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The NYT sure is in defensive mode about the apparent likelihood that the voters of Missouri will pass a non binding referendum rejecting Obamacare.  From the story:

For all its symbolic import, the first plebiscite on the Obama health care law, to be held Tuesday in Missouri, seems likely to be a low-turnout affair among an electorate dominated by Republican primary voters and conservative activists. Missouri is the first of at least three states with ballot measures this year aimed at nullifying the federal health care law by invalidating its keystone provision, the requirement that most people obtain insurance or pay a tax penalty...

No grass-roots organization has formed to oppose the measure, and the unions and consumer groups that lobbied for the federal health care law have steered clear. Mr. Obama did not take time to denounce Proposition C when he visited Missouri in early June. “The proposition will have no legal standing, so I don’t know why there’d be a reason to focus on it,” said Brian B. Zuzenak, executive director of the Missouri Democratic Party. “From the beginning, we’ve said it’s meaningless and unconstitutional. At best, it’s a ploy by the Republicans to get their base excited.”

Excuses, excuses. If Obamacare were popular, they’d be out in droves to defeat this referendum.  But thinking they couldn’t win, they adopted a pretense of not really caring.  Here’s proof:
A recent statewide poll in Missouri found that not even likely Democratic voters could muster a majority against the proposition.

President Obama and the Democrats lost the health care debate badly.  They were able to pass a the law—barely—but only because of their numbers.  But that doesn’t mean the people want it, hence the Times’ and Obamacare supporters huffing and puffing pretending that the MO referendum is of little consequence.

The only way Obama can reduce the intensity of dislike for the law in public polling is not to talk about it and hope people will think of other things.  That is a big reason why rationing advocate Donald Berwick was never given a full and public senate committee hearing to become head of Medicare, with Obama circumventing the usual democratic processes via the recess appointment dodge.  Yes, he’s been renominated, but don’t expect to hear from him before the November election.  And the reason is the fear that Obamacare will be an anchor that sinks Democrats’ boats.

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