They’re all over the papers this morning, from respected liberal voices. This one from Eugene Robinson:
Clearly, the White House feels itself on the defensive. But why?
Consider the political landscape. Democrats control the White House and both houses of Congress. No matter how disciplined Republicans are in opposing any reforms — even if Republican objections are accommodated — they don’t have the votes to kill a final bill.
If conservative “Blue Dog” Democrats are successful in nixing a public health insurance option and watering down other reforms, progressive voters have a right to ask why they went to such trouble to elect Democratic majorities and a Democratic president. But the Senate can still resort to a parliamentary maneuver that would require only 51 votes, rendering most objections irrelevant. Historical trends indicate that it’s unlikely the Democrats will expand their majorities in 2010. Politically, therefore, there’s not likely to be a better moment for health reform than right now.
Robinson raises a good point. It’s pretty pathetic admitting that you can’t even get 51 votes in your own party. The point is, you can. If you choose to lead.