Sorry to make this all Obamacare, all the time lately: but Megan McArdle’s point here is really, really important.
We forget that when millions of people hear the president say that “if you like your insurance, you can keep it” and “premiums will fall by $2,500 for the average family,” they don’t listen with a wry smile. They don’t write it off as understandable hyperbole from a president who is working to pass a great law with a few flaws. They don’t think this speech means “I care about getting the best insurance for as many people as possible.” They think it means “if you like your insurance, you can keep it” and “premiums will fall by $2,500 for the average family.” If they didn’t think it meant that, they might not have supported the law.
That gap matters — not least because there’s a strong risk that when the people outside Expertopia finally figure out what everyone knew all along, they will turn on the people who allowed all that tacit knowledge to stay tacit. That’s what Democrats are now experiencing. It’s kind of surprising, in fact, that not everyone knew this was going to happen.