Megan McArdle doesn’t believe the progressive commentariat can cheerlead congressional democrats into a desperation move involving getting the House to pass the Senate bill on the basis of written pledges to amend it later to meet House requirements then ramming it through the Senate by cheating and using reconciliation (as described by Dick Morris).
Health care’s popularity drops any time Congress discusses it. With respect to Nate Silver, who argues that the bill would be popular if they ever passed it and could discuss what’s in it, you cannot “prove” that voters like a bill because various bits of it poll well on their own. Do I want a sous vide machine? Certainly! I could take a poll that would show nine or ten wonderful things I would love about owning a sous vide machine. Am I going to buy one? No I am not, because it costs hundreds of dollars I need for other things.
Almost everything polls well on its own, except tax increases. …
I think Yglesias is right that this process was always more fragile than it appeared. As I read it, majorities of both houses do not want to pass this bill–otherwise, they wouldn’t have run for the exits so quick. They were looking for an excuse that they could deploy without risking retaliation from the leadership–and what the Massachusetts election showed, is that they don’t have all that much to fear from the leadership, because the leadership may not be there after November. Reid’s almost certain to lose his seat, and Pelosi may lose her majority in the house.
They don’t want to say they want to kill it, of course. So instead, they’re doing pretty much what I expected: putting it on the back burner. We want to pass health care, but we just have a few things to do first . . .
Once it goes on the back burner, it’s over. As time goes by, voters will be thinking less and less about the health care bill they hated, and more and more about other things in the news. There is not going to be any appetite among Democrats for returning to this toxic process and refreshing those bad memories. They’re going to want to spend the time between now and the election talking about things that voters, y’know, like.