What I learned from Obama's Kabuki theatre...
1. Obama is extraordinarily arrogant
Yeah, I know I've thought this way for some time. But there were a few examples that proved to me it was not just my imagination. For one thing, his comment to John McCain - a Congressman/Senator now for almost 30 years, who not only is 30 years older than the President, but has more life experience in his pinky than Teh Won has in his entire body - reminding him that "the campaign is over." Just who the hell does Obama think he is, talking to this American hero this way. I am not a big McCain supporter and I held my nose when I voted for him is '08. But to arrogantly dismiss what was an honest comment about why the health care bill is ill-advised was simply way out of line.
In addition, Obama made certain to call each person who spoke by their first name. That may be appropriate with House members he is friendly with. But it comes across as very demeaning to others who have served this country longer that Obama has. It's an arrogance that shows contempt for those who represent the citizens of this country.
Whenever any Republican made a point, valid or not, Obama dismissed it as either grandstanding, or simply irrelevant. It was a hypocritical display of partisanship demeaning to the office. It didn't upset me that he garnered over 33% of the allotted time, after all, he is the President. But to verbalize that being the reason was again tremendously arrogant.
2. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are bald-faced liars
Again, not a huge surprise. Pelosi's big lie was then she said that there is no abortion funding in the bill. Even Obama himself admitted there was - although, he "claims" it was put in there without his knowledge. That would be like the Trump corporation building a casino without "the Donald" knowing about it.
Of course, this pales somewhat in comparison to her remarks yesterday, that this is the "most ethical Congress ever." Charlie Rangel, William Jefferson, Chris Dodd, Alan Mollohan, John Conyers, the late John Murtha and Barney Frank were unavailable for comment.
Reid's whopper was even better. He blurted out "no one is talking about reconciliation!" Well, no one except Reid and just about every other member of the Democrat Party.
3. The Republicans are the party of "no"
Being against a takeover of 1/6 the economy is not a bad thing. Many bad policies have been shelved because members of Congress have said "no." Personally, I think saying "no" is not strong enough. "Hell no" sounds more like it.
I find it simply amazing that the Democrats (read: Obama) is blaming the failure (thus far) of passing this health care monstrosity on the GOP. Last time I checked, they only held 41 seats in the Senate and when the original bills were passed, only 40 seats. Meaning, not one single Republican could stand in the way of it's passage.
When Obama argues he will put this through with reconciliation, what he's really saying is that he will do this even though 10 Democrats are against it as well. My belief is that if the bill is so odious to half the members of the Senate, perhaps it's not the right bill to pass.
4. Obama doesn't care what his constituents want
This is an interesting issue. Obama won the election with 53% of the vote. Of course, you could say that aside from the African-American voters who turned out in record numbers, many of his votes came not for him, but for anyone but George Bush (and his party). Still, Obama won fair and square.
Unfortunately, this victory led him to believe he was elected because of his policies - when in fact, many voters admitted at the time they simply wanted a new face (who wasn't George Bush) and knew very little about Obama. Never, at any point and time (with the exception of the far Left) did the voters want a far-Left, socialist-leaning, radical agenda put in play. Polls taken at the time and in the following months indicated that while the populace liked Obama personally, they were not looking for radical changes in society.
However, due to his own arrogance, Obama believed the hype about being "the one we've been waiting for." His world apology tour embarrassed the American people and his handling of almost every situation since has caused his popularity to plummet to unprecidented depths (according to the latest Rasmussen poll, only 22% strongly approve of him, 43% somewhat approve and now 55% disapprove).
Furthermore, according to the latest AP polling, just 30% of Americans want the health care bill that Obama is selling. There are sweious doubts now that the Democrats will be able to pass this legislation even with reconcilliation. While MSNBC and the Democrat Party may believe the Tea Party movement is a joke, they are clearly making a dent in public discourse. Many Democrats are openly worried that they will be slaughtered in the election in November, if they vote for this. They are right.
5. The Republicans won the day
The American people aren't as stupid and Bill Maher and the rest of the unhinged Left think they are. Obama had hoped not to influence the GOP, but to make them look weak in the face of Obama's superior rhetorical skills. Instead, even though they only got 33% of the allotted time to present their side, they came across far more interested in working for their constituents then the Dems did. It was ammusing to hear Chris Matthews complain the other day that the GOP "came prepared", as if it were a bad thing. Personally, I would never go into a meeting like this unprepared!
Much to the chagrin of the President, the GOP does have a plan for health care. For the past year, all we heard from the Democrats was how the Republicans have no plan except to stall. Reid even compared that (untrue) tactic to slavery. But the GOP proved that while they are firmly against the monolithic bill, they are clearly for reforming the health care industry.
in conclusion, this summit was simply an exercise not in Democracy, but in bloviation and failed strategy. Obama hoped for the GOP to be taken to the woodshed, and instead, he was the one who looked smaller for it. Following the meeting, polling showed that the popularity of this bill shrank even further.
Obama likes to say the reason the bill isn't more acceptable is because he hasn't explained it well enough. Considering that he has spoken of little else for the past four months, it is highly unlikely that's the case. But his arrogance dictates that he is too smart and too big to fail. Therefore, it must be the American people who are at fault for this bill being so unpopular.
But polling shows that the more he speaks of it, the less attractive it is.
So why does he and the Democrats insist on shoving it down our throats? It could be because Obama has invested so much capital that he fears failure will destroy his Presidency. However, Clinton faced the same struggle. The difference being in 1994, the GOP conquered the House and Senate. This allowed Clinton to move more to the Center, which in turn raised his popularity and gave him a landslide victory over Bob Dole in '96.
Or, it could be that the Left simply believes that the American people are stupid and they know what's best for them. Never underestimate the arrogance of modern liberalism. But this also is a clear indication that the Dems misread their mandate in '08, much like Bush did in '04.
The amazing thing about all of this is that it is so unnecessary. Yes, there are problems with health care - no one is questioning that. But American care is by far the best in the world. No one is refused emergency care and while the costs are astronomical, it is the price we pay for it. In countries where health care is supposedly free, income taxes, which pay for it, are crippling. Currently, 14% of the population is on Medicare. 14% is on Medicaid. 9% receive government benefits. 4% are on military health plans. 43% receive coverage from their private employment. Only 6% of the population actually purchases their own insurance. Yet the Democrats want to destroy the insurance companies over this (h/t EIB, via Doug Ross).
Another amazing this is that while the White House screams about the absurd profits made by the insurance companies, you could take the annual profits of the private health insurance companies and buy health insurance for people for two days.
Consider that the next time President Obama vilifies the 'obscene' profits of the insurance companies.