Second, telling voters -- even the relatively small number who talk to pollsters -- to proceed immediately to the hot place savors of arrogance. Arrogance contrary to democratic theory, be it noted.
No bill should pass solely because polls call it unpopular; nor should one pass solely because polls say the public wants it now. Public opinion, so called, can change in a few instants, as Barack Obama, once the nation's hero, now its main lecturer and finger-wagger, can surely attest. When the bloom is off the rose -- health care is surely an instance of that -- the sensible, as opposed to the frivolous, politician will ask how come and what ought to be done about it.
The need for caution extends to financial regulation, a nebulous term that can mean a million different things to a million different people. Strong support for the whole concept is waning -- down 13 points in a year (according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll), with opposition 12 points higher.
Public disenchantment with Obamanism seems to grow daily. Which shows you what goes on, doesn't it? By golly, if people are going to quit loving the new regime, the regime is going to pop it to those same people while time remains. Rahm Emanuel must have had something of the sort in mind when he delivered his famous epigram about never letting a crisis go to waste. No, sir -- not if mere voters (what do they know anyway?) might change their mind about you. More and more dangerous the Washington power games look every minute.