This has always been the lamest, least convincing argument in his arsenal — I have yet to see a poll this year, I think, that shows people think costs will decrease under ObamaCare — but he’s been pushing it since the beginning and evidently will do so to the bitter end. “Doomsday Orszagism,” Kaus calls it, in honor of The One’s budget guru. The idea is simple: Nothing but nothing but nothing can save America from the impending Medicare apocalypse except whatever crappy bill Reid can squeeze out of 60 votes. No new taxes, no social security reform, no spending cuts elsewhere in the budget, and certainly no overhaul of Medicare itself will do the trick. This is it. Give Obama what he wants or else we fall into the ocean. I wonder how many more times he thinks he has to repeat this to turn the polls around if they haven’t turned already.

Meanwhile, don’t look now but Madam Speaker is hinting rather strongly that ObamaCare ain’t happening this year:

In the case of health care reform, Pelosi credited House Democrats with having saved Obama’s initiative after the onslaught of attacks during the August recess. And if the Senate can complete its bill this month, she will work to try to send a House-Senate compromise to the White House before the State of the Union

Matching the House bill against the still-evolving Senate package, she said she saw differences of affordability for families and the revenue-raisers that would have to be negotiated. But she downplayed differences over the public option for coverage, saying the emphasis had always been on giving consumers an insurance option, not that it be public or government run.

A “House-Senate compromise” sure makes it sound like the ping-pong strategy is dead (as expected), which means Reid is going to have to run his gauntlet again next month — assuming he can find 60 this month, which seems unlikely. Exit question via Spruiell: Where are the votes coming from in the House if the final bill has no public option? There aren’t enough progressives to push it through. Click the image to watch.