The will to act, which looked so resolute among the Democratic leadership during the Dark Days of the The Great ObamaCare Wars of 2009 and 2010, has left the campsite, with rank and file sneaking away along the stream lines leading away from the Crusader's tents.
What looked liked indomitable will to the rank and file faithful, now looks like willful blindness, strategic stupidity and tactical suicide.
It's not that RedState, FireDogLake or experts like Charlie Cook could not see it. It's that the Dem leadership in the White House, Senate and House refused to see it. Now, they are facing rank and file members who see it; and in moments of clarity, glimpses of their own self-destruction; caused by leaders who used the Dem naivety and blindness on health care to manipulate the rank and file into the electoral kill zone they now find themselves.
Now the witch-doctors of health reform are trying one more set of incantations and gyrations produced by trance-like stares into the abyss -- who then emerge to proclaim that we must do what were going to do before Massachusetts -- but this time with 51 votes in the Senate.
And no, they are not kidding. (Or listening.)
Now the witch-doctors and high priestesses are trying really hard to conjure up a potion strong enough to work on the Senate -- but they find that reality has created a natural antidote -- fear, which brings us back to the streamlines leading away from the thinning Crusader war party.
FireDogLake has emerged as particularly immune to such incantations:
"Before Democrats try this [reconciliation side-car] I want them to think long and hard. Their “fix” to a very unpopular health care bill is an additional bill that Republicans will easily attack as being more tax increases, more cuts to Medicare, and more backroom deals to give special tax breaks for unions. Even if I agree with these general policy changes, they are not a “fix,” they are political death wish...I must ask the Democratic leadership if they are actively trying to lose control of the House in 2010? Do they want House Speaker Eric Cantor? It really seems like they are actually trying to do everything they can think of to make sure that they destroy their brand before the midterms. Raising taxes, Medicare cuts, and special union deals–Democrats might just as well have added death panels to the bill because I bet those might poll slightly better than this combo. Have fun explaining to the American people why you thought it was a better idea to raise taxes instead of controlling costs by giving people the choice of a public option."
My contentions during the Great ObamaCare War were simply that the harder the Dems pushed health care the more they hurt themselves politically. This became a self-sustaining negative feed back loop for the Dems and ultimately they destroyed themselves politically, in a publicly undeniable way. (I had BIG FUN pointing this out.)
The Dems are blinded by their moral superiority and arrogance about their health care cause and could not and would not see their self-destructive actions, and some, like Speaker Pelosi and the President still cannot see it.
Here is where Charlie Cook thinks the Dems are in 2010:
The last six months, since we began writing about impending Democratic problems in August, has been like watching a car wreck in slow motion.
We keep watching, expecting one of the drivers to swerve or hit the brakes, but they never do. The White House and Democratic congressional leaders have done nothing to halt the impending collision.
Gee, what happened in August, 2009?
Yes, reconciliation side car is the act of not swerving or hitting the brakes.
Essentially, Cook believes that 2010 is a nationalized election and "the primary difference between this year and previous nationalized elections [like 1994] is that this one looks so bad for Democrats so early."
The best thing politically for the Republicans is if the Dems force the Senate down the reconciliation path -- sort of like a four month Bataan Death March -- for Senate Dems up in 2010 and 2012. Republicans, unlike the first time, will be vigorous in their amendment strategy.
And the Dem negative political feedback loop they worked so hard to create and perfect, would immediately reboot, but with more force.
As before, the Dems would be performing the equivalent of natural political selection -- those stupid enough to do it will die off.
For those who like to see an enemy vanquished, in detail, with their fields sown with salt, their horses dead, carts burned, wagon trains of food and ammunition destroyed, leadership dazed, troops wounded, supply lines broken and who are trying to fight in a "difficult environment" but whom will ultimately surrender -- then you should be rooting for the Speaker and the White House and the Senate leadership to continue to act irrationally.
Because even if they do, ObamaCare still will not pass.