Thursday, February 25, 2010

Obama Health Care Summit, afternoon session

A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author. --G.K. Chesterton

I'm fascinated watching this health care meeting. I've learned more about Obama today than I've learned in a year. He's pretty good at leading a meeting. He's lousy at being a team member. He doesn't listen. He has to weigh in after every comment. He doesn't listen. He thinks he's right. Period. Did I say he doesn't listen? He doesn't play fair. He doesn't communicate the rules of the game. He pontificates. He loves the sound of his own voice. He really doesn't seem to get it that reasonable people can disagree. He can be very petty and small--using his positiion to try to intimidate and bully those who don't agree with him. Using his position for anything at all--"Nyah, nyah, John McCain, I Won." Most of what I've observed and read about the man was validated today. This nation is in trouble as long as Obama is POTUS. I believe that with everything in me. The Republicans were punked today, but no matter, they were going to be punked no matter what they did. We learned a whole lot about Obama, watching him at work.

Fox Poll: 59% say drop the bill; 34% say pass the bill without Republican support.

2:00. Afternoon start. Obama speaking, here's what we're gonna do. The question from someone at the table: Mr. President, how fast can we get outta here? Obama: Two hours. That will require more discipline that we had this morning. [Oh yeah? It will probably require less talking from the senators and congressmen, because it's abundantly clear that you, Mr. President, are congentially incapable of shutting your mouth.]

2:04. Sen. Mike Enzi (R, WY). Medicare. Seniors are nervous. They're the ones objecting the most to the program. I appreciate this exchange. It would have been helpful if we'd had this nine months ago. We had no input to the drafting of this bill. He's talking about process--yes, it matters. One of the problems is mandates. We talked about health savings accounts.

2:08. Obama: Thanks for staying succinct.

2:08. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) We're closer together than we think--that's what I've learned today. Another sob story about an Iowa farmer. 30 sob stories start looking manufactured--obviously all these Dems were told to bring a sad, sad story to share. There are no shortages of sad stories, but policy shouldn't be based on sad stories. Harkin is practically in tears over his own story. This is a sorry waste of time. Harkin is making as much sense as all the other Democrat speakers today. "We're very close on this." He said that about 8 times. Oh God, now Harkin is making an analogy to segregation. "Yet we still allow segregation today in America on the basis of your health. Why should we? Why should we?"

Obama is letting this guy drone on and on.

2:19. Obama bloviating again. "Tom's point was . . ." Yeah, Barry, we got it.

2:23. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.VA) Telling the committee that he has a son who doesn't have insurance. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, you're Jay Rockefeller. What is your problem? Blah, blah, blah. I'm about as interested in what Jay is saying as Obama is. "Kathleen Sebelius was a brilliant choice. . . . We're trying to protect consumers." His attitude is nose-in-the-air Leftist we know better than the little people, so just shut up.

2:31. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). Talking about across state lines insurance. Important structural differences in the way we approach this. Says Republicans hava a way to deal with across state line insurance buying without creating a large government bureaucracy.

2:37. Obama is back. He's going to "educate" Blackburn on her issue. Thanks, Professor Maladroit. More fascinating insight into how Obama works. The people around that table, while he's talking, look like they want to find a way to take poison. Now he's going to drone on about Rockefeller's mandate issue. Personal story. He says that once upon a time he was against mandates. Now the makes sense to him. "This is not a Democratic idea." OK, Professor. Now we're going to hear the two-fold reason why he changed his mind and now supports mandates. He's gone into campaign mode. He thinks he's at one of his faux town-hall meetings.

2:44. He actually let Marsha Blackburn speak--but only to shut her down again. "I want to say one thing--hold on guys . . ." and then he continues bloviating again.

2:46. Obama threw it to Joe Biden, who wants to talk about cost. Now we get to listen to the Vice President. He's talking about humility. Really? The Veep is on point--"we all agree." Barry is doodling while Joe speaks. [Barry is using everyone's first name today, like a dog pissing in another dog's face, so I thought I'd use his first name as well.] Joe has said "bend the cost curve" about ten times. I don't know what else he's said because I can't listen to him.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is speaking again. He's telling Obama, if you think the American people want this takeover of health care, then you're not listening.

2:56. Obama questioning and contradicting Paul Ryan. And droning on about his own point of view.

OK--I get it that the afternoon is going to be the morning meeting redux. It's no wonder that nothing gets done in Washington, which is probably a good thing. I'm done. I'm outta here.

Update. For video of this circus side show, go to I think the moment of the day was Obama to John McCain: "The election's over," and McCain's reply, "I'm reminded of that every day." Yeah, John McCain, so is the rest of the country.

Update #2. Wow. I didn't stick around for the closer. I found this at one of my favorite sites, Gateway Pundit. Basically, here's what we can conclude from what Obama said at the summit's conclusion:

1. He will not start over, like many of the Republicans asked him today to do.

2. The Republicans need to accept the Democrat's plan.

3. If they don't, then he's going to ram it through Congress without them ("If we can't [resolve something] I think we got to go ahead and make some decisions and that's what elections are for. We have honest disagreements about the vision for the country and we'll go ahead and test those out over the next several months until November. Alright?"

You betcha, Champ. This man is one arrogant SOB. He could have saved people a lot of time if he'd just honestly said this straight out; he didn't need a circus sideshow summit to do that. Enough of all of the talk. Either do the 50 vote reconciliation thing or shut the hell up. My guess is that the bill is headed for reconciliation, and if so, Obama just became a lame duck.

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