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Helen’s right, damn it. And look at Gibbs’ deflection: “We’ve had a pretty good week.” Sorry, Gibby, health-care reform is slowly slipping away. Don’t just stand there.

Here are my thoughts on what the White House did wrong, in no particular order:

1) Obama outsourced the legislation to Congress instead of presenting it himself and working with them to write the details. He thought he’d outsmart the GOP by doing the opposite of the Clinton plan, but instead the bill is now lost on a sea of “compromise.”

2) Bipartisanship. You just can’t work with ideologues who refuse to operate in good faith. They’re true believers, they will never give an inch. You’d think Obama would have picked up that little lesson while studying the Clinton era.

3) Blue Dogs. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi need to come up with new strategies, since kissing their collective Blue Dog butts only inflates their already-swollen egos. Someone (Obama?) should lay down the law. Put them in the worst offices, cut their staff budgets until they cooperate. Lyndon Johnson wouldn’t be holding their hands.

4) Single payer. It would have been so much easier if we’d started with it. Hell, we might even have won – and it’s simple enough that most people would understand. But whatever.

5) He should have come out fighting for the public option earlier this year. Instead, he let the opponents (and the insurance companies) define the public perception. BIG rookie mistake.

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