Good advice

GOOD ADVICE…. I hope lawmakers are listening.

A top Democratic pollster said today if Congress fails to pass health care it will be a “disaster” this fall.

Celinda Lake, who most recently served as the pollster for Attorney General Martha Coakley’s losing campaign in Massachusetts, said there is deep frustration with Washington but moving away from health care would be the worst decision.

“We can’t talk about it for a year and deliver nothing, that would be a disaster,” Lake said. “We should pass it and then we have to go sell it. We have to tell people what is in it.”

In all candor, the only reason — literally, the only one — that I hold out any hope at all that health care reform can still pass is that members of Congress are self-interested creatures. After the initial, post-Massachusetts shock settles, I hold out a sliver of hope that lawmakers will come to realize, “Hmm, if health care reform dies, my career, my party, and the country are all screwed.”

There are a lot of straightforward questions Dems should be asking themselves right now, but the one I’d really love to hear the answer to is, “Why in the world would a Democratic voter show up in November if huge Democratic majorities managed to pass a health care reform in both chambers, but then let it die?”

This would be a debacle from which the party would not recover quickly.

Maybe Dems are weighing a variety of options right now — including the foolish notion of passing reform piecemeal — because they just wanted to get a sense of their choices. If so, it shouldn’t take too long to realize there really is no choice: either the House passes the Senate bill and works on improvements through reconciliation, or this becomes the generation’s biggest debacle and Democrats lose everything.

And for lawmakers who are still concerned more with the public than electoral politics, try to remember why this debate began in the first place: “Letting this process die … would be staggeringly cruel to the people that this bill is meant to help, and who need this bill’s help. Covering 30 million and protecting countless millions more is not just a talking point. It’s the reason for this whole enterprise. To abandon those people because Brown won in Massachusetts is simply indecent, and would prove the Democratic Party worse than ineffective. It would prove the party unconcerned.”

Pass. The. Damn. Bill.