What's most striking about this poll is that opposition to Obama's plan has increased 20 percentage points since April -- coinciding, not surprisingly, with the president's big push to convince us that it's needed. The more people learn, apparently, the less they like.
Now, I am under no grand illusions about democracy. The electorate can be mercurial and irrational -- as nearly every election proves. Nor do I believe any ethical politician should abandon his core values simply because polls tell him it would be expedient.
I say, keep fighting, Mr. President. Those of us who believe in capitalism need you.
But the fact is we have one party controlling both houses of Congress -- with historically impressive margins. We have an opposition political party Americans have lost confidence in. We have endured a frightening downturn that allowed the far left to advance a menu of stunning regulatory intrusions that normally would be non-starters.
Finally, we have a charismatic and articulate president who, armed with a nearly national landslide, was given the stage to make his pitch on health care reform.
If, with all that, the progressives cannot convince voters that the central cause of their movement is necessary, then it is not a messaging problem or a leadership problem, and it is not a Republican problem; it is an idea problem -- a terrible idea problem.