The big question is, if health care wins, will Obama finally take the gloves off - finally discard this mistaken attempt at "bipartisan" negotiations with a party whose only goal is to make the President fail at all costs?
The Republicans have gotten Obama to waste a year on these dalliances. But passage of health care reform may prove that such attempts can be a trap: the more aggressive Obama will seem more Presidential (and also possibly more prescient), and thus see his popularity rise, along with the popularity of his programs. That will give him the wind behind him to make the other needed and hard-fought changes, such as banking reform.
It's a paradox, isn't it? The more Obama tries to be reasonable and reach across the aisle in that negotiable, Senatorial style he has, the weaker he seems, and the more his popularity slips with moderates. In a weird way, then, the best way for Obama to bring the middle of the country along may simply be to be more definite about pushing for his ideas.
We shall see. But I have to say, this new, feisty Obama is more appealing than the one we've had to date.