So, President Pantywaist is in full retreat; but he is desperate for some face-saving measure to pretend he has achieved revolutionary reform. The Senate should not oblige. Obama has no interest in genuine health care reform: as a Senator he voted against all the moderate, achievable measures that were proposed. So far as he was concerned, the worse things got for 48 million uninsured Americans the better: it might persuade them to buy into his socialist scheme, the primary objective of which was not relief of suffering but expansion of Big Government.

Now that is in tatters. Politically, it is interesting to analyse why. Obama has no notion of cautious, consensual reform: he wants a Union of Soviet States of America and he wants it now. A realist would have taken up the existing reform proposals, perhaps radicalised them a little, and tried to take them forward. Above all, he would not have alienated the pro-life lobby by rolling abortion into the plan. But not Obama. He brings to the White House the abilities and experience of a Chicago community organiser. As Sarah Palin witheringly said: “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organiser’ except that you have actual responsibilities.”

President Pantywaist has been found out and it will get worse.