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Yesterday I was on Daily Kos radio with David Waldman to talk about health care polling:

I'm often on at ~ 9:10 to chat about politics and polling. The charts and graphs we discussed can be found here. Tomorrow, maybe we'll talk about whether the dial can be moved at all.

Chris Cillizza:

What should you take from the Pew poll? That assuming that the electorate is paying close attention to the political goings-on — even when they are so seemingly high profile as the court ruling on health care — is a mistake.

Most people — especially those who are unaffiliated or independent voters — tend to be relatively low information voters. That is, they don’t have all the facts on an issue — and they don’t really care to find them out.

Sobering for those of us who watch the political machinations on a minute-by-minute basis? Yes. But also very important to remember when writing and analyzing the impact any given event will have on the November election.

David and I discussed a similar theme yesterday using Kaiser Family Foundation data:
June KFF poll
NY Times editorial, same theme, my bold:
Nearly two dozen Pennsylvania residents, interviewed recently by Abby Goodnough of The Times, said they were opposed to President Obama’s health care reform law. Though almost all of them would benefit from it, they expressed fears about a loss of control over their health care that is nowhere in the law.
Alec MacGillis:
So why not view Chief Justice John Roberts’ decision to endorse the essence of the law as a break in this pussy-footed approach? If the law is good enough for a George W. Bush nominee who presided over Citizens United and plenty of other conservative rulings, it ought to be good enough for the White House. The fight over the Affordable Care Act now shifts fully into the political realm, with Mitt Romney (the law’s pioneer!) as its last line of attack. Which means that it will be up to Barack Obama and other Democratic candidates to finally be making the forthright, full-throated defense they have until now shied from.
It is not at all clear, despite critics being correct that Obama didn't explain it enough, that it would matter. See Cillizza's post about Pew (more to come today on Pew from Joan McCarter.) Still, House Democrats have learned their lesson from 2010. The question is whether Obama pivoting to the economy and ignoring health care is good for November 2012 but bad for the longer term.

Abigail Zuger, MD:

Insurance is a good thing. Everyone needs it. Still, let no one underestimate the intrusion, the copious misunderstandings and the incalculable hours medical personnel waste as they address the idiosyncrasies of a dozen different uncles all loudly calling the shots with one eye on the patient and the other on the marketplace.

It’s enough to make you wish for another option.

A week ago David Frum said:
The Republican Plan B is to repeal Obamacare on Day 1 of a Romney presidency.

Good luck with that.

First, today's Supreme Court decision will make it a lot harder to elect Mitt Romney. President Obama has just been handed a fearsome election weapon. 2012 is no longer exclusively a referendum on the president's economic management. 2012 is now also a referendum on Mitt Romney's healthcare plans. The president can now plausibly say that a vote for the Republicans is a vote to raise prescription drug costs on senior citizens and to empower insurance companies to deny coverage to children for pre-existing conditions. Those charges will hurt—and maybe hurt enough to sway the election.

He's looking smarter than a lot of other conservatives today.

---

And in honor of today, July 4:

Bloomberg:

What may not be so well-known is that “This Land Is Your Land” belongs to an American tradition of patriotic pieces made by critics of capitalism. The authors of the Pledge of Allegiance and “America the Beautiful” also took a distinctly leftist view of the U.S. economic system.
Maureen Gill:
Which brings me to another story worth pondering this Fourth of July: West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette.

Barnette may be the most important case about religious liberty and the American flag to ever be decided by the Supreme Court. However irritating you find the Jehovah’s Witnesses when they ring your door bell, please remember you have them to thank for securing your liberty one screw tighter.

Witnesses refuse to salute any flag or take any pledge of allegiance because they take literally biblical injunctions against graven images and blasphemous pledges. Their refusal to salute and take oaths caused them misery and death in Nazi Germany – and it didn’t make life easy for them in America, either.

Their refusal to allow their children to salute the flag and say the pledge incensed most Americans in the 1940s. America was at war and, very much like today, Americans wore their patriotism on their sleeves, lapels and probably even as decals on their bumpers.

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Comment Preferences

  •  this land is your land (15+ / 0-)

    As I went walking I saw a sign there
    And on the sign it said "No Trespassing."
    But on the other side it didn't say nothing,
    That side was made for you and me.

    In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people,
    By the relief office I seen my people;
    As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
    Is this land made for you and me?

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 04:58:55 AM PDT

  •  classic comedy (7+ / 0-)

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 05:34:51 AM PDT

  •  more classic comedy (6+ / 0-)

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 05:42:47 AM PDT

  •  more Americana on July 4 (5+ / 0-)

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 05:51:16 AM PDT

  •  David Frum, the closest thing to (6+ / 0-)

    William F. Buckley left in the Republican party, must look around at this field of idiocracy and just shudder.....

  •  My favorite patriotic song (9+ / 0-)


    Come and take a walk with me thru this green and growing land
    Walk thru the meadows and the mountains and the sand
    Walk thru the valleys and the rivers and the plains
    Walk thru the sun and walk thru the rain
    This is a land full of power and glory
    Beauty that words cannot recall
    Oh her power shall rest on the strength of her freedom
    Her glory shall rest on us all

    From Colorado, Kansas, and the Carolinas too
    Virginia and Alaska, from the old to the new
    Texas and Ohio and the California shore
    Tell me, who could ask for more
    Yet she's only as rich as the poorest of her poor
    Only as free as the padlocked prison door
    Only as strong as our love for this land
    Only as tall as we stand

    White-collar conservatives flashing down the street, pointing their plastic finger at me..

    by BOHICA on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 06:19:40 AM PDT

  •  Karnacki.....The reason the GOP don't have an (11+ / 0-)

    alternative to the ACA is because all the GOP's ideas are already in the ACA.

  •  The voting illiterate...35% in that poll don't (5+ / 0-)

    know the basics of what happened on ACA.........Bet they know who won American Idol, or DWTS

  •  bemoaning the lack of interest (11+ / 0-)

    in the low information voters is useless.  They are low information because they don't go seeking the information.  If you have something to sell, you don't wait for people to come to you.  YOU GET OUT AND SELL IT AND MAKE SURE THEY HEAR ABOUT IT!!!!

    The democrats dropped the ball on the first go around of the healthcare issue.  IF YOU CAN'T GET THE MEDIA TO GIVE YOU A FREEBIE, GET OUT AND ADVERTISE.  USING REAL PEOPLE IN REAL SITUATIONS.  BUY TIME ON POPULAR PROGRAMMING!!!!  FULL PAGE ADS IN POPULAR NEWSPAPERS.  ADS ON POPULAR WEBSITES.  FACEBOOK.  TWITTER.  

    COME ON THIS ISN'T HARD.  LOW INFORMATION VOTERS ARE LIKE LOW INFORMATION CONSUMERS.  YOU WANT THEM TO KNOW SOMETHING, YOU'VE GOT TO KEEP IT IN FRONT OF THEM!!!!

    •  how much is enough? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Taxmancometh, Amber6541, a gilas girl
      Political groups and campaigns hoping to sway voters on the health care issue have spent about $70 million on health-themed TV ads since January 2011, according to a CNN analysis of ad spending data.
      of course, the right wing outspends us...
      But AARP's pro-reform ads were largely an exception, the data shows. Most groups' health care ads were soundly opposed to the law.
      Karl Rove's conservative Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies spent the most among all groups and campaigns -- $14.98 million -- on ads that ran 22,004 times.
      http://www.cnn.com/...

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 06:33:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  like other campaigns... (4+ / 0-)

        You don't have to match the opponent dollar for dollar -- and with the president on your side, you shouldn't have to. You just have to do enough to convince moderately attentive voters that there is a debate: Democrats think ACA is good because it helps people get health care, Republicans think it is bad.

        You don't have to win the debate. But you have to defend the Democratic brand: Democrats fight to help people, Republicans complain about it. ACA was too big a fight not to talk about.

        That said, Obama always did like to counterpunch -- and since he's running against Mitt Romney, of all people, I can see the logic in letting Romney choose his poison. (Also, I can see the logic in reasoning that Democrats can start trumpeting ACA once more of its benefits kick in.)

      •  The problem arises (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        thomask, George Strain

        when it simply comes down to money, because Citizens United or not, money is neither free nor equal, and it has the power to distort.

        Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

        by a gilas girl on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 08:03:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Wow...I was going to respond with almost (3+ / 0-)

      exactly the same theme.  

      If the DNC and PAC's can spend millions on an attack ad, surely they can spend money on low-tech advertising.  Put out ads discribing exactly how the ACA works and how it will affect people in all the local newspapers.

      Have an ad with the President sitting behind his desk calmly explaining how it works...in laymens terms.  No attacks, no BS.

      How are the teabagging wingnuts going to respond to this?  The President could basically gut their argument without breaking a sweat.

      "What I find curious, is how the elected children of Republican politicians, from George W. Bush to Rand Paul to Ben Quayle and on, always happen to be crueler and dumber than their parents." With thanks to MinistryOfTruth.

      by Taxmancometh on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 06:40:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is why it's so important to place the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Heart of the Rockies

      narrative and own the news cycle. (owning the media doesn't hurt either)

      So many people are getting their information passively, without critical judgment. If they keep hearing about Romney's tax evasion and vulture capitalism, it will stick. It has to be the fundamental narrative of the mainstream media.

      JUST AS YOU SCREAMED.

      This is why every voice in the Dem party should be shouting this stuff, not just the Pres. or his campaign.

      You can't make this stuff up.

      by David54 on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 06:47:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ed Schultz last night (5+ / 0-)

        offered up 5 points to emphasize when you get stuck in an anti ACA conversation.  Those 5 points, or similar ones, should be on the lips of all Democratic candidates, spokespeople, consultants, pundits, et al.  And hammered home until the majority of the country has heard them and is familiar with them.  This requires a coherent strategy and solid commitment, not gazillions of dollars.

    •  how much is low info, and how much is radio info? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Micheline

      low information voters does not mean they don't seek information--- there is also a vast subset of purposefully misinformed voters who listen to talk radio or people who listen to talk radio - and in most parts of the country radio is the only source for politics while driving or working.

      you could never buy enough advertising to make up for those 1000 think-tank-coordinated radio stations giving the GOP and its friends free advertising all day.

      all the left has to do is stop ignoring the fucking radio, so they can stop wondering why democracy is failing so miserably.

      This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

      by certainot on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 08:25:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Medicare Consequences for Governors (4+ / 0-)

    (reposted from last night)
    I wonder what the "fallout" will be like for Republican Governors that refuse the Medicare Expansion? I am not talking about the Federal Govt doing anything. I am wondering what the people in those states will be up to.

    On one hand, we have the Teahadists that will cry "Freedom!". Those nutjobs would put us back into the Stone Age if they could.

    But on the other hand, you have the more sensible, fiscally minded folks that might see this as a reasonable expansion on Medicare. Especially all those people that are CURRENTLY on MEDICARE! They know how well it works for them. Wouldn't they be a little cheesed off seeing their governor denying any expansion of a good thing?

    And what of all those people in their state that have to gain from this expansion. You would think they would be a little steamed that they are being denied a benefit that the people in the next state over are getting from Uncle Sam.

    I am predicting the pressure will only grow over the months ahead that governors stop playing politics and start helping their constituents. Or they will find themselves in a fight for re-election next time around. And the people and businesses in those die hard states might think twice about moving there or perhaps think hard on leaving the state that refuses to comply with the Medicare Expansion.

    I smell a revolt coming and it's not from the teabaggers!

    "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

    by Wynter on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 06:35:51 AM PDT

    •  it's a Medicaid expansion (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wintergreen8694

      That makes it tougher -- but maybe not much tougher. I'm going to guess that there isn't nearly as much stigma attached to receiving Medicaid as to receiving food stamps: most of us feel that we can pay for food, but a lot of us are pretty uneasy about paying for health care. If the Republicans want to be the party that fights to keep people uninsured, let's see how that works for them.

    •  It's not a Medicare expansion (4+ / 0-)

      It's a Medicaid expansion.  Medicaid is the health care system for poorer citizens.  Medicare is the program for those 65 and older.

      We have to have our terms straight if we're going to spread the word.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 07:33:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Frum makes a good, tactical point (6+ / 0-)

    that I have not heard any of the bloviators mention since last Thursday: The pesident and for that matter all Dems can turn around and run against almost any republican you pick these days saying "they're gonna take away your healthcare."

    I wonder how many will take advantage?

    Re-elect Barack Obama and elect Elizabeth Warren

    by al23 on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 06:37:39 AM PDT

  •  July 4th 2012 (5+ / 0-)

    And from all the way across the pond, NOT in France nor that pond,  but the DC reflecting pool, we bring you the 4th of July's new citizens:

    July 04, 2012 10:50 AM EDT
    President Obama Speaks at a Naturalization Ceremony for Active Duty Service Members
    The White House

    As the teabags spread the rumor of 'O' vacationing in France, most of them of course being our very own already American Citizens and Unlike these new members have not nor are serving this Country, especially the Joe Walsh's of with their in the ready 'purple heart bandages' as their convention approaches!!

    note: How many of you all ever hear citizens of, especially peoples representatives, slander, or better known as verbally spit on, their military personal or veterans of in other countries? Yet here, and for decades, it's part of the game played called political ideology!

    Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

    by jimstaro on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 06:39:46 AM PDT

  •  I'm the political junkie in the family (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo

    my wife and two daughters ages 33, 34 could care less about politics they will not watch any new are TV ads. they here thing at work then ask me. needs to be some way to connect to voters like my WOMEN and the less informed voters

    •  I think asking you is a complement, (4+ / 0-)

      you should be proud.  I tend to disregard all ads, not just political ones, and prefer info from someone I trust.

      Each of us has a small area of influence and together we can help educate those who do not follow or understand.  Granted we have a lot of Fox noise to overcome, but one by one we can do it.

      Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

      by DRo on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 06:54:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's a lot easier (6+ / 0-)

    to demagogue a complicated issue and law like ACA than it is to explain it - particularly when the law, in practice, means different things to many, many different people.

    Without knowing income, how can you explain the subsidy a person might get? The rebates sent out by insurers don't go to everyone, and get cut up differently by employers, depending on co-pays and such.

    The law is very, very, very complicated, and it HAS TO BE. Explaining it will cause eyes to glaze over, while screaming "death panels" wakes people up.

    Sure, the Dems need to tout the benefits over and over again, but more importantly, it's up tot he people benefiting from the law to speak up loudly wherever they can.

    Whenever someone calls for repeal to me, I tell them, "Before this law, as a small businessman, the one thing that scared me was that I'd get sick and have my insurance dropped. That was the one thing that could break my family. And they could do it because I signed my name without my middle initial on some form 25 years ago. They can't do that anymore. Insurance under this law actually INSURES me."

    Many people will have personal reasons why this bill is critical for them. Shout those. And yeah, if places like the New York Times did their job in NEWS instead of just in editorials, we'd be a lot better off!

    •  Sen Mitch McConnell (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Heart of the Rockies

      is going around Hospital in Ky this week, but only management will be welcome, we know what kind of lies he is spreading. most of these hospital were caught over billing Medicare and fined here here more here

      makes you wonder if this was a wink and a nod from the republican party, Why would McConnell be making the rounds now?

      •  Hospitals will likely (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marykk

        give McConnell an earful about how the ACA will pay them for what is now uncompensated care thanks to the law's expansion of Medicaid.  More than likely they'll be insisting he speak to the KY governor and legislature about the need to pass the expansion.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 07:39:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Sad, sad - Why are republican politicians willing (4+ / 0-)

    to throw away their legacies to lead a party that hates them? John McCain had a legacy of a respectable bipartisan legislative career, and he throw it out the window to run as a wingnut candidate of a party that never really liked him. Now Romney who could be standing up and shouting from the roof tops that he was the father of our new health care law (a considerable lifetime political achievement - his only real public service achievement) is tossing that in the garbage to run at the head of a group of people that hate everything about him except his greed. It is sad.

    "Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright" Curt Siodmak

    by Wisdumb on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 06:47:52 AM PDT

  •  Isn't it a bit early (4+ / 0-)

    to be wringing our hands and gnashing our teeth about the general public's lack of knowledge about the SCOTUS decision?  Even in this day and age, it takes a while for the word to get around to a large percentage of the population that is simply not paying attention.  Then they have to digest the information and decide what they think about it.

    The way these folks get the information (from what source) and how it is presented to them (this is wonderful or the sky is falling) will color their initial perception.  But there is plenty of time to change their minds.

    Every Democrat should be talking about what good things the law will do.  Ignore the "government takeover" argument and just keep listing benefits.  The more good things the low information voters hear from the people they know and trust, the better their final opinion will be.  But give them time to stew over the information you give them.  Hard sell just invites buyer's remorse.

    And accept this:  if all their information comes from other wingnuts and Faux News, the chances of their being open to facts is nil.  Move along.

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

    by SueDe on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 06:48:51 AM PDT

    •  absolutely (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude, a gilas girl

      what the polls say now is less important than  what the polls say in 2 months. Still, that dial hasn't moved much, if at all, in 2 years.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 07:02:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  yeah, it's always early to gnash our teeth (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DemFromCT, marykk

      There is some tendency for participants in political blogs to oscillate between two mistakes: assuming that most people are paying at least one tenth as much attention as we are, or whining about how most people aren't paying one tenth as much attention as we are.

      •  hmm... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HudsonValleyMark
        The experience pointed to the problem that both parties face after one of the most consequential Supreme Court decisions in memory: their core voters are energized, either by rage or elation, but the independents who are likely to decide the 2012 elections may be ready to move on.
        http://www.nytimes.com/...

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 08:45:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "move on"? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DemFromCT

          It seems to me that "independents" disproportionately never got there in the first place. ;) And, to some extent, that is inevitable. It's inconceivable that the Obama campaign would put more emphasis on health care than on the economy in a futile attempt to win the hearts and minds of the utterly inattentive. But I don't think the ACA's opponents should be allowed to dominate the discourse, either. And since Obama spent a lot of time working on ACA, I think it makes sense for him to say that he fought hard for the law, it has done a lot of good already, and it will do even more in the future. It's important to his brand, not just the Democratic Party's.

          (If you and I are actually disagreeing here, it isn't very sharply. I think we're emphasizing two sides of the same coin.)

  •  Maureen Gill is badly mistaken (9+ / 0-)

    Barnette is NOT about religious freedom.

    The original Pledge case, Minersville v Gobitis in 1940, an 8-1 decision which ruled that a Jehovah's Witness could be kicked out of public school for refusing to say the Pledge, was about limits on religious freedom.

    By the time Barnette reached the Supreme Court in 1943, the nation was ready for a different approach.  Idiots not unlike some Tea Party types today, had attacked the churches of Jehovah's Witnesses, called Kingdom Halls, and burned the down, with one of the most famous burnings being in Kennebunk Maine, just down the road from the Bush family manse at Walker's Point.   Editorial opinion had switched on the issue, and whether or not someone said the Pledge seemed less important now that the nation was engaged in World War II.

    But the issue was NOT decided on religious freedom grounds.  Robert Jackson's opinion, which may be (one of) the best ever written, makes clear that it was decided on far broader grounds of the protection of freedom of expression - speech - including the right not to have speech compelled.  Allow me to offer several selections from that opinion:

    Nor does the issue, as we see it, turn on one's possession of particular religious views or the sincerity with which they are held. While religion supplies appellees' motive for enduring the discomforts of making the issue in this case, many citizens who do not share these religious views hold such a compulsory rite to infringe constitutional liberty of the individual. It is not necessary to inquire whether nonconformist beliefs will exempt from the duty to salute unless we first find power to make the salute a legal duty.
     
    National unity, as an end which officials may foster by persuasion and example, is not in question. The problem is whether, under our Constitution, compulsion as here employed is a permissible means for its achievement.

    Struggles to coerce uniformity of sentiment in support of some end thought essential to their time and country have been waged by many good, as well as by evil, men. Nationalism is a relatively recent phenomenon, but, at other times and places, the ends have been racial or territorial security, support of a dynasty or regime, and particular plans for saving souls. As first and moderate methods to attain unity have failed, those bent on its accomplishment must resort to an ever-increasing severity.  As governmental pressure toward unity becomes greater, so strife becomes more bitter as to whose unity it shall be. Probably no deeper division of our people could proceed from any provocation than from finding it necessary to choose what doctrine and whose program public educational officials shall compel youth to unite in embracing. Ultimate futility of such attempts to compel coherence is the lesson of every such effort from the Roman drive to stamp out Christianity as a disturber of its pagan unity, the Inquisition, as a means to religious and dynastic unity, the Siberian exiles as a means to Russian unity, down to the fast failing efforts of our present totalitarian enemies. Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard.

    Allow me to repeat, and emphasize, those last two sentenes:  Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard.

    The most famous paragraph from the opinion, and perhaps as famous as any paragraph in any opinion, is this clarion call:  

    If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion, or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us
    Note the scope -  politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion

    note also the limit on the power of the government to force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.   Word or act.  In fact, one cannot legally compel school children in public schools even to stand during the recitation of the Pledge, although this is poorly understood and regularly violated.

    The next paragraph is also clear:  

    We think the action of the local authorities in compelling the flag salute and pledge transcends constitutional limitations on their power, and invades the sphere of intellect and spirit which it is the purpose of the First Amendment to our Constitution to reserve from all official control.
    This is far broader than freedom of religion.  It might be nice if someone is going to write about the Barnette case that they understood it.

    Peace.

    "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

    by teacherken on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 06:49:34 AM PDT

    •  Did you read the whole piece? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HudsonValleyMark, Mnemosyne

      Like perhaps the title and first paragraph?

      Allowing difference is the real test of a nation

      There are no greater public symbols of patriotism than the American flag and Pledge of Allegiance. Conversely, there’s no greater expression of America’s real strength than the right to refuse to pledge allegiance to the flag and the nation for which it stands.

      If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

      by marykk on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 07:30:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  she is wrong b/c it is NOT about religious freedom (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wsexson

        it is about freedom more broadly construed, as the passages I quote from Jackson's opinion makes clear.

        Her paragraph about religious freedom is therefore a misrepresentation of the thrust of the decision.

        If she called it the greatest single opinion for dissent of all kinds - religious, political, economic, etc. -  I would be applauding her.

        Jackson deliberately wrote it as broadly as possible so that the decision not be considered merely validating the rights of Jehovah's Witnesses not to participate in the Pledge Ceremony.

        One can refuse to participate without offering a reason -  that is why it is so sweeping.

        "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

        by teacherken on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 08:37:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I bet you were an outstanding teacher. (0+ / 0-)

      The profession should mourn your retirement.  Perhaps you will consider tutoring to fill some of your retirement hours.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 07:44:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  less interesting in tutoring (0+ / 0-)

        still interested in the dynamics of the classroom and am exploring options of teaching elsewhere

        within a couple of weeks should have my Virginia Certificate reinstated -  one last hoop to jump through.

        I was very interested in teaching in one particular high needs charter in DC, but the principal decided to go another direction -  his loss, and the loss to the kids.

        But I also may do work that advances social justice in other ways, and continue to educate by writing.

        "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

        by teacherken on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 08:38:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I thank them but they are as irritating as the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk

    'baggers who knock on my door

    Präsidentenelf-maßschach"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 07:07:30 AM PDT

    •  The man to whom I was once married (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli, marykk, Mnemosyne

      had a great tactic to deal with the door-to-door JWs: He always saved the left wing literature we received as part of requests for donations in a basket by the door.  Whenever one would stop by and ask if we would read their literature he always said, "yes, if you'll agree to read mine", then he'd hand out something from ACT UP, or Greenpeace, or whatever else was in the pot.

      He was always very friendly...

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 08:12:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well that's the thing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli

      these cases are rarely pressed by those we generally think of as likeable.  They irritate the stuffings out of me, too, but G8d bless 'em for taking that stand.

      If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

      by marykk on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 08:14:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It was the easiest path (2+ / 0-)

    Roberts took the easiest path here.  He couldn't intellectually reject something that he had likely supported in the past- mandate and so on.  

    He didn't want his court to strike something like this down.  

    He specifically ruled out the commerce clause.  I aint no lawyer, but that seems like a nice opening for conservative policies in the future.  

    And he still gives his party the chance at rejecting the law in reconciliation.  He called it a tax very specifically, and I wouldn't be surprised if he did that in order to provide his team with the opportunity to take it down in a manner that leaves his court's image more intact than otherwise.  

  •  'low information voters' is a misleading term (0+ / 0-)

    cillizza nutshels a major failure of analyzers of modern politics

    Chris Cillizza:

    What should you take from the Pew poll? That assuming that the electorate is paying close attention to the political goings-on — even when they are so seemingly high profile as the court ruling on health care — is a mistake.
    Most people — especially those who are unaffiliated or independent voters — tend to be relatively low information voters. That is, they don’t have all the facts on an issue — and they don’t really care to find them out.

    Sobering for those of us who watch the political machinations on a minute-by-minute basis? Yes. But also very important to remember when writing and analyzing the impact any given event will have on the November election.

    how do the analysts factor in the 50 mil a week who listen to talk radio? or the 20% of americans who say they get their news from talk radio?

    they don't, because there's no written record of the disinformation being repeated on 1000 radio stations every day.

    how much of that ignorance or lack of facts is really the success of a well oiled propaganda machine? even on the eve of our most important election we still fucking don't know because the dem establishment and liberals in general think the right's most important weapon should basically be left alone.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 08:14:38 AM PDT

    •  I think that misses the point here (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wsexson
      how do the analysts factor in the 50 mil a week who listen to talk radio? or the 20% of americans who say they get their news from talk radio?

      they don't, because there's no written record of the disinformation being repeated on 1000 radio stations every day.

      Do you think people who get their news from talk radio aren't aware that the Supreme Court ruled on the ACA?

      I'm all for factoring in the impact of talk radio -- and one wouldn't need a "written record" to do that.

      how much of that ignorance or lack of facts is really the success of a well oiled propaganda machine? even on the eve of our most important election we still fucking don't know because the dem establishment and liberals in general think the right's most important weapon should basically be left alone.
      Your "because" here doesn't make much sense.
      •  my comment relates to cillizza and the use of the (0+ / 0-)

        term 'low information voters'.

        that term is commonly used as he defines it- they don’t have all the facts on an issue — and they don’t really care to find them out.

        and a lot of analysis is done while ignoring the single most important  reason why. as commonly used, the very large subset of radio listeners/teabaggers/dittoheads/the GOP base are not related to that generic population.

        in relation to the pew poll, that they are not aware of the ruling, the term is applicable- but all too often the analysts use it to refer to ignorant and misinformed voters who vote with a different set of facts and often against their own interests.

        i constantly hear people wondering where the term 'obamacare' came from. regardlesss of whether the O admin wants to use it now it was originally a derogatory term pumped out every day on radio that helped mobilize the teabagger reballion and stop the public option.

        so how do we factor in talk radio without knowing  what language is emphasized and sold on it and how much repetition they get? my local blowhards on after and before limbaugh hannity levin etc have been on the 'obamacare' jag and roberts etc like crazy, just like the nationals. how is that factored in?

        i can think of a way but i don't know how you can do it without monitoring the shows.

        This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

        by certainot on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 08:50:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  well... (0+ / 0-)

          I agree that it's important to distinguish between people who lack facts, and people who have false facts. I don't know how common it is to misuse "low-information voter" to refer to the latter.

          so how do we factor in talk radio without knowing  what language is emphasized and sold on it and how much repetition they get?
          Well, if we want to know how the beliefs of people who regularly listen to talk radio vary from the beliefs of people who don't, we can ask people what they believe and whether they listen to talk radio. The causal relationships may not be clear-cut, but it's a start.

          Content analysis would be even better, and I know people who actually do it -- in wanton defiance of "the dem establishment and liberals in general," I guess.

          •  that's partly my point, (0+ / 0-)
            Well, if we want to know how the beliefs of people who regularly listen to talk radio vary from the beliefs of people who don't, we can ask people what they believe and whether they listen to talk radio.
            that is not done, so the radio subset, which i think is major, is never measured separately- it is merely absorbed in stride. it needs to  be done, otherwise many polls really don't get to the heart of the matter.

            there are smart people who don't pay attention or who restrict their intake to MSM, even if it's the 'intellectual' PBS MSM, who should be considered low information voters.

            This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

            by certainot on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 08:24:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  It's all the hippies' fault: Kurt Anderson (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thomask

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    There is truth in this, although I remember very clearly when the 60's era “revolutionaries” divided themselves up during the Reagan era. Some remained free (and generally downplayed economic success), while lots of others followed their own personal economic interests and “voted their pocketbook” (and generally downplayed freedom). Still, Anderson's thesis, that both camps were probably motivated by the same individualistic “do your own thing/if it feels good, do it” ethos, has a certain ring of validity to it. And here we are.

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