Connolly also chose, for the second time in a week, to misrepresent public opinion:
"Democratic senators are taking millions of dollars from insurance and health-care interests and getting lobbied by those donors and coming out against a position that 76 percent of Americans agree on," said Adam Green...
While recent polls show high initial support for a government option, the number declines if told the insurance industry could fold as a result.
Connolly's own colleagues at the Post agree that her analysis of a recent Washington Post poll is completely ridiculous. From Dan Froomkin (who, crazily, the Post just fired while keeping Connolly):
62 percent support having the government create a new health insurance plan to compete with private health insurance plans. And, yes, that last number goes down if they are warned that "many private health insurers" would then go out of business -- but that's an argumentative assertion made by opponents of the proposal, without any basis in fact. As Ezra Klein blogs for The Washington Post:
If you asked poll respondents, "What if having the public plan lowered your insurance premiums by 20 to 30 percent," my hunch is you'd see a sharp shift toward support of the policy.
But Connolly never misses an opportunity to repeat insurance industry talking points. Do I think she's in their pocket? No. Do I think she has no idea what she's writing about. Yes. Absolutely.
I could go on, but a diarist at Daily Kos wrote "Ceci Connolly and WaPost Bring the Weak Sauce on Grassroots Lobbying" -- which sums up anything else I'd have to say. Definitely check it out.
I've already emailed Connolly this morning. If you want to share your thoughts, she's at email@example.com.
Or Retweet: Ceci Connolly, ridiculous reporter. http://bit.ly/m1qLS Email firstname.lastname@example.org Or tweet her @postdailydose
BONUS - Who is the "anonymous source" Connolly quotes who claims to be on our side?
Here was a fun quote Connolly included from some person who has obviously been in DC for way too long:
One Democratic strategist who is working full-time on health reform was apoplectic over what he called wasted time, energy and resources by the organizations.
The strategist, who asked for anonymity because he was criticizing colleagues, said: "These are friends of ours. I would much rather see a quiet call placed by [Obama chief of staff] Rahm Emanuel saying this isn't helpful. Instead, we try to decimate them?"
If this person is actually a "friend" of mine, I have a message to them: your proposal of taking the public option, which has 76% popular support (82% if you look at the insurance companies' own poll) and moving it from an outside game to an inside game is just as r-i-d-i-c-u--o-u-s as Ceci Connolly's reporting.
When you have popular support on your side, that last thing you want is a behind-the-scenes bargain -- that just gives the bad guys leverage. You want the full might of people-power weighing in and demanding results. If you don't understand that, please step down from any position you may have representing the grassroots in this debate.
And did you just propose having RAHM cut the deal? Are you kidding me? As I told the New York Times' Kate Phillips this week:
Advisers like Rahm Emanuel operate out of fear — like it’s 1994 — instead of operating like people who just won a huge mandate in 2008. They obviously haven’t mastered the bully pulpit yet, which is a shame since Obama is a master communicator. If Obama insisted on the public option and held rallies in Montana, Nebraska, and Louisiana, it would happen.
Again, if this "friend" is in a position of leadership fighting for the public option -- and is telling the public to shut up while deferring to Rahm to cut a deal -- please step down. Let people who know what they are doing lead this fight. (And yes, it's a fight.)