Feb 09 2010

The Obama Administration’s Bait & Switch Schtick Is Getting Old

Want to know why President Obama and the Democrats are cratering with the American People? It could be we are tired of all the lofty BS followed by lousy results culminating insulting excuses.

Rewind back to inauguration day and the promises that had been collected during the campaign which were supposedly about to come true. Americans elected an inexperienced outsider who promised moderation. He promised to change America, but just about every assumed it would begin by changing DC, cleaning it up and tearing down the partisan walls so common sense ideas could finally get their day in debate (I should stress I was not one of those, I suspected there would be little change in DC).

There was going to be a growing economy, there were going to be good jobs with good wages, there was going to be cheap, high quality and available health care (a fantasy if I ever heard one). We were stepping into the liberal fantasy land of Nirvana brought to you by government intervention, and we were going to love it!

Then reality hit, as Matt Welch at Reason illustrates. Over the last year the reality of the world has been testing the long held liberal fantasies, and they are crashing to Earth as huge failures:

These developments illustrate a phenomenon that has been playing out across a variety of public policy areas: Progressive Democrats, after being outfoxed by Ronald Reagan, triangulated to the policy margins by Bill Clinton, then routed under the first six years of George W. Bush, are having many of the nostrums they championed during the wilderness years tested in the real world for the first time in decades. The initial results of this long-delayed peer review have been a shock to the progressive system.

The response by liberals to these failures has been ugly. They are blaming everyone and anyone else. They are lecturing and yelling at the dumb American people, whining about GOP opposition (when they have had the votes to pass legislation without GOP support for a year now) and fretting it is just the message, not the concepts failing. None of this mess is their fault, they are just the ones in charge.

But most disgusting is the transparent (another one of those campaign promises left unfulfilled) bait & switch the liberal leaders in DC are trying to pull on the voters. Remember the health care lesson learned from Massachusetts? Remember the new focus on jobs? What has this culminated in?

President Obama is trying to trick the American people. He is trying to fool us into thinking he is going to all of a sudden be bipartisan on health care through a stage-crafted media event, even though his own people are out claiming they will not abandon the hyper-partisan plans they spent all year trying to get through Congress. It is truly a stunningly lame effort to pull the wool over our eyes, while being so dumb and tone death as to hold press conferences explaining what they are doing.

In a rare glimpse of raw information side by side we have from the Washington Post the GOP response to the staged event, the white house response to the GOP – proving the false advertising of bipartisanship – and (up front) the media’s take on all this. Truly and educational moment to see all three views in one place.

While the media response is presented first in the WaPo article, let’s take this in chronological order – which begins with the GOP questioning the sincerity of the President and Democrats:

Assuming the President is sincere about moving forward on health care in a bipartisan way, does that mean he will agree to start over so that we can develop a bill that is truly worthy of the support and confidence of the American people? Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said today that the President is “absolutely not” resetting the legislative process for health care.

Assuming the President is sincere about moving forward in a bipartisan way, does that mean he has taken off the table the idea of relying solely on Democratic votes and jamming through health care reform by way of reconciliation? As the President has noted recently, Democrats continue to hold large majorities in the House and Senate, which means they can attempt to pass a health care bill at any time through the reconciliation process. Eliminating the possibility of reconciliation would represent an important show of good faith to Republicans and the American people.

Will the President be inviting officials and lawmakers from the states to participate in this discussion? As you may know, legislation has been introduced in at least 36 state legislatures, similar to the proposal just passed by the Democratic-controlled Virginia State Senate, providing that no individual may be compelled to purchase health insurance. Additionally, governors of both parties have raised concerns about the additional costs that will be passed along to states under both the House and Senate bills.

These questions are also designed to try and make sense of the widening gap between the President’s rhetoric on bipartisanship and the reality.  We cannot help but notice that each of the President’s recent bipartisan overtures has been coupled with harsh, misleading partisan attacks.

For instance, the President decries Republican ‘obstruction’ when it was Republicans who first proposed bipartisan health care talks last May.

All fair questions, and there are many more in the GOP letter to the president which is presented in its entirety by the WaPo (which I applaud them for).

And this is the response from Glib-Gibbs and the White House:

“The President is adamant that we seize this historic moment to pass meaningful health insurance reform legislation. He began this process by inviting Republican and Democratic leaders to the White House on March 5 of last year, and he’s continued to work with both parties in crafting the best possible bill. He’s been very clear about his support for the House and Senate bills because of what they achieve for the American people: putting a stop to insurance company abuses, extending coverage to millions of hardworking Americans, getting control of rising premiums and out-of-pocket costs, and reducing the deficit.

“The President looks forward to reviewing Republican proposals that meet the goals he laid out at the beginning of this process, and as recently as the State of the Union Address. He’s open to including any good ideas that stand up to objective scrutiny. What he will not do, however, is walk away from reform and the millions of American families and small business counting on it. The recent news that a major insurer plans to raise premiums for some customers by as much as 39 percent is a stark reminder of the consequences of doing nothing.”

No answers to the questions, only hints that the White House wants some GOP props in their new fictional presentation to the gullible American people. No willingness to restart, just more demands to continue to ram through the hyper-partisan crap the country is rejecting. There is no olive branch here, just a request for some GOP dupes to come to the White House and let them be used to fool the American people (who are also apparently too stupid to see through this charade).

Now to the media portrayal of this sad and pathetic exchange. First the author, Michael Shear, does a good job of summarizing the GOP position:

Leading House Republicans raised the prospect Monday night that they might refuse to participate in President Obama’s proposed health care summit if the White House chooses not to scrap the existing reform bills and start over.

Fair enough. But the Gibbs response is not really summarized, it is reemphasized as if it required some additional translation:

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs responded by saying that Obama has sought Republican input since early last year, and the president remains interested in hearing ideas that the GOP believe will advance the cause of health care reform.

But he appeared to give little ground on the idea that Obama might abandon the months of work that produced Democratic bills that passed the House and the Senate late last year.

Shear goes on to quote Gibbs verbatim. We all know the that part of the liberal news media still holding out for the Obama miracle (give up on that folks, it is now just a question of how big a disaster 2010 will be for Dems) cannot help but spin this as GOP obstructionism. Shear should have summarized the Gibbs response as ‘we are doing this our way, you are here to present your ideas and leave’.

But Shear does quote the GOP leadership on one key statement that sums up the whole mess we see in DC, and it is for that call out I applaud the piece:

” ‘Bipartisanship’ is not writing proposals of your own behind closed doors, then unveiling them and demanding Republican support,” Boehner and Cantor wrote. “Bipartisan ends require bipartisan means.”

I think the American people should hold all parties, all players in the Political Industrial Complex, to this rule of governance. No more token bipartisan bills were you shear off one or two of the opposing party – that is not really bipartisanship. No more one-party votes (you can do it, but that party will get the boot next election cycle). No more of what we are seeing now, fictional bipartisanship made up of words with no reality behind them.

The President and Democrats promised change in 2008. They did not explain to us they planned on making the partisanship and dictating from corrupt Washington DC even worse than it was – as they have so done. All that hope and promise from last January is now gone and replaced with anger, distrust and shattered expectations.

America will get the change they want, no matter how many congresses they have to dump into the streets until the folks in DC get the message.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “The Obama Administration’s Bait & Switch Schtick Is Getting Old”

  1. mathman2 says:

    Socialism is the wave of the future. (Senator Thomas Dodd)
    We will bury you. (Nikita Khruschev)
    The penalty of memory is the sure knowledge that social dictatorships do not work, as the fundamental assumption about human nature is false.
    Universal State Control is a myth. I will not list the countries which have tried to implement the Universal State. There are too many.
    Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness was the manner in which the Founders encapsulated their understanding of human nature. Cradle to grave security was not what they wanted. Free people built the greatest nation in history.
    Just because the progressive cypher (Zero) is now the duly elected President and does not think much of the United States is no reason for me to turn my back on the blessings of freedom and lust for bureaucracy.
    As we watch, Venezuela slides into chaos. As we watch, Greece slides into chaos. Socialist nations cannot feed their own people. The food comes from capitalist systems.
    My hope is that we are not yet totally gullible to the massive PR campaign arranged by David Plouffe. The campaign is now in high gear. Lies and spin are the order of the day.

  2. Redteam says:

    Rewind back to inauguration day and the promises that had been collected during the campaign which were supposedly about to come true.

    one of the promises of inauguration day was that he was qualified to be President, how is breaking these other promises different from that promise? Isn’t that water under the bridge? Why should we value some unkept promises more than others? When a man is a fraud and deceit, ALL those elements should be brought out.

  3. Neo says:

    What comes around .. goes around …

    Mr. Bush Obama has reacted by railing against Democrats Republicans for obstruction – as if Democrats Republicans are duty-bound to breathe life into his agenda and, even sillier, as if opposing a plan that the people do not want is an illegitimate tactic for an opposition party.
    Rather than accept defeat and consider alternatives, Mr. Bush Obama is becoming even more feckless as public and political opposition mounts. On Tuesday, in a lame ploy to draw the Democrats Republicans to the table, he …