, they will retain a large enough minority to keep their dirty deeds as law.

It is the ratchet effect that has worked so well for liberals – once something is passed, it is near impossible to get it undone. That is why we only “advance” in one direction – to the Left. Always.

IcedTea on March 23, 2012 at 1:37 PM

For sure to be heard soon ” Obamacare is not from my administration, per se” – Obama.

And some will actually agree with him.

He could (and may) say it was all the GOP’s idea, and the press would back him on it all the way, 3 years of video, youtube and internet records be damned.

Dirty Creature on March 23, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Between this and the Scott Walker elevator commercial I’m gettin’ my yuks today. Too funny! And Grandma does resemble that RINO from Maine. BTW, glad Grandpa didn’t crash that snazzy old car.

stukinIL4now on March 23, 2012 at 1:47 PM

For sure to be heard soon ” Obamacare is not from my administration, per se” – Obama.

And some will actually agree with him.
He could (and may) say it was all the GOP’s idea, and the press would back him on it all the way, 3 years of video, youtube and internet records be damned.

Dirty Creature on March 23, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Yupper ! Once Axelrod gets done with it it be GOPs fault and not a single Dem vote in favor. He will claim that GOP had an actual majority at the time ! Twisted Obama’s arm, in fact.
And yes, the MSM will either have no comment or support his position.
This guy will not accept responsibility for drops on Oval Office toilet.

Jabberwock on March 23, 2012 at 1:56 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=PJ-p29xEM0s

This is the American Doctors 4 Truth video on the same subject.

talkingpoints on March 23, 2012 at 1:59 PM

HA, please, don’t call it ObamaCare, because it is NOT.

Call it the Ogama Affordable Care Act, then mock it incessantly. It is anything but Affordable or Care.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2012 at 2:17 PM

If Obamacare goes into effect in 2014, then Democrats will be in even unimaginable trouble. When our employers start dropping our healthcare plans and force us to enter the market ourselves to pay those $20,000+ bills on our own, nothing will be able to save the Dems.

obladioblada on March 23, 2012 at 2:35 PM

talkingpoints on March 23, 2012 at 1:59 PM

It’s SUPER, and I’ve passing that all over the place.
Their site has a great deal of good info, too.

pambi on March 23, 2012 at 2:45 PM

This Politico article erroneously assume that Democrats genuinely cared what the actual costs would end up being.

Good Lt on March 23, 2012 at 3:01 PM

All one has to know about Odumbocare is 1) it doesn’t apply to Odumbo or his family 2) it doesn’t apply to those in Congress 3) it is now projected to cost twice as much depite Odumbo’s deceit 4) if it’s so good, why all the waivers to his supporters and big donors. End of story!

rjoco1 on March 23, 2012 at 3:20 PM

What a stupid commercial it’s almost as bad as the Health Care Bill itself. If this is the best that the NRCC can offer, then we are totally screwed. Health care is not Direct TV you idiots, its serious business.

DDay on March 23, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Smile once in a while. I for one thought it was kinda funny. You won’t die if you laugh at them…just sayin.

landowner on March 23, 2012 at 3:33 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=PJ-p29xEM0s

This is the American Doctors 4 Truth video on the same subject.

talkingpoints on March 23, 2012 at 1:59 PM

It’s SUPER, and I’ve passing that all over the place.
Their site has a great deal of good info, too.

pambi on March 23, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Thanks. A colleague sent it to my husband. We both thought it was great. Keep spreading the word.

talkingpoints on March 23, 2012 at 3:49 PM

Turns out it was a big f-ing deal.

Just not the kind you want.

LetsBfrank on March 23, 2012 at 4:10 PM

you inept bastiges.

Bishop on March 23, 2012 at 12:09 PM

I believe the correct term is “bastinos”, coined by a commenter back on the CQ blog.

BobMbx on March 23, 2012 at 4:26 PM

Plessey was pure evil because it defined pretty much any action on the part of a US citizen as impacting interstate commerce and thus subject to regulation.

Time to challenge Plessey?

BobMbx on March 23, 2012 at 4:27 PM

The democrats plan from day one was to destroy the private health care system in America. They are well on their way in accomplishing that goal.

Dasher on March 23, 2012 at 5:23 PM