A staffer speaks:

The second and far bigger hurdle is convincing utterly panicked senators and House members to spend an additional month or two on health care reform, at the precise moment it seems to be the party's Waterloo.

"Sure you could say it's worse because we didn't pass anything," says one staffer. "But it might be better to get past this as soon as possible and bring it up for a vote in the Senate; let the Republicans kill it — and then blame them for everything."

It worked in 1994, didn't it? Oh, wait.