Thursday, August 13, 2009

Are Dems willing to sacrifice their congressional majorities over Obamacare?

Jim Geraghty thinks more than a few of them may well fall on their sword for The Agenda:
"The good news for those who oppose the health-care legislation put forth by congressional Democrats is that they’ve had a real impact on public opinion: According to Gallup, support for the bill is down 21 percent in a little over three weeks. The bad news is that all of the public anger seen at the town halls may prove ultimately irrelevant to the odds of passage.

If you asked House Democrats what they most wanted to leave as their legacy in public office, it’s a good bet that a healthy number would offer a variation of “a government-managed health-care plan that is available to every American citizen.” Some would classify it as “single payer,” others would want the “public option,” but they all add up to a massive new entitlement, in which Americans depend upon the federal government for their health care. Conservatives have dreaded it; looking around the globe, they know that once created, these programs are just about politically impossible to repeal.

Many congressional Democrats, told that passage of the sweeping health-care legislation will cost them their seats, may find the choice a harder decision than many observers think. Yes, no one should doubt a politician’s instinct for self-preservation. But it’s quite possible that long-serving Democrats might want to enact a sweeping social change instead of taking the safe route."

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