The New Republic is one of many liberal publications criticizing Rahm Emanuel’s plan to put Obama’s economic agenda before passing healthcare reform. “Is health care reform dead? Megan McArdle says so, offering two arguments -- one persuasive, the other not. Her unpersuasive argument is that Democrats are going to walk away from health care reform because it's unpopular: Health care's popularity drops any time Congress discusses it. With respect to Nate Silver, who argues that the bill would be popular if they ever passed it and could discuss what's in it, you cannot ‘prove’ that voters like a bill because various bits of it poll well on their own. Moreover, many of the pieces that poll well, like deficit reduction, are things that voters like, but don't believe this bill will achieve. They're not going to believe it any more after you pass the bill through a process that involves buying off every special interest group in sight. Legislators are not unaware of this problem, and they cannot be magicked into ignoring their constituents by saying, ‘These are not the polls you are looking for.’”