Could Ted Kennedy's Senate seat be critical to destroying the deal to extend health insurance to 30 million people? Could Martha Coakley be the last-minute nail in its coffin? That would surely be the real nightmare for Obama. Hence this presidential telephone pitch to Obama voters repelled by Coakley's mediocrity.

He couldn't blame it on GOP intransigence - because if the Dems can't hold Teddy's seat, what use are they? What you see here is the fathomless awfulness of the Democrats. Too fractured and listless to get a solid health insurance bill through both Houses in anything like the time they wanted, too disorganized to make a strong and coherent case for their proposal, led by charisma-free walking corpses like Harry "your dog is fat" Reid and Speaker Pelosi whose political skills do not extend to persuading anyone of anything, they really are the reason so many of us cannot apply that partisan label to ourselves, even when we believe Obama is the best thing this country has going for it politically right now.

But losing Kennedy's seat is a near-epic failure. If health reform fails, it will be because of a fatal combination of Democratic hubris and Democratic weakness. They just won the presidency and both Houses. And this is what they manage? Really, who wants to belong or support a party this goddamn useless?

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