Posted February 24, 2010 10:37 am - Updated February 24, 2010 11:09 am

Bitter medicine

You'll take it and you'll like it!

That seems to be the attitude among the White House and Democratic congressional leaders as they try to revive a flatlining overhaul of the U.S. health-care system.

As Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson notes, the Obama administration -- and Senate and House leaders Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi -- are looking delusional at this point. Some 58 percent of Americans oppose the Democrats' health care plans, and 61 percent said "start over" in a Rasmussen Reports poll.

Yet, here we go -- with a televised "summit" on Thursday between Obama and congressional leaders of both parties, an event designed to simultaneously create the appearance of bipartisan outreach by Democrats and to quell criticism that Obama long ago broke his campaign promise to put health-care negotiations on C-SPAN.

It's theater, and it's absurd.

"After a year of debate," writes Gerson, "Democratic leaders -- given every communications advantage and decisive control of every elected branch of government -- have not only lost legislative momentum, they have lost a national argument. Americans have taken every opportunity -- the town hall revolt, increasingly lopsided polling, a series of upset elections culminating in Massachusetts -- to shout their second thoughts. At this point, for Democratic leaders to insist on their current approach is to insist that Americans are not only misinformed but also dimwitted."

The thing is, they do! We all remember what Obama said about rural and small-town Americans during the campaign. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid recently said unemployed men are essentially abusive Neanderthals. And liberal commentator Bill Maher made no bones about your I.Q. in a recent Larry King interview, when he urged Democrats to ram through health-care reform regardless of public opinion, because, "What the Democrats never understand is that Americans don't really care what position you take, just stick with one. Just be strong. They're not bright enough to really understand the issues. But like an animal, they can sort of sense strength or weakness. They can smell it on you."

He wasn't joking. Nor is it funny.

 (By the way, we all know Larry King is the media's top softball pitcher, but do you think for a minute he would have sat with chin in hand if a conservative had said Americans aren't "bright enough to really understand the issues"?)