With a substantial majority in both houses the Democrats are having a difficult time passing the health care bill. Either the bill sucks or the party leaders; Pelosi and Reid are political incompetents.
While I agree that the bill is just disastrous in its content, the raw political arrogance and incompetence only makes it worse. The Slaughter rule that threatens to consider the bill affirmed without a vote will likely cause such outrage that many of those sitting on the fence will likely tilt against it, especially if the vote is dragged out beyond the Easter break.
If it is passed through without an up or down vote, the losers will be the Democrats who stood against it. With no up or down vote, the voters can only assume that EVERY Democrat voted for it. In other words forcing this bill through with this method will hurt the Democrats much more in the coming election.
The critical miscalculation is assuming that this bill is all or nothing; it must be passed now or never. Such thinking is extremely limiting. Power comes from expanding options, not limiting them. There are plenty of options for improving health coverage and controlling costs that are not covered in this bill.
The Democratic leadership is inflicting itself with defeat for years to come. This is an incredible feat considering the leads they had only a year ago. A good bill does not need bribes and favoritism to pass, and it certainly does not need to consider radical procedural modifications to game the vote. The only bipartisan part of this bill seems to be the opposition.