Obama on health-care summit: Let’s play nice or else I’ll nuke you with reconciliation; Reid: We’ll pass a bill within 60 days

posted at 12:51 pm on February 20, 2010 by Allahpundit

An efficient bit of political theater, capped by his insistence that “I don’t want to see this meeting turn into political theater.” It’s a little late for that, champ:

It is now clear that the “summit” the president has called for February 25 is not intended to consider different approaches to health care financing, but rather to create an illusion of momentum that might just lull disoriented congressional Democrats into ramming the health care bill through the budget reconciliation process…

The timing of this move (just after a congressional recess, when members of Congress won’t be spending much time at home again until Easter), the nature of the health care summit (a public relations spectacle intended to generate buzz in the political press more than to appeal to the public), and the character of the legislative plan (a quick hard push through reconciliation to avoid debate, amendments, and too much time to think) all seem designed to bamboozle rank and file Democratic members of Congress into taking a suicidal vote. But they are also aimed to slip the bill past the public, not yet alert to the danger. This stratagem is the perfect finale to a yearlong circus that has exposed the ugliest side of our politics.

With their plans to press ahead now clear, the Democrats have given Republicans little choice but to restate the full indictment of Obamacare at the summit and beyond.

The R-word is never uttered in the clip, but then why would it be? He has other people around to wave the stick for him while he’s busy offering carrots, from unnamed Democratic aides leaking to the Times (“It will be a reconciliation bill”) to threats about ramming through the public option from Reid’s office. The point of this, as is true of so much Obama stagecraft, is to present him as an above-the-fray voice of reason so that, when he inevitably resorts to hardball, it looks like he’s been forced into it by those mean ol’ recalcitrant Republicans. He actually goes so far as to praise two GOP proposals as good ideas, knowing all the while that they’ll never make it into the bill since no compromise will possibly come out of this meeting. It’s good schtick. I wonder if there’s anyone left who’s buying it.

The GOP used its own weekly address this morning to ask him once again to start over with a clean slate. That’s theater too, of course; the players are simply taking their places onstage for Thursday’s final act. Exit question: Are there, as Republicans claim, really 18 Democrats opposed to reconciliation? A head count by the Hill reveals the number is somewhat more nuanced.

Update: Bipartisanship, Obama style:

The majority leader said that while Democrats have a number of options, they would likely use the budget reconciliation process to pass a series of fixes to the first healthcare bill passed by the Senate in November. These changes are needed to secure votes for passage of that original Senate bill in the House.

“We’ll do a relatively small bill to take care of what we’ve already done,” Reid said, affirming that Democrats would use the reconciliation process. “We’re going to have that done in the next 60 days.”

The move would allow Democrats to essentially go it alone on health reform, especially after losing their filibuter-proof majority in the Senate after Sen. Scott Brown’s (R) special election victory in Massachusetts.


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Comment pages: 1 2 3

DO. IT.
Let’s see how your citizenry reacts then. Let’s see how popular your Chicago thuggery is. Let’s see how the ‘10 elections shake out and how easy it is for you to get your progressive agenda done, and we’ll see how quickly your beloved “Executive Orders” are turned around once your axx is handed to you in 2012.

Tell me…have you brushed up on impeachment proceedings lately? Unless I’m mistaken it takes a simple majority in the House to impeach. Of course, then the Senate needs 2/3 to convict so I doubt we’d get that – but one never knows. Think it can’t happen to you? Test it.

Yellowdog12 on February 20, 2010 at 11:20 PM

He is a stupid Fool. He needs to be impeached as soon as the Republicsns take control in 2010 before he does any more damage.
Till then, no!

nyx on February 21, 2010 at 12:45 AM

DO. IT.
Let’s see how your citizenry reacts then. Let’s see how popular your Chicago thuggery is. Let’s see how the ‘10 elections shake out and how easy it is for you to get your progressive agenda done, and we’ll see how quickly your beloved “Executive Orders” are turned around once your axx is handed to you in 2012.

Tell me…have you brushed up on impeachment proceedings lately? Unless I’m mistaken it takes a simple majority in the House to impeach. Of course, then the Senate needs 2/3 to convict so I doubt we’d get that – but one never knows. Think it can’t happen to you? Test it.

Yellowdog12 on February 20, 2010 at 11:20 PM

Obama-Reid-Pelosi are not just governing against the clear will of the governed. They are doing it defiantly.

petefrt on February 21, 2010 at 8:00 AM

Does this look like what the jihadi’s do when they pledge their allegiance to Allah before committing suicide and killing innocent women and children in their last act?
I’d like to know who their allah really is!

Cybergeezer on February 21, 2010 at 9:34 AM

It appears that this administration doesn’t give a crap what the American people want, they will do anything to promote and pass this socialized medicine bill. Let’s hope Americans remember this in November.

afotia on February 21, 2010 at 10:53 AM

According to Mitch McConnell on Fox News Sunday, the GOP will attend the summit.

The GOP may support a jobs bill (Porkulus II), too.

*sigh*

Wethal on February 21, 2010 at 11:23 AM

Isn’t this the third time that someone has placed an artificial deadline on passing this s#&@ sandwich?

daesleeper on February 21, 2010 at 11:58 AM

Isn’t this the third time that someone has placed an artificial deadline on passing this s#&@ sandwich?

daesleeper on February 21, 2010 at 11:58 AM

This one may be real. I’ve read that the reconciliation process has deadlines. If Reid doesn’t do it by April, he cannot reconcile the Senate bill that was passed on Christmas Eve. Reconciliation for that bill expires, and he has to start with a new one (which would require 60 votes to get past cloture).

Wethal on February 21, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Democrats play dirty when in power. We end up with “gangs of 14″ when the Chamberlin-esque GOP dopes have the majority.

SouthernGent on February 21, 2010 at 12:13 PM

SouthernGent on February 21, 2010 at 12:13 PM

All the more reason for TPM conservatives to infiltrate the GOP.

Just like an enema, real change starts at “the bottom”, and BOY does the GOP need a good cleaning out!

As I’ve said before, I’ll say it again: The GOP needs an enema, and the only prescription is MORE TEA!

wearyman on February 21, 2010 at 12:39 PM

While we are talking about “billions and billions”, I recommend Team Obama stop and watch the movie “Contract” inspired by the late Carl Sagan.

Key point to remember … “baby steps

J_Crater on February 21, 2010 at 12:59 PM

According to Mitch McConnell on Fox News Sunday, the GOP will attend the summit.

The GOP may support a jobs bill (Porkulus II), too.

*sigh*

Wethal on February 21, 2010 at 11:23 AM

This is why I am not voting for ANY incumbent. Every last one of them is corrupt or, at the very least, weak. As I emailed KBH here in Texas that I wanted her to FIGHT against all of this garbage and she emailed me back saying how she is “fighting back by working with them.” No, NO, NO!

These people all have rocks for brains.

cibolo on February 21, 2010 at 1:13 PM

So they bought the Parlimentarian off?

I hope he got a good deal.

percysunshine on February 21, 2010 at 1:27 PM

So they bought the Parlimentarian off?

I hope he got a good deal.

percysunshine on February 21, 2010 at 1:27 PM

Not clear. In December the parliamentarian ruled that the provosion in the Senate bill that required a 67-vote majority to ever eliminate the health care panesl (a/k/a/ deaht panels) in a subsequent bill was not a “rule change,” but a “procedural change” [no, I don't know the difference] so it didn’t need 67 votes to pass, but 60. They need 67 votes to change the rules.

The former parliamentarian is on record saying that many parts of Obamacare can’t be pased with reconcilation, so the current one would be bucking his predecessor. And the current one may be looking at the GOP taking back the Senate in 2010 or 2012, and taking the long view. Byrd was very strict on reconciliation’s use, but who knows how clearly he’s thinking nowadays.

Under the rules, 67 votes or the Senate President can overrule the parlimentarian. Biden is the Senate President. Whether they’d go that far to have Biden overrule, who knows.

Wethal on February 21, 2010 at 1:42 PM

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/21/health/policy/21summit.html

The Dems admit its all made for TV attempt to show common ground and get skittish Dems to vote yes to get to 51.

McConnell or any other Republican that is dumb enough to walk into that room thinking they can outsmart Pinnochio and his media filters needs to be voted out of office.
The American people won’t watch they will take away what the media tells them which will be:

Some Republicans agreed that the heathcare bill has good policies and needs to pass they are being obstructionist and partisan over some small details like abortion.
It was a master performance by Pinnochio and probably good enough to rally the American people and get the historic Bill passed and fix healthcare once and for all!

Fire anyone who ignorantly walks into this bailout Pinnochio and HealthScare!

dhunter on February 21, 2010 at 1:55 PM

Remember all this folks because this year they will really turn up the promises, lies, anger, screaming, name calling, all to save their sorry back sides in the election that is coming. The panic is spreading in both parties because both are guilty as hell for the condition the congress has put the USA in pearl. The old guard is no longer comfy because they know we know and we are going to do something about it.
mixplix on February 20, 2010 at 10:25 PM

The Far-Left National Socialist wacko wing of the Democrat party – the party of projection – will certainly turn up the heat when they don’t get their way, just like spoiled children having a temper tantrum.

Expect them to hurl accusations of Racism – despite the fact that it is they who judged Obowmao on the color of his skin rather than the content of his character (or lack thereof)

Expect them to accuse the right of being Nazis – despite the fact that it is they who are the Socialists that are part of a National party – hence National Socialists.

Why do the Far-Left National Socialists feel they have the right to dictate how healthcare and the country will be run?

Chip on February 21, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Wethal on February 21, 2010 at 1:42 PM

Why wouldn’t they have OBiden overrule? Probably why Pinnochio hired the mental midget, for just such a circumstance!

This is the Dems wet dream of socializing 1/6th of the economy now and much more later as a result.

These bastards are going to get the wakeup call come Nov. and find they are all sticky, goey, alone and Pinnochio was not the girl of their dreams just a figment of their immagination and the fun they had while sleeping will cost them their seats their reputations and their parties ability to govern for a generation!

dhunter on February 21, 2010 at 2:01 PM

Remember Harry, it’s 2010 and November is coming. You just go ahead and try that reconciliation thing.

Fighton03 on February 21, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Bring it.

crazy_legs on February 21, 2010 at 3:54 PM

dhunter on February 21, 2010 at 2:01 PM

A little too obvious and to blatant a power play. Moderate Dems still may respect the procedures and tell him not to. Biden has a lot of ties to the Senate that Obama never bothered to develop in his short time there.

And they would have to think of a reason why Biden knew more than the parliamentarian about parliamentary procedure in the Senate. Biden is an idiot. The procedure is quite byzantine.

Some GOP senators killed Shamnesty the last time when they were voting on amendments. Reid voted for his own amendment, which sent the whole bill back to committee under the rules (no, I don’t know why). Apparently Reid was to rely on enough Dem and RINO votes to get it passed, but forgot. So Sessions or DeMint or Coburn (I forget which) jumped up and cited the rule.

The point of this summit is to buck up the wavering Dems and get them to vote for this travesty regardless of what the voters think. Congressional Dems know what the voters think and will likely do in November.

At this point, I’d guess Harry and Nancy have both lost a lot of votes, given the townhalls, Brown’s re-eleciton, retirements such as Kennedy’s. etc. and cannot pass Obamacare now. They need to get their frightened caucus together, and the method is somehow to paint the GOP as obstructionist.

Of course, plenty in the GOP will happily run on “I obstructed Obamacare and am d*mned proud of it” in the fall.

Wethal on February 21, 2010 at 4:06 PM

Of course, plenty in the GOP will happily run on “I obstructed Obamacare and am d*mned proud of it” in the fall.

Wethal on February 21, 2010 at 4:06 PM

This is exactly what the democrats don’t understand. Obstructing the enormous crap sandwich is a positive thing, not a negative one.

Dhuka on February 21, 2010 at 5:00 PM

I still say they aren’t smart enough to get this accomplished.

SouthernGent on February 21, 2010 at 5:05 PM

Wethal on February 21, 2010 at 4:06 PM

Thanks for the info I hope your right, deep down I believe you are and that is why I am furious that the idiotic Repubs feel they have to show up at the “Bailout Obama and HealthScare Summitt”

No matter what they do or say the media will cover for Pinnochio, make him out to be the good guy and say the people want it, the Repubs agree with most of it, and are just doing it to obstruct and hurt poor Pinnochio and poor people!

dhunter on February 21, 2010 at 5:56 PM

I am so sick of this dip**** every damn day it’s another thing.
/off soap box

screwauger on February 21, 2010 at 6:26 PM

screwauger on February 21, 2010 at 6:26 PM

It was almost nice to turn on the TV Friday to see a black man who wasn’t Pinnochio even tho he also was a liar!

dhunter on February 21, 2010 at 6:53 PM

60 days, huh? We had 50 days to save the world according to Prince Charles, that was almost a year ago, I’m not worried about either.

Alden Pyle on February 21, 2010 at 9:01 PM

Is this fool actually trying to create an uprising in this country? What else could he want with this?

These people are insane.

Virginia Shanahan on February 21, 2010 at 11:04 PM

This stratagem is the perfect finale to a yearlong circus that has exposed the ugliest side of our Obama’s politics.

Herb on February 22, 2010 at 9:26 AM

They do this, they’re TOAST!

MechEng5by5 on February 22, 2010 at 11:11 AM

Exactly what part of WE DON’T WANT YOUR STINKING HEALTHCARE PLAN!!!! do B.O. and his Democrat ilk not understand?

Perhaps a cheery reminder that Movember is now only 9 months away is what is needed here to get their attention.

pilamaye on February 22, 2010 at 11:16 AM

The only words that come to mind is “breathtaking stupidity”.

orlandocajun on February 22, 2010 at 11:20 AM

By very definition of threatening the reconciliation nuke, Obama isn’t playing nice himself. aaaaaannnd…FAIL.

alteredbeat on February 22, 2010 at 10:09 PM

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