Aftermath: Progressives Spin and Talk Reconciliation After Health Care Summit Tool Shed Whipping
President Obama and congressional Democrats were so thoroughly pwned at Thursday’s health-care summit that even some of the more reliable Obama apologists have given the victory to congressional Republicans:
CNN’s DAVID GERGEN: “The folks in the White House just must be kicking themselves right now. They thought that coming out of Baltimore when the President went in and was mesmerizing and commanding in front of the House Republicans that he could do that again here today. That would revive health care and would change the public opinion about their health care bill and they can go on to victory. Just the opposite has happened.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)
So thorough seems the consensus that the summit has almost become a test of true left-wing sycophancy. Joe Klein, for example, called Obama–who insulted Senator McCain, called the legislation in question a “prop”, interrupted Republicans quite frequently, and in general came off as petulant, frustrated, and impatient–“unflappable”:
Reading between the lines, you can conclude that the Republicans had nothing very interesting, or clever, to say (and were never able to get the President’s goat). And that the President was his usual, unflappable, well-informed self. You can also conclude that not much progress was made at the summit, as Karen reports here–but that’s a huge surprise, right?
Actually, anyone watching two minutes of the summit knows the president’s goat was “got” from the moment Lamar Alexander opened his mouth.
Meanwhile, most sentient beings took from the summit two essential truths: 1) There is no problem Democrats think more money and more government won’t solve, and 2) Republicans think that the point of government is to empower individuals. Thus it comes as no surprise that the same public that overwhelming rejects ObamaCare also sees government as a threat to individual liberty:
Fifty-six percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday say they think the federal government’s become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens. Forty-four percent of those polled disagree
So what is the Democrats’ answer to their own manifest failure to mount a persuasive argument for their bloated and oppressive health-care reform? Well, it’s a two part argument. Part One: We won! Part Two: Therefore, we must cram a crap sandwich down the American people’s throats. There is something to perhaps be said for fighting in favor of legislation that carries some sort of great moral imperative, but progressives suck at making that argument, too. Having failed to convince the American public that health care is a “right” merely by virtue of our unprecedented wealth, they now resort to telling sob stories (henceforth to be referred to as “anecdotitis“) that make America sound like an apocalyptic hell-hole where people die en-masse in the gutters for lack of health care access. Even then, their efforts are febrile and ultimately fruitless. Are we supposed to ruin 1/6th of the world’s largest economic because some poor woman has to wear the wrong dentures?
Far from being able to paint Republicans as obstructionist toads unquestionably following the marching orders of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, et al., Democrats came off as rude, mean-spirited, unbending partisans hell bent on throwing a temper-tantrum if they didn’t get their way. Republicans, on the other hand, sounded well-informed, crisp, intelligent, and–despite the bluster of idiot progressives like Alan Grayson–genuinely concerned about the state of the health care industry in America. President Obama’s sonorous tones and mellifluous orations never materialized, making it impossible for objective observers to overlook the relative dearth of reasoned argumentation on the left side of the aisle.
Democrats now indicate that reconciliation may be the way to go, despite their clear warnings during the reign of the terrrrrrible King ChimpyMcBushitler that the republic would be destroyed if the “nuclear” option were used. In that case, reconciliation was used because Democrats don’t think judges have a right to sit on the bench unless they swear a blood oath to uphold Roe v. Wade–not to cram through legislation that seeks to remake 1/6 of the American economy. See the difference? If one wanted an actual, functioning definition of “obstructionists”, they needn’t look any further than the Democrats’ behavior during the judicial confirmation process for Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas, Miguel Estrada, and practically every other strict-constructionist nominee appointed by a Republican president.
I say: obstruct away! All progressives care about is ensuring the president gets to put a stat in the “Win” column. Besides–the American public, not Republicans, are the ones who most want to obstruct this disaster.