Their lying eyes

THEIR LYING EYES…. Some opponents of a public option in health care reform seem to have a new strategy: pretend they know what Americans want — and ignore evidence to the contrary.

On Fox News this morning, for example, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), arguably the chamber’s most far-right member, insisted, “Americans don’t want more government in health care.”

Yesterday, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) made the same argument in a bizarre piece in the Washington Examiner: “The President’s proposal would empower bureaucrats — rather than patients and doctors — to make key medical decisions, limit treatments, and ration care, raise taxes, and kill jobs. The American people simply don’t support it.”

Putting aside the absurd policy argument here, what’s interesting is that these conservative Republican leaders seem convinced they know better than anyone what “the American people” want.

If there was evidence to back up their claims, we could at least have a debate. But how many more polls need to be released before GOP leaders realize the public isn’t with them on this issue? On DeMint’s point in particular, a recent national CNN poll found 72% of Americans said “they favor increasing the federal government’s influence over the country’s health care system in an attempt to lower costs and provide health care coverage to more Americans.”

Republicans think the 72% are wrong? Fine. They hope to change those Americans’ minds? No problem. But to simply make up public attitudes based on their personal beliefs is silly.

We’re left with the new GOP talking point on public attitudes and health care reform: don’t believe your lying eyes.