So which approach is better? The whip count angle is clearly more traditionally “journalistic”—documenting the public statements of elected officials is one of the things journalists do, whether or not they’re predictive—but Klein (echoed by Jon Bernstein) raises some real concerns about its utility here. On the other hand, while history, structure, and incentives are all invaluable in terms of understanding the general state of play—and while, in general, reporters should pay more attention to them—they’re not deterministic of the outcome in any particular case. In the end, while we all want to be the first to figure out what’s going to happen with health care, it makes sense to keep in mind something else Klein says in his post: we’ll know soon enough.

Greg Marx is a CJR staff writer. Follow him on Twitter @gregamarx.