McConnell defines ‘arrogance’

MCCONNELL DEFINES ‘ARROGANCE’…. Legislative analysis just doesn’t get any more superficial than this.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said today that Democrats have been “arrogant” in their push to pass healthcare legislation.

“I think they’re having hard time getting the message here. The American people do not want this bill to pass and it strikes me as rather arrogant to say, ‘Well, we’re going to give it to you anyway,” McConnell said on Fox News Sunday.

In terms of public attitudes, the country approves of the reform proposal quite a bit more when Americans actually learn what’s in the plan, and get beyond the nonsense spread by people like McConnell.

But McConnell’s notion that polls should dictate policy outcomes is just odd. Indeed, it’s not even helpful to the Republican leader’s own cause.

The conservative Kentucky senator may not realize this, but public opinion generally runs counter to Republicans on most areas of public policy. Republicans don’t care — they have their agenda and they’re sticking to it — and aren’t about to let surveys dictate legislative outcomes.

Is it “arrogant” for GOP lawmakers to take positions that run counter to public attitudes? Americans didn’t want to see escalation in Iraq in 2007 and Republicans said, “Well, we’re going to give it to you anyway.” Americans didn’t want to see federal lawmakers intervene in the Terri Schiavo case in 2005 or spend time working on an anti-gay constitutional amendment in 2006, but Republicans said, “Well, we’re going to give it to you anyway.” Americans weren’t especially fond of the bank bailout in 2008, but that didn’t stop Mitch McConnell from voting for it, effectively telling Americans, “Well, we’re going to give it to you anyway.”

The inverse is true, too. Americans support reforming the way Wall Street does business, passing a climate bill, and ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” In each instance, McConnell, apparently feeling “arrogant,” has decided to tell the country, “Well, we’re not going to give it to you anyway.”

Even someone of McConnell’s limited skills should be able to understand this — Democrats were elected to tackle health care reform. So, they’re trying to do that. This isn’t “arrogant”; it’s policymakers following through on their promises to the electorate.