The Corner

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What Congressional Democrats Shouldn’t Fear


Jonathan Cohn ends a piece on the state of play on health care with this bit of conventional wisdom: “Failing to pass a bill when they have the numbers would be politically suicidal, just like it was in the 1990s. Having committed themselves to passing legislation, they now must follow through. They knew that before August. Knock on wood, they still know it today.”

I don’t buy it–not as an analysis of the stakes for Democrats today, not as an explanation for what happened in 1994. Vulnerable Democrats are better off trying to kill unpopular liberal health-care legislation, not pass it.