How bad is it?

The bad news is that Senator Ben Nelson is not up for reelection until 2012.

The good news is that today, December 19, 2009, is the day we got clarity on the Obama-Pelosi-Reid effort to steal medical care and call it "reform."

I hope that Ben enjoys his final two years in the Senate.

OK, that's not quite right. Since it was Ben Nelson of Nebraska that finally got Harry Reid his desperately needed 60th vote for socialized medicine, I hope 1) that the next two year are unpleasant for Sen. Nelson and 2) that he loses in 2012 by a landslide.

I'm still not being entirely candid. Nelson is a pathetic pawn in this game. He's history and I hope he has plans for a new day job. He'll need 'em.

The really bad news is that the American people are just about to find that their medical care got a whole lot worse and a whole lot more expensive and cumbersome.

Why? Because, as Senator Mitch McConnell put it, "This bill is a monstrosity. This is not renaming the post office. Make no mistake -- this bill will reshape our nation and our lives."

And how.

Many of the organs broadcasting the news tell you how "jubilant" the Democrats are at finally squeaking out this paper-thin victory on Obama's number one legislative priority.

I predict their jubilation will be short lived. Why? My friend Bill Kristol touched on one element when he noted that the triumph might well be a Pyrrhic victory, that is, one that comes "with devastating cost to the victor."

A cautious man, Bill put a question mark after the phrase "Pyrrhic victory." I can see his reasoning. After all, we don't know that Obama's support will continue to disintegrate. Having instituted this new program of income redistribution, it's by no means clear that it will be undone.

Still, I think there are grounds for suggesting that an exclamation point rather than a question mark should have been place after the phrase "Pyrrhic victory."