“President Obama’s message to progressives who are dissatisfied with the Senate health care bill is two fold: First: Don’t forget about the uninsured. Second: Don’t forget what failure to pass this bill would do to the party and my presidency.

“In a meeting with House progressives today, Obama made the pitch…

“Obama reminded the assembled Democrats that doing nothing would be politically disastrous. ‘To maintain a strong presidency we need to pass this bill,’ the President said, according to Grijalva.”

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“This is perhaps the greatest example of the Democrats’ enveloping myopia. They may reflexively put issues in silos, but average Americans don’t. Most voters are impressionistic, especially independents and moderates of both parties. They look at the whole of what you have done and the how of what you have done. If Democrats ram through an unpopular trillion-dollar health care bill in this climate, with Congress’ approval rating at 15%, they may well cement their image as the worst of Washington and sever their claim on the public’s trust for years to come. Even if ObamaCare delivers over time–and if it avoids the substantial premium increases that the Massachusetts universal care system has produced–it most likely will be too little too late…

“Those numbers beg the question: Would the Democrats actually be better off if their comprehensive health care bill does not pass? I tend to think so, though as I argued last week, the best course for Democrats would be to skip the all-or-nothing trap and pass a center-out bill that contains the 80% of insurance reforms on which both sides already agree. But that’s a moot point: The Democrats are going for broke (in more ways than one). The more salient question is when will the Democrats start connecting the dots–and recognize that the American people are not going to accept a government that is not willing to heed their doubts.”

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“The Big Question: Is healthcare reform going to break the Obama presidency?”