In a CBS News poll taken just before the House vote on health care, Nancy Pelosi received an 11 percent approval rating, Harry Reid got 8 percent, and Congress overall got thumbs up from 14 percent of respondents. It’s hard to poll that poorly, but they did. A certain rallying of the base may have occurred after the passage of ObamaCare, but even if those approval numbers doubled, they would still be rotten.
The president told members of Congress that they had to pass health care to save themselves, but it’s not clear he really meant it. As the vote drew near, it was necessary, he acknowledged, to pass the bill to save himself, but the hole dug by congressmen and senators defying the will of the public is very deep. The liberal base, even if rallied, isn’t big enough to stave off the torrent of enraged conservatives and annoyed independents.
The first verdict on ObamaCare in November is likely to be negative — the only question is how severe the rebuke and whether Pelosi and Reid will lose their perches (her speakership, his seat) as a fitting coda to their demand that so many colleagues sacrifice themselves.