Are the anti-Obama forces living in a triumphalist delusion? Are the Dems about to pull it off?

Paul Nachman writes:

Ezra Klein (whom I’ve never read before) of the Washington Post looks like and comes off in the following as a smug ********. But I send it to show that the other side on health-care socialism isn’t necessarily gloomy, and we need to recognize that smug ********s might be right:

The State of Health-Care Reform

The research seems pretty convincing that impressive speeches don’t do much to transform the dynamics of presidential approval. But then, tonight’s speech doesn’t need to do much. And it doesn’t need to do much because health-care reform is in pretty good shape. Bills have now passed four of the five relevant committees. The outlier committee, the Senate Finance Committee, is circulating its outline and seems likely to pass a bill within the next week or so.

At that point, the bills will go to the floor of the House and Senate, where passage isn’t certain but seems pretty likely. And once the bills pass the House and the Senate, final passage of the conference report (the merged bill) is a good bet. And the president’s signature is then a sure thing.

That’s the context for Obama’s speech: It’s sort of health-care reform’s version of the State of the Union. And the State of the Process is strong: The legislative politics of health care are in considerably better shape than August would have suggested or the ongoing coverage has really articulated (in part because the Finance Committee was gummed up until this week).

Obama’s job, then, isn’t all that difficult: It’s bringing public perceptions of the health reform process closer in line with the underlying reality. And that underlying reality is that the bills are fundamentally pretty similar, there’s a fairly high level of consensus, and there are some crucial elements that need to be worked out over the next few weeks, and seem like they will be. The town halls made health-care reform seem chaotic and incomprehensible and disorderly, but at the moment, it’s really anything but. In fact, it’s closer to agreement than it ever has been before.

By Ezra Klein | September 9, 2009; 12:10 PM ET

- end of initial entry -

Brandon F. writes

From Drudge:

Wed Sep 09 2009 17:03:37 ET

At least 44 more moderate Members of the Democrat Caucus have gone on the record in opposition to the current health care bill in the House, a Hill source claims. Likewise, at least 57 liberal Members of the Democrat Caucus have gone on the record saying they will vote against a health care bill without a strong public option.

Unless multiple Democrats flip on their stated position on health care, Speaker Pelosi lacks the votes to pass a bill through the House on the strength of Democrat votes alone.:

[the rest of the article has lists of House members.]

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 09, 2009 07:39 PM | Send

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