Talk about a transparent maneuver. Obama is planning a bipartisan Healthcare Summit for later this month. He even wants it televised on C-SPAN finally.
From The New York Times:
WASHINGTON — President Obama said Sunday that he would convene a half-day bipartisan health care session at the White House to be televised live this month, a high-profile gambit that will allow Americans to watch as Democrats and Republicans try to break their political impasse.
The move by Mr. Obama comes after weeks in which the administration has appeared uncertain about how to proceed on his top domestic priority since Republicans captured the Senate seat previously held by Senator Edward M. Kennedy. House and Senate Democrats had been increasingly at odds over what the bill should say, how to move ahead tactically and, in some cases, whether to continue at all.
The idea for the bipartisan meeting, set for Feb. 25, was reached in recent weeks, aides said, as part of the White House strategy to intensify its push to engage Congressional Republicans in policy negotiations, share the burden of governing and put more scrutiny on Republican initiatives.
Mr. Obama’s announcement came after he surprised his rivals in late January by requesting that a session with House Republicans be open to cameras. That meeting produced a spirited 90-minute question-and-answer session with the president that many in the White House viewed as a critical success for Mr. Obama.
In making the gesture on Sunday, Mr. Obama is in effect calling the hand of Republicans who had chastised him for not honoring a campaign pledge to hold health care deliberations in the open, broadcast by C-Span, and for not allowing Republicans at the bargaining table.
Does anyone actually believe that Obama is looking for a real solution here? This summit (a mere half day meeting) isn’t about advancing the healthcare debate; instead it is design to get Republicans involved so they can blame them for the death of ObamaCare.
All of last year, the Democrats and the Democrats only worked on healthcare reform. The current death of healthcare reform comes strictly at the hands of Democrats. Up to this point Republicans have clean hands, they were not allowed input into the process and were powerless to stop it. Therefore, Democrats are desperate for someone other than themselves to blame for the bill’s failure and an entire year wasted. Enter the Healthcare Summit and a way to involve Republicans.
Republicans know that this bill needs to go all the way back to the drawing board. Obama has already signaled that starting over is not an option. So by participating in the summit, Republicans are left with two choices; compromise and help to pass a still shitty bill or reject it completely and give the Democrats the scapegoat they desperately need.
If Boehner and McConnell have any sense, they will begin now to work on a strategy to avoid these consequences. A possible way will be to use the C-Span coverage to showcase the Democrats irresponsibility in wanting such an expensive proposal at a time like this.
Via: The New York Times