Animal metaphors abound.
After months of watching pundits and insiders argue about the state of the public option like it was a Python's parrot--It's dead! No it isn't! is too! Is not!--I've reached a conclusion:
I've concluded that all of that talk--all of it--is just space-filling blather. If it resembles anything, the public option is now like Schrödinger's cat: it's neither dead nor alive until the moment when Senate Democrats manage (or fail to manage) a successful cloture vote to bring a bill containing the public option to the Senate floor.
If they can break the inevitable Republican/industry filibuster, the public option is still alive, at least until the floor vote. Otherwise, it's dead (along with--if there's a quantum of justice left in the world--a number of high-profile political careers).
Until we finally open the box and check, it's all supposition