THEM AGAIN?…. I remember Despair Inc. had a demotivational poster a while back that read, “Quitters Never Win, Winners Never Quit — But Those Who Never Win and Never Quit Are Idiots.”

The poster came to mind after reading this.

Centrist Democratic senators have circumvented party leadership to approach Maine GOP Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins about reviving healthcare talks.

Democrats such as Sens. Blanche Lincoln (Ark.), Bill Nelson (Fla.) and Max Baucus (Mont.) have approached Snowe within the past week to discuss her potential support for various healthcare proposals. […]

Snowe said Baucus, the chairman of the Senate Finance panel, approached her in the past week to get her general thinking on reviving healthcare reform.

Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.), an Independent who caucuses with Democrats, has had several general discussions with Collins, who said she would consider supporting a scaled-down version of healthcare reform.

For crying out loud. I can appreciate persistence as much as the next blogger, but c’mon.

Snowe and Collins were, I’ll concede, the only two Republicans who at least pretended to care about passing a health care reform bill. In committee, Snowe even backed a Democratic bill. In the ensuing weeks, the White House practically begged them to play a constructive role in shaping the final bill.

But in the face of party pressure, both balked. Worse, they both voted on a measure to declare health care reform unconstitutional — they both knew better, making this awfully cheap — and when asked why she opposed the Democratic bill, Snowe couldn’t explain her position.

And now some Dems are reaching out to them again? How many more times does Charlie Brown need to fall on his ass before he realizes that Lucy is going to pull away the ball?

There’s a far better alternative, which would help more Americans in need and provide the nation with a stronger financial footing: the House passes the Senate bill, the Senate approves changes through reconciliation. They’re this close to delivering on the promise of reform, following a century of efforts.

There’s no reason for policymakers to look backwards and seek support from those who chose not to play a constructive role, especially when there’s a better, more obvious way to go.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.