March 15, 2010

Another silly question on health care

Axelrod et. al are out all over the Sunday talk shows saying they have the votes on health care to call a vote now.  President Obama delayed his Asian trip to be ready to sign a bill immediately.  And yet Democrats like Rep. James Clyburn say the votes just aren't there.

Here's the question - does the White House want to call the vote now so that it gets defeated? Hear me out.  It's possible that the White House has done the calculus on this and have come to the following conclusion.

As they inch closer to a possible yes vote, the White House has figured out that they simply are going end up a few votes short, and that the votes have become too entrenched to move.  By saying the vote can go now (i.e. has to go now), they are deliberately sabotaging their own agenda item.  Why?  Because if they simply can't get it to pass right now, dragging it out does Democrats and the President more harm than good.  It makes them seem clingy with health care, in the face of unbeatable opposition and more urgent economic matters.  By cutting it short, and getting a defeat, at least they get a result.  and it's a result they might (mistakenly) believe they can take to the polls.

If they bring to the polls a 'look how close we got' message into the mid-term elections, and if they believe that people are behind the basic idea of universal health care, perhaps they figure that they can use it for a push to increase Democratic seats rather than compiling massive seat losses.  Hey, it's a crazy approach but maybe they figure that's the best way to play a rotten hand.

What still plagues me is the question of how Pelosi's insistence that she has the votes helps anyone in the Democratic universe.  Either she does, and we're all being played.  Or she really is crazy

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