Democrats With TWICE The Time Still Managed To Lose Health Care Summit

The breakdown as to the time spent talking at the health care summit:

Democrats: 114 minutes
Republicans: 110 minutes
Barack Obama (uber Democrat): 119 minutes

Which means that for every one minute Republicans were allowed to speak, Democrats allowed themselves more than 2 minutes to speak.

How bipartisan of them.

Obama by himself spent nine more minutes talking than he allowed the 17 Republicans combined to have:

“President Obama pledged to “listen” at the outset of his much-ballyhooed bipartisan health care summit on Thursday. Turns out he meant he’d be listening to his own voice.”

Obama acknowledged the massive disparity and the massive unfairness of the meeting this way:

“You’re right, there was an imbalance on the opening statements because – I’m the president.” Half the room laughed. “I didn’t count my time in terms of dividing it evenly.”

But that’s not the whole story.  Oh, no.  Obama not only gave himself more time to talk than all the Republicans combined, but he also gave himself more time to talk than all the other Democrats combined.

And Obama spent most of his time attacking the points made by Republicans, who were rarely ever allowed to respond and defend themselves as Obama dictated the event.

Throughout the event, Obama – ever the ideological moderator – remarked while Republicans were getting one of their rare chances to speak that they were behind the time schedule.  At one point while Republican Senator Dr. Tom Coburn was speaking Harry Reid said, “Mr. President, if I could just say, I’m not an expert on much but I am filibusters and we’ve got 40 members of Congress here.”  But the problem CLEARLY wasn’t Dr. Coburn and it clearly wasn’t the Republicans.  Rather, the problem was Obama and his “Help! I’m talking and I can’t shut up!” problem.

Still, as unfair and partisan as it was, it was still the closest by far and away that Democrats have been “bipartisan.”

The Democrats took unfair partisan advantage and cheated.  But the Republicans still kicked their asses today.

From Don Surber’s Daily Mail:

Rave reviews for Republicans

Their sampling of quotes:

CNN’s WOLF BLITZER: “It looks like the Republicans certainly showed up ready to play.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)

CNN’s GLORIA BORGER: “The Republicans have been very effective today. They really did come to play. They were very smart.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)

BORGER: “They took on the substance of a very complex issue. … But they really stuck to the substance of this issue and tried to get to the heart of it and I think did a very good job.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)

BORGER: “They came in with a plan. They mapped it out.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)

CNN’s DAVID GERGEN: “The folks in the White House just must be kicking themselves right now. They thought that coming out of Baltimore when the President went in and was mesmerizing and commanding in front of the House Republicans that he could do that again here today. That would revive health care and would change the public opinion about their health care bill and they can go on to victory. Just the opposite has happened.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)

GERGEN: “He doesn’t have a strong Democratic team behind him.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)

THE HILL’S A.B. STODDARD: “I think we need to start out by acknowledging Republicans brought their ‘A Team.’ They had doctors knowledgeable about the system, they brought substance to the table, and they, I thought, expressed interest in the reform. I thought in the lecture from Senator John McCain and on the issue of transparency, I thought today the Democrats were pretty much on their knees.” (Fox News’ “Live,” 2/25/10)

THE WEEKLY STANDARD’S STEVE HAYES: “I think to me the most important thing to come out of the morning so far is that Republicans have spent a great deal of time talking with great passion, and I think eagerness about their plans, detailing the plans that until this morning them Democrats had been saying didn’t exist. Well, you now see, I think, in great detail that Republicans do have plans, that they care about the same issues and that they feel passionately about it.” (Fox News’ “Live,” 2/25/10)

My take is this is health insurance is a boring topic that has shown just how boring and dull this president is. He is hopelessly lost in the Land of Actuarial Tables, where co-payments and deductibles reign.

I’m beginning to see why he keeps flogging this dead horse: He has nothing closer to a unicorn than this; it is all he knows.

There’s a lot more than that.  TPM provides another slew of liberals who basically give the Republicans the win including this one:

“I think it was a draw, which was a Republican win,” said Democratic political consultant Dan Gerstein. “The Republican tone was just right: a respectful, substantive disagreement, very disciplined and consistent in their message.”

If Democratic strategist Dan Gerstein says it was a draw, it was a Republican ass-kicking.

There were several moments that were illustrative of the sham of Obama’s faux-bipartisan summit (e.g., Obama’s personal attack against John McCain by telling him, “We’re not campaigning any more.  The election’s over” – which was a personally harsh and incredibly hypocritical charge given the fact that even Democrats acknowledge that Obama has done little BUT constantly campaign); but one moment stood out to me as summing up Obama’s strategy to forcibly twist the Republicans to either bow to his agenda or demonize them as “obstructionists”:

THE PRESIDENT: “Dave, I don’t mean to interrupt. But the — we’re going to have the whole section talking about deficits. And we can talk about the changes in Medicare. We were trying to focus on costs related to lowering families’. And the only concern I’ve got is — look, if every speaker at least on one side is going through every provision and saying what they don’t like, it’s going to be hard for us to see if we can arrive at some agreements on things that we all agree on.”

Let’s recap: The Republicans had asked/begged/demanded that Obama take the current 2,700 page Democrat bill off the table.  Obama refused.  And then Obama offered his own even worse and more expensive version of that 2,700 page Senate Democrat bill.

Obama and the Democrats used the word “agree” so many times that it was simply unreal.  Clearly, the idea was to represent the Republicans as being in substantial agreement with the Democrats’ bill, and then demand why they weren’t supporting a bill which they basically agreed with.

Only the Republicans DIDN’T agree with the Democrats’ 2,700 page monstrosity.  And they wanted to explain why.

This was unacceptable to Obama.  He wanted to make the Republicans appear to agree with him, so he could later demonize them as the obstructionist party of no.

If Obama had really wanted to seek agreement with the Republicans, he would have withdrawn the 2,700 page howitzer he was aiming at them.  And he would have taken off the table a second howitzer of using reconciliation (aka “the nuclear option”) to fundamentally change the Senate rules to shove that 2,700 page howitzer down the Republicans’ throats.

But he refused to do that.  He refused to allow the Republicans to talk about what they could agree on, and instead forced them to confront the 2,700 page ObamaCare boondoggle which they – and the overwhelming majority of the American people – had already completely rejected.

This was never about Obama seeking agreement from Republicans; this was all about attempting to use a “bipartisan summit” to make them look bad so he could demagogue them.

Only – too bad, so sad for Barry Hussein – the Republicans didn’t look bad.  In fact, they looked pretty dang good.

Judging from the polling, Americans overwhelmingly came away from the summit believing that it was nothing more than political theater.  Which was exactly what it was.

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6 Responses to “Democrats With TWICE The Time Still Managed To Lose Health Care Summit”

  1. Relentless Says:

    Fundamentally change the rules? How so?

  2. crosssection Says:

    A great article detailing how Americans feel about the healthcare proposal…not the administration…isn’t that what it is all supposed to be about???

    http://crosssection.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/how-many-times-must-we-defeat-the-healthcare-bill/

  3. Michael Eden Says:

    ObamaCare is best compared to Freddy Krueger or Jason Voorhees. You just can’t stab it in the heart enough before the demonic monster rises again.

    Good point.

  4. Michael Eden Says:

    The current Senate rules allow the filibuster unless said filibuster can be defeated with a 2/3 majority. Reconciliation is a rule change. And it does in fact change the rules fundamentally.

    Here’s how Democrats felt about reconciliation just a few years ago (For the record, the Republicans did NOT use reconciliation in 2005, which involved – using the procedure that the media then called “the nuclear option” to highlight how radical it was and how much they didn’t like it – voting on a Bush Supreme Court appointment against a Democrat filibuster).

    Barack Obama 4/25/05: “The President hasn’t gotten his way. And that is now prompting a change in the Senate rules that really I think would change the character of the Senate forever…what I worry about would be that you essentially still have two chambers the House and the Senate but you have simply majoritarian absolute power on either side, and that’s just not what the founders intended.”

    Charles Schumer 5/18/2005: “We are on the precipice of a crisis, a constitutional crisis. The checks and balances which have been at the core of this Republic are about to be evaporated by the nuclear option. The checks and balances which say that if you get 51% of the vote you don’t get your way 100% of the time. It is amazing it’s almost a temper tantrum.

    Harry Reid 5/18/2005: “Mr. President the right to extended debate is never more important than the one party who controls congress and the white house. In these cases the filibuster serves as a check on power and preserves our limited government.”

    Dianne Feinstein 5/18/2005: The nuclear option if successful will turn the Senate into a body that could have its rules broken at any time by a majority of senators unhappy with any position taken by the minority. It begins with judicial nominations. Next will be executive appointments and then legislation.

    Joe Biden 5/23/2005: This nuclear option is ultimately an example of the arrogance of power. It is a fundamental power grab.

    Harry Reid 5/18/2005: “But no we are not going to follow the Senate rules. No, because of the arrogance of power of this Republican administration.”

    Chris Dodd 5/18/2005: “I’ve never passed a single bill worth talking about that didn’t have a lead co sponsor that was a Republican. And I don’t know of a single piece of legislation that’s ever been adopted here that didn’t have a Republican and Democrat in the lead. That’s because we need to sit down and work with each other. The rules of this institution have required that. That’s why we exist. Why have a bicameral legislative body? Why have two chambers? What were the framers thinking about 218 years ago? They understood Mr. President that there is a tyranny of the majority.

    Dianne Feinstein 5/18/2005: “If the Republican leadership insists on forcing the nuclear option the senate becomes ipso facto the House of Representatives where the majority rules supreme and the party of power can dominate and control the agenda with absolute power.”

    Hillary Clinton 5/23/2005: “You’ve got majority rule and then you have the senate over here where people can slow things down where they can debate where they have something called the filibuster. You know it seems like it’s a little less than efficient — well that’s right it is. And deliberately designed to be so.”

    Joe Biden 5/23/05: “I say to my friends on the Republican side you may own the field right now buy you won’t own it forever I pray God when the Democrats take back control we don’t make the kind of naked power grab you are doing.”

    Charles Schumer 5/23/2005: “They want their way every single time. And they will change the rules, break the rules, and misread the constitution so that they will get their way.”

    Hillary Clinton 5/23/2005: “The Senate is being asked to turn itself inside out, to ignore the precedent to ignore the way our system has work, the delicate balance that we have obtain that has kept this constitution system going, for immediate gratification of the present President.”

    Max Baucus 5/19/2005: “This is the way Democracy ends. Not with a bomb but with a gavel.”

    Does that answer your question?

  5. jim Says:

    In my opinion we need a public referendum on this bill and allow the taxpayer
    to defeat it once and for all!

  6. Michael Eden Says:

    It would be nice.

    As we stand now, the Democrats are going to try to ram it through with the nuclear option, and then tell the voters in November what a great deal they gave them.

    ObamaCare is like Freddy Krueger; no matter how many times you kill such evil, it keeps coming back.

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