Breaking: Obama says to slow down on health care

Message delivered — message received:

Obama insisted today that the Senate wait for Brown to be seated before they make any changes to its version of the health care reform legislation. …

“Here’s one thing I know and I just want to make sure that this is off the table: The Senate certainly shouldn’t try to jam anything through until Scott Brown is seated,” the president said. “The people of Massachusetts spoke. He’s got to be part of that process.”

“I would advise that we try to move quickly to coalesce around those elements of the package that people agree on,” he said.

The president said there are “core elements” to the health care legislation that both Republican and Democrats agree on and they must come together to work for comprehensive reform.

“We know that we need insurance reform, that the health insurance companies are taking advantage of people. We know that we have to have some form of cost containment because if we don’t, then our budgets are going to blow up,” he said. “And we know that small businesses are going to need help so that they can provide health insurance for their families. Those are the core, some of the core elements of this bill.”

Suddenly, Obama sounds a lot less combative, does he not?  As I wrote earlier, that was nothing more than empty bravado.  Democrats on the Hill made it clear in the aftermath of Scott Brown’s victory that they would not march where Obama ordered them.  This is nothing more than an acknowledgment of political reality, and nothing less than what we have repeatedly suggested over the last several months as the path to an easy legislative victory.

Expiration date of that Obama promise: 48 hours.

Now, if he gets a bill accomplished in this manner, Obama can’t even take credit for leadership.  He got forced into this position and only offers this because it’s his only escape route.  It’s a capitulation to a frightened Democratic caucus, and it calls into question whether Nancy Pelosi may wind up paying the political price for it.  If Democrats were smart, they’d vote her out of her position as Speaker and install someone with more centrist sensibilities — and do it now.  (via Yid with Lid, who has more thoughts)