Bottom Stories of the Day

Daily Best of the Web   —   Posted on December 12, 2013

The following is an excerpt from OpinionJournal.com’s “Best of the Web” written by the editor, James Taranto.

Bottom Stories of the Day

  • “McConnell Not Enlisted to Record Robocall for State House Special Election”–headline,NationalJournal.com, Dec. 10
  • “Scotland’s Smallest Secondary School to Close”–headilne, Scotsman, Dec. 11
  • “Colin Powell Endorses Single-Payer Health Care”–headline, USNews.com, Dec. 10

Does Repeal Lack Appeal? 
From National Journal comes this somewhat counterintuitive headline: “Poll: Most Americans Oppose Obamacare Repeal Despite Rollout Troubles.” Counterintuitive but, as it turns out, not true.

The poll did not offer a binary choice between support and opposition for ObamaCare repeal. Rather, it asked “What do you think Congress should do now about the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare”? It offered three options: “Repeal the law so it is not implemented at all,” “Wait and see how things go before making any changes,” and “Provide more money to ensure it is implemented effectively.”

There are several problems here. First, a poll that presents three options pushes respondents toward the “moderate” one. Notwithstanding that, “repeal” still had a plurality (38%), edging out “wait and see” (35%), with “provide more money” (23%) a distant third.

Second, the description of what would happen in case of repeal is inaccurate. Since the implementation of ObamaCare is well under way, it is impossible for it to be “not implemented at all.”

Third and most important, the poll does not show that most Americans oppose repeal. Arguably a majority oppose immediate repeal, and it would be accurate to say a majority do not support repeal. But “wait and see” does not preclude repeal in due course. And given the administration’s self-imposed deadline of Nov. 30, “due course” may be very soon.

[Note: The excerpt above is from the Nov. 19 BOTW archives.] For more “Best of the Web” click here and look for the “Best of the Web Today” link in the middle column below “Today’s Columnists.”