The New York Times delivers the bad news to the Left. It seems that ObamaCare is dead:
With no clear path forward on major health care legislation, Democratic leaders in Congress effectively slammed the brakes on President Obama’s top domestic priority on Tuesday, saying that they no longer felt pressure to move quickly on a health bill after eight months of setting deadlines and missing them. The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, deflected questions about health care. “We’re not on health care now,” he said. “We’ve talked a lot about it in the past.” He added, “There is no rush,” and noted that Congress still had most of this year to work on the health bills passed in 2009 by the Senate and the House.
With unintended hilarity, the Times notes that the White House “would support that approach.” Well, because no one would pay attention if they insisted that Congress keep laboring on the potentially career-ending ObamaCare. (And, yes, ”approach” means “abandoning a sinking ship” or “doing nothing,” in D.C. parlance.) As if to rub it in, the reporter adds: “The comments by lawmakers also served to lower expectations for the president’s State of the Union speech on Wednesday. Lawmakers said they did not expect Mr. Obama to lay out a specific strategy.” (Again, Obama never had a specific strategy, but now everyone is allowed to say it.)
Well, are they just “taking a breather”? Again, in break-the-news-gently-to-the-liberal-readership mode, the Times confesses that once you take a breather, the entire endeavor simply disappears into the ether:
Some Democrats said that they did not expect any action on health care legislation until late February at earliest, perhaps after Congress returns from a weeklong recess. But the Democrats stand to lose momentum, and every day closer to the November election that the issue remains unresolved may reduce the chances of passing a far-reaching bill.
So it seems that the doubling-down on ObamaCare crowd exists mostly in the punditocracy. Congress wants to move on. Who knows if this is what Obama “wants.” He is, in a sense, a bystander to the wreckage of his own failed first year. The survivors are walking away from the crash, bruised and battered. Whether he acknowledges this failure tonight remains to be seen. But it matters not at all what he says on the subject. The country has spoken, the Congress is finally listening, and the jig is up. ObamaCare is dead.