Obama expects Democrats to act like lemmings and march over a cliff

This is a man so out of touch with the national mood he has doubled down on a pair of deuces.

By going for the comprehensive, trillion dollar health insurance reform plan, the president has thrown caution, common sense, and perhaps his congressional majorities to the wind so that, he believes, history will treat him kindly for making government run health care a reality.

As this Ruth Marcus piece in the Washington Post points out, it's not Republicans that Obama's health care summit is targeting. It is members of his own party who don't like the idea of being cannon fodder for Obama's war on insurance companies and the "rich:"

The House wants the Senate to lead, for a change. For parliamentary reasons, this is unlikely. But no matter what the order, getting even 50 Senate votes will be a challenge. Some Democrats are reluctant to take this divisive step. Assuming enough can be brought along, Republicans will be able, even under reconciliation rules, to bring the Senate to a virtual standstill.
That would be the easy part.

In the House, the only way to cobble together a majority will be to secure votes from moderate Democrats who balked at passing the bill the first time around. These are the lawmakers who are most rattled by the Massachusetts vote -- with good reason. For a Democratic House member in a swing district, the politics counsel against voting yes. "This is a career-ending vote," one Democrat told me -- and this was a lawmaker who voted for the original bill.

With the House down a few members, 217 votes will be needed for passage. The original House measure passed with 220 votes -- with 39 Democrats defecting. But two of those yes votes are gone: John Murtha of Pennsylvania died; Robert Wexler of Florida resigned. A third, Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii, is leaving at the end of the month to run for governor. The lone Republican voting for the measure, Joseph Cao of Louisiana, is no longer on board.

The numbers just aren't there. But the president either isn't listening, or more likely, his sycophantic aides are telling him he can overcome objections from his own party by the sheer force of his indomitable will.

Dana Milbank:

Obama's first year fell apart in large part because he didn't follow his chief of staff's advice on crucial matters. Arguably, Emanuel is the only person keeping Obama from becoming Jimmy Carter. 

Obama chose the profane former Clinton adviser for a reason. Where the president is airy and idealistic, Rahm is earthy and calculating. One thinks big; the other, a former House Democratic Caucus chair, understands the congressional mind, in which small stuff counts for more than broad strokes.
Obama's problem is that his other confidants -- particularly Valerie Jarrett and Robert Gibbs, and, to a lesser extent, David Axelrod -- are part of the Cult of Obama. In love with the president, they believe he is a transformational figure who needn't dirty his hands in politics.

Rahmbo has gotten an enormous amount of heat from the far left because he has desperately tried to get his boss to narrow his goals on reform. But this means canning the public option and other big ticket health insurance reform items near and dear to the hearts of the left.

It is evident that the yes-men in the White House are holding sway over this president. They have cocooned him away from the more pragmatic advice of Rahmbo which is explains this inexplicable rush to jump off a cliff.

It is doubtful that too many Democrats in either house will follow him.