“Obama meets with Krauthammer, Gigot”
Also, Kathleen Parker, Robert Costa, and Byron York. Politico:
President Obama held an off-the-record meeting with five conservative journalists on Tuesday afternoon.
Present at the meeting were Charles Krauthammer, the Washington Post columnist and Fox News contributor; Paul Gigot, the Wall Street Journal editorial page editor; Robert Costa, the National Review’s Washington editor; syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker; and Washington Examiner columnist Byron York, according to a source with knowledge of the meeting.
Of those, at least 4 have been vocal critics of the Cruz strategy — and Obama, who follows the news and monitors his detractors and defenders just as you’d expect a paranoid narcissist would, did not pick these “conservatives” at random.
But here’s the problem: though many have influence within the GOP’s messaging apparatus given their sinecures at FOX or the WSJ or as Elliot Spitzer’s one-time straight man, the truth is, they do not, with the possible exception of York, represent the wishes of the GOP base, and they are entirely DC-centric (and so intellectually myopic) when it comes to strategy.
Too, they are evidently easily won over by personal invites that I’m sure will fluff their egos.
Combine this revelation of an off-the-record sales pitch for allowing the funding of ObamaCare without compromise with Paul Ryan’s WSJ op-ed today that doesn’t even mention the health insurance train wreck, and it’s clear there’s a move on within the GOP establishment to reach some sort of bargain on the debt ceiling.
Unfortunately for the “pragmatists” and poll humpers, the grassroots is going to continue to apply pressure and make their voices heard.
To repeat for the umpteenth time: the GOP is asking for two things, both of which should be easy to sell to the American people if they would simply put up a united front (something Obama is betting they won’t do, and trying to win over GOP mouthpieces is one way to prevent that): 1) universal rather than selective delay for individual mandate so that individual citizens and small businesses get the same law that big business and Obama’s union buddies get; and 2) that the Congress who continues to fight tooth and nail for implementation of a system everyone can plainly see isn’t even a functional possibility at this point, have some skin in the game and agree to live under the same health insurance system that they are demanding we live under.
Both of these attempts to compromise speak to the kind of “fairness” Obama is always disingenuously going on about — only in this case, the fairness is of a kind that keeps to the American system of equality under the law, and a rejection of an aristocratic ruling class that can pass onerous bills and then exempt themselves from the very effects of those bills.
This is a very easy case to make. Which is why the President is trying to co-opt the self-styled “thinkers” and convince them to focus on the potential political ramifications for the GOP’s electoral ambitions. But what none of these inside-DC wonks seem to understand is that a fold by the GOP, while it may appeal to some “moderates” (whose numbers are largely overstated), will repel the base — just as Romney’s nomination did, and the prospect of Chris Christie’s nomination will.
And without their base, the Dems realize Republicans have no chance at regaining power. So the appeal is to career politicians and the pundits who live off them like tape worms to protect their jobs and the status quo, rather than risk it all on the “ideology” of “extremists” who “don’t understand how the DC game is played.”
They may not have ruling power, but they’ll keep their cozy offices and their power — as well as have plenty to fund raise on. And think of all that new ObamaCare revenue that they, too, will one day get to roll about it when the pendulum swings and the GOP takes back over power.
Why, it’s that kind of vision that keep Karl Rove’s white board perpetually erect.