Remember this line from The Perfect Storm uttered by Bobby Shatford (Mark Wahlberg)?

Skip, what are we gonna do about those numbers? They suck.

Kind of captures how The White House may be looking at the recent flurry of negative polls showing the President’s approval rating sinking, the air going out of his health care proposal and Americans losing faith in his economic programs.

But, as bad as it is right now, The Perfect Storm is about to hit.  While few would have imagined it six months ago, the President’s health care push now embodies many of the touchstone issues of the past generation:

  • Tax increases.
  • Government (over)spending.
  • Health care affordability.
  • Health care access.
  • Abortion.
  • The deficit.

The message that Members of Congress are going to hear from their constituents during their August recess is NOT how badly the country needs health care reform, but rather they’ll hear very pointed questions centered around one of the above issues:

  • I thought this was revenue neutral – who’s going to pay for it?
  • How can we afford to spend more money now after the trillions the government has already spent (on an economic stimulus that has had no impact)?
  • How does raising my taxes make my health care more affordable?
  • So, this health care reform doesn’t even cover everyone?
  • It provides federal funding for abortions?
  • How do you rationalize pushing the cost of this plan onto our children and grandchildren?

This health care proposal has become a political focal point for some of the most salient issue debates of the past generation.  And, it is the combination of these issues at this point in time, with a flagging economy, and a Democratic Congress hell-bent on pushing ahead that make this the perfect storm for the Obama Administration.  It very well could be an early “tipping-point.”

Public Opinion Strategies