Tomorrow’s Health care summit, Trap or political theater?
Tomorrow Obama and the Republicans will meet on live TV for the death match of the century . OK, not really. Tomorrow’s six-hour meeting will be full of lots of detail and facts coming from Obama, countered by hysterical warnings of doom and faux common sense from the Republicans. It is funny to think this meeting was actually asked for by the Republicans. Remember how they complained about being locked out of the debate? Now they are calling the summit a trap and the press is calling it political theater.
It is a trap. There is nothing wrong with trying to trap your political opponent. It is potentially just as much a trap for Obama as the repubs.
It is political theater. All politics is theater. Good politics like good theater has to be entertaining. But great politics like great theater is illuminating; it can change the way people see the world.
Tomorrow will probably have a few moments of great theater for anyone willing to endure. Anyone that actually watches it with an open mind will come away very educated, and left with the inescapable conclusion that health care reform should be passed. NOW.
Not many will watch. Who has the time? We count on reporters to watch it for us and give us an honest educated distillation. Too bad we don’t live in a time where that happens. Fox will give us their unfair and unbalanced right-wing spin. MSNBC will offer its typically schizo spin of attacking Obama from the left while celebrating his victory over the repubs. Most of the other News sources will offer a mix of these approaches on the same program or printed page. Almost no one will actually do an in-depth analysis of all the complex facts. It does not sell. Welcome to the modern “free market of ideas”
One theme we will hear a lot tomorrow is that repubs want to compromise.
Every kid on the playground knows what compromise means. Compromise means you give up something if the other kid will give up something, so they can get on with it and play the game.
The Republican kids in congress have a different view. The Repub kids won’t agree to anything they don’t like. The Repub kids say compromise is finding what rules all the kids agree on.
The Repub kids sound reasonable. The kids in the media are buying it. But the Dem kids know it is bunk. For a year now they have been trying to get the repubs to play a game…any game.
The Dem kids say “lets Play Baseball!” The Repub kids say, “Yes we all want to play baseball, but no bats. On this we must agree”
The Dem Kids say, “Lets play Football!”
The Repub Kids say, “Yes all of the kids want to play football, but no one is allowed to use their hands, It is football after all. On this we can not budge an inch.”
Dem kids, “OK Soccer then”
Repub Kids, “As long as no one kicks the ball.”
Dem kids, “How about tag?”
Repub kids, “No touching.”
Dem kids, “You really don’t want to play at all do you?”
Repub Kids, “Of course we want to play. All the of the playground wants to play. If you dem kids would just compromise we could all play. Ya know what? You dems have messed this all up. Let’s start over ! “
Senate Dems adopted 161 amendments and key GOP planks while soft-pedaling the public option. read more.