Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What Tea Party mandate? Most Americans want to keep the health care law -- and expand it

-- by Dave

Here's a poll you won't hear a word about at Fox News:

A majority of Americans want the Congress to keep the new health care law or actually expand it, despite Republican claims that they have a mandate from the people to kill it, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll.

The post-election survey showed that 51 percent of registered voters want to keep the law or change it to do more, while 44 percent want to change it to do less or repeal it altogether.

Driving support for the law: Voters by margins of 2-1 or greater want to keep some of its best-known benefits, such as barring insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. One thing they don't like: the mandate that everyone must buy insurance.

At the same time, the survey showed that a majority of voters side with the Democrats on another hot-button issue, extending the Bush era tax cuts that are set to expire Dec. 31 only for those making less than $250,000.

The poll also showed the country split over ending the "don't ask, don't tell" policy prohibiting gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military, with 47 percent favoring its repeal and 48 percent opposing it.

The results signal a more complicated and challenging political landscape for Republicans in Congress than their sweeping midterm wins suggested. Party leaders call the election a mandate, and vow votes to repeal the health care law and to block an extension of middle-class tax cuts unless tax cuts for the wealthy also are extended.

That kind of rubs up against the prevailing Fox narrative, to wit, "Republicans won the last election and thus everything the Tea Parties want is what Democrats and President Obama should obediently follow." They keep claiming a mandate for the Tea Parties -- whose candidates couldn't even win most of their elections -- when the evidence keeps piling up that, um, no, there's no such mandate.

Not that it will make any difference. Have you noticed how, if it isn't on Fox, the other networks don't cover it?

Once upon a time, that was the function of the New York Times. Now Fox -- an outright propaganda mill -- is setting the daily news agendas. No wonder we're in the deep kimchee.

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

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