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Nazis Confused About Health Care

1:59 PM, Aug 17, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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Greg Sargent reports:

A forthcoming poll by the nonpartisan Research 2000 for DailyKos finds that a majority of Republicans either believes, or isn't sure about, the claim that the Dem health care proposal will create "death panels" to determine whether the sick or injured get health care depending on their "productivity in society."

Assuming you put any stock in polls done by DailyKos, this is hardly a surprising result. The Democratic party spent the last three weeks calling anyone who opposed the current health insurance reform efforts a Nazi rather than trying to explain what was in the myriad proposals that have been working their way through Congressional committees. If the public -- and Republicans in particular -- don't understand what's in those bills, it's because the Democrats have made no effort to elucidate the contents.

Also, the "death panel" provision has been dropped from the Senate's version of the bill, which would seem to confirm the suspicions of those who had some concern about the proposal. It turns out that Palin can turn a phrase -- death panels penetrated through the noise in a powerful way. And so did the Democrats' messaging about Republicans being Nazis -- except that turned out to be counterproductive and the White House has since shifted strategy. Again, if they'd spent the last few weeks explaining this very complicated legislation instead of smearing their political opponents, Republicans might know whether or not Obama wants to create death panels as part of his reform.