Kevin Drum has the following blunt advice on what should happen next with healthcare reform: Time to Grow a Pair.
This really is a defining moment for both Obama and the Democratic Party more broadly. So far both have failed miserably: the party is in a state of meltdown, surrendering completely to a resurgent Republican narrative, refusing to fight for anything it believes in, and caving in to a truly toxic combination of electoral fear and narrow interest group parochialism. For his part, Obama seems either unable or unwilling to rally his troops. I’m not sure which. But the American public really needs to hear some conviction from him, and so far they haven’t. He’s remained aloof from the healthcare upheaval, pivoted on financial regulation in a way that looks driven more by politics than by core beliefs, and has just generally sounded more chastened than reinvigorated.
This really needs to turn around fast. Another week like this — hell, another day or two like this — and we might as well start measuring the Oval Office drapes for the upcoming Cheney/Palin administration. It’s time for everyone to take a deep breath and grow a pair. Today would be a good time to start.
I happen to think Drum is exactly right. It’s not clear from this excerpt, but what he (and a lot of other smart people) are calling for is for the Democrats in the House to just pass the Senate version of healthcare reform, to avoid sending it back to the Senate where a 41-vote Republican minority could kill it procedurally.
I’m really not sure what’s going to happen. I think Obama means well, and has the ability to make (some) things happen. But I don’t know if that’s enough to turn things around in the face of the demonstrable collective cravenness of the House Democratic caucus.
Update: The same message, in video form, with beer and bikinis. Now how much would you pay?