It’s long been expected the Obama White House wants a health care bill – any health care bill – to pass this year, for fear of repeating the 1994 debacle. It’s what has kept progressives like myself nervous through this process, afraid that when push comes to shove the President will drop the public option – just so we get something, even Max Baucus’ gift to the insurance industry. But if God forbid Congress fails to pass health care reform this year, who would the voters blame? Could it be the Republican opposition? According to a new NBC poll, only 10% would blame Obama, 16% Democrats in Congress and a whopping 37% would blame it on congressional Republicans – who have wanted the President to fail from Day One. By no means does this suggest that stalemate is a desired outcome, but it should empower Democrats to stand firm on the (still-popular) public option – nixing the perverse Beltway fetish with bipartisanship if necessary.