The President did plenty to diminish himself. First, there was his lack of grace-- announcing,"I'm the President!," his testy reminder to John McCain about who won the election (reminiscent of his "I won" triumphalism immediately after inauguration), most notably -- and his penchant for scolding everyone was on display. Can anyone even imagine the really great presidents behaving this way? Can you imagine Ronald Reagan, or FDR (or even JFK or George HW Bush or George W Bush) hectoring, lecturing and condescending so brazenly?
Then there was the President's demonstrated inaccuracy about the fact that, contrary to his claims, his health care plan won't bring down health insurance premiums. So much for the brillian policy wonk. Either he's dishonest, or he's wrong.
But the President's main problem -- and that of the Democrats generally -- is that it's clear it's not about America and its people anymore. It's about them. And that's political death.
When it comes to the President, it's clear that he wants his bill to pass so that he can have his way, and claim a big achievement, and vindicate his boasting about being the last president to have to tackle health care. And, of course, grow the size of government. It no longer has anything to do with actually solving a problem, or helping people, or reform. It's all about him. And it shows.
When it comes to the rest of the Democrats, they're in a similar boat. No one can claim that they're simply trying to respond to the cries for reform from the electorate. The electorate hates this bill. What seems most apparent is that they're trying to save their own skins, politically (there wouldn't be such a need for all the sob stories, otherwise -- that's called "overcompensation").
The President and the Democrats can try to claim they're doing this to "help" Americans. But voters apparently don't want this kind of "help." So it's patently obvious this is no longer about representing Americans or doing the will of the people.
It's about an out-of-control effort by the Democrats to impose their will on Americans, contrary to the people's expressed wishes. Americans know it, and they know it isn't about them -- they're seen by Dems as nothing but a stumbling block, at this point! -- and that's why there isn't any easy way for the Democrats to improve their political position.