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Health Care Summit Fever…a/k/a “It’s a trap!”

February 24, 2010

Admiral Ackbar

Are you a C-SPAN addict? What’s the problem, find it a little dry? Well, sure, it can be I’ll concede; but like most things, it’s better with friends. Tomorrow will find us tuning in to the long-awaited Bipartisan, Bicameral Health Care Summit at Blair House. I can’t wait to see how it all plays out! I am expecting some degree of fireworks, and certainly some unintentional hilarity as the Republicans attempt to demonstrate their willingness to work toward something they would much rather kill. Join me in my Twitter stream as I live-tweet the proceedings.

For some time now, the GOP has gotten a lot of play out of their contention that they were being left out of the Health Care debate. (Nevermind that this is demonstrably untrue. Witness: Obama’s last bipartisan meeting to kick off the health care reform efforts; the so-called “Gang of Six”; or the fact that fully six separate Republican ideas are part of the Senate bill.) Numerous members of the GOP have repeatedly bemoaned the lack of transparency in the current bills’ formation, and have taken pot-shots at the President for his campaign pledge to televise the meetings on C-SPAN. Well, they’ve finally got what they’ve been asking for and…surprise!…they’re not happy. It would appear to be a trap, says Rep. John Boehner. They’re expected to just walk in there blind? How big is the room going to be?!? Rep. Mike Pence had this to say:

Republicans are ready to work. But what we can’t help but feel like here is the Democrats spell summit, S-E-T-U-P. And all this is gonna be is some media event, used as a preamble to shove through Obamacare 2.0.

The funny thing is, he’s right. It is a trap, an untenable situation for the GOP leadership; and they have no one to blame but themselves. I’ve got to admit, they had a good run; they were winning the war of words and inertia was on their side. Too bad for them that, no matter what they thought, this isn’t 1994. The GOP made a calculated political decision to try to completely kill Health Care Reform. This was a mistake for two reasons: 1) Democrats, hapless though they sometimes seem, did learn a few things from the last failure of Health Reform; and 2) The American people are fed up with waiting.

Add to this the return of Barack Obama in ass-kicking, name-taking, campaign mode (I maintain, thanks to the return of David Plouffe) and you’ve got the trappings (pardon the pun) of some fantastic political theater. Do I expect it to be more than that, to achieve anything resembling a true bipartisan effort? Absolutely not. Frankly, I hope not; because that would simply mean an even weaker bill than the proposal currently on the table. In fact, if the GOP were smart, they would come to the summit prepared to do just that. However, I’m pretty sure they will do no such thing, as they are simply too wedded to the “Waterloo” strategy.

And herein lies the rub for the GOP. They can show up to the Summit, spouting the same ridiculous talking points (the bill is too long! the proposal’s too short!) and demonstrate to the American people that they are not and never have been seriously and earnestly engaged in fixing our broken health care system; or, they can seriously and earnestly engage in fixing our broken health care system, and accidentally pass  Health Care Reform legislation. Either way, it’s a trap!

The Summit will be carried live on C-SPAN, 10am to 4pm, EST/ 7am to 1pm, PST. Join me for the fun!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 19, 2010 4:02 pm

    The American people may be tired of waiting, but they sure as hell do not want this laughable attempt at health care reform to pass.

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