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Inside the Beltway: The long aftermath
Republicans pre-loaded rebuttals to an Obamacare win in the Supreme Court, promising to “double down” on their efforts to repeal the health care law, and insisting the ruling would bolster Mitt Romney’s campaign and appeal for him. They have a point. Pollsters consistently find that a majority of Americans either don’t understand the law, or are wary of its big government implications and staggering costs. Doctors themselves appear dubious. A survey of 243 U.S. primary care physicians taken by the medical data company MDLinx after the decision found that 64 percent did not believe the law could achieve its objective of 100 percent health care coverage for Americans.
“Conventional wisdom is that the decision upholding the Affordable Care Act is a win for the left. However, a majority of justices supported limiting the reach of the Commerce Clause to impose mandates, as well as restricting the federal government’s ability to dictate Medicaid policy to the states. Furthermore, this decision sets up the 2012 election as another referendum on the act, something that did not work well for the Democrats in 2010,” Tevi Troy told Inside the Beltway.
He was deputy Health and Human Service director in the George W. Bush administration, and is now a health care policy adviser to the Romney campaign as well as a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute.
“Now is the time for Republicans to step up. Either repeal Obamacare, or the American people will repeal you,” advised a vigorous Brent Bozell, founder of the Media Research Center and chairman of ForAmerica, a conservative non-profit advocacy group.
AND THAT’S SHOW BIZ
Dewey defeats Truman, again? The media hall of shame just got a few more entries. Caught up in the anxious snare of breaking news and journalistic hysteria, two news organizations and at least one public official got their stories wrong once the Supreme Court issued its ruling on Obamacare. Their blunders generated more than 18,000 gleeful press reports and mentions within hours.
Alas, CNN and Fox News initially reported that President Obama’s health care law had been ruled unconstitutional, even as other news outlets trumpeted the opposite. Critics pounced, and social media rattled with waggish comparisons to historic flubs — like the Chicago Tribune’s erroneous “Dewey Defeats Truman” banner headline that has lived in infamy since 1948.
Both networks corrected their errors, deftly blaming it all on the sluggish flow of facts, and misinterpretation.
And like hundreds of other officials, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott released his own statement following the Supreme Court ruling. Initially, Mr. Abbott earnestly proclaimed the decision a “historic victory for individual liberty, states’ rights, and limited government.” A Texas-sized “oops” moment, to be sure.
And like the networks, Mr. Abbott squared his shoulders and tidied up his mess with a new quote an hour later, rehashing the correct facts and ultimately proclaiming, “It is time for Congress to step in and end the Obamacare nightmare.”
Does the world care? Oh yes. The network flubs alone drew national and international coverage and global tut-tuts from as far away Australia, India and Britain, according to a Goggle News count late Thursday.
THE GRANDEST OLD PARTY
The upcoming Republican National Convention will be a colossal, stupendous, behemoth? Yes, yes and yes, according to the official host committee in Tampa, Fla. Committee members plan to host “the largest welcome event” in the history of the convention itself.
More than 20,000 guests, including media and delegates, will be invited to the kick-off cocktail party and swanky soiree in Tampa — so large that it will be staged on Tropicana Field. The committee’s president and CEO Ken Jones simply predicts “a monumental occasion, an incredible event.”
THE RAND BRAND
The nation’s capital is about to get shrugged: the Atlas Shrugged Society’s “Atlas Summit” begins Friday to laud individualism, freedom, reason and respect for human achievement — all hallmarks of Ayn Rand’s epic 1957 novel of the same name. The victory of Obamacare in the Supreme Court has added urgency to the three-day event; organizers are already citing the “chilling parallels” between the novel and the “current state of the world.”
The summit has drawn names of note. Among those in attendance: Rep. Allen B. West, Florida Republican; Fox Business News analyst John Stossel, Libertarian presidential hopeful Gary Johnson, Reason Foundation co-founder Robert Poole, and Americans for Tax Reform founder Grover Norquist.
There’s uncommon Hollywood afoot, too. Set to release “Atlas Shrugged, Part II” in October, film producers Harmon Kaslow and John Aglialoro will offer an update on their ambitious film project. See the big doings here: www.atlassociety.org.
“Atlas should shrug now,” advises Aaron Day, an entrepreneur who is also chief operating officer for the Washington-based Atlas Society. He plans to evaluate the Supreme Court health care ruling, and offer a “radical approach in response to this and other statist policies,” he says.
“I visualized world peace. Now what?”
- Bumper sticker spotted in Joplin, Mo.
POLL DU JOUR
• 89 percent of registered New Hampshire Republicans would vote for Mitt Romney if the presidential election were held today.
• 89 percent of registered New Hampshire Democrats would vote for President Obama.
• 83 percent of liberal New Hampshire voters would vote for Mr. Obama, 77 percent of conservative New Hampshire voters would pick Mr. Romney.
• 43 percent of registered New Hampshire voters overall would vote for Mr. Obama, 42 percent for Mr. Romney.
• 39 percent of independent New Hampshire voters would vote for Mr. Obama, 38 percent for Mr. Romney.
• 55 percent of Republican voters are “very enthusiastic” about the November election, 51 percent of Democrats feel the same way.
Source: An NBC News/ Marist poll of 1,029 New Hampshire adults conducted June 24 and 25.
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About the Author
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