I maintain that whip counts are worthless, but (a) the GOP has the same count and (b) since we’re probably headed for a bitter defeat this weekend, we should enjoy our illusions of hope while we can.

Feel the nomentum. Can you feel it?

Five more House Democrats said Tuesday that they will vote against Senate health care legislation, which puts opponents of reform just 11 votes shy of the 216 needed to prevent President Obama from scoring a major victory on his top domestic priority…

A total of 27 House Democrats, including nine who supported the House plan in November, have indicated that they would join a unified Republican caucus in opposing the Senate plan, which passed in that chamber December 24 with the minimum required 60 votes…

Of the 39 Democrats who voted against the House plan in November, 17 have indicated that they will vote against the Senate plan as written, 11 remain uncommitted, and nine did not return repeated calls for comment.

One member, Parker Griffith of Alabama, became a Republican in December. An additional member, Rep. Eric Massa of New York, resigned his seat last week.

If the reports tonight are true, Kucinich will be a no-to-yes flip tomorrow. Even so, all we need are 11 of the 19 undecided Dems who hated this thing enough to vote no on the House bill way back in November? Granted, the Senate bill is kinda sorta more fiscally conservative than Pelosi’s bill was (no public option, for starters), but the political climate is more toxic now too. Eleven seems … possible, especially with the phones melting down. No wonder The One feels obliged to crawl to Fox News tomorrow to try to make the case to centrist Dems and independents, in case they didn’t grasp it the previous nine thousand times he made it.

Here’s a scene from the Hill captured by CBS this afternoon; note the line near the end about a “Chavez” taking over the country. As I’m writing this, Ed forwards me this mysterious link along with a reminder of comments from Democrat Carol Shea-Porter from January. Dude — the women are plotting.


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