Might it even be worth tabling health care to get the jobs bill passed? Probably not when health care is so close to the finish line, and when the House can start working on a jobs program while the Senate deliberates health care. But if it looks like health care doesn't have the votes, this would be the exit strategy for the Dems -- for Obama to intervene and say: "we need a jobs bill first." Either way, a couple million more jobs would make everything much smoother for the Democrats; the economy remains the primary way that the public evaluates their success.
First, the exit strategy is to pass some bill, any bill, run on the small improvements that could have been made without the public option and health exchange fiasco, and to have triumphalist access bloggers yammer "incremental improvements" at whatever remnant of the online left is still paying attention to them.
Second, if the Democrats cared about the peasants who collect paychecks, we'd already have a housing solution, card check, health care, name any issue where a lot of pain is caused by not having the jobs. They don't, so we don't.
Third, Silver's suggesting ("everything much smoother") that elections hold elected representatives accountable. I think in many ways, and for many reps, that connection is completely broken. I mean, Obama's already a made man: Even if he were a one-term President, he's got the book contract, the talk shows, and all that coming. What does he care? Ditto for the rest of the Congress critters (40% +) who are already millionaires. For them, getting elected to Congress is the equivalent of an unpaid internship -- the real money, on K street, on the teebee, from crony contracts, is yet to come. What do they care about 2010 or even 2012?