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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Health Summit A Manufactured Political Crisis

What Obama needs to pass his health care restructuring bill is a good political crisis. One in which he can stand there and proclaim, as he did with the stimulus bill, that we are on the edge of a catastrophe.

And since the only way such a bill will be passed, if at all, is through a budget reconciliation process, there must be a crisis large enough to merit bending, if not disregarding, pesky Senate rules which would make such a process untenable.

What Obama needs is a political crisis of the first magnitude. A situation in which politics is so polarized, and Washington seems so immobilized, that all norms are thrown aside.

Hence, the increasing background noise in the past couple of weeks about Washington being broken and frozen. In fact, Obama has been hitting legislative singles and doubles for the past year, and only has been denied the home run he desires.

And that is the purpose of the health care summit. If Obama truly wanted compromise, he could have included Republicans in the process from the start, and taken a slow approach built on consensus, rather than a grand plan to restructure the health care system around increased government control.

If Obama truly wanted compromise, he would not be rolling out a final bill any day accompanied by plenty of leaks threatening to go the reconciliation route.

True compromise is the last thing Obama wants, because at most that would be another single or double.

The point of the health care summit is to create an impasse in front of the television cameras, so that gridlock and legislative meltdown is the alternative to Obamacare. A situation in which public anger is deflected towards Republican Senators.

Senators figuratively spitting at each other on TV is what Obama needs to create his illusion of crisis. And as we know, Obama will not let such a crisis go to waste.

Update: Here's how the L.A. Times describes the new strategy:

As voters lose patience with political gridlock, the Obama administration is embarking on a strategy aimed at putting Republicans on the spot: Either participate in bipartisan exchanges initiated by the president, or be portrayed as the party of obstruction.

The new approach is part of a series of adjustments the White House is making as it deals with the aftermath of Republican Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts, which cost Democrats their filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

As with almost everything about this administration, "compromise" is a ruse designed to achieve anything but compromise, yet another phony Obama-ism.

Related Posts:
Stimulus -- Just $99.99 While Supplies Last
The Fierce Urgency of Sow
The Stimulus Plan -- It's In There!

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  1. Ah! The Chicken Little gambit! That's the one he uses the most. If politics were chess, the GOP would be wiping the board with him, as he's so freaking easy to figure out.

  2. Good points made here by Mr Jacobson. To go even further about the exaggeration of the "healthcare crisis", please remember, about 85% of Americans have health insurance; 100% of Americans (and illegal aliens) get healthcare regardless of insurance or not (Emergency Rooms).

    Roughly about 70% of Americans are satisfied with their health insurance. Now can improvements be made to the system? Yes, of course but it's hardly a CRISIS that demands 100% full, federal government micromanagment, craddle to grave. This is simply a power play; a ploy by big government politicians to wield influence into every aspect of life. For thats what self important politicos do, its what they live for.

    Central planning.

  3. The one big thing escaping Obama's notice is that the majority of Americans will be very happy there is grid lock and the ones doing the blocking are the heroes. Thank God for gridlock.

  4. If you compromise your principles, it is not a compromise....you just cave. One compromises on some issues to remain true to your core principles. If fiscal restraint, small government and individual liberty are your core principles, any compromise where your jettison one or more of the above just simply means that you have no principles.

  5. I've always been of the mind, and polls seem to back this up, that those in the media underestimate just how popular saying no is.

    Quite frankly the GOP should embrace the "party of no" label.

  6. Didn't MA just elect Scott Brown for the very purpose of blocking this obnoxious bill?

    The Republicans are idiots if they even show up to this "summit".

    It's not America that is behind the curve but the GOP. These guys couldn't fly a kite in a wind storm.

  7. I don't think it's a done deal. From what I've read, using reconciliation is against senate rules for this kind of legislation. It's the senate parliamentarian's job to enforce the rules and procedures of the senate. Does he have the moral character and respect for the institution to stop a Democratic majority from violating senate rules so they can ram through legislation on a strictly partisan basis knowing the people did not support the legislation? Would he really like to go down in history as a dishonorable, corrupt man whose actions weakened the institution he was supposed to protect?

    So, the parliamentarian is the first line of defense.

    But assuming he's a weak, dishonorable and corrupt man, then Jim DeMint says there's another option. Under reconciliation, senators can offer what he described as "infinite" amendments. He said in an interview during CPAC that he will absolutely go that route if the Democrats insist on pushing the monstrosity through using reconciliation.

  8. Excellent analysis! Just how I see it, too. Obama thinks he's got the Republicans either way - show or no-show, between a rock and a hard place. But the people are catching on to the "Chicago-way" of "manufactured crisis" and the ludicrous meme "the party of no."

    I vote for no-show; hopefully the Republican leaders will get a clue that the majority are shouting "No!" and "H*ll no!" to the healthcare takeover. The American people would be best served if the Repubs refuse to go to the party (or is it a public lynching?).

    I agree with Omnibus and Christopher - Republicans need to EMBRACE "the party of no" label; these guys are so predictable, we can see through their schemes!

  9. Please, Republicans in the Senate, BE the party of obstruction. Obstruction is a necessity when the alternative is unbridled statism.

  10. That's the most foolish strategy I've ever heard. The polls show that the majority of people want the bill obstructed.

    This is a play to try and reenergize their sleeping base. You don't wake up now, Obama's agenda's going bye-bye.

    Thanks for your post!

  11. George Will's speech at CPAC this weekend was brilliant. He covers this topic in 30 minutes, and encourages the Republicans to BE the "party of NO."

    He followed up on the theme on a Sunday morning talk show, putting it all in proper perspective, relaying a brilliant example of Lincoln, the first Republican president to be elected, who stood up and said "No!" to a "Democrat senator" who had some ideas.

    That man was Stephen Douglas, who wanted the states to decide whether to keep slavery. Lincoln stood proudly and said, "No!" to this. Excellent historic lesson on why saying "No!" is right, and necessary.

  12. This post has been linked for the HOT5 Daily 2/22/2010, at The Unreligious Right