Oh, yes, Harry, this health-care debate historic all right. Indeed, Rich Lowry has a “list of firsts” for Harry Reid if the Senate passes the health-care bill. My favorite is this one: the “first time [Congress] passed such a program without knowing or particularly caring what’s in it.” Yes, I’m getting that feeling, too. It’s reached the point that Democrats may be willing to pass anything. This is scary because, as Lowry points out, it will be the first time a bill this important has been passed with either bipartisan support or public support. Lowry adds:

This isn’t the behavior of a self-confident majority secure in the knowledge that history is on its side. In fact, it’s panicked, weasely, and willfully careless. The historian Richard Hofstadter wrote of the “paranoid style” in American politics. Obama Democrats have perfected the “impatient style.” Reid’s latest exertions fit the pattern of a headlong rush to a slapdash social democracy, justified by whatever arguments happen to be at hand and effected by whatever means necessary.

 Reid acts like a hunted man for good reason. The RealClearPolitics average has 53.5 percent opposed to the Democrats’ health-care plan and 37.7 favoring it. A CNN poll last week found the public against it by a nearly 2–1 margin. The numbers have gotten worse as the Senate has debated the measure in all its varied splendor — the tax hikes, the Medicare cuts, the abortion funding. Reid is like the tormented narrator of Poe’s “The Pit and the Pendulum.” With every tick of the clock, a gigantic blade promising doom swings nearer.