A plurality of Americans believe the political maneuvers used by Democrats to secure passage of Health Care Reform were a major reason for the violence that followed, and in some cases preceded, passage of the bill. A clear majority, including 58% of Independents, believe Democratic tactics in gaining passage constituted an abuse of power.
The Gallup Poll released yesterday showed Americans spreading the blame for recent incidents of violence. 49% saw Democratic maneuvering to pass the bill as a “major reason” for outbreaks of violence. 46% cited conservative commentators, and 43% said criticism of the bill by Republican lawmakers was a major factor. By a margin of 53-40% those surveyed believed Democrats engaged in an abuse of power as opposed to an appropriate use of power, and 41% of Republicans described themselves as “angry”.
Polls are not gospel, but they tend to reflect a general snapshot at a point in time. What cannot be gleaned from Gallup’s survey is what, in particular, the participants viewed as an abuse of power or improper maneuvering on the part of Democrats. Some deals were cut for votes and a few arms were twisted. That’s hardly new in D. C. The most radical proposals, like Pass and Deem, were dropped in favor of an up/down vote.
Some have argued that the poll simply reflects a partisan divide. That’s touching on the edges without seeing the substance. This “pox on both your houses” response more accurately reflects a general disgust with hyper-partisanship and hyperbole coming from Washington and the talking heads of and for both parties. Put simply, poll respondents are saying, “If you people are going to act like that, don’t be surprised if violence follows.” They’d probably also like to scream, “Stop it!”
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Contributor, aka tidbits. Retired attorney in complex litigation, death penalty defense and constitutional law. Former Nat’l Board Chair: Alzheimer’s Association. Served on multiple political campaigns, including two for U.S. Senator Mark O. Hatfield (R-OR). Contributing author to three legal books and multiple legal publications.