The Magazine

Gee Thanks, Nancy

Pelosi delivers Reid a health care bill that can't pass the Senate.

Nov 23, 2009, Vol. 15, No. 10 • By FRED BARNES
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Fashioning a Democratic bill that attracts 60 votes is possible. But Reid will have to do this twice, first to gain passage in the Senate, then to get the Senate to approve the measure that emerges from a Senate-House conference--the Reid-Pelosi compromise, should the process get that far.

On both votes, Obama is bound to be personally involved, using whatever clout he can muster to win the 59th or 60th votes. His argument is one we've already heard: The failure to enact a bill would be disastrous for his presidency and for Democrats.

But what if an undecided Democratic senator, in a private chat with the president, asks about the public's distaste for liberal health care reform? "Mr. President, how will it help you and Democrats to pass an unpopular bill?" Obama may have a persuasive answer, but I can't imagine what it might be.

Fred Barnes is executive editor of THE WEEKLY STANDARD.