The election of Scott Brown threw the politics of the issue back into chaos, and unlike in past instances, left the process uncertain as well. But Democrats have spent the past few weeks rebuilding the process, and today was the first step: The press will now spend a few days covering the plan itself, rather than just the politics of the issue. Then comes Thursday's summit, and if all goes well there, Harry Reid says that the Senate will use the reconciliation process to make a few tweaks and changes and, alongside the House, finish this bill.
That, of course, is the real plan: finish the bill. The Democrats have been roundly criticized for mishandling the politics of health-care reform, and those criticisms have often been justified. But there's a larger truth, too: The only way to win this issue is to pass the bill. Their biggest mistake has been letting the legislation take so long. But that doesn't mean they've failed. They fail if the bill fails, and they succeed if the bill passes. The progress has become slow and halting and unsteady, but they are still moving toward the finish line.
I'm really hoping Obama was smarter than me. Again.