Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Health Care Summit: Beer Summit Part 2

Remember last summer when "stupidly" ended up giving President Obama and the White House a major PR problem. The White House's response to whole debacle was to invite the Robert Gates and James Crowley to the White House for a beer. The meeting was dubbed the "beer summit" and President Obama describe the purpose of the meeting as this:

“It’s an opportunity to have some personal interaction when an issue has become so hyped and so symbolic that you lose sight of just the fact that these are people involved, including myself. All of whom are imperfect.”

The beer summit was a PR campaign to smooth over the situation and have the media move on to something else. So is that what President Obama is trying to do with the Health Care Summit? Except instead of the media moving on, he wants the American People to move on. It seems to me, Obama wants to appear to be reaching out and working with Republicans. I would bet a major object is to get "The People" to back off because we aren't buying what he is selling, despite his explanations.

Even the Republicans are skeptical of his motives, Rep. Boehner has this statement on his website:

"A productive bipartisan discussion should begin with a clean sheet of paper. We now know that instead of starting the 'bipartisan' health care 'summit' on Feb. 25 with a clean sheet of paper, the president and his party intend to arrive with a new bill written behind closed doors exclusively by Democrats -- a backroom deal that will transform one-sixth of our nation's economy and affect every family and small business in America. They will then engage a largely handpicked audience in a televised 'dialogue' according to a script they have largely pre-determined. They will do this as a precursor to embarking on a legislative course that Democratic congressional aides acknowledge has also been pre-determined -- a partisan course that relies on parliamentary tricks to circumvent the will of the American people and engineer a pre-determined outcome. It doesn't sound much like bipartisanship to me."

However, the Republicans are going along with the charade and meeting with President Obama and the Democrats. I hope they are prepared for what ever President Obama has up his sleeve. I like the way Betsy McCaughey put it in the Wall Street Journal:

Yet Republican leaders are inquiring about how much of the summit will be televised and who will be invited. They should instead tell the president to stuff the 4,500 pages of the House and Senate bills into a shredder.

Refusing to accept the Congressional legislation as the basis for talks does not make Republicans the party of "no."

Wonder if they will be serving beer?

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