Greg Sargent makes the point that the press seems weirdly averse to noting polling data about health reform that indicates the existence of political risks for the GOP in opposing Obama. For example, “Dems hold an overwhelming 20-point lead on which party is most trusted on major issues, with Obama preferred over Republicans by 12 points on health care.” And “a big majority, or 62%, believe Republicans have not made a good faith effort to cooperate with Dems on health care.”
There are only two parties out there. If people see congressional Republicans refusing to engage in good-faith negotiation with a president who they trust more than the GOP on the issue at hand, this is of major benefit to their Democratic opponents. The economic situation is very bad right now, public faith in institutions is low, and nobody in politics is incredibly popular. But elections are zero sum—if I win, you lose and vice versa. Democrats look to be in big trouble except when judged relative to the Republicans but there’s nobody else to judge them against.