Highlights: The best freak-show moments from the health-care freak show

posted at 5:02 pm on February 25, 2010 by Allahpundit

Did I miss anything here? We’ve got the Perpetual Campaigner reminding McCain that the campaign is over; The One declaring his entitlement to extra speaking time based on the fact that he is, after all, The One; and Tom Harkin lamenting the malevolent Jim Crow dynamic involved in charging higher premiums to people who incur greater health costs. Thanks to the Breitbart folks and our pal Greg Hengler for the vids.

I watched five minutes this morning and thought it would backfire on both parties. Everyone knew it was theater (well, 77 percent), everyone knew nothing would come of it, yet the premise seemed to be that the public might be gullible enough to believe they were negotiating in earnest. “We think you’re stupid” is rarely a winning slogan, least of all in this political climate. I actually laughed out loud when Politico put out that story announcing the Dems’ plan to go it alone on Obama’s bill when there were still, oh, around four hours or so left in the Summit That Saved America. But after watching a bit longer, I came around to Jay Nordlinger’s view:

This health-care summit was a bad idea for the Democrats for this reason: They have long benefited from a perception — a perception greatly abetted by the media: The Republicans don’t care about health care, they don’t know about health care, they are the Party of No. All the ideas and caring are on the Democratic side.

It is not so, and it has never been so. And now everybody knows it.

Yeah. The flaw in the Democrats’ bipartisan kabuki is that they’ve invested so much time in painting the GOP as brainless and feckless that the media — and public — almost can’t help but be pleasantly surprised. Yuval Levin’s also right that it’s not to Zeus’s advantage to descend from Mt. Olympus, because the lesser gods that surround him on his side of the aisle are … what’s the word? Ah yes — unappealing losers.

Third, an important part of the Democrats’ problem is that Obama himself is their only star, and this format is not working for him. He certainly seems engaged and well informed (even given a few misstatements of fact, at least one of which John Kyl made very clear.) But he doesn’t seem like the President of the United States—more like a slightly cranky committee chairman or a patronizing professor who thinks that saying something is “a legitimate argument” is a way to avoid having an argument. He is diminished by the circumstances, he’s cranky and prickly when challenged, and he’s got no one to help him. The other Democrats around the table have been worse than unimpressive. The Republicans seem genuinely well-prepared, seem to have thought through the question of who should speak about what rather carefully, and several of them have done quite a good job making their case against the Democrats’ approach. If we were to judge by debating points, Republicans certainly won the morning handily.

For once, I think Slow Joe got it right: “This could end up being not good.” A few moments for your amusement here of how not good it was.


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OK.
Now ask yourselves what every headline and news broadcast would be trumpeting from now until the midterm elections if the Republicans hadn’t gone to this summit.

The Dems are hosed. The only way they could make things even worse for themselves is if they try to go the reconciliation route.

Today was a good day.

justltl on February 25, 2010 at 8:39 PM

Third, an important part of the Democrats’ problem is that Obama himself is their only star, and this format is not working for him.

Yes. He seems unable or unwilling to allow anyone else to even approach the fringes of the lime light. I find myself wondering what it must be like to be married to such a man. Is he as pompous and controlling within his family as he is politically? Can’t wait for the tell all book that’s bound to come out after he leaves office(an event that can’t come too soon).

jeanie on February 25, 2010 at 8:56 PM

Forgive me if someone mentioned this but you forgot his ‘it’s Bush’s fault’ moment.

Monica on February 25, 2010 at 8:57 PM

–About 75% want some sort of health care insurance reform. Haven’t you read the polls?

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 5:55 PM

When asked a leading question, such as “would you like to see a health reform measure that would reduce costs?” a majority of the public says yes.

This is deliberately misleading; like asking “would you like the weather to be nice for your picnic?”

The same polls also indicate a great majority of people are satisfied with their current health care plan.

massrighty on February 25, 2010 at 9:17 PM

The freakiest moment was the “sister’s false teeth” story by that Dem hack (who is electing all these losers and clowns into office Btw?).

Teeth wins hands down!

I was literally ROFLMAO at the utter ridiculousness of it all!

sarahpalinfan99 on February 25, 2010 at 10:43 PM

–About 75% want some sort of health care insurance reform. Haven’t you read the polls?

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 5:55 PM

William Tucker has an excellent article in American Spectator showing exactly why health insurance costs are so high. If those currently in charge of the Federal government – and their progressive supporters around the country – had any real interest in changing that, they would be focused on altering the facts Tucker discusses – which have been known for a long time.

They don’t, because the goal for them is not to bring down costs by the only method that will actually work – to free the market – but to transfer the control that now exists (in far too large a measure) from the States to the Federal government. That is all they want. That is all they have ever wanted.

‘Helping the poor’ is – as it always has been for Progressives – just a very convenient smoke screen for an insatiable lust for yet more power.

JDPerren on February 25, 2010 at 11:04 PM

I think I understand why this man has no friends, no people from his past who have stayed in touch. He is the kind of person one simply avoids…

Rational Thought on February 25, 2010 at 5:53 PM

Good point. I never thought of it that way. I sort of figured folks were contacted and knew it was in their best interest if they didn’t make anything public. Or there was some unspoken but understood pact between similar spirits to not rat on fellow activists. But I bet you’re right. I bet he never had friends, and this cruel, petty abrasiveness is the only way he knows to interact.

I hope our president finds his soul before he leaves office. I hope he can write in his third memoir how he began crying in the Oval Office after seeing a photo of himself, tieless, with his feet on the Resolute desk and realizing his flaw in not recognizing the honor that was bestowed on him.

He won’t, of course. Well, he might write it, sure, if he thinks it sounds good and would secure the movie deal, but he’d need to prove it as president. But that’s my dream for him and my country. A road to Damascus moment.

rogerb on February 25, 2010 at 6:10 PM

But not even as a toddler? I am still waiting on birthday pictures. I know we all want waay more documentation that is not brought forward, and yeah no friends? I am not a socialite, but I believe my circumstances are different.

ProudPalinFan on February 25, 2010 at 11:05 PM

I would like to have the body language lady do a whole show on this summit! The arrogant, dismissive, and derisive attitude of this narcissist president was soooooo apparent!!!

hopefloats on February 26, 2010 at 12:47 AM

What in the hell is wrong with the voters in Iowa?

redwhiteblue on February 26, 2010 at 1:03 AM

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 5:55 PM

I have read in the past threads you personally stating that you would benefit from this because of your personal situation. I empathize only to a certain point. After reading estimated costs from several sources, I repeat a claim I’ve made as to the increase in health insurance expendature I expect to incur in order to cover you. The health care benefits I earned through 34 years of active military service increaces from 4,000 to 15,000 per year in round numbers. That is 11,000 less of my retirement paycheck as disposible income than I counted on, for a health care plan that anyone else is entitled to anyway. (That in my mind like “you” getting part of my retirement benefits)

So in all this time, have you done anything to better your situation other than petitioning the issue sitting on your butt from your computer while the rest of America is working seconds jobs to make ends meet? I hear you eat out a lot too.

hawkdriver on February 26, 2010 at 2:32 AM

“increases”

hawkdriver on February 26, 2010 at 2:39 AM

The unbearable obtuseness of this party is stunning. Their ring leader, a rube with ‘tude, is a fading rock star who can’t hit the high notes anymore. It won’t be long before some Democrat puppet master reveals a damning truth about him to the press, and his days of sullying the Clinton wedding train will be over.

leftnomore on February 26, 2010 at 4:14 AM

Don’t know if anyone else has mentioned this, but his calling all the senators and congressmen–who are members of a co-equal branch of government–by their first names really got on my nerves. You just know it was his way of putting them in their places.

It would have been great if one of them had had a Barbara Boxer moment and insisted that Barack use the title he or she “worked so hard for.”

Or they could have started addressing him as Barry. That certainly would have livened up the proceedings.

Meredith on February 26, 2010 at 5:08 AM

Or they could have started addressing him as Barry. That certainly would have livened up the proceedings.

Meredith on February 26, 2010 at 5:08 AM

True. However, the fact that they didn’t only underscores their class and respect for the office of the President.

ladyingray on February 26, 2010 at 7:46 AM

My favorite freaky moment was right before Senator Durbin spoke, the President said something like, “Let me make one more point, and then I’m going to turn to Dick.” My inner 13-yr-old boy was ROFL. Sophomoric I know, but I couldn’t help it. :)

Melba Toast on February 26, 2010 at 8:15 AM

I purposely stayed away from this yesterday, as I can’t afford to replace my TV, and thought surely that I would be forced to throw a shoe through it at some point.

I did see the exchange between thw Won and McCain where Obumbles said “the campaign is over” (as if, with that guy)

What McCain Should have said in reply was “But the DEBATE is not! You weren’t elected KING!”

VelvetElvis on February 26, 2010 at 8:24 AM

Don’t know if anyone else has mentioned this, but his calling all the senators and congressmen–who are members of a co-equal branch of government–by their first names really got on my nerves. You just know it was his way of putting them in their places.

It would have been great if one of them had had a Barbara Boxer moment and insisted that Barack use the title he or she “worked so hard for.”

Or they could have started addressing him as Barry. That certainly would have livened up the proceedings.

Meredith on February 26, 2010 at 5:08 AM

Just like the General that was facing Babs, the republicans will continue to call the ‘Won’ Mr. President. That’s because you, me, and them were raised to respect our elders, officials, and even the office of the President no matter who may be sitting in the chair. I say that with full knowledge that I have never had any respect for the usurper on Pennsylvania Ave.

Blacksmith8 on February 26, 2010 at 8:44 AM

We can have a debate about process or we can have a debate about how we are going to help the American people.

I would expect that process is quite important — and Obama claimed it should be taken off the table?

How can we be assure that the result is good unless we assure that the process used to create the result is also good?

unclesmrgol on February 26, 2010 at 8:51 AM

I just love it when, bereft of ideas and a plan, the libs reach into the racist bag for an analogy that is totally unrelated to the subject and wouldn’t make their point acceptable in a million years. Hope the people in his state are watching to see their tool in action.

Kissmygrits on February 26, 2010 at 9:14 AM

So in all this time, have you done anything to better your situation other than petitioning the issue sitting on your butt from your computer while the rest of America is working seconds jobs to make ends meet? I hear you eat out a lot too.

hawkdriver on February 26, 2010 at 2:32 AM

–I’ve been working my first job and have been able to make ends meet.

Jimbo3 on February 26, 2010 at 9:17 AM

The health care benefits I earned through 34 years of active military service increaces from 4,000 to 15,000 per year in round numbers. That is 11,000 less of my retirement paycheck as disposible income than I counted on, for a health care plan that anyone else is entitled to anyway. (That in my mind like “you” getting part of my retirement benefits)

So in all this time, have you done anything to better your situation other than petitioning the issue sitting on your butt from your computer while the rest of America is working seconds jobs to make ends meet? I hear you eat out a lot too.

hawkdriver on February 26, 2010 at 2:32 AM

–Hawkdriver, don’t you have medical benefits through the VA anyways? With that amount of service, you should be eligible for VA benefits.

Jimbo3 on February 26, 2010 at 9:21 AM

As the parent of a son who’s going to be getting his driver’s license in a few months, I totally agree with Harkin. Stop the segregation. Why should I have to pay more for my son’s car insurance just because he’s young, inexperienced, and male? None of those things are his fault! Stop the segregation!

/sarcasm

taznar on February 26, 2010 at 10:53 AM

taznar on February 26, 2010 at 10:53 AM

Dig the snark.

Seriously, Harkin made no sense. His great lesson from selling insurance, “that more people in a pool, reduces cost” is a complete non-sequitor(sp?). If this is the case, shouldn’t we be arguing for bigger pools? Or maybe this is an argument for the mandate. Fill the pools!

I understand he is arguing that a single large pool will reduce the most cost. Maybe for some. It will increase cost for others. So again, we are just going for socialism, i.e. equality of outcome. If I am a very healthy and active person with a low risk of terminal illness why should I have to pay into a pool with 600 pound smoking diabetics?

drocity on February 26, 2010 at 11:14 AM

True. However, the fact that they didn’t only underscores their class and respect for the office of the President.

ladyingray on February 26, 2010

Don’t think the people who watched this didn’t notice. We did. Arrogance has a particular odor that attaches to Ob+ama and doesn’t wash off, no matter how “clean and articulate” he may be.

SKYFOX on February 26, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Two words: Preening jackass.

nico on February 26, 2010 at 11:41 AM

Yes. He seems unable or unwilling to allow anyone else to even approach the fringes of the lime light. I find myself wondering what it must be like to be married to such a man. Is he as pompous and controlling within his family as he is politically? Can’t wait for the tell all book that’s bound to come out after he leaves office(an event that can’t come too soon).

This has happened before. Julius Ceasar was ultimately felled by his “friend” Brutus.

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

landlines on February 26, 2010 at 11:55 AM

One thing I noticed that for all the talking Obama did that he hardly highlighted any counter-points of any substance whatsoever. He retorts were always, “there are lots of people sitting over here on this side that disagree with that…” Disagree on specifically what pray tell? Or, how he would always sidestep a talking point by suddenly changing the rules of the summit. “Were not here to talk process……Were not here to get into the substance of that matter…..Did I mention that we need to do something about pre-existing conditions yet?”

Heftyjo on February 26, 2010 at 12:10 PM

I wonder if the dingbat Louise Slaughter realizes that dentures are not covered by health insurance. They are covered by dental insurance, which is not part of the health insurance plan.

Dasher on February 26, 2010 at 2:20 PM

Just what did anyone expected from this summit? Everyone in their right mind knows that Obama’s health care summit was a scam. He insinuated during the summit that he did not want the Republicans to play politics with the summit but that is what the whole circus was about. He intended to use the summit to try and make Republicans look bad. But when it did not happen he insinuated that he did not care what they had to say and that he did not care what Americans had to say. I am interested in finding out why many of these insurance companies that they say are in bed with Republicans are actually in bed with Obama and the Democrats.

darwinatridge on February 26, 2010 at 3:12 PM

Obama:

“What part of this crap sandwich don’t you like?
What if I take off the bread?”

Cybergeezer on February 26, 2010 at 3:58 PM

Face Palm!
McCain, conservative when convenient,
but sadly, a toothless kitchen dog
wagging his tail to protect his own perks.

“Let’s Roll”

On Watch on February 27, 2010 at 9:06 AM

Obama calls him “John” and McCain has to call Obama “Mr. President”?

Respect goes two ways.

Bite me, Barack.

drjohn on February 27, 2010 at 11:13 AM

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