Whatever the legislative fate of health reform -- now in the hands of a few besieged House Democrats -- the reformers have failed in their argument. Their proposal has divided Democrats while uniting Republicans, returned American politics to well-worn ideological ruts, employed legislative tactics that smack of corruption, squandered the president's public standing, lowered public regard for Congress to French revolutionary levels, sucked the oxygen from other agenda items, reengaged the abortion battle, produced freaks and prodigies of nature such as a Republican senator from Massachusetts, raised questions about the continued governability of America and caused the White House chief of staff to distance himself from the president's ambitions.
It is quite an accomplishment. For the president, it must also be quite a shock, because he thought he was taking a reasonable, middle path on health reform.
Read it all.