Many millions of Americans regard the Democrats’ takeover of health care not just as bad public policy, but as illegitimate government action. This is partly, but not entirely, due to the chicanery through which the legislation was adopted. The conventional wisdom is that voters don’t care about process, but Obamacare, as Byron York notes, is an exception to the rule:
A new Gallup poll shows that a majority of Americans believes Democrats abused their power by using procedural shortcuts and controversial parliamentary tactics to pass the new national health care makeover. …
The poll asked, “Regardless of whether you favored or opposed the health care legislation Congress passed this past week, do you think the methods the Democratic leaders in Congress used to get enough votes to pass this legislation were an abuse of power or were an appropriate use of power by the party that controls the majority in Congress?” The results: 53 percent say the Democrats’ methods were an abuse of power, while 40 percent say they were appropriate.
The basic message of polls across a wide variety of subjects is that the Democrats have lost independent voters. We see that again here:
Breaking down the results by party, 86 percent of Republicans say the Democrats abused their power, while 58 percent of independents agree. Nineteen percent of Democrats say their own leaders abused their power….
Why do voters suddenly care about process? Maybe the conventional wisdom is wrong. More likely, I think, is that this indicates how closely most Americans have followed the Democrats’ attempt to take over health care.