Friday, August 6, 2010

Mo. To O. No.

I savor punchy headlines.

James Taranto’s headline in the August 4 WSJ wins my headline prize. In response to Missouri voters’ 71% rejection of Obama’s individual mandate, he wrote “Mo. To O. No.”

His headline captures a great and growing left-right division among Americans.

• Joseph DeSantis, co-author with Newt Gingrich of To Save American, explains the division this way:

“The left-wing elites who dominate the mainstream media, the universities, the bureaucracies, the White House and Congress have a fundamentally different vision for our country than that of the vast majority of Americans.”

“Consider: Fifty-five percent of likely voters describe President Obama's policies as "socialist" (Democracy Corps, a Democratic polling firm). Almost 60% of voters want to repeal the health-care bill (Rasmussen), and 73% of the American people oppose the drilling moratorium in the Gulf (Bloomberg.“

• Peggy Noonan, writing in today’s August 6 WSJ, gives this spin in “American Is At Risk Of Boiling Over,”

“ I've never seen the gap wider than it is now. I think it is a chasm. In Washington they don't seem to be looking around and thinking, Hmmm, this nation is in trouble, it needs help. They're thinking something else. I'm not sure they understand the American Dream itself needs a boost, needs encouragement and protection. They don't seem to know or have a sense of the mood of the country.”

“When the adults of a great nation feel long-term pessimism, it only makes matters worse when those in authority take actions that reveal their detachment from the concerns—even from the essential nature—of their fellow citizens. And it makes those citizens feel powerless.

Inner pessimism and powerlessness: That is a dangerous combination.

• Michael Gerson, a writer for the liberal Washington Post, weighs in with this in “Democrats Under Stress, “ (WP, August 6),

“Democrats are now feeling enormous political stress. Independents have fled the Obama coalition, largely out of concern about debt, deficits and spending. Intensity is all on the Republican and conservative side. A recent Gallup poll found that the percentage of Republican voters who say they are ‘very enthusiastic’ to vote in 2010 is twice the percentage of Democrats who say the same (44 percent to 22 percent). President Obama's job approval now flirts with 40 percent, with solid majorities disapproving his handling of the economy, deficits, and health care.”

• Meanwhile, doctors themselves are deeply divided about health reform. The AMA sided with Obama on health reform, but offended its members. The AMA lost thousands of members. Only 15% of practicing physicians now belong to the AMA. Various surveys indicate only 25% of doctors approve of health reform, while 70% disapprove, and 5% are neutral. If health reform goes through as proposed and no significant adjustments are made in government pay scales for doctors, 30% of doctors say they will stop accepting Medicare patients, and nearly 50% will cease seeing Medicaid patients. If one considers the current shortage of 50,000 doctors, these numbers are frightening to contemplate.

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