Act 1 was the pumped-up Democrats full of verve and optimism as they set about to get something big done, a sweeping change of some sort that will make lives better for the millions that need it.

Act 2 was the come down as the reality of dealing with obstructionist Republicans as well as nervous, poll-watching, uncooperative Democrats hit.

Act 3 was the low point; the grand progressive project has bit by bit lost its edge, picked away at by the opposition to the point where it’s a faint, middling shadow of its former vigorous self. Any victory now would be almost Pyrrhic.

Okay, so now we’re up to Act 4. This is the part where a fed up president storms through to the front lines and delivers an Aaron Sorkin-scripted, passionate, eloquent and forceful speech that magically makes everything better. We’re left with the feeling that things will be okay and the bad guys will lose, and the good guys rejoice as we fade to black.

That’s gonna happen with this health care debacle, right? Any day now Obama’s gonna barge into the White House Press Room and launch into an impromptu speech, fervently articulating the necessity, the moral imperative of passing real, substantial health care reform and castigating those whose crass, shamelessly self serving interference has resulted in the watered down joke of a bill Democratic leadership is pathetically trying to sell as a major victory.

He’ll talk about how this is the United States of America and we don’t craft legislation with the goal of filling the coffers of Big Insurance in mind, and how this is the United States of America and we are not such blind worshipers at the altar of capitalism that we’ll leave people’s livelihoods in the trusting hands of the covetous and exploitative, that this is the United States of America and we are not so slavish in our devotion to the free market that we will abandon people to the whim and mercy of a voracious, insatiable corporate beast that given the chance will consume, devour and spit out their bones picked clean, that this is the United States of America and if government can’t do everything for its citizens the least it can do is keep them alive, and that this kind of crap just does not fly, is not acceptable, will not go on, not here, not in the United States of America.


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