Failure is failure

One of the most transparently absurd things going on in politics right now is the ever-increasing insistentence by Republicans that Democrats passing health care reform will entil an electoral disaster for them (Jon Chait has been all over this on-going silliness).  Since when, exactly, should Democrats be taking strategic electoral advice for Republicans.  The clearest proof of the lie of this, though, is that at the same time Republicans are doing everything they can to stop reform from passing.  If they truly thought it presaged electoral disaster for the Democrats, they could quite easily have a few of their safe-seat members vote for passage, and bingo, supposed electoral disaster for the Democrats.  The truth, of course, is that it is failure to pass reform that portends disaster.  The always-worth-reading pair of Norm Ornstein and Thomas Mann explain exactly this in TNR.  The key paragraph:

We fundamentally disagree; the surest path to political debacle for
Democrats is to fail to enact health reform, and the best way to avoid
a rout in November is to show that the party in charge can actually
govern. The reconciliation process is entirely appropriate for amending
the Senate-passed bill; in any case, the public will judge the
Democrats on the basis of the results, not the inside-baseball process.
In fact, the Democrats most reluctant to support health reform–those
from more conservative, Republican-leaning districts and states–are
the ones most likely to lose in November if health reform is defeated.

It's pretty short, though, you should take a minute and read the whole thing.  And remember, Democrats would be complete fools to take strategic advice from Republicans.   The fact that Republicans are doing all they can to prevent this should really tell you all you need to know. 

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