Confident Dems are claiming they'll get the votes to pass their health care reform bill, with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs going so far as to say it will be "the law of the land" by next Sunday. Meanwhile, Republican leaders are promising to do "everything" in their power to make passage "difficult" or even "impossible." Which side is doing the most blustering? (Watch THE WEEK's Sunday Talk Show Briefing on health care's chances of passing)
Democrats are on the home stretch: The 51 Senate votes to "fix" the final bill are "in the bag," says Donny Shaw in OpenCongress, so it all comes down to the House. The Dems "should be taken seriously": Nancy Pelosi and her lieutenants are "masters at whipping up votes."
"Health care reform enters final stage, could be law by end of the week"
Democrats are bluffing: There's nothing inevitable about this, says Milton Wolf in The Wolf Files. "If Nancy had the numbers, she'd call for the vote immediately," even if it meant dragging colleagues out of bed. Dems are just "playing the inevitability card" to gin up support while they cajole the holdouts.
"Why are Dems resorting to the inevitability card game?"
Whoever wins, the stakes are astronomical: The Dems could easily lose this fight, says Mark Halperin in Time, and that would constitute a "calamitous failure" for Obama, with "unimaginable consequences" for his presidency. But before his critics take their victory lap, remember "there is a reason we don't know much about how Barack Obama handles losing: it almost never happens."
"What a health care loss would mean for a president used to winning"
SEE MORE OPINION BRIEFS ON THIS TOPIC:
• Obamacare: Can Pelosi find the votes?
• Can Obama still sell health care?
• Health care: Obama declares war
• Are Dems caving on health care?
• Health reform: Suicide for Dems?