What serious Democrat would prefer this flawed, compromised, expensive bill to the political future of the party? Each time the legislation has rolled forward, it has gathered criticism and opposition like dirty slush on a snowball. Who can argue that a final push — this one smacking of desperate, anti-democratic trickery — will rescue the situation?

After Tuesday night, the most dangerous enemies of the Democratic Party are not Republicans. They are the advocates of the current health-care bill.