Nevertheless, the Left would like to jam this through in 14 working days or less, lest the debate slip into an election year and the numbers deteriorate even further. The Democratic logic — such as it is — is that Democrats need to pass a bill to keep their base from deserting them. Nate Silver is left arguing that failure is the worst of both worlds. The Daily Kos looks at its weekly tracking poll, showing that Republicans and Independents are much more energized about voting in 2010, and concludes that “passing legitimate health care reform [is] an absolute political necessity for Democrats.” Steve Benen demands the full “too much, too soon agenda” (missing only “cap and tax,” though that may have just been an oversight on his part).
None of these great thinkers addresses the probability that stomping on the gas as Dems hurtle over the cliff is likely to be most deadly to the swing votes they need to pass ObamaCare and the rest. Since they seem intent on ignoring Sean Trende’s regression analysis of the 1994 midterms, perhaps they may want to look at analysis by Brendan Nyhan (no member of the VRWC he), showing that passing major legislation has little effect on presidential approval. As Senatorial opinion on ObamaCare seems to be following presidential approval, Nyhan’s analysis ought to leave Senators — and the Left generally — asking whether passing an increasingly unpopular package of tax hikes and Medicare cuts pays any political dividends.