Today the White House held its Health Care Summit - the bipartisan gathering that was to open up the dialogue between the parties involved in the reform legislation. The President was the moderator. It is not his strongest suit.
While claiming he was there to listen and bring everyone together, President Obama spent time after each Republican spoke to either do his version of a correction of facts stated or to simply argue a point. He didn't bother to speak to any of the Democrats present after they each spoke. I guess they were all on a previously agreed upon page.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the President is the head of the Executive branch of government and the Congress people are part of the Legislative branch. Thus, the Executive branch was tag teaming the GOP side of the Legislative branch. Fine, but Obama was certainly insincere, at the very least, in his pretense that he was there to bring people together. He was there to demand capitulation.
In the land of the Democrats, bipartisanship means surrender. Surrender of your principles and ideas if they are not the same as the Democrats and the President. The President is a thin skinned man and openly shows disdain on his face for the really smart guys in the room - for example, Rep Paul Ryan or Senator Tom Coburn, a practicing doctor from Oklahoma. In a nutshell, they ran circles around his ideas and used common sense in their approach.
Dick Durbin actually implied that medical malpractice reform is not needed. He implied that patients actually need no limits to lawsuit compensation. He used an example of a woman who went in for a relatively minor procedure on her face and was burned by the oxygen mask. Instead of realizing the woman should have sued the manufacturer of the piece of medical equipment - where her compensation is not limited - instead we were told she shouldn't be restricted from what she could reap from the doctors.
The president will not rule out reconciliation as a means to an end. He is deaf to the pleas from a strong majority of Americans who are saying they do not want any part of Obamacare. Instead of focusing on the points on which both sides of the argument agree, President Obama is insisting on a sweeping government takeover of 1/6 of our national economy. To attempt such a takeover on a simple majority - a 51 vote approval - would be unprecedented. Is this the change American voters were expecting? If so, votes will be conducted in an entirely new way from now on, no matter which party is in the majority. That will be important to remember as the forecast for Democrats is grim in the elections of November 2010.
The fact is, Obama doesn't have his majority party in line. The Democrats could have had all of this done by now if they had been united. Fortunately for the American people, this is not the case. Common sense Democrats and those Democrats on the far left fringe are all upset with their leader. To blame the GOP for this mess is insincere and petty.
This is what happens when a man with no executive experience is in the White House. He lectures and points his finger at his audience and then turns it all over to Congress. He doesn't lead his party or unite them. His only recourse is to whine that he inherited a mess and it is the GOP's fault. Well, the man ran for the office and asked for your vote to get it. He didn't 'inherit' anything. He assumed the position and responsibility of the leader of the free world.
Man up, President Obama. You have consensus right now on several points of true reform - removing pre-existing condition issues, purchasing insurance across state lines, tax credits for small businesses, and yes, tort reform. All of these steps would work. All of these steps are acceptable to both sides of the aisle and the majority of the American people.
What is the rush to have a massive government overtake of 1/6 of the American economy if the reforms don't go into effect until 2014? It is a political calculation, of course. Obama is the consummate campaigner and politician. He is not a national leader, nor is he a true reformer.