Clinton to Dems: "The reason the tea-baggers are so inflamed is because we are winning"

Bob Menendez made a reference to “teabaggers” last week and Tapper tweeted something about how you never know when a politician uses that term if he/she is aware of its sexual application.

I’m pretty sure the Clenis is aware.

Former President Bill Clinton told a room full of Democratic senators Tuesday that passing health care reform — which he failed to do 15 years ago — is not only a moral issue but also “an economic imperative.”

Clinton argued that even “the most cold-hearted person” ought to support health care reform simply from an economic standpoint. He reminded Democrats of the political momentum their failure to pass reform in 1993 delivered the House of Representatives to the Republicans the following year…

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said Clinton described the ongoing tea party protests against the Democratic agenda as a sign his party was making progress.

Whitehouse quoted Clinton arguing: “The reason the tea-baggers are so inflamed is because we are winning.”…

He stressed to Democrats that they can always go back and retool initiatives and amend whatever overhaul they pass, calling it, “a big complex organic thing.”

I think he’s right that they’re winning, actually, if “winning” is defined in terms of whether a bill passes or not. The abortion death struggle will give Reid a headache and they’ll probably have to end up dropping the public option, but Clinton’s strategy is a sound one: Pass anything you can pass now, then spend next year doing whatever it takes to woo voters and minimize the inevitable GOP gains in the midterms. The ratchet on federal entitlements only turns one way, i.e. towards expansion, and it’s a lot easier to make the ratchet turn when Congress’s every move isn’t under the media microscope the way it is now. All they have to do is ask themselves a simple question: Do they think they can hold both Houses next year? If yes, then the smart thing to do is to pass whatever they can, bid a few vulnerable Blue Dogs farewell, and use their reduced majorities to finish the job on the bill next year, under the radar while some other issue has America’s attention.

As grim as the polls are lately for ObamaCare, Ace is probably right that only a further steep slide into the 60+% realm will scare enough Dems in the Senate that the entire initiative will have to be scrapped. Which, of course, was the point of sending the Clenis to the Hill today — to remind them, in physical form, of what happens in congressional elections when major health-care bills are taken up and then dropped. No wonder either that the GOP is trying to kickstart tea-party activism anew: Until just this past week, ObamaCare’s polling reached its nadir in August, during the townhall protests. If popular outcry can spike again up to or near the 60 percent range, Senate Blue Dogs may feel they have no choice but to walk away again, 1994 notwithstanding. Exit question: Who’ll end up teabagging whom?

Update: A centrist Democrat from a newly red state holds a finger to the wind and sends a signal.