I said I wouldn't say anything, but this post from Ezra struck me as really well reasoned and argued:
Rachel Maddow called it "a collapse of political ambition." The problem, she said, is that "Democrats are too scared of their own shadow to use the majority the American people elected them to in November to actually pass something they said they favored." The question, writes Chris Bowers, is whether Obama is "more willing and able to pressure the Progressive Block in the House or the Conservadem Block in the Senate." Ed Schultz said the president needs to "start doing some arm-twisting with some folks that aren't listening to him." The unifying idea here is that someone can just go into a back room and torture Max Baucus and Kent Conrad.
But how? Rahm Emanuel isn't a shrinking violet. Neither was Clinton or Carter or Nixon or Truman or FDR. But none of them managed to get health-care reform past the Congress. There's not really a record of presidents being able to bend committee chairmen and wavering centrists to their will. Even LBJ, the master of this stuff, decided to go for Medicare rather than full reform. He thought the latter too ambitious. The history of health-care reform is the history of health-care reform failing. If there was some workable presidential strategy, or foolproof negotiating lever, presumably someone would have used it by now, or at least mentioned it in public
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