That’s half the strategy. The other half is … to blame Bush. Put them together and I’d say they’re firmly into stage one of Kubler-Ross right now.

Every fiber of my eeyorish being rebels against this feeling, but I can’t help it: I’m starting to feel optimistic about the House flipping next year. Good lord.

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has been telling Democrats a win on the health issue will reverse the slide in public opinion, just as passage of another controversial proposal, the North American Free Trade Agreement, lifted President Bill Clinton in the polls…

“The reality, I think, will trump poll numbers in the dead of winter as this debate is going on,” White House senior adviser David Axelrod said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”…

“If Democrats want to run on this, then we invite them to go ahead and do so. The Obama-Pelosi agenda continues to feed into the emerging 2010 narrative that this is a Congress that spends too much, taxes too much and borrows too much,” Ken Spain, communications director of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said Sunday…

The Democratic leadership is particularly relying on a health victory as other domestic priorities struggle. The failure of the United Nations climate summit to reach a binding accord could cripple Mr. Obama’s chances of securing legislation to limit greenhouse-gas emissions, even after many House Democrats took a politically painful vote for legislation to cap carbon emissions.

Yes, a burdensome new cap-and-trade bill would have been quite the formidable weapon with skepticism about global warming surging in poll after poll. In fairness, CNN’s new numbers do show a modest bounce for the bill since the start of the month as the Dems creep closer to passage, but that’s from just 36 percent approval to 42 while the disapproval curve in the poll of polls remains unbent. Even if Ben Smith’s sources are right and there’s some short-term relief for Obama, what’s the big takeaway from the bill next year for the 85 percent of voters who already have insurance? There’s no public option to sweeten the pot, and no one seriously believes that the bill will reduce costs over time. The only thing the average chump gets from it is the satisfaction of watching lefties call The One a corporate sellout and a promise that if you cancel your policy, you might go to prison. For Republicans, that deal is eeyore-proof.