Few liberals have been more insistent on the inevitability of ObamaCare than The New Republic editor Jonathan Chait (along with his TNR colleague Jonathan Cohn). He is stubbornly clinging to the notion that ObamaCare can be a done deal despite the results of yesterday's election in Massachussets giving Republicans the 41st vote to block it in the Senate. To give you an idea of how far Chait has gone off the deep end, take a look at his money quote on the topic of liberal Democrats who consider the Mass. election a referendum on ObamaCare in his ironically titled column, Mass Hysteria:
Still, it's fairly amazing to me to see the Democrats reacting with such hysteria. It's not just moderates trying to position themselves to the center. Barney Frank and Anthony Weiner are acting like pathetic, emotional cowards. They seem to think that one very attractive candidate beating a hapless foe amounts to a national referendum to which every other member of Congress is bound.
WOW! And just a week ago Chait was heaping praise upon that "pathetic, emotional coward" Barney Frank.
Here is more of Chait's angry denial of electoral reality:
The fundamentals of the situation remain exactly the same. Most Americans oppose health care reform. However, a significant chunk -- enough to form a sizable majority when combined with supporters -- oppose it because it doesn't go far enough. Which is to say, the Democrats' position commands the center in a polarized atmosphere. Moreover, both chambers have already voted for a bill and set themselves up to be attacked for tax hikes, Medicare cuts and all the rest. The only chance the Democrats have to change that perception is to pass the bill, so that it can be explained in the context of success rather than as a tar baby subjected to endless criticism. If they let it die, they not only keep all the baggage of their votes, but they add a general stench of failure and profound demoralization of the base to their burdens. That would be a recipe not just to lose the House but to lose 50, 60, 80 seats.
Here is what I think will happen. The shock and panic will play itself out over a few days. Then the Democrats will assess the situation and realize that letting health care die represents their worst possible option. And then they will make a deal to pass the Senate bill through the House. I am not positive this will happen, but it's my bet, because elected officials at the national level, dim though they can be, are usually shrewd enough to recognize their political self-interest.
In the meantime, the display of hysteria is actually disgusting.
Is Anger Management therapy covered by ObamaCare? Paging Dr. Buddy Rydell!