It’s scary, but Mark Steyn is right:
I’ve been saying for a year now, in NR and NRO, that the object for savvy Dems is to get this thing passed in whatever form because, once you do, there’s no going back. Kim Strassel in yesterday’s Journal gets it:
So why the stubborn insistence on passing health reform? Think big. The liberal wing of the party—the Barney Franks, the David Obeys—are focused beyond November 2010, to the long-term political prize. They want a health-care program that inevitably leads to a value-added tax and a permanent welfare state. Big government then becomes fact, and another Ronald Reagan becomes impossible. See Continental Europe.
Just so. And that’s worth whatever hit they have to take in 2010. Every time I make the point, someone says, oh, Jim Webb this or Byron Dorgan that, or have you see Harry Reid’s numbers in Nevada? Oh, please. We’ve just seen what happens when you make Ben Nelson your Maginot Line. The Dems are thinking strategically; the Republicans are all tactics.
In other words, as of today, with Nelson’s willingness to sell his soul and the Democrats’ willingness to go forward with a plan everyone hates, we’ve lost not just the battle, but the war. We can start writing the American eulogy.
UPDATE: Anchoress is bummed out too. She has faith in her faith, though, and it gives her consolation, especially at this time of year.