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Example: how to make a question for a politician better (Obama healthcare)

The page mentioned in the previous post (toptenhealthcarequestions.com) contains this question for Barack Obama:

The Administration has repeatedly claimed that its health care reform plan will not cover illegal aliens. The Congressional Research Service recently issued a report contradicting the Administration's position, stating "H.R. 3200 does not contain any restrictions on non-citizens whether legally or illegally present, or in the United States temporarily or permanently participating in the Exchange." Is the Congressional Research Service in error? If so, where is the error?

The problem with that question - as with the other questions on their page and as with most of the other questions that people ask politicians - is that whoever wrote it didn't think through what would happen after it was asked.

In this case, they're asking Obama to comment on something he most likely hasn't read. All he would have to do is (probably truthfully) say that he hasn't read the CRS report, and then say that he'll look into it and reference other language preventing them from getting coverage and then seque into a stock speech. In other words, Obama would be able to easily deflect questions like that.

Now, compare that with the question in the second update here; the original post was in mid-August and the update was sometime around the end of August, meaning that either question could have been asked at one of the townhalls that were occurring at that time.

The question in the update at the last link was designed to box in the person being asked the question, asking them to commit to something that they could promise without having to do research (such as reading the CRS' report) first. That promise could then be held against them if they didn't follow through and could have been, for instance, used in their opponents' advertising. If they didn't follow through, follow-ups could have been asked of them at future townhalls.

In order to hold politicians accountable, you have to think ahead, and the tea parties have shown they aren't capable of that.

Thu, 12/10/2009 - 21:15 · Importance: 4

Fri, 12/11/2009 - 16:49
Fred Dawes
myspace.com/freddaerd1776/

The question is how to make a better healthcare plan well obama would be happy to move all old and young not married to monkeys from the plan until the USA Disappear and face facts obama is a muslim just look at what he has done to the white house no chrismass trees, no words about the brotherhood of all people in fact obamas message is a muslim message about hate and race mass murder, that is your so called American president, so have a nice christmas next year you maybe put in prison for christmas lighting in your home and some muslim mass murdering pig may report you. buy guns for christmas and start to form some kind of united front against the new muslim ways and remember the cops can and will work for the third world one world rulers under the control of the muslim hate race pigs so each time you see a cop understand he or she will be the one coming for you just like in any country that has fallen into the rule of our enemies. Freedom is not free.