Video: Gibbs squirms as press corps grills him on Slaughter strategy

posted at 5:13 pm on March 16, 2010 by Allahpundit

Two clips from this afternoon’s briefing, the first via Hengler of Savannah Guthrie making the clown dance and the second via Mediaite of Ed Henry picking up where she left off. The Democrats’ talking point on this is unyielding: The public doesn’t care what process they use to pass the bill and, presumably, won’t ever ever evah care no matter what happens. As I tried to explain last night, that logic is simply insane, and the closer we get to a Supreme Court challenge to the Slaughter strategy, the more insane it becomes. Politico:

No lawyer interviewed by POLITICO thought the constitutionality of the “deem and pass” approach being considered by House Democrats was an open-and-shut case either way. But most agreed that it could raise constitutional issues sufficiently credible that the Supreme Court might get interested, as it has in the past.

“If I were advising somebody,” on whether deem and pass would run into constitutional trouble, “I would say to them, ‘Don’t do it,’” said Alan Morrison, a professor at the George Washington University Law School who has litigated similar issues before the Supreme Court on behalf of the watchdog organization Public Citizen. “What does ‘deem’ mean? In class I always say it means ‘let’s pretend.’ ‘Deems’ means it’s not true.”…

Alison Zieve, director of litigation for Public Citizen, said, “I agree it doesn’t feel good. It seems inconsistent with the wording of the relevant constitutional provision. And then the question is whether the constitution gives them flexibility to adopt procedures to streamline or guide their business.”

Democrats can’t seriously believe that the public would shrug at a Supreme Court challenge that could strike down ObamaCare because we don’t know nuthin’ ’bout no congressional procedure. The reason no one cares right now is because the idea’s only a week old, Pelosi still hasn’t committed to it, and objections to it thus far have been confined mainly to conservative media. That’s changing, as you’re about to see. In fact, here’s a taste of Jack Cafferty’s latest tribute to Madam Speaker on CNN:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may try to pass the controversial health care reform bill without making members vote on it. Unbelievable…

Politically speaking, this is beyond sleazy. It’s meant to protect Democrats – especially those up for re-election in November – from having to make a tough vote. Pelosi says of this process, “I like it… because people don’t have to vote on the Senate bill.” In Nancy Pelosi’s world, accountability is a dirty word.

There’s a fun slogan for Democrats to run on in November; no wonder some fencesitters in the House are starting to feel extra squeamish. If they have to go to court, even if they win, the media spotlight on the case will raise public awareness about the scumminess of the process ahead of November. If they lose the case, which is possible, they’re ruined twice over: Not only would O-Care be dead but the scumminess would now have actually risen to the level of illegality. And the grand irony would be that there’s really no benefit at this point to using Slaughter instead of just voting up or down on Reid’s bill. The parliamentarian says Obama has to sign something before reconciliation can begin in the Senate and the underlying Senate bill “deemed” passed by the House is the only thing he can sign. So forget the whole “deem” business and vote on the damned thing already. Which, I predict, is exactly what Pelosi will do.

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Chuck Schick is my new hero!!! Applause!!!!!

“Somewhere an Arby’s is being robbed of a perfectly passable fry chef”

This is Gibbs!!!

thare on March 16, 2010 at 7:28 PM

Am I the only person who couldn’t find the first video? It did not load here or at Townhall.
Please advise.

thegreatbeast on March 16, 2010 at 7:30 PM

Just watched it!

thare on March 16, 2010 at 7:35 PM

Former MA Treasurer (currently running for Gov.) says that MassCare on a national scale would wipe out the American economy.

We have economically idiotic do-gooders shaping our laws and policies.

onlineanalyst on March 16, 2010 at 7:38 PM

Somebody needs to call this liar out for the liar he is. Mr. Gibbs, you are lying through your teeth while tap dancing on the head of a pin.

TimothyJ on March 16, 2010 at 7:42 PM

The press will grill but isn’t the real question will the press inform. And the answer to that question is the lame stream media will hide the decline all the time.

tarpon on March 16, 2010 at 6:10 PM


This whole thing is just a performance for the ign’rint masses. It may also be seen as the media telling Obama, “convincing the rubes that passing the bill this way is just hunkey dorey is going to be a tough job – we need some sound bites to copy and paste into our columns and scripts to make things easier.”

I can guarantee you that virtually everyone in our “unbiased” MSM is 100 percent for using Slaughter’s solution, because they think it’s the best way for the Dems to pass it, they really believe we’re stupid enough to be convinced by them that they really didn’t vote for the underlying monstrosity of a health care bill, and they see this as the best way for flipping the bird at all of us who oppose it. That last is probably their biggest reason for supporting it.

In the coming days, they’ll drag out the usual tired band of leftist “Constitutional experts” to make the rounds of Tingles’ Bathtub Boy’s, et. al. shows to convince us that this process has been used countless times and that GOP objections are nothing more than teabagger lies, and that the Dems wouldn’t be forced into doing this if the GOP could just for once put aside their race based hatred of Obama for “the good of the American people.”

As far as Cafferty goes, someone had to take one for the team for the purpose of creating the illusion that the “unbiased” media is really concerned with the Constitutionality of the latest scheme to ram Obama’s agenda down our throats. He must have been one of the ones who drew the short straw for that task.

Gator Country on March 16, 2010 at 7:43 PM

One thing about Gibbs: he gives Helen Thomas a run for “Most disgusting person in the room”.

Aviator on March 16, 2010 at 7:46 PM

Shepard Smith, please go away. You are a tool. It’s nothing new?

KeepOhioRed on March 16, 2010 at 7:47 PM

Jesus God.

It is breathtaking watching Gibbs dismiss the Constitution of the United States. Mindboggling.

His attitude is “We don’t need to respect the Constitution when we foist on America the garbage we choose to foist.”

drjohn on March 16, 2010 at 7:52 PM

I was pleasantly suprised to hear the pro-socialist Bill Handel show rip into the “deemed passed” sidestep. Apparently there’s no sugar pill big enough to justify turning America into Nicaragua, even to lefties.

Chris_Balsz on March 16, 2010 at 8:17 PM

But hey, it is mostly, sort of, kinda like voting on it, maybe. I mean, they are voting on something. Yeah, I know that what they are voting on is pablum. But the number of the bill is in the one they voted on. So that counts sort of, kinda maybe.

LOL, the twisting the Dems are doing right now shows they are losing the battle. You can sense that there is some real discomfort with this process.

Hawthorne on March 16, 2010 at 8:47 PM

When I first viewed the clip, it sounded as though they were debating the merits of “demon pass.”

I think I like that term better than “deem and pass”.

Paul_in_NJ on March 16, 2010 at 8:51 PM

The greatest nation that has ever existed is being systematically destroyed from within by the libs, leftists and media.

I seriously hope that they somehow, some day, pay dearly for this.

justltl on March 16, 2010 at 9:02 PM

Bagdad Bob Gibbs, “What health care trick?” “Look over there! Dairy Queen!”

gitarfan on March 16, 2010 at 9:08 PM

I seriously want the libs and leftists to have their own country in which they can form their version of utopia.

I would relish watching them suffer as a result of their own idiocy.

justltl on March 16, 2010 at 9:13 PM

Gibbs (waving his hand): This isn’t the Demon Pass you’re looking for.

fossten on March 16, 2010 at 9:15 PM

If the press doesn’t rip this arguement to shreds on every network, every newscast, everyday until this next election we might as well be getting our news from Pravda and Tass.

jpmn on March 16, 2010 at 9:33 PM

Shrimp Smith is an Obama corpseman to the end. He needs an enema.

Western_Civ on March 16, 2010 at 10:06 PM

Some Congressional Dems may want an up or down vote so they can vote no. They don\’t want their constituents to assume their vote would have been yes because of their yes vote the first time around. For some, like my Congresswoman Giffords, a no vote this time is her only chance at redemption, and even then it\’s remote…

Ordinary1 on March 16, 2010 at 11:37 PM

…we might as well be getting our news from Pravda and Tass.

jpmn, I have some bad news for you: we already are, except that the pretty people that lie to us now think they are doing so for a good cause, while the liars the USSR used realized they were covering up the putrid end result of that cause.

And let’s have a shout-out for Olympia Snowe, who seems to have disappeared from the news, and who hopefully will disapper for good this coming November.

drunyan8315 on March 17, 2010 at 7:37 AM

It occurs to me that you could make one heck of a political ad just by editing together clips of Pelosi’s comments.

Use it to nationalize every race for Congress in 2010.

LarryD on March 17, 2010 at 9:20 AM

The really crazy thing is, now that the parlimentarian has ruled that Obama has to sign the senate bill before reconcilliation can start, I don’t see how the Slaughter rule buys them anything.
Perhaps it buys them cover in that they can claim they were voting for the rule, not the bill, but the only people who be fooled by that, are those who want to be fooled, and they support the Democrats already.

MarkTheGreat on March 17, 2010 at 9:33 AM

Today this administration equates the politicians vote on a specific bill as representing U.S. and what we want. It is not, and they are just digging their hole deeper and there are really laws against misrepresentation, which raise to the level of a Class A Felony.

MSGTAS on March 17, 2010 at 10:57 AM