February 8, 2010

“Obama Plans Bipartisan Summit on Health Care”

And the people, they rejoiced!

Crittenden hits the right note in response:

Anyway, Obama’s half-day televised bipartisan makeup session sounds more like a gimmicky setup. Something between a Survivor Tribal Council and a Hail Mary pass. After that back-and-forth with GOP House newbies, he figured out he scores more points with vapid showiness than he does when he actually tries to accomplish something.

The GOP would be well-advised to dismiss it for what it is and demand that the president approach serious matters seriously, rather than with a quickie reality TV session. Or better, just dismiss it as a gimmick, inform him the clock’s running out on that game already, and let him dangle through the mid-terms. However …

…However, the GOP continues to play the Left’s game. Virtually no one who’d bother watching such a contrivance is watching to make an informed decision on health care “reform” to begin with.

Instead, they’ll be tuning in for the made-for-TV drama — or rather, melodrama — from which our increasingly unserious media will extract only the most staged set pieces (parents crying; tales of insurance companies refusing treatment) and regurgitate it in sound bites on the local news, with the counterpoint being some silver-haired GOP fat cat smirking and saying something offhanded about the free market.

The message? Obama cares — while the GOP likes to watch children die if their corporate masters can make a buck off of it.

Listen: I understand that conservatives still believe — or at least, continue to hold out hope — that debates over issues are just that, and so they are eager to bring their case to the American people.

But portraying the villain in a televised stage-play about the evils of the market and the compassion of the Democrats, Who Are Only Fighting For You! is the exact wrong way to go about this.

The last thing we need is dramaticized government spectacle. And were I advising the GOP, I’d remind them that we live in a country that votes, increasingly, with its heart and not its head — and that if the election of Obama teaches us anything, it is that the heart is quite easy to manipulate when the people doing the manipulation have the scruples of a pack of lawyers, or a gaggle of union bosses.

YMMV.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 8:41am
50 comments | Trackback

Comments (50)

  1. Mr. Goldstein hi.

    You know what the stupid Team R losers are doing? They’re abandoning the argument that the economy is and should be the paramount concern right now.

    And they’re abandoning it very cheaply.

    Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the Republican leader, said he was looking forward to the bipartisan discussion.

    Why is this person a “Republican leader” if all he can do is walk a demure two steps behind our dirty socialist economy-wrecking piece of shit president?

    That’s a very good question I think.

  2. Listen: I understand that conservatives still believe — or at least, continue to hold out hope — that debates over issues are just that, and so they are eager to bring their case to the American people.

    I think there is truth to that (I know that, personally, I still feel that hope), but I think there is also a fear that a refusal to play along with something like this will be used as a blunt object to beat the snot out of the GOP for obstructionism. “See? The Republicans don’t want debate, don’t want to compromise, and don’t have any real plans for fixing our problems. They stand for obstruction.”

    Of course, by agreesing to the spectacle, they do play into Obama’s hand. He sets himself up as the wise adjudicator of our problems, will put on his serious face, and will throw in a quip or two to keep things warm. At the end, he will praise the debate, throw in a meaningless concession or two, and will do his best to not only win over a few of the left-leaning Republicans. The question is whether it will work to shore up his image (my guess is yes, for a bit) and whether it will work to get him his health care package (my guess is no because there are too many people with upcoming elections that don’t want that hanging around their necks while they try to keep their jobs).

    I don’t see an easy way to win for the GOP–especially considering how many conservatives were calling for more openness and transparency in the debate. How can they thing say that they don’t want to play a part in the televised conversation over this particular bit of proposed legislation?

    But, yeah, no doubt about it: this is a set-up.

  3. “Hey, can y’all give a brother a hand out of this hole?”

    The message? Obama cares — while the GOP likes to watch children die if their corporate masters can make a buck off of it.

    That’s already the message, and the media isn’t going to change it. This opportunity is not without it’s merits, though if you’re counting on CNN or the like to point them up, you’d be disappointed. Which doesn’t mean you can’t go around them and use a forum like this to your advantage if you’re the GOP.

  4. With mid term elections approaching, I’d give Obama no cover at all.

    Tell him if he wants to pass his bill, convince the people who are overwhelmingly against it. Otherwise there isn’t much left to discuss.

  5. However, the GOP continues to play the Left’s game

    Jeff, you got any good submission holds we can all use on ‘em?

    Then we plan a pw field trip to DC?

    I’m just sayin’

  6. They want bipartisan, but they also note that they are going ahead with their own plan. If the GOP gets on board with this, they are dummerer than I had previously thought.

  7. Bipartisanship here means that the dems are going to give the GOP one more chance to succumb to hope and change. Screw ‘em.

  8. I think there is truth to that (I know that, personally, I still feel that hope), but I think there is also a fear that a refusal to play along with something like this will be used as a blunt object to beat the snot out of the GOP for obstructionism.

    Pelosi and Reid already tried this, and epic failed. The dirty little secret is that the GOP was entirely shut out of the legislative process, and if the Obamunist is serious about wanting the GOP back in, then scrap the craptastic legislation we have now and start over. Which is what the GOP leadership, if they have any brains, should reply.

    I’m not optimistic on that however.

  9. Tell him if he wants to pass his bill, convince the people who are overwhelmingly against it. Otherwise there isn’t much left to discuss.

    Yeah. Tell him what the right bill looks like and tell him to his face, on camera.

    You don’t appease when you’re winning. Tell him what the life preserver costs and make sure that price is what America wants to hear about health care. Then let him drown if he doesn’t agree to the terms.

  10. Health care is fairly low on any serious list of urgent issues in need of address. As such and in lieu of addressing these other more important issues, any time spent on health care (we can’t forget how much time has already been lost, fruitlessly, attending to health care) is an offense against proper governance. To govern is to choose.

    Just say no.

  11. Hear Hear, Pablo! (But will the Stupid or Gutless Party understand that)?

  12. When asked by Ms. Couric if he would agree to discard the bill and start over, the president said he would not. The starting point, aides said, would be with the proposals that passed the House and Senate.

    Don’t worry about the GOP playing the left’s game – that sucker is dead in the water right there.

  13. There are some significant problems with our health care costs and they’re a serious drag on business. There are a number of things that most people will agree with that should be done, and they all tend toward liberty. Tort reform, interstate insurance availability, and stop screwing with guys like this.

    Such a discussion will also be a fine place to play up the filthy manner in which they’ve put this pile of crap together. Bribes, backroom deals, disregard for the Constitution, etc…

    “Fuck you” is just not enough in an election year, especially one in which things like this are on the table.

    Waterloo.

  14. The downside: One of the best and loudest voices on the GOP side in the health care fiasco has been….John McCain.

    Uh oh.

  15. Taking up a practical ordering of issues isn’t to say fuck you. It is to suggest a program of procedure on a hierarchy ordered by more important to less important and why this ordering is so. Much, if not all, of that work of ordering has already been done by the polity itself.

    Ignore them at your risk.

  16. Why is this person a “Republican leader”

    He’s a leader of Republicans in Congress. Which, that’s the trouble right there, on as many levels as you want to find it.

  17. They control the Congress, sdferr. Therefore, they set the agenda. Offering a reordering of the agenda is all well and good, but they’re at the wheel…for now. It’s their call to make, and the GOP can choose to engage them with something to sell, or let them play all by themselves. The latter isn’t going to help them much.

  18. I’m thinking the GOP or whoever stands in opposition to the foolishness the Democrats offer up ought to spend their efforts making these arguments and concomitantly thinking through the issues so ordered and offering approaches to them.

    In the process, it is necessary (made so by the insistence of the Democrats I guess we’d say) to speak to the relative rank of these health care questions and I think it can’t hurt (politically) to emphasize the time wasted to date; on the mistaken choice to spend the scarce resources and hours on a folly.

  19. That’s a really shitty semi-colon. I blame Bush.

  20. Pingback: Jules Crittenden » The Superbowl Of Reality TV Politics

  21. I read somewhere (hotair, p’raps) that the GOP strategy should be to say; “Ok, but scrap everything thats on the table and start from scratch.” That takes away the cover Obama so desperately needs to slip this legislation through.

    Remains to be seen if said will be done.

  22. The Oministration is all theater, starring fictional characters in their own fictional world, with no one more fictional than Obama himself.

    The Far Left lives in a fictional universe of their own imagining (no need to emphasize that point at pw), so when they step off the screen — like the character in The Purple Rose of Cairo — they become confused and upset that the real world doesn’t work the same way as their fictional one.

    What? This money is no good? I can’t just drive off in the car?

    Of course, the quintessential fictionalized person who can’t cope in the real world is Don Quijote. The romanticized reading — a noble soul who is thwarted by a cyincal world — is not what Cervantes intended. Cervantes wanted to make great fun of the novelas de caballerías, of their excesses and unrealism and downright silliness.

    So he had the good caballero read so many of those silly novels that his brain dried out and he lost his judgment, as evidenced by his inability to see that windmills are not monsters, a herd of sheep is not an advancing army, and a chain gang of dangerous prisoners is not a bunch of captives needing release from their oppressors.

    When he does release the prisoners, they go about the countryside wreaking havoc, and the utterly clueless Quijote cannot be brought to realize the harm he has done, so enmeshed in his fictional world is he.

    Not even repeated beatings from people upset by the damage that Quijote does can bring him to his senses. He just gets weirder and weirder as he digs ever deeper into his beloved fiction.

  23. How about another fictional reference, to the character Panurge from Rabelais’ “Gargantua and Pantagruel,” who sees that the current fashion is to wear a codpiece. He then proceeds to wear a codpiece that is about a yard long. The effect on his social standing is somewhat good and somewhat bad. Most decent women will have nothing to do with him; they are affronted by his overendowed wardrobe. However, a select few want to see what there is in that codpiece. These, of course, are disappointed. But Panurge still gets to enjoy their company.

    This is the situation in which Obama finds his health care legislation. Decent folk hate it as a gross imposition, and reject it utterly, even though it is just the logical outcome of current legislative fashion. Some rather less decent folk want it badly, for bad reasons, but are unhappy when they find out it is not what they think it is.

  24. I am sure the White House will only allow “approved” questions to be asked. This will be more staged than a Soviet rally, and the choreography provided by the lapdog media.

  25. What if Obama had to debate Paul Ryan on TV? You know, Ryan’s plan that makes America solvent by simplifying the tax code so that a return would fit on a post card vs. Obama’s deal-laden War and Peace of a health care reform fiasco. Snow Caps worthy if you ask me.

  26. HA!

    Red-Eye’s ratings beat CNN’s prime-time lineup.

    I also heard that Hot Air beats Olbermann.

    A freaking blog.

    Beats a cable news show.

    That is six flavors of awesome.

  27. This is precisely the sort of response I’m looking for.

    We welcome President Obama’s announcement of forthcoming bipartisan health care talks. In fact, you may remember that last May, Republicans asked President Obama to hold bipartisan discussions on health care in an attempt to find common ground, but he declined and instead chose to work with only Democrats.

    Since then, the President has given dozens of speeches on health care reform, operating under the premise that the more the American people learn about his plan, the more they will come to like it. Just the opposite has occurred: a majority of Americans oppose the House and Senate health care bills and want them scrapped so we can start over with a step-by-step approach focused on lowering costs for families and small businesses. Just as important, scrapping the House and Senate health care bills would help end the uncertainty they are creating for workers and businesses and thus strengthen our shared commitment to focusing on creating jobs.

  28. “…focusing on creating jobs.”

    Not an outstanding locution, but I’m going to cut him a little slack (for the next fifteen minutes while I await his correction).

  29. focusing on creating jobs

    ::nails on chalkboard::

    “Focusing on removing the barriers to job creation!” ya morons.

  30. It kills me that we should have to explain it to them dicentra. I mean, rather than explain it, I’d sooner shoot the guy and be done with it.

  31. I vote shoot.

  32. They would do exponentially better at “creating” jobs if they would do nothing.

  33. The fact that they need it explained to them is evidence that they are unfit for office.

  34. mr. baracky and mr. gore are creating snow jobs in the middle atlantic states tomorrow. allan be praised.

  35. They need to consider this definition of “governor”

    4 a : an attachment to a machine (as a gasoline engine) for automatic control or limitation of speed

    It also applies to economic engines. All governing or regulating can do is choke them down. If you want more speed and power you need less government and regulation. You would think someone as smart as a Democrat could figure that out.

  36. Wretchard has a fairly good post about this, but methinks the suggestions he gives the GOP don’t address the real problem.

  37. Though he does provide this nice saying in the comments: “The principle contribution of the Common Man is that he is too unsophisticated to con himself.”

  38. Oooh, nice. From Wretchard thread, this Vanderleun poem:

    ONLY BY FIRE IS FASCISM FINISHED

    Year upon year in this world’s dark woods,
    Heaped at the foot of the trees,
    The tangles and bundles of dead brush increase
    Which sunlight shall never seize.

    The vampire by sunlight or stake.
    The wolfman by silver in bone.
    The demon by book, chant and pentagram.
    The fascist by fire alone.

    The ash that descends in the clearest of skies?
    The leapers that swam down the stones?
    Best answered by bombs from mid-heaven at prayer
    With a fire that hollows their bones.

    The vampire by sunlight or stake.
    The wolfman by silver in bone.
    The demon by book, chant and pentagram.
    The fascist by fire alone.

    If their gods decree war, God’s war shall prevail.
    His lessons are seared in the stone.
    No dreams shall defer, nor wishes erase,
    The hate that is burned in the bone.

    The vampire by sunlight or stake.
    The wolfman by silver in bone.
    The demon by book, chant and pentagram.
    The fascist by fire alone.

    Only by fire is fascism finished.
    This sin is demanded that your line may live.
    Only through fire is freedom reborn.
    Each generation pulls the sword from the stone.

  39. From the Belmont Club piece linked by dicentra.

    The Left doesn’t want to govern, it wants to rule given the chance. It is as always willing to leave its own Big Tent behind at the decisive moment. The continual calls from the Democrat Left for Obama to ‘grow a spine’ are really coded calls to say that the moment is now; that the President must ‘’seize the day, seize the hour”. It’s not as Cost imagines, a call to compromise. It’s a call to say that the time for compromise is over. They can drop the mask; they can hoist the Jolly Roger.

    Republicans need to understand that it is not their job to save their Democrat colleagues from hurtling over a cliff. That is the job of the Democrats themselves. Addictions, the worst ones such as power madness, can only be turned around after hitting rock bottom. Preventing that from happening is enabling behavior and doesn’t help the addict. Besides they are not colleagues, they are adversaries at least.

  40. yo jeff
    fix this lame software before you charge money

  41. that’s a good idea about cleaning the sink

  42. oh. It’s for a gaywad socialist dodge charger. Give me a second and I’ll put on a dress.

  43. Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.

  44. It’s hard to forget, Pablo, while the damage is ongoing and many many deaths in train are yet to come.

  45. Of course, by agreesing to the spectacle, they do play into Obama’s hand. He sets himself up as the wise adjudicator of our problems, will put on his serious face, and will throw in a quip or two to keep things warm. At the end, he will praise the debate, throw in a meaningless concession or two, and will do his best to not only win over a few of the left-leaning Republicans.

    Maybe they could talk him into providing some beverages… Bear Summit 2: Electric Boogaloo!!!

  46. Bear that has lived too much on other animals is not very nice, but bear that has had plenty of honey and fruit is excellent…

  47. Feets, I hear it tastes just like chicken.

  48. They’re scavengers, like pigs. Bears taste like pork.

  49. Great post. It is clear You have a great deal of unused capacity, which you have not turned to your advantage.

    The way you write shows you have a need for other people to like and admire you, and yet you tend to be critical of yourself.

    It seems to me that while While you have some personal weaknesses you are generally able to compensate for them.

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