“‘People need to put this in perspective,’ Dan Pfeiffer, Mr. Obama’s communications director, said in an interview on Thursday. ‘Two years ago, the Democratic Party would have done anything for the opportunity to pass a health care reform like this. Let’s realize how far we’ve come, and how close we are to making history.'”

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“On Wednesday morning, Organizing for America, as Obama’s reconstituted campaign organization is now known, emailed its list of 13 million Obama supporters asking them to ‘call your senators now and help us ‘ring in reform.’

“The campaign yielded 150,000 calls – less than half the number of a similar effort in October – and it prompted a backlash among online and local activists who had logged countless volunteer supporting Obama’s campaign and legislative agenda, but who felt betrayed by recent Democratic concessions in the healthcare reform fight…

“Though he said he’s ‘still a great believer in Obama,’ [Hearn] said he didn’t participate in the OFA phone banking and won’t be volunteering for future healthcare-related efforts. ‘What am I going to say: ‘I hate this bill, but we’re Obama people, so let’s do it?’’ he said…

“‘We heard story after story from current Organizing for America volunteers about how they were getting disillusioned with Obama because he wasn’t fighting for the public option,’ Green said. ‘Obama’s email list may soon become a hallow shell if he does not fight Joe Lieberman and insist that there be a public option.'”

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“So why the stubborn insistence on passing health reform? Think big. The liberal wing of the party—the Barney Franks, the David Obeys—are focused beyond November 2010, to the long-term political prize. They want a health-care program that inevitably leads to a value-added tax and a permanent welfare state. Big government then becomes fact, and another Ronald Reagan becomes impossible. See Continental Europe.

“The entitlement crazes of the 1930s and 1960s also caused a backlash, but liberal Democrats know the programs of those periods survived. They are more than happy to sacrifice a few Blue Dogs, a Blanche Lincoln, a Michael Bennet, if they can expand government so that in the long run it benefits the party of government.

“What’s extraordinary is that more Democrats have not wised up to the fact that they are being used as pawns in this larger liberal game.”

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