Incompetence is a pretty strong attack. Democrats should be well aware of that fact. They bludgeoned George Bush for his botched response to Katrina and bungled efforts in Iraq with devastating effects.Whatever comes of today's summit at the White House, the best way forward is still (in my opinion) to have the House pass the Senate bill from December, have the President sign it into law, and then spend the rest of the year fixing the weak bits of it through the reconciliation process (a process that doesn't allow filibusters in the Senate).
I know that lots of Democrats are in cold hard sweats right now. It is true that they face very difficult terrain. But health care is not some issue that Democrats randomly adopted. This has been a 50-year fight for the party. The Republicans have our backs against the wall. But in reality, momentum builds in politics. If individual members think that they can survive Republican attacks by simply running away, they should recognize that it’s also possible that running away could dramatically worsen their predicament. Nothing will strike voters as more pathetic than doing nothing. And rarely in politics are pathetic politicians rewarded.
Sometimes, the only way out is through.
I agree with Tanden. The Democrats better grow a pair, plow through and pass a major piece of legislation on this issue. November is going to be a rough month for them anyway, but failure to pass major reform on health care in 2010 will make the 2006 mid-term elections look like child's play.