News Center

December 17th, 2009

I Scream…Howard Dean Screams…We Should All Scream

More articles by »
Written by: Bob Haus

Howard DeanFor once in my life, I agree with Howard Dean, the former Democratic Presidential candidate and former head of the Democratic National Committee.

Once merely famous for his caucus night scream in Iowa, he is now screaming at his fellow Democrats. Today, in an interview with ABC News, he stated that the Senate health care reform bill should be killed.

“Honestly, the best thing to do right now is kill the Senate bill, go back to the House, start the reconciliation process, where you only need 51 votes and it would be a much simpler bill,” he stated to ABC News.

“This is the Washington scramble, and I think it’s ill-advised,” Dean stated.

Let me say it again: for once, I agree with Howard Dean. This is a scramble, and it’s worthy of a loud scream from all of us.

As I’ve watched this health care debacle unfold, I have asked repeatedly “why does Congress, and President Obama, continue this folly when a majority of people don’t support them?” People to whom I ask that question immediately tell me that I’m wrong, America wants action on this issue, and that President Obama and Congress are representing the majority opinion.


I went back this morning to check on recent public opinion polls on health care. It is clear to me that Howard Dean is right…we have a “Washington scramble” going on here. The massive amount of public data, if taken at face value, underscores that the majority of Americans do NOT want this ridiculous attempt at “reform” to pass.

Just consider this week’s polling data, taken from RealClearPolitics:

Real Clear

Now just to be fair, I went back to see if there had been a shift in public opinion. I found that public opinion has been pretty consistent on this issue.

Since July of 2009, no fewer than 73 public polls by respected media and polling operations have been published. These 73 surveys encompassed tens of thousands of respondents all over the country. In only EIGHT (8) of those surveys did people signal support for Congress’ actions to reform health care. In two cases, those in favor tied with those against Congress’ actions.

In the other SIXTY-THREE public surveys, those who OPPOSED health care reform as proposed by President Obama or Congress outweighed those in support.

In other words, in over 86% of the public surveys taken since July of this year, a majority of those surveyed said they OPPOSED the health care reform bills.

That’s the best definition of a “Washington scramble” I can offer. It’s also a very good example of the hubris and arrogance that infects our current Congressional leadership.

Rather than take a step back, congressional leadership feels pressured to forge ahead. Rather than pause, be reflective, and make sure they get it right, they forge ahead.

We’ve seen this modus operandi with the stimulus bills, the financial “rescue” bills, cash for clunkers, and virtually every other major piece of legislation passed over the last two years. Congress slams through massive pieces of legislation with little or no transparency, often in the dead of the night, because of some supposed crisis and artificial deadline.

They do it, in fact, because they know that if you really knew what was in these bills, you’d scream like Howard Dean. President Obama and the congressional leadership forge ahead in opposition to public opinion because, well, they believe they’re just plain smarter than we are, and they know more than we do.

If this supposed “reform” bill passes, you’ll hear a lot of screams, and not just from Howard Dean. The screams you’ll be hearing are from voters who get soaked in the form of higher taxes, higher premiums, and higher costs. They will begin to get soaked in 2010 for a federal program that doesn’t start until 2014.

And with those screams, you’ll probably hear some whimpers too. Those whimpers will come from former politicians who were just voted out of office because they were tone deaf to their constituents.

I scream…Howard Dean screams…we all scream for Congress and the President to slow down and listen.

About the Author

Bob Haus
Robert Haus is a Des Moines based advertising and communications consultant. Born and raised in Iowa, Bob is a proud graduate of both Iowa State University and the University of Iowa College of Law, which makes him a confirmed CyHawk fan. A former farm boy, and recovered lawyer, Bob has spent the last 20 years working at all levels of state and federal politics. He has worked for and advised Republican candidates for President, US Senate, US House, statewide office, and the Iowa Legislature. You can follow him at Bob's personal blog is

blog comments powered by Disqus