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Joining Obama in Wishing Cheney a Speedy Recovery

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 9:36 pm - February 26, 2010.
Filed under: Credit to Democrats,Noble Republicans

Most people know about former Vice President Cheney’s recent hospitalization, but few know that President Obama called him “to wish him a speedy recovery“.  More should.

It was a classy act.

So, let me join other conservative bloggers in tipping my hat to the president for calling one of his staunchest critics to wish him well after his recent heart attack:

. . .this classy deserves some recognition. Good for Obama for swallowing his pride and doing the presidential thing. Why, even Jim Treacher was moved to tip his cap to Barry O — and he just got run over by one of Obama’s guys. Talk about goodwill.

Rush Admits Error in Telling GOP to Skip Health Care Summit

Sonicfrog thinks the talk show host erred in “telling the Republicans not to go to the Obama Health Care Summit”:

They went anyway…. and scored some points. You can tell because there is no news of “Obama’s Spectacular Triumph” to be found in today’s papers or in the news.

And when Republicans mess up, the voice of the Beltway establishment doesn’t tell them they’ve had their best day in years.

Rush must have read Sonic’s post; he admitted that he was wrong.

Winning an election renders campaign promises null & void?

A lot of liberals, including at least one of our critics, are making much of the clip embedded below where President Obama supposedly slaps down the man he defeated in the 2008 presidential election for reminding him of a promise he made on his road to victory:

So, is the president then saying that since the campaign is over, his promises then were only intended to win votes–and not to define how he would govern once elected?

(Clip via Legal Insurrection.)

Are Democrats really deaf to popular consensus on health care?

At the Washington Examiner, Susan Ferrechio sums up yesterday’s health care summit:

Nothing at the summit convinced Republicans to put aside their demand that Democrats scrap the current $1 trillion bill and start over. And Democrats appeared unmoved by a GOP plea to scale back the bill and incorporate ideas like tort reform favored by Republicans.

Democrats remain poised to move ahead on the Senate health care reform bill, which would mandate insurance coverage, expand Medicaid significantly, and use tax increases and Medicare cuts to pay for it.

On the same web-site, Ferrechio’s colleague David Freddoso links a Gallup poll showing significantly more people oppose the Democrats’ proposed health care overhaul than support it, with a solid majority oppose Democrats using reconciliation to advance their bill.  Indeed, said Gallup poll registers higher public support for the plan (42%) than do most surveys which show it polling in the 30s, with most registering opposition at or above 50%.

And Democrats press forward with the same ol’ plan when as I noted earlier this week, “more than two-thirds of Americans believe Congress should either start all over on health care reform or do nothing.”

It’s all about appeasing the party’s base.  And showing that the president can get something done, even if it’s not what the American people want.

So, boring summit was just political theater after all

Since the president didn’t get Republicans to toe the line exactly as he wants them to toe it, well, he’s going to push forward on his party’s bill to overhaul our health care system come hell or high water. According to Greg Sargent, his criticism of Republicans for not supporting exchanges (after the public option was dropped)

. . . combined with his assertion that Repubicans need to do some “soul-searching” on whether they wanted to join Dems in tackling reform as they have defined it, amount to an unmistakable vow to move foward without them.

Upon “reading news reports saying that Democrats are set on using reconciliation to ram the Senate bill through Congress,” one of Obama’s closest GOP friends in the Senate Oklahoma’s Tom Coburn wondered if yesterday’s summit was pointless”: “It’s fairly disappointing. . . . If the Dems are just going to run the bill anyway, why’d we just do it?”

The Democrats can fret and fume at how supposedly intransigent the Republicans are, but they’re the ones who haven’t budged since yesterday’s summit. It appears they’re moving forward with reconciliation as they had been plotting before the summit took place–and without incorporating any of the ideas Republicans presented at yesterday’s open forum.

It seems its entire purpose was not to consider all ideas, but intead to advance the Democrats’.

Nancy says health care overhaul is about jobs?!?!?

My nephew found footage of former President Bill Clinton reacting to Nancy Pelosi’s contention that the Democrats’ propoed health care overhaul is about jobs:

Will Paul Ryan’s statement (that government doesn’t have the answers) come to define the boring health care summit?

Perhaps it was when I turned on FoxNews to watch the health care summit that I turned away from it so quickly.  One of the few Democrats all but certain to keep his seat in the Senate this fall–and one our federal legislature can most do without–Charles Schumer was droning on about the common ground shared between Republicans and Democrats.  He didn’t seem defensive or as aggressively partisan as he normally does.  

Instead, he seemed pathetic almost, eager to be liked, desperate to the be one whom everyone holds up as a master of decorum.  In short, not the hyperpartisan politician he normally plays on the Senate floor and in the presence of TV cameras.

Then, his Arizona colleague Jon Kyl chimed in.  While he did do something his colleague from the Empire State did not do (bring in some facts), he was even less interesting than Mr. Schumer.  And Mr Schumer was only interesting because he was not playing to type.

And maybe since I have not really had time to gather my thoughts until tonight (about 11 PM PST as I start to write), having read a number of pieces about the president’s professorial manner, I remember the brief snippets I saw of him as being professional, like an erudite instructor leading a classroom discussion, only an instructor more akin to an Amherst professor than one at Williams (at least the good ones).  He was a “moderator” with a point of view.  And he did not hesitate to interject it into the conversation.

I was bored.  I turned it off.  Now, it may be that I had better things to do, so maybe this observation doesn’t hold much weight, but it should hold at least some, given that most Americans did indeed have something to do yesterday.  They had jobs to go to, or to look for, or children to raise, papers to write or people to assist.  But, if a guy like me who follows politics was bored by this exercise, what does that say about the average American concerned about his health care, yet not interested in politics?

No wonder news channels quickly lost interest in the summit.  The American people likely tuned out before they did.  Wonks, pundits and other pontificators who watched the whole thing can call this or that person the winner and this or that politician the loser, but what really matters is whether or not it’s going to change what the American people think about the Democrats’ proposed health care overhaul–and whether it shifts popular momentum in favor of passage.

And I doubt it’s going to do that.  From all the coverage I’ve read, nothing really stands out save one line from Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI):  “We don’t think all the answers lie in Washington.”*   (more…)