Free Markets, Free People

The Coming “Health Care Summit” Ambush

Maybe I’m just  being a bit paranoid about this upcoming televised “health care summit” that President Obama has decided is suddenly so necessary.  Maybe it’s that I see politics in every move this guy makes.  This summit just isn’t what it seems and, at least to me, that seems apparent.  What it is however is the perfect opportunity for Obama to play at statesman, provide himself an opportunity to keep a campaign promise and finally make – for once and for all – the GOP the bad guys in all of this.

Here’s the scenario I envision:

Fresh off his televised performance at the GOP retreat in Baltimore a few weeks ago, which received rave reviews from the usual media suspects, the administration hit upon an idea. TV is and always has been the prefect medium for Barack Obama. And the format at the retreat was perfect for him – it allowed him to lecture, cajole and demonize without any real opposition. Why not do that again on an even bigger scale and for some big stakes? Why not do it on health care?

What has been a problem for the Democrats? The public doesn’t like their health care bill. And their continued attempts to pass it have only cause the public to like it even less. But Democrats know that this is the only window of opportunity they’re likely to have and it is closing rapidly. So how do they get the public on their side and get this bill passed? The easiest way is a distraction and a bit of blame shifting. Good TV. The fact that Obama has made it clear that he has no intention of seeing the present and pending Senate bill scrapped should be sounding warning bells among the GOP. This isn’t about compromise. This isn’t about “bi-partisanship”. This is about a justification for passing health care via reconcilliation by showing the Republicans as the “party of ‘no'”.

Think about it. Who controls the format and tone of the the “summit”? Certainly not the GOP (and when they did they still came off looking pretty lame). So let’s say Obama says to the Democrats “what is it you want?” And they claim the “public option” (or whatever). Obama says it’s probably not going to happen. They act disappointed (but don’t forget they have 2200 pages of health care legislation already to be passed). Obama then asks the Republicans, “what do you want”. And they lay it all out – tort reform, drop the mandates, insurance across state lines, etc. And he say, “OK, we will put all that in the bill. Now will you support it?”

Heh … it’s the perfect question, because like any good lawyer, he already knows the answer. The answer is “no”. They’ve already made it clear they can’t support the Senate version of the bill – that’s the bill to be passed. And if they say yes, they may as well resign from office because the backlash will be such that they’d wish they had.

Obama gets his moment recorded by the TV cameras no less. And mournfully he pronounces the Republicans as obstructionists who refused to negotiate in good faith as the great and wonderful Democrats have offered to do. And because of that, it is with a heavy heart and reluctantly he is forced to agree with the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that reconciliation is the only route left open to them to do “what is right” for the American people.

Just hide and watch – I’m giving 3 to 1 odds I’m right. Don’t believe it? Read this and tell me it doesn’t indicate the scenario I’ve suggested.



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21 Responses to The Coming “Health Care Summit” Ambush

  • McQ: I do not bet against a sure thing!

  • Couldn’t the Republican’s also lay out what they want removed from the bill?  They’ve got to find a couple of key issues that they find particularly egregious, and when Obama asks them what they want, the first thing the have to say is
    “We want, this, this, this, and this removed AND we want this, this, this, and this included.”
    They need a number of very vocal reasons for being opposed to the current bill regardless of what is added.
    If he’s going to support the current bill no matter what (and he almost has to since he’s got zero chance of getting another put together and through by the end of the summer).  Then the Tea Party and the Republicans need to make sure every one  sees every ugly wrinkle of fat and cellulite in this pig.

    • I agree that the GOP should make their desires (including what they want stricken from the existing bill) quite clear.  However, with Imeme and his willing lapdogs in MiniTru controlling the narrative, I don’t know how much good it would do.

      This is truly a damned if you do, damned if you don’t moment for the GOP… as far as the inside-the-Beltway crowd is concerned.  As far as their own base (and, apparently, a large number of independents) is concerned, saying “no” is about the best thing that they can do.  I think Boehner grasps this.  McConnell… I’m not so sure.

    • The one real ainful reality that Democrats don’t want included is that money that they “transferref” from Medicare.  Without funding of that magnitude, virtually any bill is dead.

  • Obama then asks the Republicans, “what do you want”.

    >>> Admiral Ackbar:  IT’S A TWAP!!

    But you’re right on – this is THE trap question.  And answering anything besides “for you to scrap your current bills that the public has made clear they don’t want and start from scratch, otherwise we can’t negotiate with you” is epic fail. To answer anything other than that, to note that failure to scrap the current bill =bad faith negotiating, is the real trap.

    But how much hay can Ocarter make off this really? How much public attitude does he expect to flip in a best case scenario? Or is this just to rally his base enough to support reconciliation (good luck with that pal). He can’t possibly expect to get enough political cover to ram this bill which nobody wants down the public’s throat can he?

    And what happens if they try reconciliation…..and fail?

    • “And what happens if they try reconciliation…..and fail?” – then I bet I get the moment I expected by November of last year, where Imeme completely loses his cool on national television and scolds us like the naughty bad children we are.  (Which will excite Erb, who will play back the speech while he gazes longingly at Sarah Palin’s pouty lips and librarian glasses)

      • Don’t forget the ample bosom! (though I have to say that, for me, it’s a close tie between the naughty librarian glasses and the smooth, moose-stalking legs)

  • All they have to do is state clearly the things the bill should have, and why they oppose the things the bill shouldn’t have. If they do that they will come off fine. The bloom is off of MR. Hopey McChangey, the swing voters are no longer buying his act.

  • Tort Reform …  if they don’t bring it up, the Republicans need new Leadership

  • Of course, they could ask to have the letters “O” and “I” stricken from the English language.

  • Yeah, the Republicans need to simplify their message.  Essentially turn their demand into a quick soundbite and say nothing else.
    “as long as the bill contains some form of xxxxxxx, we cannot represent the will of the people in accepting Obama’s proposals”

  • I see Brown voted for the “jobs bill”

    Hard to get upset though. It’s not like he’s Arlen Specter

  • “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
    C. S. Lewis

  • TV is and always has been the prefect medium for Barack Obama. And the format at the retreat was perfect for him – it allowed him to lecture, cajole and demonize without any real opposition. Why not do that again on an even bigger scale and for some big stakes? Why not do it on health care?

    What kind of format would you have then?  Obama in a pit while the GOP throws rotten vegetation at him??
    As fun as that might be to imagine, I’m afraid it will never happen.
    You say you want a Q&A time.  You say you want the President’s feet held to the fire.
    Well, this is the only opportunity the GOP will get to publicly and in living color, call out Obama and his ideas, express their own concerns, and actually contribute their ideas.
    See, I don’t think the real problem here is the format.  I think that you just recognize that the GOP simply doesn’t have the talent.
    It’s like you see Obama standing out on the pitch tossing the ball around, and then you have a look at the GOP line-up, and then you suggest that “perhaps you boys ought to just hold up in the clubhouse.”

    • I’ll take a forum like Prime Ministers questions.  It’s a true hostile question time. Not a time where you’re allowed to speechify.

    • No “format”, Pogue – I’ve been saying for weeks that this is not something the Republicans need participate in if the President isn’t willing to scrap that Senate monstrosity and start from scratch. He’s not. So as I said in the post, there’s no basis for negotiation in “good faith” regardless of what Obama might claim. That means there’s another agenda at work. Republicans would be best served to point that out (about the refusal to start from scratch) and stay away with the proviso that once it is scrapped they’ll be glad to talk about it then.

      As for the “talent” to oppose Obama’s, yeah, I don’t see it – but that’s neither here nor there. The fact remains the spider is inviting the fly into his web and even the most talented fly hasn’t much of chance in that scenario.

  • How exactly could the existing bill be changed to include anything that wasn’t in either the House or Senate bill?

  • He [Saul Alinsky] said, “Sure there’s a lot of complexity and gray areas, and sometimes the other side has got some good points, but don’t recognize them. Once you take side, accept completely the right of your side and pretend the other side has no argument going for it.”

  • The four major problems with the current plan:
    1) the general sense that it is meant to undermine the insurance system rather than bolster it.
    2) No tort reform
    3) use of the Medicare money (that really doesn’t exist) to pay for it
    4) the iron clad use of the Medical Advisory board to reduce cost by denying procedures (although this is intentionally left vague)
    the outlying years will bankrupt the country.
    This paradox in 4), pointed to by Palin, has been brushed over intentionally. It’s sort of equivalent to giving your power of attoney to a poor relative who inherits more money if  you die faster.