You have one of those unruly 8-year old children for which Ritalin may be a good idea. The child is disrespectful of the rules of the house, insists that everything goes their way and has no respect for your things. Just recently the little monkey broke your heart and your grandmother's china set playing frisbee in the house.
Having had enough you put your foot down and send the child to his room for a time out.
He stomps up the stairs, slamming his bedroom door. Now you're forced to listen to him kick his feet against the wall of his room as he screams "I hate you!" and "I wish I'd never been born!"
Resigned to tough love you go back to your newspaper. Your only worry is that out of the corner of your eye you can see your husband glancing up the stairs and fidgeting. It's clear he's wavering even over this relatively minor form of discipline. You suspect that at any moment he'll run up the stairs, fling open the door of your son's room and tell the little monster "we didn't mean it." He is the weakest link.
To the bottom of your soul you know that if you give in to the tantrum you'll only reinforce the bad behaviour and make it worse. You'll probably also force a situation in the future where the discipline is going to have to be much, much worse to be effective. Perhaps you'll even need to get out THE BELT.
It's a terrible situation to be in made worse because your husband doesn't have your back and just wants to be liked.
(If you haven't guessed the situation above is pretty analogous to the health care debate as it stands now. The child is the political right, the time out would be the election, the tantrum would be the industry sponsored townhall riots and the wavering husband would be Obama/ Reid. )