Have I mentioned that the point isn’t that I’m right or Bob’s right–the point is that this is an entire debate we didn’t need to have right now. Obama could have proposed a bill that expanded coverage and raised taxes to pay for it. True, that would have pissed off voters who really don’t like tax increases. Instead, he proposed raising taxes and instituting some ominously vague, to-be-determined, ‘scientific’ and anti-democratic restraints on health care treatements. This successfully pissed off voters who really don’t like tax increases and voters–mainly older voters–worried about being denied treatments. The combination of losing the anti-government voters and losing seniors may prove fatal. …

If it does, it won’t be David Axelrod’s fault, and it won’t be Rahm Emanuel’s fault. It won’t even be Peter Orszag’s fault. It’s Obama’s fault. Obama’s the one who fell for Orszag’s Laffer-curve-like, win-win, ‘this will save money’ line, and who raised the issue at every opportunity in the middle of 2009. It’s Obama who became enfatuated with–and ordered his staff to read–Atul Gawande’s amorphous New Yorker curve-bending argument and Ron Brownstein’s even-less-convincing-than-it-seemed-at-the-time cheerleading piece. It was Obama who eagerly let himself get suckered into discussing end-of-life rationing in the pages of the New York Times.