Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Can The GOP At Least Show Up?

I was actually pretty pleased to hear that a health care summit was proposed and that it would be televised for all to see. I think just getting all the parties in the room, and giving the American People a chance observe, is invaluable. Let's do it and see what happens!

And besides, this meeting seems like a no brainer. If the Republicans really want to fix health care, wouldn't a forum with the president be a good thing? Seems smart to me.

And yet, it looks like the very summit may not happen. The Republicans have listed their series of demands for the meeting, including:

"If the starting point for this meeting is the job-killing bills the American people have already soundly rejected, Republicans would rightly be reluctant to participate," Boehner and Cantor wrote.

Obama's answer to this question is pretty simple:

"This is not starting over," one White House official said. "Don't make any mistake about that. We are coming with our plan. They can bring their plan."

Yet, that suggestion may not be enough to get Republicans there. Oh my Lord, how ridiculous is this getting? Are they really going to sit out on event that gives them a chance to showcase their ideas?

And then I caught this clip from the Rachel Maddow show. Watch the first few minutes:

So there you have it - the very principles that the Republicans said were essential for a valid health care bill, are, in fact, in the bill. OK, I'll give the Republicans the benefit of the doubt - perhaps the provisions in the bill don't really meet their needs, or maybe there's extra junk in there they want to ditch. OK. But still, how can they call for a bill to be trashed that contains their views? Why not show up at the meeting and simply demand that those parts of the bill they like are strengthened, and the parts you dislike are removed?

I so want to believe that that the Republican leadership is doing more than just stalling and playing games. Yet, with these kinds of demands, how can you interpret it as anything else?

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