Boehner: This health-care summit is a total sham but we must attend anyway

posted at 2:29 pm on February 23, 2010 by Allahpundit

Sad but true, my friends, sad but true.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) told his colleagues on Tuesday that Republicans plan to attend the president’s high-profile healthcare summit this week in order to “crash the party.”

According to a House GOP leadership aide familiar with the top-ranking Republican’s remarks at the weekly closed-door conference meeting, Boehner appealed to skeptical Republican lawmakers, saying, “We shouldn’t let the White House have a six-hour taxpayer-funded infomercial on ObamaCare. We need to show up. We need to crash the party.”

Following the private hourlong breakfast meeting, Boehner acknowledged to reporters that House Republicans have not officially accepted the president’s invitation.

He called it an “infomercial” in his official statement this morning too and demanded again that the negotiations start from scratch. (Cantor chimed in on GMA by dismissing Obama’s bill as a “non-starter.”) Now that all pretense is gone that this will be anything other than a political passion play, can someone explain to me McConnell’s picks for the GOP’s Senate attendees?

Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., Senate Republican Whip
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Senate Republican Conference Chairman
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Ranking Member Senate Finance Committee
Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., Ranking Member Senate Help Committee
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., HELP Committee
Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D., R-Okla., HELP Committee
Sen. John Barrasso, M.D.,R-Wyo.

Who’s missing? Right, Number 41, whose very presence would remind viewers that our “bipartisan” president is prepared to stamp his feet and go nuclear with reconciliation if Republicans don’t sign off on his gigantic new bill. Granted, he’s the most junior senator in Congress, but who cares? This is nothing but theater so there’s no excuse for not staging it correctly. I get why most of the others are there: Kyl’s number two in the caucus, Alexander’s the head of the conference, McCain’s the former nominee, and Coburn and Barrasso are both doctors. But neither Grassley nor Enzi can be spared for Brown, their legislative influence notwithstanding? For that matter, where’s Olympia Snowe? She’d remind viewers that even the lone Republican who was willing to vote with Democrats on this early on is now prepared to walk away from a monster boondoggle; as such, she’s probably best positioned to make the case publicly against reconciliation, which she showed herself willing to do last night (“a huge mistake, frankly — tactically, strategically and in terms of what is in the best interest of the American people”). And of course, she’d bring a bit of gender balance to the all-white, all-male, all-senior Republican team. Any explanations for why she and Brown are MIA?

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2.4 Republican incumbents (12 seats)
2.4.1 Richard Shelby of Alabama
2.4.2 Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
2.4.3 John McCain of Arizona
2.4.4 Johnny Isakson of Georgia
2.4.5 Mike Crapo of Idaho
2.4.6 Chuck Grassley of Iowa
2.4.7 David Vitter of Louisiana
2.4.8 Richard Burr of North Carolina
2.4.9 Tom Coburn of Oklahoma
2.4.10 Jim DeMint of South Carolina
2.4.11 John Thune of South Dakota
2.4.12 Bob Bennett of Utah

Up for re-election so three of the attendees are up for re-election!
Is McCain going to remind Pinnochiio on television of his campaign promises. Nows the time senator to show us why the people of Arizona should keep you. Stand up to the liar do not agree with (pander to) Him

dhunter on February 23, 2010 at 4:16 PM

Every phrase uttered by Republicans should include, ” But Mr. President this breaks another promise that you made to the American People”.

moughon on February 23, 2010 at 4:22 PM

As usual, McConnell has his head where the sun don’t shine….. The sooner he leaves, the better.

ultracon on February 23, 2010 at 4:29 PM

You know…… they should have sent Joe Wilson.

ultracon on February 23, 2010 at 4:32 PM

None of them “need” to go. The Dems can pass this bill on their own. Let ’em do it.

BetseyRoss on February 23, 2010 at 4:42 PM

Here is an update on the Canadian Premier who flew to Florida for a heart operation.

royzer on February 23, 2010 at 4:57 PM

Who’s missing? Right, Number 41, whose very presence would remind viewers that our “bipartisan” president is prepared to stamp his feet and go nuclear with reconciliation if Republicans don’t sign off on his gigantic new bill.

Mark my words Allah – if the final ObamaCare bill passes – Scott Brown’s name will be listed in the “Yay” column.

And you can bank that.

This is NOT some kind of “all or nothing” bill for Obama. At this point … Obama will settle for simply creating a business environment that starves insurance companies of oxygen. Something that that’s tasteless and odorless and kills them off. He can do that with price controls. He can do that with mandating insurance for everyone and then not attaching a penalty for non-compliance (the insurance companies will NEED everyone in the pot if they have to do business under these rules – but they won’t get everyone if there is no real penalty for buying insurance). He can do THAT with all kinds of nonsense that Scott Brown and several other Republicans will have no problem voting for.

I don’t think they’ll do reconcillation.

I think they’ll include some Tort reform. I think they’ll do something with state lines. And I think they’ll juice it up with some socialist stuff too that will end up killing the insurance companies so that we have no other option later except to enact a public option.

And yeah – Scott Brown will vote for it all. I know he says he doesn’t like the current proposal – but this is NOT the final proposal.

HondaV65 on February 23, 2010 at 5:00 PM

President SHAM WOW


donabernathy on February 23, 2010 at 5:13 PM

When the answer is of course “no”, stand up give him the finger and walk out! OK, maybe leave the finger part out…but it’s OK to refuse to be part of the sham. GROW SOME CAJONES!

search4truth on February 23, 2010 at 2:35 PM

Take the white board markers with you when you leave. Bawwy will be denied the oppotunity to perform in his “professorial” style.

ya2daup on February 23, 2010 at 5:14 PM

Nah Obama would never include tort reform. He’ll never include cross-state competition either.

You would have to believe that Obama is sincere about conservative solutions to imagine that the man who bent over backwards for the PHrMA and the unions would ever threaten the livelihoods of the trial attorneys who practically own the DNC. Interstate health insurance ALONE would be more deregulatory than Obama is even capable of contemplating.

Noone is in possession of any evidence that Obama has ever been sincere about adopting genuine free-market solutions for his policies because that evidence doesn’t exist. The modern left is so cynical about appropriating free-market economic tropes and notions to promote their statist agendas that they do it offhandedly now. Think “Jobs bill”, think “Public Option as COMPETITION”.

Khorum on February 23, 2010 at 5:39 PM

All they need to send is Scott Brown with a bunch of picture boards and a good boombox playing “Another One Bites the Dirt” and as the cameras roll, Scott doesn’t say anything, just holds the picture boards that say things like, “Death Panel Intact”, Unions Don’t have to Pay”, “Congress Has It’s Own Plan”, “$1,000,000,000,000,000” -etc and then the last 10 boards should be about Obama’s lies….

colonelkurtz on February 23, 2010 at 6:09 PM

HeathScares dead,

Says Charles and Fred,

but wait its a bird its a plane,

oh damn, its’ JOHN MCCAIN!

With his “good friends” a fryin,

OLD JOHN is a tryin,

to show some bi-partisan creds!

dhunter on February 23, 2010 at 6:26 PM

We need people like Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor who have detailed knowledge to politely pick apart the crud that’s being shoveled. Plus they’re rising stars and we should showcase them.

Jill1066 on February 23, 2010 at 2:37 PM

They are not “next in line”, so they just need to sit down and shut up.

Jerome Horwitz on February 23, 2010 at 4:08 PM

The list is of Senators not House Members who have not released a list of attendees.

Dasher on February 23, 2010 at 6:54 PM

I want Michele Bachmann on the list.

Dasher on February 23, 2010 at 6:55 PM

But neither Grassley nor Enzi can be spared for Brown, their legislative influence notwithstanding?

Allah, I think this is protocol based on their committee roles and Grassley was the last Republican to bailout of the Bacus group and has all the historical knowledge of what all went on including not just what was reported.

As to Brown, I think it would be (dare I say… )prudent not to risk an inopportune moment with a newly minted Republican Senator who is all really walking around with a target on his back and create a media circus that takes the media away from the issue?

Texas Gal on February 23, 2010 at 6:55 PM

How about Ann Coulter.

misterpeasea on February 23, 2010 at 7:17 PM

misterpeasea on February 23, 2010 at 7:17 PM

As long as were dreamin maybe Boehner should bring in RUSH!

dhunter on February 23, 2010 at 7:22 PM

Agree 100% with Allah that having Brown and Snowe there would be putting real pressure on Obama.

Red Cloud

How does sending two Republicans most likely to sympathize with Obama on the issue of government run health care put pressure on Obama? And yes, Brown is ok with government-run health care. Don’t fool yourself into believing otherwise.

xblade on February 23, 2010 at 7:27 PM

As another clever commenter once said, don’t let them call you the party of “no” — it’s the party of “no, that’s silly.”

Mark30339 on February 23, 2010 at 9:19 PM

Repubs need a bold move. They should counterpunch by inviting Obama to a joint House/Senate meeting instead of the White House. It’s not the President’s job to propose legislation. Change the dynamic. Put the WH back on it’s heels. Put him (O) in the position of defending his plan, as opposed to tearing down the Repub plan or plans.

CSK on February 23, 2010 at 10:52 PM

No, you don’t need to attend, at least not if you had decent leadership who could step up and say something like, Mr President, we have a constitutional structure for debate and discussion of these sorts of issues, it’s called Congress. If you wanted to be a legislator, perhaps you should have stayed in the Senate…

drfredc on February 24, 2010 at 1:55 AM