Politico Mimics Republican Talking Points, This Time on Health Care Reform

Charlie McCarthyWant to know the latest RNC talking points, but don’t feel like listening to Lou "Birther" Dobbs, Rush "Birther" Limbaugh, or Glenn "Really Birther" Beck? Go to, where the smears have the coarse and overtly racist language stripped from them before they see print (or rather, pixels). There are plenty of examples to choose from, but this post is going to confine itself to taking apart just one, Glenn Thrush’s opus "5 Things to Watch During Recess".

Thrush’s First Thing: "When your product is hard to sell — and health care reform has proven to be the Edsel in the White House showroom — it’s not a bad idea to single out a bad guy, and fast." Thrush links to a prior Politico piece to back up his "Edsel" claim. What neither his piece nor the earlier piece mentions is that one of the two polls cited in the earlier story, the July 29 CBS/New York Times poll, shows that Americans trust Obama to come up with a good health care plan far, far more than they trust the Republicans on health care: 55% trust Obama, compared to a measly 26% level of trust for Congressional Republicans.

Thrush’s Second Thing: "If there’s one metric that may determine the outcome of the whole fight, it’s President Barack Obama’s once stratospheric approval rating, which has been falling along with the popularity of the health care plan." Umm, except that the stratospheric approval rating is still pretty stratospheric, and in line with the typical leveling-off most new presidents experience in the first months after inauguration. And again, one of the very polls The Politico has been using to push its RNC-approved storyline on Obama’s popularity is the same one that shows that Americans trust him over Congressional Republicans on health by a more than 2-to-1 margin.

Thrush’s Third Thing: "The Republicans have a relatively easy task in fighting health care reform — paint a vision of a post-reform health care apocalypse, rationed services and power-mad government bureaucrats taking away individual choice and even determining the quality of end-of-life care for seniors."

Ahem. The Republicans, even with massive assists from RNC talking-points transmitters like Rush Limbaugh and The Politico, are, as I’ve noted twice already, far less trusted on this issue than is President Obama. What part of that is so hard for Glenn Thrush to understand?

Thrush’s Fourth Thing: Ooooga Booooga! Tea Baggers Gonna get ya, Democrats!

At least Thrush here acknowledges that the off-the-rails tea baggers are at best a double-edged sword for the GOP. There’s already been one instance of a mock lynching of a Congressman, and we can expect the crazy to really ramp up; the scuttlebutt on the far-right underground, according to the folks I know who monitor these people, is that they are planning really insane, and possibly violent, acts for the months of August and September. Does the GOP really want to see more things like the Nancy Genovese incident?

Thrush’s Fifth Thing: Oh, woe! Max Baucus’ dream of Grover Norquist date rape bipartisanship is in trouble! What will the Democrats do?

How about passing one of the bills that, unlike Baucus’ baby, isn’t a co-op sellout and actually has a real public option in it? Then they could reconcile the bugger and Bob’s your uncle. Sheesh, do I have to think of everything for these people?

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