Winds can shift pretty quickly

WINDS CAN SHIFT PRETTY QUICKLY…. Greg Sargent summarizes the post-Sunday political landscape nicely:

The conventional wisdom inside the Beltway, which had for so long held that Dems were courting political disaster if they passed reform, has suddenly swung violently in the other direction — another reminder that when you win, people view you as, well, a winner.

And this is what many proponents of health care reform have been suggesting for months — give success a chance, and the political winds can turn in the other direction.

Mike Allen, who does as much as anyone in the media to reflect (and help shape) the conventional wisdom, suggests today that a historic victory on health care reform may make Scott Brown’s victory in January “look like a speed bump.” At least for now, Allen noted, “Rather than dragging down Dems, President Obama’s health plan could turn out to be a net positive for the midterms by goosing his base, re-engaging new Obama voters, giving his party something clear to promote, and providing a blunt instrument for whacking [Republicans]. Obama’s triumph has put Republicans back on the defensive, and even some of them are wondering if they peaked eight months too soon.”

Also today, we’re seeing stories about Democratic hopes for the midterms rebounding, and Republicans facing risks as a result of their health care tactics.

These, obviously, are the kind of news stories Democrats were counting on.

It’s worth remembering, it’s far too soon to understand the political implications of this new milestone. Indeed, the work on health care isn’t even completely done quite yet. Predicting public attitudes over the next eight days and/or eight months is challenging, to put it mildly.

But as we’ve been saying all along, Democrats needed to not only deliver on their top domestic policy priority, but they also needed to give themselves a fighting chance. As the shifting political winds indicate, it’s easier to build on a victory than on failure.