The key sentences from Jonathan Cohn's
in unveiling its latest health bill:
But lurking behind all of these complaints, according to several sources I consulted Thursday evening, is a general wariness of taking a political plunge on health care. Like their counterparts in the Senate, House members don't like taking hard votes. Raising taxes, cutting spending, anything that takes money out of people's pockets--these are not things they want to do, even in the service of a greater, more popular cause.
And now they're getting nervous . They're seeing the president's popularity dipping, however incrementally. They're watching the Senate chase its tail over the same controversies. And having just taken what were--for many of them--similarly tough votes on an energy bill, they're not exactly thrilled about "walking the plank" again.
Cohn is the last guy to indulge in generic pontificating about "the president's popularity dipping," so if he's now worried about the president's popularity dipping I figure there's reason to worry about the president's popularity dipping. ... I also assume it's still more dangerous for Democrats to not pass a health bill than to pass one. What are Dems good for if they can't do that? But the bad economy gives them a ready excuse for further study. Mike Kinsley is now pointing in that direction. [" Even the liberal" Mike Kinsley?--ed No. He'd be among the first to be alarmed by future deficits.] ... 12:42 P.M.