The political theater that took place in Washington today concerning the healthcare summit was nothing more that, just political theater. President Obama had no intention of 'listening' to Republican ideas on healthcare legislation. In fact, he let it be known that the time for 'baby steps' was gone. Comprehensive, reform based legislation would now go forword.
What we will see in the coming days/weeks will be a Democratic Congress force passage of healthcare legislation by a simple majority vote. Now, this tactic, called reconciliation, has been used on numerous occasions in the past, but it must be noted that it has NEVER been used on a piece of legislation this massive. Passage of a healthcare bill will encompass controlling 16% of the US economy. Even Senator Robert Byrd, considered by many to be an expert with regard to this tactic, believes that it should be used very carefully lest the process become partisan and unworkable.
In any event, the cameras rolled, the president spoke(a total of 119 minutes), the representatives spoke(a total of 114 minutes for Democrats and 110 minutes for Republicans) and literally nothing was resolved; only that which we already know--Democrats will force a vote in the Senate.
All of this reminds me of the movie 'Little Big man' starring Dustin Hoffman. It recalls the life of Jack Crabb, an 120 year old former Indian fighter, who recounts his life to a student doing a piece on the old west. The most defining moment comes when Crabb tells General Custer to go down into Little Big Horn if he has the guts. "You go down there, General. You go down there if you got the Guts." General Custer thinks about it for just a moment and then tells his aids that Crabb must really want him not to go down there because he told him the opposite. Of course, Crabb knew that if Custer went to the Little Big Horn he and his men would be slaughtered. Custer went down--Custer got slaughtered.
What does this have to do with healthcare legislation? Just this--"You go down there, Mr. President. You pass this bill if you got the guts." The democratic Congress and the President, I believe, will be issuing their own death sentence as to majority rule. They will be destroyed in November by an electorate that will remember the hubris and arrogance possessed by these power hungry fools. "You go down there, Mr President, Mr. Reid, Ms. Pelosi. You go down there. I'll enjoy the spring and summer as I always do, but I'm really going to enjoy the fall; the fall of the Democratic Party." The Democrats would be wise to do the opposite.
Political theater--get your popcorn ready!
Click on this link for ideas on real healthcare reform. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704804204575069133264585068.html