From Michael Gerson:
The final outcome of the health-care-reform debate is uncertain — who can predict where a writhing eel will land? — but we have learned a few things already.
First, we know that President Obama and the Democratic congressional leadership could not convince a majority of Americans of the wisdom of their plan — and have largely ceased to try.
As of this writing, a president who seems willing to interrupt prime-time programming on the slightest pretext has not scheduled a speech from the Oval Office to make his final health-reform appeal. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is working her parliamentarians overtime to achieve the congressional equivalent of the Virgin Birth — a law without a vote. One gets the impression that Democrats would prefer health reform to slip by the House in a procedural maneuver on a Friday night during the NCAA basketball tournament — which it might.
The most visible Democratic domestic priority of the past 40 years must be smuggled into law, lest too many Americans notice. Politicians claiming the idealism of saints have adopted the tactics of burglars. Victory, if it comes, will seem less like a parade than a heist.
For some elected Democrats, the prospect of expanding health coverage is a moral goal worth the compromise of any principle and the adoption of any necessary method. But they need to enter their vote with open eyes. The passage of this legislation would decisively confirm an image of the Democratic Party that many have worked to change: partial to big government, pro-abortion and fiscally reckless.