I have never seen conservatives and liberals so divided . . . in beliefs, not values. On the one hand, there are people like the TNR crew, and Jonathan Bernstein, Andrew's guest-blogger, who seem to think that this it's the next best thing to a done deal. Meanwhile, all the conservatives and libertarians I know think that it's pretty much hopeless, because Pelosi can't get it through an increasingly rebellious House. To our jaded eyes it looks as if everyone who can is looking for an excuse not to vote for a bill that is unpopular with their constituents.
The opinions on both sides seem so confident, and so incompatible, that one group of people is clearly borderline delusional. I don't see how they can be right--even if passing health care makes the party better off (I'm doubtful), it does not improve the fortunes of members in conservative districts who do not get much mileage out of their affiliation with the Democratic Party (and will get even less mileage if they are seen as enabling unpopular legislation).
But of course, borderline delusional people don't think they're delusional, or else they wouldn't be delusional. So there you are: either it's a done deal, or it's dead. There's no longer much middle ground in between.
Two pieces of evidence: Pelosi seems to be losing yes votes
. On the other hand, it's not clear that Republicans understand that at this point, the only thing they can delay or destroy is the fixes, not the bill itself ... which is a problem, because the only weapon they have left is a credible threat to torpedo the fixes and let the bill stand exactly as the Senate passed it.
We report, you decide.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
is a columnist at Bloomberg View
and a former senior editor at The Atlantic.
Her new book is The Up Side of Down