"I’m not optimistic about [Wyden-Brown] going anywhere. The Affordable Care Act has taken on too much symbolism for the Republican base as something that must be destroyed. It doesn’t matter if Wyden-Brown actually gives Republicans what they’re asking for in terms of policy."
— Adam Serwer is mostly right here, but the fact is that anything Obama wants has automatically “taken on too much symbolism” for the GOP to allow it to happen. By taking up a position as anything but against Wyden-Brown, Obama has absolutely doomed it.
Obama and his staff are still assuming that the facts matter. That a media exists to notice and discuss his sober position that essentially gives the GOP what they want on a key issue. That the serious people actually care about policy outcomes despite 40 years of evidence to the contrary. That the GOP movers and shakers will be seen doing anything, anything that even remotely agrees with a position the President has taken up. All of this is squarely why Wyden-Brown will fail, no matter how good or bad it might be: Obama wants it, and has signaled as much. It doesn’t stand a chance.