By Dave Andrusko
A poll released this afternoon by CNN finds that exactly half of all Americans—50%–oppose President Obama’s mandate that compels religiously-affiliated universities, hospitals, and charities to pay for health insurance that covers sterilization and contraception. Forty-four percent say they support the mandate.
The results were spun every which but up in the accompanying CNN story since they did not conform with the narrative that the public supports Obama and that last Friday’s “accommodation” was a stroke of political genius.
First, the “CNN Political Unit” tells the reader that “the vast majority of Catholic Americans say they don’t always follow church teachings on such issues as abortion and birth control.” Of course the issue is not contraception but whether the federal government can override the religious and moral conventions of Americans by compelling coverage.
Second, we’re told that other polls “indicate support for the new policy, using questions that describe the new policy in some detail.” Whereas “in the CNN poll, when asked their opinion of the Obama policy with no details spelled out, support was much less and a large partisan divide emerged.” So, clearly if the public is “educated,” they will come Obama’s way, a conclusion spelled out the director of polling.
“The CNN poll illustrates the road ahead for the White House,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “If the administration can’t inform more Americans about the details of the policy – details that some other polls show to be popular – the public is likely to split along party lines. Many will dislike the plan simply due to the fact that this is an Obama initiative.”
“It’s a lot like President Obama’s overall health care measure, which most Americans say they oppose even though they approve of many of the specific programs in the new law – opponents can use it against the president as long as they can keep the focus on who made the policy rather than what the policy actually does,” adds Holland.
This is utter nonsense. Right now the public (but not Catholics, according to Rasmussen) may appear to be closely divided. But what’s been the overriding narrative spouting by media outlet after media outlet? That Obama threaded the needle, finding a genuine “compromise.” As that myth is exposed for what it is, the numbers will turn against Obama.
Moreover, resistance to ObamaCare is not MERELY because it is the President’s policy and, moreover, the issue was never whether there are components that most Americans like. That was the whole point of the complaint by Republicans: there was common ground that Obama ignored in his commitment to commandeering one-sixth of the American economy and in filling ObamaCare with provisions that promoted abortion.
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