Monday, February 22, 2010

Bluff Calling

E.J. Dionne points out that while the Republicans can be as conservative as they want and they can obstruct all they want on healthcare for the simple reason that they know that if the bill passes it screws up their election strategy, it’s about time for the observers of this pirouette to acknowledge the bamboozlement.

But I do blame those who pretend to be nonpartisan or “objective” for falling for this ploy.

And that’s whose bluff Obama is really calling with this summit. He’s saying: Please, establishment media, look honestly at what the Republicans are doing. Instead of offering lectures about bipartisanship or nostalgia for some peaceable Washington kingdom, look at the substance of our respective proposals and how they match up against the problems we’re trying to solve.

Oh, and there’s also this: He’s telling Democrats they can get things done, or they can crawl away timidly into the darkness of self-defeat.

This is in keeping with his piece last week wherein he said the Democrats were doomed because the GOP and their so-called liberal media enablers were winning the message war.

We’re beginning to see some signs of flop-sweat emerging from the Republican leadership as the summit approaches; I imagine the pre-processed press releases pronouncing the meeting to be a “circus sideshow” and “partisan snipe hunt” are already drafted and in the can awaiting release on Thursday, and I’m pretty sure the Villagers have already come up with their pithy talking points to drop like adroit bon-mots on Hardball and Hannity. Besides, as xpostfactoid notes (via Andrew Sullivan), the Republicans can’t even get their (bull)shit together:

Remember this from John Boehner and Eric Cantor, in a letter to Rahm Emanuel dated Feb. 8?

If the President intends to present any kind of legislative proposal at this discussion, will he make it available to members of Congress and the American people at least 72 hours beforehand?Our ability to move forward in a bipartisan way through this discussion rests on openness and transparency.

Different times, different circumstances, I guess […]

Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) criticized the White House’s plan to post a health care reform proposal online, just days before the upcoming health care summit. “You know, apparently we’re going to be there most of the day and have an opportunity to have a lot of discussion,” said McConnell. “But if they’re going lay out the plan they want to pass four days in advance, then why are — what are we discussing on Thursday?”

But what is really missing from this whole game plan is the one thing that is the most important: our healthcare insurance system is in desperate need of repair; millions of people — including children (oh, dear me, GOP, where is your mantra when it comes to sex education and the Clenis “think of the children”?) — who are without health insurance or who are being denied treatment because their parents are unemployed or underemployed and the “death panel” at the insurance company decided that they don’t want to pay for treatments any more because they’re not cost-effective. That’s one of the reasons people think Washington is broken. They see too many people playing the games instead of doing the job they were sent there to do. The Republicans care too much about winning elections and the Democrats worry too much about being too decisive.

And I don’t think that the person who put off going to the doctor because they need to eat this month really gives a shit about who’s winning the Beltway cage match.