Those on the non-Washington Right see this for the obvious joke (or trap) that it is. The question is whether or not the GOP in Washington is smart enough to figure it out. There's hope:
In an effort to rescue the drowning ObamaCare bill, Barack Obama will hold a televised meeting with leaders in Congress to attempt to advance some kind of reform effort this year. The White House has set half a day aside on February 25th for an open meeting on fresh ideas for a compromise that can pass both chambers of Congress and get to his desk for a signature. However, leaders of both parties feel pessimistic about the chance for anything other than a photo op:
President Barack Obama is planning to host a televised meeting with Republican and Democratic congressional leaders on health care reform.
The Feb. 25 meeting is an attempt to reach across the aisle but not a signal that the president plans to start over, as Republicans have demanded, a White House official said.
“I want to come back [after the Presidents Day congressional recess] and have a large meeting — Republicans and Democrats — to go through, systematically, all the best ideas that are out there and move it forward,” Obama said in an interview with Katie Couric during CBS’s Super Bowl pre-game show Sunday.
Many critics contend that Obama intends on using the forum to shift the blame for ObamaCare’s failure onto the Republicans, and certainly there’s nothing he’d like better. However, Obama and the Democrats had all of the votes they needed for almost seven months to pass ObamaCare without the GOP — and they failed to get it done. Now that Scott Brown has assumed his seat in the Senate, Democrats have no chance to move forward on this bill without getting Republicans involved.
It's music to my ears!
Assuming the President is sincere about moving forward on health care in a bipartisan way, does that mean he will agree to start over so that we can develop a bill that is truly worthy of the support and confidence of the American people? Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said today that the President is “absolutely not” resetting the legislative process for health care. If the starting point for this meeting is the job-killing bills the American people have already soundly rejected, Republicans would rightly be reluctant to participate.
Assuming the President is sincere about moving forward in a bipartisan way, does that mean he has taken off the table the idea of relying solely on Democratic votes and jamming through health care reform by way of reconciliation? As the President has noted recently, Democrats continue to hold large majorities in the House and Senate, which means they can attempt to pass a health care bill at any time through the reconciliation process. Eliminating the possibility of reconciliation would represent an important show of good faith to Republicans and the American people…
Will the President be inviting officials and lawmakers from the states to participate in this discussion? As you may know, legislation has been introduced in at least 36 state legislatures, similar to the proposal just passed by the Democratic-controlled Virginia State Senate, providing that no individual may be compelled to purchase health insurance. Additionally, governors of both parties have raised concerns about the additional costs that will be passed along to states under both the House and Senate bills…
Finally, as you know, this is the first televised White House health care meeting involving the President since last March. Many health care meetings of the closed-door variety have been held at the White House since then, including one last month where a sweetheart deal was worked out with union leaders. Will the special interest groups that the Obama Administration has cut deals with be included in this televised discussion?
Here's Rush Limbaugh warning the GOP not to play this game:
Legal Insurrection points out that Barack Obama puts more preconditions on the GOP regarding DemCare than he puts on Iran regarding nuclear weapons. Kind of illustrates who he truly views as his enemies, doesn't it?
There's my two cents.